Layers of Fear Solitude Review for Google's Daydream VR: The trouser-staining horror game Layers of Fear comes to mobile, in the form of Layers of Fear Solitude, a special enhanced version of the original terrifying title made especially for Daydream VR. Here's our full review.
Virtual reality and horror are the perfect combination, like karaoke and excessive alcohol intake - as long as you don't mind ruining the odd pair of pants along the way. And while the original Layers of Fear is perfectly poo-enducing in its standard form (on PC and consoles such as the Shield TV), it gets really bloody harrowing in VR form.
Layer of Fear's developers have tweaked the game to fit Google's Daydream VR platform, and the controls are pleasingly intuitive and smooth. Rather than have you manually walk about, which would likely be awkward and cause a spot of motion sickness in some users, you just point to pre-set navigation spots with the Daydream controller and click the touchpad. The game then 'teleports' you to that spot, so you can look around a full 360-degrees. You might think that this would take you out of the experience somewhat, but it certainly didn't ruin the immersion for us.
You can interact with certain parts of Layer of Fear's environments by once again clicking. Notes, for instance, can be picked up and then brought closer to your face by lifting your arm. Likewise, any objects you find can be closely examined. And you'll need to manually open doors, chests and cupboards by twisting the handles and either pushing or pulling. Occasionally this can be a little awkward, with drawers being the biggest offender, but for the most part it works perfectly well.
We won't risk spoiling Layer of Fear Solitude's rather dark and tragic story in case you haven't played the original game. However, it's probably no big surprise to hear that you'll be exploring a dark and unnecessarily creepy mansion, while trying to figure out exactly what happened to the residents. The story is divulged via notes and other clues, so there is the occasional spot of reading to do. Nothing too strenuous, though.
The house itself is beautifully recreated in virtual reality (not sure 'beauty' is the right word, but you know what I means). Every room is dripping with atmosphere and packed with detail, including dozens and dozens of rather horrifying portraits. You won't want to rush through the game, to make sure you don't miss anything - or possibly just to put off walking down that pitch black corridor for a wee bit longer.
Audio is just as strong, with some haunting music where appropriate and plenty of creepy sound effects to get your bowels bubbling.
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The conversion to VR isn't one hundred percent smooth, sadly. There was one moment where the game started to lag a bit, so looking around was quite a juddery experience. Thankfully this only lasted for a few minutes and then everything became smooth again. Blame that one on a gremlin in the system.
If you're looking for the ultimate Daydream VR horror experience, then look no further. Layers of Fear Solitude will destroy your y-fronts faster than a dodgy vindaloo. There are jump scares a-plenty, but for us it's the chilling atmosphere that really makes it worth a play; top marks for presentation and story-telling, and the worthy conversion to virtual reality.
You can download it from the Google Play store and Google's Daydream store right now.