There's a fine line between genius and madness, they say. In Layers of Fear, the newly-released "psychedelic horror" from Polish developers Bloober Team, that line has well and truly been crossed. Inspired by masterpiece paintings, this looks set to be a game best played late at night with the volume up, the lights off, and as much courage as you can muster.
You play a once-renowned artist, driven to madness by the loss of his family and prestige. Now all that remains for him is to complete one last commission, his magnum opus, a "true portrait" that captures the darkness of his subject's soul on canvas. Layers of Fear certainly lays the atmosphere on thick as you explore the painter's Victorian mansion: your escalating psychosis means that your surroundings constantly shift around you, revealing visions, fears and hidden horrors in your quest to unravel the mystery of your dark and tragic history. And possibly even finish the portrait.
Rendered in Unity, Layers of Fear presents a full 3D environment to explore from a first-person viewpoint, replete with flickering lights, fluttering curtains, a bevy of trippy effects and a creepy, menacing soundtrack. We're promised a "meticulously crafted" 19th century environment inspired by the works of Goya, Bruegel and Rubens, and filled with personal items to find that will unlock the secrets of your past.
Layers of Fear has been available on Steam Early Access for some time, and the completed version is now ready for final release on Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can find out more (if you dare) at the official website.