In the last year the Nintendo Switch has garnered quite the reputation as a home for indie titles aplenty, whether that be brand new titles or existing games finding a new lease of life on the hybrid console, and one game that falls into the category of the latter is Bloober Team's Layers of Fear, which is getting the Switch treatment in the form of Layers of Fear: Legacy. Yes, it's been two years since we got the full launch of the artsy horror game, but now it's back, and you can ever take the horror with you, if you felt like you weren't self-conscious enough screaming at home and fancy doing it on a plane instead.
Bloober Team hasn't just lifted Layers of Fear straight from PC, PS4, and Xbox One onto Switch though, as Legacy has some minor tweaks that are worth mentioning, the first of which is that there are now a few Switch-specific features. HD rumble, for instance, is now included, and there are the odd motion controls and touch-screen features, but honestly for the most part these aren't really going to be a major differentiating point between this version and the others, since it controls like any other first-person game anyway and you may well find yourself drawn to the Pro Controller when docked.
That plane comment wasn't just us plucking an example out of the air by the way (see what we did there?), but our reviewer actually did play the game in handheld on a plane. When we interviewed producer Rafał Basaj recently he told us that part of the motivation for making the game handheld is that the team thought it'd be really cool to play the game in dark and spooky real-life places, like scary basements or an abandoned house, and that's something we'd probably agree with, if only because the game works best in handheld when there's very little light around you.
It's been a timeless issue with handheld gaming that the screen can often reflect a lot of light, leaving you staring back at yourself like when you accidentally open the front-facing camera on a phone, and it's especially evident with a game as dark as this. When we say dark, we don't mean tonally (although it is) but we mean there's a notable absence of light, as with a lot of horror games, meaning you'll really need to find that sweet spot where there's no glare or reflection. Under the bedsheets is preferable, although we're not sure we'd recommend an abandoned house.
Another big feature that separates Legacy from the other versions is that the Inheritance DLC is built into the package. Without delving too much into spoiler territory, the base game revolves around an artist wandering around his house questioning his sanity and unravelling his past, and Inheritance deals with much of the same themes, except now it's after the events of the base game, as the artist's daughter revisits the house to confront her own memories as well.
We've already reviewed Layers of Fear when it first came out, but now that it comes bundled together with Inheritance - a DLC that both informs our understanding of events in the main game while also offering a refreshingly new angle - fans get the definitive package for the game, with all the information they need to come to their own conclusion about the bizarre and horrific events we're witness to, as well as the painter embroiled within the mess.
A lot was made of the horrendous frame-rate issues the game had back at its original launch, and although it's improved since then, the version we played on PS4 still hasn't got the best frame-rates in the world. The same applies here, as although there aren't significant dips, it's not the smoothest of games to play. It absolutely works, but for those who like the real luxury of 60FPS, it might well be noticeable that Layers of Fear still isn't hitting those heights.
All-in-all though Layers of Fear: Legacy stands up to previous editions of the game, and the fact that it's available to take with you to any spooky place you choose and that it includes Inheritance, all for the very reasonable price of £17.99, makes it a worthwhile purchase. Whether you're a horror fan, or just a Switch fan looking to try out another indie gem on the platform gradually becoming a welcoming home for indies everywhere, this is definitely worth picking up, as it's got all of what made Layers of Fear great, with a few extra cherries on top for you.