July’s proving to be a spooky month for Oculus Quest. Along with the impending arrival of Five Nights At Freddy’s VR, today also sees the somewhat surprising launch of Layers of Fear VR on the platform. How does it stack up to past versions of the game?
That’s a bit of a loaded question, as there have been a lot of versions of Layers of Fear in the past. We’ve chosen not to include the 2016 original version of Bloober’s creepy horror game and instead focus on its three VR editions: this week’s Quest port, the PC VR version from 2019 and, yes, even the 2016 Daydream exclusive version, Layers of Fear: Solitude. To get footage of the latter we had to dig out a Lenovo Mirage Solo and buy the game. Don’t tell us we’re not committed to our jobs.
Check out the video above for our impressions. Starting out with Quest vs PC, you can see a big difference pretty much straight away. In Layers of Fear you explore the haunted mansion of a tormented painter, and the atmosphere is a big driver in how much you’ll enjoy the experience. Fairly obviously, the PC version comes out on top in this regard; lighting is far more complex on PC with some quite significant changes on Quest, including even outright removing some lighting sources, like a lamp you can turn on in one of the first rooms.
But the Quest version still does the game justice, retaining most of the assets and feel from the original. Draw distances in larger rooms are scaled back and you’ll miss some items and even effects like rain running down the windows. Let’s quickly turn our attention to Layers of Fear: Solitude too (seen at the end of the video), which is pretty fascinating in itself. Being a 3DOF game with node-based teleportation, a lot of the graphical fidelity of the original PC game has actually been really well maintained. Not that you’re going to rush out and hunt down an old Daydream headset for it, but the differences are striking all the same.
If you have access to a PC, then, you might want to consider that version of Layers of Fear VR over the Quest edition, but if you’re a fan of the experience and have access to the standalone headset, it does the original justice. You can get the Quest version here and the SteamVR version here.