ByBrandon Milby, writer at
I appreciate art and stories wherever I may find them. That's why I'm so drawn to video games, movies, and most forms of literature.
Brandon Milby

So, if you hadn't heard yet, Layers of Fear is getting story DLC in August. This DLC will expand the story of the base game and act as an epilogue for the story taking place several years after the events of the main campaign. You can watch the announcement trailer below:

I'm excited for this DLC and while it will most likely be much shorter than the original story, I feel that it will still capture the elements found in the base game: adaptive environment, dark and subtly scary atmosphere, and an adaptive narrative.

That being said, this story seems to pivot on the most common ending of Layers of Fear: the unnamed artist fails to complete his painting and remains permanently trapped in the mansion as he loses what's left of his sanity. This makes sense because again, it's the most common ending that people get as part of the base experience of the game. If you pick up some of the collectibles and rush through the game, you get this ending. However, there are two other endings to the game and neither of them would allow an epilogue to exist:

In the "Wife and Child" ending, the painting you create is of the painter's wife and child. However, upon completing the painting, the painter determines that his life and marriage have always been a lie and burns down the mansion. Obviously, there's nothing left to inherit if the house is gone and it's likely the painter's will would not have survived the fire. I've seen several playthroughs of this game, but no one I've seen has received this ending. The running theory for that ending seems to be that you collect everything that pertains to the wife or child and interact with the wife whenever possible in the story.

In the "Self Portrait" ending, the artist achieves a legacy similar to that of Dorian Grey in that he receives immortality having perfected his painting. This would also be difficult to write the epilogue around given the artist was satisfied with his work and so self-absorbed that he wouldn't have left a will for his daughter. He most likely would've just died happily alone knowing that he would be remembered for his return to the art that was once praised. This is achieved by the more diligent players who take note of all the game has to offer and picking up on as many collectibles and details as they possibly can. I've only seen a few people manage this and their play style involved exploration (relatively speaking) instead of hurriedly rushing through the terrifying scenes.

But What About "Inheritance?"

Well, judging from the screenshots I've seen, the rest of which can be found here, this game will attempt to maintain the disturbing atmosphere. The mansion appears to be in a similar, if not worsened state, of disarray than it was before. As of now, we don't know how much time passed between the painter's daughter being taken by child protective services, his death, and the events of the epilogue. However, she seems to be an adult, so presumably close to a decade has passed. A main theme I'm seeing from other screenshots is a perversion of childhood images, so it's likely our new protagonist will be plagued with memories from her childhood being distorted by the mansion around her.

This could be part of the twisted memories or a metaphor for how the protagonist feels as she walks through the house - hunted by dark, repressed memories. It could also be her reminiscing memories from stories she read as a kid, including the illustrations her father made for a Little Red Riding Hood story with a beastly wolf. It's possible she stumbled upon the illustrations in her father's office and were horrified by the images given her young age. It would be interesting to have heightened suspense be an overarching element of the game compared to the "go at your own pace" style presented in the base game.

In terms of how the narrative itself will play out, I want to believe that they've put enough thought into it to mimic the experience from the base game to grant the player different endings based on his or her experiences. If this were to happen, it's likely that the daughter will undergo similar character development like her father did after his solitary experience in the mansion: She will find closer and leave the mansion a better person, she'll die in the mansion as her father had having lost her sanity, or she will become equally nihilistic and burn the mansion along with all of her memories. Given this is a horror game and it's not meant to capitalize on happy endings, I'd say the most common ending will be the middle one with the diligent players getting the more satisfying and happy ending. All three endings sound similar to the original endings, but it still grants a more personalized experience instead of keeping the game extremely linear.

So those are my thoughts on Layers of Fear: Inheritance. Thankfully, we won't have to wait long before the story expansion launches! If you've got any thoughts on the potential story that will come from this expansion, let me know in the comments below! Layers of Fear: Inheritance releases on August 2nd for $4.99.

Source: Bloody Disgusting

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