Review by Leigh Carr
Remothered: Tormented Fathers is a third person game created by Darril Arts and Stormind Games. It promises nail biting cat and mouse style gameplay where YOU play the role of the mouse. The game also boasts a compelling, narrative filled with mystery, suspense and – my favourite – horror.
At around 12am in the morning I received an email stating my Beta copy of Remothered: Tormented Fathers was available. I instantly jumped on Steam and started downloading the modest 3 gig game onto my brand new laptop which I had purchased for just such an occasion. As the version I am reviewing is the Beta, any petty squabbling I muster will be sent as feedback to the creators. These issues will more than likely be addressed upon their official full release of the game.
After launching the game I checked that all graphical settings were cranked to Ultra, wiped the drool off my chin then hit the start button.
You play the role of Rosemary Reed (pictured left), a thirty-something year old woman with a past players progressively uncover. Reed ventures into Dr. Felton’s mansion in search for answers about his lost child. Reed instantly reminded me of Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in the film The Silence of the Lambs. A pretty sound expectation for what was to come …
After approximately 15 minutes of narrative driven gameplay and cut scenes the true horror begins as you’re hunted by a sickle wielding madman. Nowhere seemed safe as my ‘murderer to be’ somehow found my general location, forcing me to either hide or sneak. If the lunatic is in pursuit the player can run or use items as a diversion. Throwing items straight at the psycho will temporarliy hinder them, giving you an opportunity at escaping. When they catch you, you’ll get a permanent funky new piercing lodged in your brain and then you’re forced to start the scene over. If you possess a knife or a similar ‘defense item’ type you’ll be able to break free with some rapid button taps and a bit of good timing. Similarily, when hiding in a cupboard and the killer is lurking dangerously near you have to keep your cool by steadying a straying dot within the centre of a circle. I may have to buy a new mouse as I nearly crushed it in my hand due to the extreme suspense.
The game throws you into this stressful situation with very little instruction, although what is displayed in the loading screens helps IMMENSELY. It is thoroughly recommended that you read some documentation before you try, unless you enjoy dying and restarting the entire game. I had assumed there was an auto-save function when in fact progress is saved by utilising specific in-game glass mirrors. The save points aren’t in ‘safe locations.’ You have to be very careful when you decide to save your progress. The mirror can heal your wounds and can also be used to upgrade your ‘powers.’ (I have yet to utilize any.)
The cinematic cut scenes are beautifully crafted and subtly set the scene without blatant introductions or an overload of exposition. The story is drip fed in a way that makes you hungry for more. While the cut-scenes play, the game loads the next environment so your game flows seemlessly.
The environments are claustrophobic, detailed and dark. The coward in me attempted to locate the gamma in the hope my eyes could penetrate the pitch black. This sadistic little title doesn’t let you take technological advantages; either that or I had great difficulty finding the option. The characters look and feel down to earth. Some of the lip synchronization feels a tad stiff, probably because Reed’s mouth is tighter than Portia de Rossi’s face. Remothered makes up for this with fantastic facial expressions and unique natural character animations. The minimal HUD assists to keep you in a suspenseful atmosphere so players can truly appreciate the horror and the absorbancy of their underpants.
My only critique is one I’ve experienced in MANY games. The familiar pain of opening and closing interactive doors. As I was being chased I ran for a doorway, I read on a loading screen that I am able to close doors and then block it with my character preventing the psycho entry to my location. I’d get a little trigger happy and just as I’d reach the doorway I’d end up closing it on myself trapping me with the killer who was mere feet behind.
It was frustrating attempting to open the many, many locked doors within the mansion, but it also worked wonderfully as Reed was fumbling with door handles in an attempt to prevent a sickle getting lodged in her face.
It’s my kinda game. One that will haunt me all night … because I’ll more than likely keep playing it until the late morning. More to come on this title. Stay tuned!
Born of a jackal, Leigh decided to devote his life to all things horror at a young age. Now that he’s an adult not much has changed. He enjoys Board Games, Tabletop Role Playing Games and Electronic games, has a loving family that have put up with his crippling addictions, and is an ordained priest of the First United Church of Cthulhu. In his spare time he is a facilitator for a bank.
Leigh is also the creator and moderator of the Call of Cthulhu Melbourne Facebook community, where he goes by the madness-inducing pseudonym of “Leigh Carrthulu”. If you love Old Squidface as much as we think you do, ask Leigh to join the Facebook community. (Before you ask – you don’t have to be from Melbourne to join. Great Cthulhu has enough love to go around for everyone.) You can also read the interview with Leigh here on Games vs Play.