This is the second part of Leigh’s review of Remothered: Tormented Fathers. You can read part 1 of the review on Games vs Play here.
Oh, hello there. Welcome back! Pull up a seat … why am I wearing nothing but a butcher’s apron and holding a sickle? You’ll soon find out. Don’t bother reaching for that set of scissors or that snow globe on the dresser as part 2 of our Remothered: Tormented Fathers review proceeds, right about … NOW!
As I mentioned earlier in Part 1 of this review, you can regain health by visiting a specified mirror in the manor. The only way I know you can take physical damage that isn’t instant death is by the slash of the loonie’s sickle as you’re trying to escape their clutches. I have never been “slashed” to death. Every time I died I have been grappled by the insane murderer and hacked in a gruesome cut scene. The loading screens elude to escaping damage by avoiding swarms of moths. I am yet to encounter any swarms, but I have seen one or two moths jumping around a kitchen table. You can check on Rosemary Reed‘s health status by looking at her open cuts and wounds appearing on the character after they are sliced. Not displaying a visual health bar helps maintain the immersion and keeps the player on their toes. When Reed is gravely injured she starts to limp, moves slower and generally struggles with her actions; for example, when hiding in a cupboard and attempting to keep your cool as the murderer bangs on the doors, it is much harder to keep that straying circle in its confines.
There is an adventure game element that I was blissfully ignorant of while playing this title. For example: I needed to find a plunger to dislodge the item in a bathtub drain, but I could only access the plunger by finding the key that accessed the room containing said plunger. You MUST explore every room in as much detail as possible if you hope to reach the end. This will make Reed look like a kleptomaniac with sticky fingers as she opens every drawer and cupboard, looks at every item and touches everything. On the plus side it also means Reed will accumulate a larger arsenal for her defense.
Small white dots reveal the many doors, cupboards, drawers, cabinets and items Reed can interact with or pick up. When Reed stands close to an interactive object a hand icon appears. Turning that white dot into a hand icon can sometimes prove difficult when attempting to fixate your invisible cursor on the interactive item. I embarrasingly spent five minutes trying to open what I thought was an interactive drawer sitting in the darkness. Turns out it was just a sheen of light on the draw knob and couldn’t be opened.
Walking slowly is much faster than crouching and moving forward. Crouching should probably be reserved for when the music intensifies, meaning the raving lunatic is close. The stealth mechanics are solid. Creeping out of the maniac’s line of sight around a pillar worked every time. If only there were more pillars in the house everything would be dandy. The psycho in your pursuit has a patrol route, but regardless he still manages to catch me off guard. For example, I was hiding behind a tasteful screen in the dining room when the killer walked to one of the hallway exits. Great! As he’s facing the other way, I can escape the dining room to the other hallway exit, so I stealthily made my way to the other exit. Turns out I was dead wrong. The crafty murderer had spun around before proceeding out the door …
Perhaps this was just the Beta playing up on me, but I found it tricky identifying when the murderer was truly nearby. Listening for the murderer’s footsteps, the maniac’s insane rantings, doors creaking open and for the music to highten horrifically were three prompts for me to be cautious or hide. I found it a little disorienting at times as these prompts would sometimes be clearly audible when the murderer was a floor below my location. It was hard enough casing the mansion as it was without this false indicator.
Years of stealth games such as Thief and Amnesia: The Dark Descent means I give enemy alertness a touch more credit in other titles than they deserve, forever impacting how I maneuver my character. At the same time, some elements in those games should have taught me more about how to play Remothered properly. My exposure to Clock Tower did not assist me as Remothered plays differently, regardless of the fact that Remothered is what some may refer to as a spiritual successor.
My final critique: it was hard to become absorbed in the beautifully crafted mansion and your task at hand when you have a killer constantly in pursuit. A breather from being hounded would have broken up the game nicely, allowing the player to collect their thoughts for some of the puzzles. After a while, the murderer turned from horrifying to sometimes annoying and agitating as I attempted to press on through the game.
My Beta period is over. There were a few small bugs that I’ve reported but nothing that was a deal breaker. I will DEFINITELY buy this title and if you enjoy nail-biting chases, strong narrative and spending half your game huddled in a corner quivering in fear then it’s something you should get your hands on as soon as it’s released sometime in 2017.
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. You can also read the interview with Leigh here on Games vs Play.
Images in this story sourced from the official Remothered presskit.