Now available on PS4 and Xbox One after its PC release earlier in the year, Remothered: Tormented Fathers is the first in a proposed horror trilogy.
Placing you in the shoes of Rosemary Reed, a woman who isn’t all she initially appears, it’s a game full of mystery, suspense and full-on terror. But along with it, also a great deal of frustration.
Old Angry Pensioner
Visiting the house of Richard Felton, a man whose daughter has gone missing, under the pretences of being a healthcare professional, things soon take a surprising twist. Then, finding yourself trapped with the gentleman in his property, the nightmare truly begins. Escaping is your number one priority, but discovering any clues as to the whereabouts of Celeste, the missing girl, is also high on your agenda. But dogging you at every step is Mr. Felton, butt-naked except for an apron.
Remothered is more Clock Tower than Resident Evil; you’re not going to be finding any firearms to take the fight to the nearly nude OAP. Instead, you need to rely on stealth to complete your objectives. Essentially, you’re going to need to explore the house, finding items and solving puzzles to help you gain access to new areas. Though there are some items to help you keep your deranged attacker at bay.
Huh, what was that noise?
Two types of distraction items can be found; those that you place, and those that you throw. These are in addition to items in the environment which can also be used to capture Mr. Felton’s attention. Whether you throw an item at him or place one on the floor to pique his interest, however, he’ll soon get back to roaming his property, ready to chase you like a giddy schoolboy if he catches a glimpse of you.
I can confirm that being chased by a crazy old man wearing nothing but an apron isn’t much fun. Though it sure is scary. The problem is, Remothered‘s pursuits soon become a huge source of frustration. Despite being many years younger than Mr. Felton, Rosemary just doesn’t have the speed to outpace him. It’s probably because she refuses to take off her high-heels.
When a chase is instigated, your only option is to run and try to find cover, but creating enough of a gap between you and your pursuer to slip into a hiding spot undetected is often a grave task. Pull it off and Mr. Felton will wander around bewildered for a short period, and may even instigate a mini game in which you need to move the right stick to control your breath to remain undetected. Fail, and he’ll slash at you with his blade, until he finally grabs you and ends your adventure.
There are defensive items available that allow you to retaliate a single time when Mr. Felton grabs you, but you’re often so worn down after the struggle that you simply limp off to be chased again. And if you do manage to hide, your heavy breathing is likely to give your position away. The only way to heal in Remothered is to visit a mirror which also acts a save point, but they’re few and far between. As such, you need to get used to dying a lot, and then having to repeat your actions until you figure out where you need to go and what to do.
It’s a shame that Remothered devolves largely into trial and error; travelling here and there between deaths to discover the locations of items and solve puzzles before stringing your actions together into a successful foray without attracting unwanted attention. It’s just hard to get an idea of where Mr. Felton is at any given time, making much of the game feel like a matter of luck. If you’re playing with headphones on you might find the experience to be a little more intuitive, but otherwise you’ll curse at the screen as you come face to face with your pursuer time and time again.
Persist with Remothered and you’ll find your efforts rewarded though. The story is gripping and there are some genuine surprises in store, though the game’s cutscenes are a little scrappy. The game’s soundtrack also deserves praise, building and maintaining tension in all the right places. It’s just a shame that many players will possibly throw in the towel before reaching the game’s conclusion due to its formulaic gameplay and reliance on trial and error.
If you’ve got a great deal of patience and are craving a horror game in a similar vein to Clock Tower, you’ll quite possibly love Remothered: Tormented Fathers. If you’re after a horror game that you can saunter through over a couple of evenings without much stress other than being creeped out, however, it’s likely to just drive you up the wall. Remothered generates just as much frustration as it does atmosphere, making it one of those games that you want to love but can’t because it just keeps kicking you in the face.