In Remothered: Tormented Fathers, you play Rosemary Reed, a woman investigating the disappearance of a girl named Celeste. The investigation leads you to Richard Felton’s house – but all is not as it seems.
Remothered: Broken Porcelain appears to be both a prequel and a continuation of the events of Tormented Fathers. The game begins with a recap, but if you haven’t played the first one you’ll get it before you jump in here. The plot is needlessly complicated, dealing with divided personalities, dissociative identities, nuns, burning convents, weird drugs, and who-knows-what else. And while developer Stormind Games claims Broken Porcelain is a great entry point for the series, players who first experienced Tormented Fathers will no doubt have a better understanding of who the key characters are.
The preview version of Remothered: Broken Porcelain we got our hands on allowed us to play through the early hours of the game. In 1973, we took on the role of a young girl named Jennifer. She lives and works at the Ashmann Inn, a hotel run by the Ashmann family. It’s immediately obvious that she’s not happy to be there, and it doesn’t take long for things to turn for the worse. A few minutes after the opening of the match, Jennifer finds herself pursued by Andrea, the head housekeeper of the hostel. Cue a lot of stealth, stealth, and numerous attempts to thwart it.
Mechanically, Remothered: Broken Porcelain plays a bit like its predecessor. You will spend a lot of time crawling, hiding in or under furniture, and waiting for the right moment to move when you are out of sight of a stalker. If Andrea catches up with you, she will hit you with a pair of scissors. You can take quite a bit of damage, and you have the option to escape with the hit of a button in order to deal damage to it – provided you have a defensive weapon on your person. Do not manage to escape, and it is over: Andrea brutally throws a pair of scissors into your head. Ouch.
What’s different this time around is a stealth attack mechanic. Jennifer cannot attack freely, but if she does manage to sneak behind an opponent, she is able to launch a stealth attack. You will need to do this at certain points in the game to advance. Timing and persistence are the key; you will also have the use of distraction objects to point your enemy in a certain direction. Sometimes running and hiding isn’t enough when you need to plan an attack.
However, that hardly differentiates the game from its predecessor; overall it feels like a lot to play. The controls are clunky, and if you get stuck on a part of the environment it’s hard to escape, especially if you’re being chased.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of Remothered: The Broken Porcelain Preview was a scene in which Jennifer finds herself locked in a small laundry room with Andrea. As Jennifer, you have to hide long enough for Andrea to leave the room (and thus unlock the door). But with such a small area to run, there’s nowhere to hide. In the end, we had to take near-fatal damage to be able to deal enough damage to hurt Andrea, knocking her down for a few seconds. It gave us enough time to run across the room and squat behind a table – and in what looked like stupid luck, she went straight to the door rather than trying to get us. .
Times like these are meant to be tense and scary, but end up being frustrating. The atmosphere created by the Ashmann Inn is eerie and disturbing, but there are very few real scares. Passing successfully Andrea causes blood to pump, but when being chased it rarely scares you. That’s not to say that a lot more scares aren’t waiting in the rest of the game, though.
For the most part, the Ashmann Inn provides an excellent backdrop. Graphically, Remothered: Broken Porcelain is a huge step up from Tormented Fathers. Putting in the first game to compare is washed out and dull. While Broken Porcelain exudes the same oppressive atmosphere, its hallways feel more alive; it’s more dynamic and more real. The hostel is full of details and there are plenty of items to pick up and interact with.