|Remothered: Tormented Fathers|
|release date||January 2018|
Recently, horror has become the lot of indie developers. Small studios are actively releasing the same type of “walking simulators”, but there are also unusual original projects. And here Remothered: Tormented Fathers stands out sharply – a really creepy game, where the emphasis is not only on the visuals, but also on complex game mechanics.
It all starts with calm introductory videos that demonstrate a good level of directing and hint at the heroine’s slight tension before a strange meeting. We play as a woman who introduces herself as Dr. Reid. But, like so much in this story, the reality is different. And all the characters here are not who they seem initially.
The heroine arrives at the big house of a certain Mr. Felton. Despite some resistance from the nurse, she achieves a meeting with the old man. During the conversation about the health and strange illness of the owner, the topic of the missing daughter pops up. This hits a sore point and leads to conflict. It is clear that Felton is hiding something, and the heroine came here solely to investigate the disappearance of the girl.
We have to return to the mansion at night. After waiting for a moment, the heroine enters the house and soon realizes that she is trapped. A sick old man transforms into a crazy maniac who roams the building in search of an intruder. The entrance is closed and you need to look for a new way out.
According to first impressions, the game gives rise to associations with the Silence of the Lambs. The heroine resembles agent Clarissa Starling. And the presence of a crazy maniac and the theme of moths complete the associative array. But as the confrontation grows, when the old man is almost turned into a monster, analogies with Resident Evil 7 appear.
The general concept of the game is that we are one on one with a dangerous killer. The maniac is looking for the heroine, and she is hiding from him. The task is complicated by high heels, with which the heroine does not want to part. Therefore, it is necessary to move carefully and slowly so as not to make noise. You can duck and hide behind furniture or some interior elements. But there are few such objects, basically we are in constant motion, trying to avoid a direct meeting.
A closet will serve as a reliable shelter, you can hide under the bed. However, a stubborn pursuer at close range causes mental anxiety, so you still need to win a mini-game in order to remain calm and not give yourself away by shouting. In the course of exploring the house, you can pick up some useful items. Some of them can be thrown, distracting attention. A knife or knitting needle can be used for self-defense. When the maniac catches up with us, there is still a chance for a little confrontation. It is impossible to kill the offender, but by sticking a sharp object into him, we will get a respite for a few seconds, which will allow us to run away and hide.
In essence, we are the prey, and the pursuer is the hunter. It’s reminiscent of the hide-and-seek game from Alien: Isolation, but here the enemy is even more stubborn. The game intentionally tries to push us against him. He can wait a long time at the closet where we hid. After a reboot, its location is not fixed. If last time the enemy was on one floor, now it can be on another. He reacts extremely sensitively to sounds and running. Well, so that we do not relax, there are a number of plot points where our actions cause this very noise.
Problems arise due to the fact that game mechanics sometimes fail in small nuances. In one place the enemy does not notice the heroine in a crouched pose behind a screen, but in another place he sees her under similar conditions. Sound plays an important role. Voice localization helps to somehow navigate where the pursuer is. But there is no difference in sound when placed behind a wall or on another floor. At first it is confusing, but after studying the local interiors, you begin to navigate more confidently.
The save system is tricky. Recording is possible only at mirrors, and there are very few of them in the house. The same mirrors allow you to be treated, if they still managed to shred us.
The overall action is subject to a list of goals that the game puts forward in stages. We are looking for some items to uncover the secrets of the crazy old man and along the way we are trying to find a way out. Completing one task usually pushes you towards a new goal and thus moves the story forward. Explicit hints help with this, but there are confusing points. In one place, they managed to put the pen on the top shelf, and even after studying the text with the passage, I found an active point under the ceiling only after several attempts. But in another place, the heroine was not able to do a similar procedure and get an object from above in the presence of a ladder, and this is just enchanting nonsense. With the exception of these moments, everything else looks more or less rational.
If you were inattentive and missed some hint, then individual episodes with hide and seek can stretch out and get bored.
It is worth getting used to the initial conditions, as adjustments are made to the rules. The lights might go out, and the game of hide-and-seek will take on a truly creepy meaning. Weakly illuminating a small area with a flashlight, you will have to peer even more carefully into the outlines of the shadows and listen to any creak.
At a certain point, the plot will bring us together with a maniac and put life on the edge so that a new enemy appears before us. In an empty closed house, a crazy nun with a covered face will suddenly appear, and then a strange girl. All the inhabitants are unfriendly and are not inferior to the old man in terms of the level of aggression. All enemies operate within the framework of the initial concept, but have their own characteristics. Dodging the same nun is almost impossible.
Remothered: Tormented Fathers skillfully maintains the feeling of a victim driven into a corner, without reducing the degree of danger. Because of this, you are constantly in tension, the feeling of anxiety does not recede even for a moment. At the same time, another feature emerges. Acquiring new details, the narrative acquires a certain mystical tinge. Towards the end, there are more situations in the spirit of “what is going on here?”. And this is without surreal scenes and incomprehensible visual visions. The game retains a certain rationality, but gradually creates a sense of madness, where the line of perception of reality is a little blurred.
The game pumps intrigue and keeps it until the end. The ending, however, leaves a mixed feeling. Filling the plot with details, the game does not give clear answers. A lot of unsaid and incomprehensible. There is a clear message for a sequel, which is not surprising – the game was originally conceived as part of a trilogy.
The plot is uneven. And purely subjectively, I don’t like that all the important plot scenes are presented in the form of clips that look worse than real graphics.
If we talk about the technical performance, then for a budget game it is good. Remothered: Tormented Fathers is based on Unreal Engine 4 and sometimes pleases with a good play of light and glare. That’s just most of the time we spend in dark corridors and basements.
When the settings are lowered, the picture can become noticeably worse, the textures look bad even at a high level. Therefore, it is better to leave them at Ultra, lowering other parameters. But anti-aliasing can be slightly reduced, in Ultra-mode it gives a slight blur.
The overall performance situation in the game is ambiguous. Optimization for AMD Radeon is disgusting. Below are the results of testing several video cards of different levels at maximum graphics settings. Testing was done in the opening episode while walking around the yard in front of the mansion. The description of the test configuration is present in this review.
As you can see, the Radeon RX 580 is not much different from the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The GeForce GTX 1060 has an impressive lead. In general, you can play normally on the GeForce GTX 960.
Remothered: Tormented Fathers is a truly creepy game that keeps you on your toes. This is achieved not thanks to banal screamers, but due to the fact that we are put in the rank of a victim who is hiding from a maniac. Constant anxiety and a sense of danger hit the nerves well. There is also intrigue, but a twisted strange story remains untold. The game is somewhat reminiscent of other representatives of the genre, but at the same time it is original and unusual in its own way. The only thing missing is technical polishing, minor annoyances happen (like problems with the keyboard layout). But fans of virtual horror will definitely like it.