Welcome to the house of Dr. Richard Felton, a place of twisted minds and dark demons. Remothered: Tormented Fathers (RTF for this review) is a horror survival game that certainly hits the mark. Directed by Darrel Arts and developed by Stormind Games, I was quite literally blown away by this game and I highly recommend it to any horror buff. RTF is rich with content, offers highly detailed visuals and a nonstop, decently paced story that’s full of interesting characters that will keep you intrigued from start to finish. Even without the use of enhancements on Xbox One X, RTF still looks great, and being the first part in a trilogy, I couldn’t wait to dive in.
The game plays out as a third-person survival horror and centers around the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Felton’s daughter, Celeste Felton, who vanished out of the blue back in 1971. Players take on the role of Ms. Rosemary Reed, a young woman that approaches the Felton manor and introduces herself as a doctor from the Santa Margherita Institute, a place in which Dr. Felton was tested for his equally as mysterious illness. When Ms. Rosemary Reed reveals her intentions – I wont spoil a thing here – the true dread begins and a pulse-pounding plot starts to slowly unravel. That’s the game’s alluring premise.
My first reaction was that the main character, Ms. Rosemary Reed, bears a striking resemblance to Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs, which made this game just that little more entertaining. With a handbag over one shoulder, the notion of walking around a massive, old school mansion whilst solving a 90s style horror-mystery gave me high hopes, and I wasn’t disappointed. The character selection is spot on, with a variety of enemies designed to make you run for your life or freeze and face death, and with talented voice acting, these screams and fits of rage shoot straight to your bones.
As you search the household you have no way to defend yourself outside of throwing weapons and items such as; knives, scissors and snow globes. Sharp objects can be used to ward off an enemy and keep them occupied while you make a dash for safety, whereas the snow globes and bottles can be used to distract your assailant and give you enough time to sneak past them. I might also add that sharp objects can be upgraded to a small degree by dipping them in acid, which will add a x2 damage multiplier to your defense weapons and will hinder the enemy for twice as long.
Hiding is another form of safety in RTF, the constant screams and profanities coming from the antagonist can make you feel pretty shaky and uncomfortable, so you might want to take a break and get your bearings from time to time. Believe me, this game isn’t for the faint hearted and will soon have your ticker racing a million beats per-hour. Using tables, chairs and cupboards, you can safely hide away from the enemy, but be careful, when the pursuer is close, they can hear you breathe. There are a couple save points scattered throughout the house in the form of antique mirrors, which become very useful indeed.
I highly recommend saving whenever you can as there are only a few, making this a bit like Resident Evil in this sense, swapping out typewriters for mirrors. Your only other option of survival is to run, run like the wind. Failure to do so will result in most certain death. Mostly you spend your time sneaking around which can make things feel a little slow, but as an inside tip, you can run on rugs without causing a scene. The puzzles are typically straightforward; find this part for that part which opens this part, and so forth, but you tend to forget about this as your biggest concern is just getting around in one piece.
There’s a few chase scenes here and there that really deliver on putting the player on edge, and timing here is everything. This can include anything from ducking, dodging and blocking doorways with shelves, or using ropes to tie a door shut behind you – providing you have enough time, of course. Sometimes these control mechanics can feel a bit delayed or clunky though, in regards to trying to find the point of an action-prompt. This means your camera view needs to be in a very precise position to activate a command, sometimes leading to frustration when missed and usually ending in your demise.
The artwork is quite impressive and every detail stands out. From the outside garden to the basement laundry, all created to look faithfully realistic and true to life. One feature that really stood out for me was the rugs (again with the rugs, I know – but it’s true), the traditional patterns stand out and I actually stood there for a moment to look at how the team put so much detail into them. Sneaking through the house certainly gives a feeling of dread and helplessness, and without really knowing where the enemy will turn up, you may find yourself crouched in the dark for some time.
Unfortunately while previewing the pre-release version I did encounter a bug or two. At a certain point throughout play, I found myself sucked into (and trapped behind) a door, and at one point an enemy could not chase me, being that the character appeared to be stuck on top of a box and unable to move. Both of these broken events caused a restart of the chapter, which is never an ideal situation to be faced with. Despite this I continued and still thoroughly enjoyed the game, which has since been patched to fix issues like this and to offer up more refinement and fluidity.
Remothered: Tormented Fathers is a must have for any fan of horror. The game’s eerie atmosphere makes for some great scares, with its gory cutscenes and psychotic characters collectively relaying a truly 90s-esque horrific experience. The controls are clunky at times and enemy position isn’t always made clear, but with most of the other bugs now remedied ahead of release, I highly recommend giving this a go.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.