Remothered: Broken Porcelain is shaping up to be a sanity-shattering sequel that no horror fan will want to miss.
Developed by Italian indie studio Stormind Games, Remothered: Broken Porcelain is the follow-up to its award-winning 2018 survival horror game Remothered: Tormented Fathers. Currently in development for consoles and PC, the game puts players in the shoes of Jennifer. A young and troubled girl, Jennifer finds herself living at the sprawling Ashmann Inn during a fierce winter storm. However, one night, after learning a bit of insight into the hotel’s seedy past, she quickly finds herself pursued by Stalkers, eerie entities who tirelessly hunt her throughout the hotel grounds.
Admittedly, the original Remothered flew under my radar when it debuted two years ago. So when a preview build of Remothered: Broken Porcelain found its way into my inbox courtesy of publisher Modus Games, I approached it with zero expectations. Now, after spending about four hours exploring the foreboding corridors and dusty rooms of the Ashmann estate, I can safely say this terrifying teaser has made me a believer, cementing the game’s place as one of my most anticipated releases of 2020.
Taking place early in the story, the preview build tasks players with escaping from Andrea, Ashmann Inn’s hostess, who has suddenly been overcome by an overwhelming urge to jam her trusty fabric shears into Jennifer’s squishy gray matter. While admittedly brief, this segment does a beautiful job of showcasing the game’s stealth and puzzle-solving mechanics while giving players a taste of its tense, cat-and-mouse gameplay.
For example, at one point in the demo, I needed to gain access to a separate wing of the hotel to reach Linn, another girl staying at Ashmann. She shares a fraught relationship with Jennifer due to her troublemaking ways. Unfortunately, the only way through that door was to use Andrea’s master key, which she wasn’t exactly eager to lend me, what with her manic bloodlust and all.
However, I overcame this hurdle by using the phone in the hotel lounge to call a room on the other side of the locked door. Upon hearing the phone ring, Andrea got up from her desk and stormed off to investigate the disturbance, unlocking the previously inaccessible area in the process.
While it’s hardly the most complicated puzzle I’ve ever come across in a game, I genuinely appreciate how organic it felt. In a genre that’s typically teeming with odd sliding-block puzzles and other brain-teasers that feel shoehorned into the experience, this solution felt like a breath of fresh air. I hope the rest of Remothered: Broken Porcelain‘s puzzles are similarly sensible in their implementation.
Move Over, Big Boss
Though a survival horror game at its core, Remothered: Broken Porcelain features enough stealth action to make Solid Snake green with envy. Jennifer can hug walls, peek around corners, and perform many distractions to lure her pursuers away to slip by unscathed.
And you’ll need to stay out of sight as much as possible. Coming face-to-face with a Stalker almost always results in a grisly death. With that in mind, you’ll need to carefully consider your approach to each encounter and be aware of nearby hiding places in the event your enemies get too close for comfort. Thankfully, Ashmann Inn is full of lockers, storage totes, and other handy hidey-holes where Jennifer can take shelter. As long as a Stalker doesn’t see you climb into whatever nook or cranny you find, you’re usually safe.
This isn’t always the case, however. Sometimes Stalkers will become curious and begin examing your hiding place. When this happens, a mini-game will start where you need to use the right thumbstick to keep a small circle within the center of a larger circle. Failure to do so will result in you being unceremoniously ripped from your hiding place and, more often than not, brutally murdered.
Overall, I absolutely enjoyed Remothered: Broken Porcelain‘s stealth mechanics. Slinking through the hotel’s halls to avoid your pursuers is tense and satisfying. And I felt a real rush whenever I escaped Andrea’s clutches by the skin of my teeth by ducking into a laundry basket or musty antique trunk at the last possible second.
Fight Or Flight
For the most part, pacifism is the order of the day in Remothered: Broken Porcelain. But sometimes you’re left with no choice but to get your hands dirty.
When push comes to shove, you can use defensive items like knives and pairs of scissors to help your pursuers get the point. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even whip up concoctions out of booze and cleaning solutions to create makeshift bombs. For example, towards the end of the preview, I had to defeat Andrea to steal her keys and escape that wing of the hotel. However, the only way to do this was to get the drop on her and approach her from behind. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not exactly. Doing so wasn’t easy because of just how fast and unpredictable her movements can be.
I had to use various distractions to bring the hotel’s murderous matron to her knees. I snuck from room to room, turning on TVs and smashing bottles against walls to get her attention. While her gaze focused on the opposite side of the room, I crept behind her carefully and plunged my knife into her neck. Andrea fell to the ground, drenched in blood, and I thought she was dead.
Unfortunately, my morbid celebration came to a grinding halt when she sprung to her feet and gave chase. And let me tell you, watching the bloodied and enraged hostess storm down the halls, searching for me from my makeshift hiding place in a steamer trunk kept my heart racing in my throat. This is thanks in no small part to the game’s excellent voice acting, which does a spectacular job of bringing the game’s sadistic Stalkers to life.
Mother, May I Have Some More?
With its superb atmosphere and a genuinely frightening blend of stealth gameplay and exploration, Remothered: Broken Porcelain makes one hell of a strong first impression. Though I could have probably completed it in an hour, I found myself spending several times that just exploring the foreboding halls of the Ashmann Inn, rummaging around to uncover its secrets. With the end of the demo teasing the return of the previous games’ protagonist Rosemary Reed, it seems there’s plenty of surprises in store when the game releases just in time for Halloween on October 20 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. And you better believe I can’t wait to see what happens in the final release.
So, are you looking forward to uncovering the mysteries of the Ashmann Inn when Remothered: Broken Porcelain launches next month? If you had a chance to experience the previous game in the series, are you excited for this sequel? As always, we love to hear what you think. Be sure to sound off in the comments below and let us know.