Certified critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Member of the Houston Film Critics Society. Also writes for Bounding Into Comics and GeeksHaveGame.
Terrifying Potential Soaked in Crimson Aggravation
I played through The Evil Within 2 and all of the Outlast games at the end of 2017 and had been craving another survival/horror video game. Thankfully, a Facebook advertisement from the heavens fell into my lap about a little gem called Remothered: Tormented Fathers and it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.
Taking place in 1971, you play as the chain-smoking, thirty-something, rough-around-the-edges, no guff, kind of woman named Rosemary Reed. You are investigating the disappearance of a little girl named Celeste, and your investigation brings you to a creepy, dimly lit villa in the countryside that belongs to Dr. Richard Felton. In 1958 Dr. Felton contracted a mysterious disease that has caused his health to deteriorate drastically over the past 13 years. Everything is connected in a massively convoluted way, but it all revolves around Celeste, Dr. Felton’s head nurse, Gloria, and a menacing Red Nun who is covered in moths and carries around a deadly spear that looks like a spinal column.
It's Difficult to Follow
As you progress through the game, the story becomes difficult to follow. You have no idea how Rosemary is connected to all of this once it ends and Madame Svenska seems to just be some old woman who knows random events about the past for some reason. And forget about completely understanding what Cristo Morente is. While leaving you with some questions is a good thing that you know can be explored over the course of three games, Tormented Fathers leaves you with nearly nothing by the time this first installment ends. The few things you think you do know are literally thrown out the window.
As you can probably tell from YouTube walkthroughs, Remothered isn’t a lengthy game. Each game in this proposed trilogy is supposed to be around 6–7 hours of gameplay. As Rosemary, you mostly sneak around Dr. Felton’s three-story (not including the basement, the attic, and secret passageways) home. You collect defensive objects that can be thrown to distract whoever is chasing you or are sharp objects like a knife or knitting needle that can be used to shove in someone’s armpit, abdomen, or pectoral area. Like The Evil Within, your game can only be saved at the mirrors with metronomes in front of them. Mirrors are also the only objects that can heal you, which proves to be a giant pain since they are fairly scarce, with only three or four mirrors in the entire game. The Steam community and even the trailer are consistently comparing Remothered to the Clock Tower franchise, so take that for what you will.
Enemies and Stealth
You tiptoe from floor to floor searching for puzzle pieces that will either result in a cutscene or will connect you to an object on another floor that you have to try to reach without being murdered by Dr. Felton or the Red Nun. Dr. Felton chases you wearing nothing but an apron, as his wrinkly buttcheeks are able to outshine the darkest of shadows. He also carries a sickle, which he sings about in a disturbingly modified version of, "Old MacDonald." The Red Nun is a lot like Marta in Outlast 2 since she is tall, religiously mutters in a terrifying tone, and impales you with her deadly weapon whenever she has the opportunity. You are able to hide in closets and under certain pieces of furniture, but most safe places leave the door cracked open so your assailant can peek in and possibly throw you out in the open.
Frustrating Mechanics and Chores
Running will always tip off Dr. Felton or the Red Nun no matter where you are in the house. Maybe it was the controller I was using, but a big issue was trying to run away and having Rosemary crouch down instead, which almost always resulted in instant death. If you play this game, prepare yourself to die a lot and rage quit on a nightly basis. Everything leading up to retrieving the battery and film for the projector is practically a chore to overcome and most victories result in dying moments later.
Recommending Remothered: Tormented Fathers doesn’t seem like the best idea, but neither does saying it’s a complete waste of time. Dr. Felton’s story is really cool and plays out in a satisfactory manner and the gameplay is entertaining when the controls aren’t being completely buggy or when you aren’t dying from a sickle to the face or a spinal shaped spear shoved through your back every 45 seconds. It’s an absolutely infuriating experience on one hand, but also something you’ll want to see through to the end once you actually start it. Remothered is an impressive debut for Chris Darril and Darril Arts, but the franchise leaves a lot of room for improvement in its sequels and needs to find a way to tighten its storytelling in future installments.
© 2018 Chris Sawin