“Remothered: Broken Porcelain” continues the horror after “Tormented Fathers”. Again, it is: Playfully top, but technically there is reason for criticism.
“Remothered: Tormented Fathers” showed in the “Today” test a strange balancing act. The unexpected emergence of dangers and the great soundscape as well as the credible-creepy narrative met technical weaknesses such as a constant change from sharp to blurred graphics, strangely rigid movements of the character and a somewhat dazed artificial intelligence of the otherwise feared enemies.
Does the sequel “Remothered: Broken Porcelain” (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch) do better? In terms of content, the game is both a prequel and a sequel of the original. The player takes on the role of Jennifer, who connoisseurs of “Tormented Fathers” will already know. The young woman is supposed to start as a maid in the huge vacation property Ashmann Inn, but soon realizes that the recreation center is actually a place of horror. There is also a reunion with Rosemary, the protagonist of the original game, because she tries to discover the secrets of the property, which is apparently inspired by “The Shining”.
For connoisseurs and newbies
In contrast to the preview versionWhere text overlays were still the order of the day, the game is now convincingly set to music in English, with German subtitles. If you haven’t played “Tormented Fathers”, you shouldn’t have to worry: In a “The Story so far” video sequence, the player learns the most important events from “Tormented Fathers” at the beginning before “Broken Porcelain” starts. The plot is told in the new part not only more profoundly, but also more linearly than in the somewhat nested predecessor.
There are always allusions to “Tormented Fathers” for connoisseurs of the original, but newbies still get their money’s worth. In terms of gameplay, little has changed in essence: players can expect the well-known and well-made cat-and-mouse game with shocking residents of the property, with mostly sneaking and hiding. However, in far sharper graphics, with more intelligent pursuers, well-placed shock moments and numerous smaller video sequences. There are no more muddy graphics.
Better enemies and more weapons
If your own character is discovered, enemies do not just let go of it because it is hidden behind the nearest closet. The opponents can now apparently locate us acoustically better and no longer search the surroundings at random. Nevertheless, there are minor weaknesses. So Jennifer sometimes persistently refuses to enter rooms – or button prompts to hide in boxes and rooms simply do not want to appear. Sometimes the figure even gets stuck in the middle of the hiding animation or between two rooms and cannot go back or forward. This is frustrating, because escape passages often have to be reloaded two or three times before they can be technically completed. Even when searching for items in dark surroundings, the cursor tends to become invisible.
In many ways, however, the game also changes playfully. In contrast to its predecessor, many more items can be used and collected, but the space in the inventory is still very limited. However, this tempts you to mix up the items you have taken with you again and again and thus bring variety to the action. “Remothered: Broken Porcelain” does not rely exclusively on stealth: In many situations you can use dozens of weapons or even deal powerfully in close combat. The controls are limited to aiming and shooting or button mashing to escape handles and punches.
Again there were technical defects
In terms of atmosphere, the game from the Italian developer Stormind Games shudders so much from the first few minutes of the game that your nerves are tense. Unfortunately, like the original “Tormented Fathers”, “Broken Porcelain” has technical flaws that repeatedly pull the player out of this great atmosphere. It starts with the controls: the characters’ movements are now more realistic, but in addition to the errors mentioned in actions and item selection, the character sometimes moves painfully slowly through the hallways, while enemies show lightning-fast reactions and movements.
The latter shortcoming is especially noticeable in boss fights, when we have to sneak up on an enemy for a few seconds, but the enemy turns around and attacks faster than our character needs for a single step. It is also a bit strange that keyboard commands are not executed as intended. In car chases it sometimes happens that you open a door into a dead end and thus kill yourself instead of throwing a bottle at the head of the enemy and thus being able to escape.
Ingeniously creepy, technically well
Technically, “Remothered: Broken Porcelain” is unfortunately served rather lukewarm. The bugs with cursor displays and the wedging of the game character when hiding are sometimes so bad that only restarting the game over the last save point helps. It’s a shame, because in so many ways “Remothered: Broken Porcelain” is just as big a horror hit as the original. The atmosphere is incredibly dense, the graphics have been spruced up and the characters move much more realistically through the gloomy property.
Generally speaking, the designers deserve praise. Every room and every corner of the property is different, there are fully equipped rooms, bars, kitchens and the like with the appropriate utensils. Floors, carpets, furnishings, no two rooms are the same here, just as hardly any object. The music of the game is also excellent, depending on the situation, it swells or glides quietly, but always makes the heart race with short, shimmering tones. Hopefully an update will fix the game’s bugs. Because without them, “Remothered: Broken Porcelain” would be a horror masterpiece that every genre fan would have to experience.