Remothered: Broken Porcelain is Like Horrific Hide-and-Seek
Remothered: Broken Porcelain takes players to the spooky Ashmann Inn as they try to uncover the many secrets of the Felton family.
When I first loaded up our preview build for Remothered: Broken Porcelain, I thought I knew exactly what I was getting into. At least from a story perspective. No, I haven’t played the original game that this follows up. Largely, because I’m a massive weenie. Basically, unless I can convince a friend to play with me and hold my hand, I’m going to struggle to finish most spookies. However, I still love horror games. I usually have to watch them on YouTube so I can cover my eyes when something scary is coming. No, it doesn’t make sense.
Anyways, I thought I’d watched a playthrough of the original game Remothered: Tormented Fathers. Quickly, I released that wasn’t the case. The build started off with a quick rundown of what happened in the first game. I had an immediate sense of “new phone, who dis?” It wasn’t that the short explainer wasn’t helpful, it was just hard to go from “I think I know this story,” to a big text dump with nothing I recognized. That said, after doing some wiki reading, I think I mostly have it. Or at least, I have as much you possibly can with a tale this wild.
I say all this because I think most people are going to play Remothered as fans of the story. From a gameplay standpoint, Broken Porcelain doesn’t seem to do much new in the genre, at least in the two hours I spent with it. However, the plot threads that it weaves out are intriguing. Even as a series newbie, I was pausing the game to go read the wiki to try and find out what exactly was going on.
The build starts with you playing as a young girl named Jen, who is a very important person in the Remothered franchise. I won’t spoil who she is. All you need to know is that she’s been kicked out of her all-girls school and is sent the Ashmann Inn. At the start of the preview, she meets with the Inn’s owner and is sent to clean up a bathroom. Truly, a hero’s journey, this.
Here is where things get a little murky for me, story-wise. Once I got up to that room, a cutscene started, but, this being a preview, there are still some bugs. Obviously, I’m not going to judge a preview off of one bug. The devs still have plenty of time to iron things out. However, the bug I got, unfortunately, made me skip this cutscene. So, I have no idea what sets the events that follow in motion.
That said, I can comfortably say something happens with a mirror. And then you’re following the Inn’s caretaker as she delivers some room service to a random vent. You open the tray. Then, some kind of werewolf creature swipes the “food” out of nowhere. And finally, the caretaker turns into a corpse-lady covered in maggots. It’s uh, really something.
From there, you’re on a mad dash to find a way out of the now locked upstairs while trying to avoid the mean lady. Because, if you don’t, she’ll stab you with scissors. Sure, after she stabs a few times you can stab her back with your gardener’s shovel that you presumably sharpened while hiding in a cupboard. But mostly you just run away from her bloated, bleeding face.
Here’s the thing, I don’t play a ton of horror games that aren’t Resident Evil because, again, I’m a scared baby. However, one of my least favorite types of horror games are the ones where you’re constantly running and hiding from a stalker. A great comparison for this gameplay is something like a modern Clock Tower. That’s a series I respect but have literally no interest in playing.
The saving grace for Remothered: Broken Porcelain is that you can craft different distractions that let you better control where your aggressor goes. This lets you more easily maneuver around environments. I can place a crying baby in a corner, hide in a chest, and then slip past the lady once she goes to check it out. It’s an easy-to-use system that gives you some extra agency. Instead of always reacting, you can take some of the action into your own hands.
Hopefully, the team continues to expand that system as you go. Early on, it was pretty easy to manipulate, and pretty quickly any fear I had of ole maggot-head was gone. Granted, the focus firmly seems to be on the story. So, you don’t want to make it too hard. That said, I’d like a bit more challenge as the game progresses.
On the other side of gameplay, Remothered’s early hours has some fun puzzles that flow together well. They are a bit linear so far, but it’s easy to see them becoming much complicated and interesting. Plus, there are several features the team is touting that I didn’t see in my time with the game. So, the pieces are certainly there for some fun areas to explore.
All of that being said, I’m not sure if my time with Remothered: Broken Porcelain has convinced me I actually want to play it. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re into these type of games, it’s probably going to be, at worst, fine. The story is all over the place, but in a way that I want to know more. And once they polish some more bugs up, that run-and-hide gameplay could be exactly what you’re looking for.
As for me, I’ll likely look for a playthrough to watch on YouTube. This time, I’ll make sure to actually watch it.
Remothered: Broken Porcelain launches for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 20. That gives you plenty of time to finish up the first one if, like me, you haven’t had a chance to explore the Felton residence.