Remothered: Broken Porcelain Review – A Broken Experience

    Title: Remothered: Broken Porcelain
    Developer: Stormind Games
    Release Date: October 13, 2020
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Modus Games
    Genre: Horror Adventure

The survival horror genre has seen a steady increase in popularity over the years, but I think indie developers are the driving force of this sudden upshift in new fans. Remothered: Tormented Fathers took me by surprise in 2018, which left me excited to continue the dark adventure in Remothered: Broken Porcelain. However, as beautiful as this follow up experience is, you’ll find very little substance after the opening act.

Remothered: Broken Porcelain is technically a standalone game in the series, but whichever order you play them in, they are both needed to understand the timeline of events. The game takes place at the Ashman Inn, a dark and moody place where a few maids have been hired to keep the place orderly, one of whom is Jennifer Felton. Jennifer is a confused girl who doesn’t mind getting in a little bit of trouble, especially if you’re her friend. However, she has gotten into a weird position as the inn houses some supernatural elements that turn the other workers into zombie-like creatures.

The narrative does all it can make you feel connected to these characters, but the pacing here is all over the place. You are hand-fed these enormous plot points from the very beginning, and then from then on, you’re just supposed to feel attached to not only Jennifer but her relationship with the others in the Inn. The story likes to jump through time, but I feel like this was a huge mistake, given that some information would have made the first hour so much more impactful. If that wasn’t enough, there are times when the scenes would jump from one area to the next without explanation, but this could very well be attributed to a bug.

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Speaking of bugs, I should just come and say it; there are a lot. Before launch, the developer made their release date sooner to avoid other late October releases, but I feel this was a huge mistake. I waited a few days after launch for patches to release to at least be able to beat the game. Still, I encountered many soft locking moments and other glitches that just shouldn’t have been present for the game’s launch. Thankfully, I didn’t have it as bad as some who played through it on launch day, but even now the developer is scrambling to patch the issues.

Still, gameplay elements are just broken here. As you take control of Jennifer, you can explore the Inn and pick up items. While it’s possible to craft items, I saw no real difference in crafted items vs. normal items when it came to how they affected enemies. You do have melee weapons, but I honestly could never use them unless I were caught and completed a quicktime event that was the same every time. However, there is a boss that if you do manage to strike him in the quicktime event, he will disappear, and you will need to reload the autosave from the start menu because he won’t be coming back.

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Exploration is somewhat robust. Everything can be looked through from drawers to cabinets, which is a decent way to spend your time if you’re looking for collectibles. Players can also find these moth keys that can be used to level up Jennifer’s stats, which shouldn’t be in the game, but it is so you can use it. The thing is, everything is scripted. You are basically only doing what is required to progress, so if you have three enemies chasing you but trigger a cinematic that they aren’t in, well, they won’t be there when the event ends. Things like this just stack throughout the nightmare, and you will soon be taking advantage of them because sometimes it’s the only way to get through an area.

There is a stealth mechanic in the game, but crouching is a chore, and the whole system just feels broken. I felt like I was playing the game wrong because I would just be standing somewhere, and then I’m spotted. There’s also this Moth Power that is a bit ridiculous and used in a couple of scenes, but I don’t even want to talk about it because it is just the worst thing in the world to control and understand.

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Remothered: Broken Porcelain fails on fronts of pacing as you grab on for dear life to try and make sense of it all. It’s impossible to care about these characters, and you don’t believe in their relationships with each other or their resolve. The entire game can be completed in five hours, which isn’t bad for a survival horror experience but thinking back on it all, I got nothing from it but a few headaches.

The biggest downfall of this game is how it failed to do anything of note within this world. You have this beautiful world, amazing graphics, awesome supernatural foundation, and brilliant voice-over, so how did it get this bad!? There is no real tension here because you basically on rails the entire time. There’s no puzzles, no sense of accomplishment, and no suspense; the only thing here is the atmosphere, which doesn’t even matter because after you realize that nothing will come out of this game, it’s over.

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My experience with Remothered: Broken Porcelain was brought to a halt several times after I had to restart my game and figure out a way to progress without soft locking it. On the surface, this is a beautiful, moody horror game, but once you look deeper, you’ll see that the real horror is the game’s mechanics, pacing, and plot. I had such high hopes for this game, but after a few hours, I was looking to check out of the Ashmann Inn early.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.