Have you ever watched a film that had all the right pieces, but when the credits rolled, you were left wondering what it was you just watched? Remothered: Broken Porcelain is a lot like that. A follow-up to 2018’s Remothered: Tormented Fathers, Stormind Games seems split on what Broken Porcelain was supposed to serve as, the prequel or the sequel to 2018’s story, so instead, it does both. What the resulting product is becomes something with moments of greatness, yet stumbles frequently due to messy narrative, glitchy encounters, and extremely overpowered enemies.
Our heroine, Jennifer, having been expelled from an all-female boarding school, is sent to the Ashmann Inn, where she works as a maid. The inhabitants and workers of the Inn are beset by various forms of psychopathy, murderous and enraged. There is various subplots revolving around the secrets of the inhabitants, the functions of the Inn, and the reason why everyone is going mad, but I won’t spoil those for you.
Like most stealth based survival horror, the name of the game is hiding. However, unlike some of the staples of this subgenre, you have the ability to attack your enemies. This element of gameplay should be a welcome addition to the genre, however, in Remothered, it becomes frustrating. Your only combat option comes from attacking from behind, and like I mentioned previously, the enemy AI is extremely powerful and overtly sensitive. If you happen to be detected, it becomes a game of cat and mouse, running away until you find somewhere to hide. Like Outlast or Alien: Isolation, Remothered uses the locker as a hiding place, but due to the wonky prompt system, most of the time you are stuck attempting to open the locker until you are brutally killed. Your character moves extremely slow, the enemies are extremely fast, and often, this leads to multiple retries to pass through an area.
The puzzle elements that played a large part of Tormented Fathers are largely absent, moving from environmental puzzles to simple combination puzzles. There is a good portion of gameplay devoted to Jennifer’s ability to control a moth in order to reach items or distract enemies, but once again, the controls are clunky, the environment is sticky, and is all based around a cooldown timer if you mess up. This leaves you often in a dangerous place, trying to bide time until you can try again. In addition to the environmental and enemy glitches, there are a load of other strange glitches that were present on my playthrough. The game has been constantly updated since launch, as Stormind has made big efforts to improve gameplay and glitches, but there still is a way to go.
On the plus side, this game has some serious spookiness. The Ashmann Inn is an amalgamation of tons of great horror homage, from a huge Overlook Hotel influence, to a character that looks eerily like Annie Wilkes. The enemies are scary and menacing, and even through unfairly sensitive, that really adds to the overall horror of the game.
Overall, Remothered: Broken Porcelain has a long way to go when it comes to living up to its predecessor. When the game has its moments, they truly shine, from the atmosphere and environment, to the scares themselves. However, a hard to follow dual narrative, clumsy controls, poor balance, and a lack of polishing leaves this one as more of a frustrating play through. Yet, if Stormind stays committed to constant updates, there is hope that this game will become more fluid in the future.