‘’Those Who Remain’’ is a psychological horror story from Camel 101 Studio, an independent and self funded game development studio, and is published by Wired Productions and WhisperGames.
Here at MKAU, whenever we receive any Horror/Scary games, 9 out of 10 times they get sent straight to me without question. My bread and butter you could say. My favourite gaming genre out of all genres always gets my blood pumping, especially if it manages to make me squeal like a girl.. I’m looking at you Infliction.
There is just something to appreciate about a game that doesn’t rely on jump scares. A good creepy atomsphere can make it more than worth playing; the lighting and the music making your heart pump and the sweat bead on your brow. What more could you want from a genre to make yourself feel alive.
Starting the game off you are introduced to our player, Edward, as we drive towards a motel for a rendezvous with our side piece, despite being married. As well as being a father to a little girl, you as a character have decided to end the affair on your way there and slowly pull up into the what appears to be your abandoned room. Discovering your mistress is missing, everything goes from 0 to 100 real quick as you make your way to a near by town. Shadowy creatures with glowing blue eyes haunt your every move, what is happening and what is to become of our protagonist?
The game is quite dark so I found it best to illuminate every dark space I could. The game is loaded with puzzles to solve along your journey with some even splitting the fabrics of reality.
This reality swap happens quite a bit as I made my way through the game, often leading me to becoming quite confused with what was going on.
You wil also need to collect information on Annika, a 13 year old ghost, that plagues your mind. You will need to look for letters, documents and newspaper clippings to uncover more about Annika and the townsfolk who themselves have some of their own dirty deeds. This will lead you to being able to have the ability to judge people as either the “Forgiven or Condemned”. Gameplay is impressive and looks and feels pretty fluid. The fog houses, dinners and offices all feel lived in and the movement of characters and enemies are just as good, especially the awkwardness of the lightfaced creature. The controls are incredibly simple with a run, look around, objective and action button all clearly mapped out to your controller.
The Audio really helps set the atmosphere for the right situation; working best with scares being not of the jump variety more so of the chilling of uneasiness. Visually, playing this on a Xbox One S looks clear and crisp though there was an instance or two when certain fires didn’t look quite right framerate wise. Despite this, it did look better than most indie games. Coupling the creepy ambiuence and the stunning graphics even the blue eyed shadows will give you goosebumps, often startling me at unforeseen moments.
There was a few things that ground my gears about Those Who Remain. Firstly the narrative direction is quite jarring with the swapping of realities. I found not enough ground work was put into the story at the start but I slowly was getting an understanding towards the end. Yes this works wells in somecases for stories, but I found I was most dumbfounded the majority of the way, making me feel less invested.
Also, I did notice Edward having hands though whenever I picked up a box, lighter, turning values or even opening a door there were no hands. Although a minor detail, I almost felt as if I was controlling mostly everything with my mind, another immersion break. It would have also been nice to include a jump or crouch action would of went well with this game to see all those minute details.
The exclusion of a map was interesting and would of been handy for some of the buildings. I found myself pretty much running around in circles in some areas trying to find my way through. It did, however, help add chills to this psychological horror.
All in all, I did enjoy my time with this title, even though I had my niggling issues with it such as the misdirected story. Camel 101 has done a fabulous job at a psychological horror though and if you’re a fan of horror/suspense games I’d certainly recommend it as something to pass the time. Will I play this again, damn right I will, I need to get my head around the plot twists and I need answers to no matter how hard it makes my brain explode. On that note I’ll leave you to try it out for yourself. Peace.
- Hard to Follow
- No Mini Map
- No Hands