Review: Those Who Remain
Those Who Remain is a first person horror/thriller/puzzle game where you play the part of Edward; a man who begins the game with the intention of breaking up with his mistress at a motel in the hope of saving his marriage.
However, when arriving at the motel and finding her room abandoned, he hears a warning of “stay in the light” by a mysterious voice on the telephone. This is followed by his car being driven off at speed by a stranger, leaving Edward to walk to the town of Dormont…in the dark.
Strange figures with glowing eyes lurk in every shadow, and if Edward gets too close to them he dies. Hence a reliance on finding or creating light sources at every opportunity.
This can be as easy as flicking a light switch, but a variety of puzzle elements are introduced as you progress, leading to having to find a part for a generator, or crossing over into a parallel world (which you end up doing quite often) to interact with objects that you can’t in the real world.
The trial and error gameplay can become tiresome, especially when combined with an unforgiving control system which can be frustrating and clunky. Add to this that you can’t duck behind anything to hide, or lean around a corner to have a look what is in that dark foreboding room, and it takes away a layer of immersion that would have helped kept me invested in Edward’s plight.
The graphics are serviceable, with the figures in the dark being especially unnerving, but hammy dialogue and abrupt endings to chapters once again taking away any sense of “being there”.
There are a number of decisions along the way to made regarding whether to save people or not, and I’m not convinced that my decisions had any discernible impact on the narrative going forward, and I wasn’t inspired to play again making different decisions to find out.
Those Who Remain gives the occasional shiver up the spine and taxes the brain with some of its puzzle elements, but ultimately there wasn’t a well crafted enough world and narrative within it to care much about what was happening.
Review by Dave from a PS4 review code.