The horrors keep flowing out there as we now have Those Who Remain out there to scare us and make us question some of our motives in life. This would be the latest title from Camel 101 and Wired Productions that has hit the PS4, Xbox One, and PC for those gamers to enjoy. While Those Who Remain looks like just another of those horror walking simulators, there is something a bit deeper and darker going on in this indie title. Thankfully, we had a chance to give the game a go and see just what it all holds. Here is our review of the game and if it is worth your time and money in these times.
Things are not going so well for Edward and his love life, so he has opted to call off his affair he was having in a nice little location in a town called Dormont. It would seem like it was a bit off the beaten path so the two could have a private conversation, but the town holds a much darker thing within. Unknowingly, Edward is thrust into a dark tale of corruption and horror where he might just be judge, jury, and executioner for some of the denizens of the town. Which path he goes down is up to us a bit…
The controls for Those Who Remain are fairly straightforward as one would think in this style of game. Sadly, just what to do in the game is not as easy to understand and will lead to a whole lot of frustration out there. Even the context clues that you get in the game are difficult to understand unless you are part of the team over at Camel 101. That is how it felt for me. From the beginning to the end of Those Who Remain, I kept coming across sections of the game were the solution was fairly simple after finding it, but everything else pointed to something much different. All of which felt like it was to bloat the runtime of the game instead of making the exploration a fun thing to do. None of it was overly difficult, but when you have to spend a half-hour looking around for things that could have been presented a bit easier, it is frustrating to think it could have taken a minute at most.
There also seemed to be controls added into Those Who Remain that you mostly do not use in the game outside of very specific instances. Specifically, the need to lift items and move them about. It is presented right from the beginning but is needed so little in the game, it feels like it was there just to confuse the player to spend more time moving things around for no reason. Sure, this happens in all video games out there to some extent, but in Those Who Remain it happened so much that it felt like it hindered the game more than aid. Especially with the issues I mentioned above as you could be carrying things around for no reason when you just needed to click on one item in the first place. Outside of those few times I alluded to, it could have been left out to make the game flow better but just a bit shorter.
Normally I am not a fan of getting exposition through found items in video games and would rather learning it organically as the story plays out. In Those Who Remain, most of the deeper parts of the story are filled in through documents scattered around instead of via characters just talking. All of which felt like it fit the world that was being built here not just another thing to pad the runtime. There were only a few that were even needed to progress through the game, but each diary entry or misfiled report added much more to the game than detracting. Something I wish I could go into a bit deeper without ruining the story of Those Who Remain. That is the true shining point of the game here and you need to be able to go in blindly the first time, as there are multiple endings that feel different each time.
While not on the level of those AAA studios out there, Those Who Remain had some of the more interesting of character and level design elements I have seen in a while. The big one being the ever-looming presence in the darkness that will kill you if you leave the light. It was an interesting way to force levels to flow a specific way and not use those dumb invisible walls. Only to be made more terrifying when some of the other twisted monsters come out to hunt you down. Something that felt counterintuitive to hide in the light instead of the dark, but it was a nice touch. It definitely added to the horror in Those Who Remain instead of feeling oppressive.
Those Who Remain has a nice and twisted story going on that can have multiple endings depending on your actions. Something that I always hold near and dear to my heart when I play my games. Sadly, the gameplay is a bit of the rough edges to it all that can be frustrating to players who just want to get spooked and have a dark tale. Given the multiple plays you can do with it, there is a reason to go back. Just know that the second and third times can be done in about two hours while the first one upwards of ten. All because of the choices made for how to solve some of the puzzles in Those Who Remain take that in before you toss down the cash for the game.
I give Those Who Remain 5 Judgements on the Judgement scale.
Those Who Remain — Launch Trailer
Those Who Remain was developed by Camel 101 and published by Wired Productions for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 28th, 2020. A PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.