Those Who Remain: Hands-on with the Scary Puzzle Game


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Early in 2020, on the London workplaces of the gaming business commerce physique Ukie, Den of Geek had a have a look at some thrilling upcoming indie video games. One of them was Those Who Remain, a horror puzzler that is been three years within the making. Portuguese developer Ricardo Cesteiro was available to take us by a demo and provides us the thin on this considerate and frightful expertise.

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Those Who Remain takes place in a small city that has been overrun by human-shaped creatures with glowing eyes – these creatures can solely exist at nighttime, so that you’ll end up switching on lights at each alternative to attempt to discover your means ahead. Kind of just like the Vashta Nerada in Doctor Who, these creatures will kill you as quickly as you step into the darkish. You’ll have to search for gentle switches to flick, mills to energy up, fairy lights to plug in, vehicles to leap into, and generally you’ll want to make use of a brief resolution like a lighter to clear a skinny pathway from one space to a different.

Twin Peaks and Stephen King had been each influences on the venture, Cesteiro tells us, which ought to offer you a way of the everyday-stuff-meets-creepy-stuff vibe that dominates the visible fashion and tone. You begin off in a small-town motel with a washed-out colour palette, and by the tip of the demo, you are out on the open street. The story begins with the player-character looking for a lacking companion, however it quickly begins to really feel like “just keep moving” is your principal purpose. Find the following gentle supply. Move to the following location. Find a key for a door. Find the following gentle supply. And so on.

Read More: 25 Horror Games Based on Scary Movies

There is one other dimension to the game past merely switching on the lights, although, and we imply “another dimension” in essentially the most literal sense. Similar to The Upside-Down in Stranger Things, a collection of glowing doorways within the game can quickly transport you to a supernatural aircraft the place physics works otherwise and different choices turn out to be obtainable. If you’re struggling to discover a method to swap on a lightweight within the regular world, pop over to “the other place” and also you’ll in all probability discover one thing that can assist.

Because of the aforementioned variations in physics, you would possibly have the ability to transfer an merchandise in “the other place” that’s too heavy to maneuver within the regular world. We noticed a puzzle that was solved this manner – by transferring an enormous board within the different place, you may expose a lightweight supply in the true world that can illuminate a big space and can help you progress. You may also discover a door that you would be able to’t open in the true world, which is roofed in vines within the different place – for those who take away the vines within the different place, the door will turn out to be operational within the regular world.

Solving these puzzles would require you to make use of your noggin, however the game additionally goals to get inside your head in several methods. All the motion takes place within the first-person perspective and the ominous omnipresence of creepy creatures is all the time unsettling. This game doesn’t purpose to do soar scares, and Cesteiro sees it as extra of a thriller than a horror, however Those Who Remain actually appears to reach fostering an ever-present sense of dread. Glowing eyes looming out from the shadows by no means stopped being creepy throughout our play session.

Read extra: Silent Hill, Resident Evil, and the Art of Making Scary Games

For a game made by a core staff of three folks (one in Portugal, one in Croatia, and one in America), Those Who Remain seems to be like a formidable piece of work. And past the unsettling tone and the thought-provoking puzzles, there’s a bigger story for gamers to unfurl – there may be lore to find about demons, there are three completely different endings, and there’s a mysterious character who can in some way survive within the infested darkness.

Playing by the core marketing campaign will take between Four and 5 hours for the common participant, Cesteiro predicts, and it’s simple to see this being a game that quite a bit of folks will have the ability to binge by at an gratifying tempo. The controls and the graphics are pretty easy and straightforward to grasp, and there’s one thing compelling about evading creatures, fixing puzzles, and popping forwards and backwards between dimensions. We sit up for seeing extra of this one. It needs to be illuminating.

Those Who Remain is launching in 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

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