In a 2020 mid-pandemic world, game development can’t come easy. Already, games are created in wonderful and amazing ways, held together by duct tape behind the scenes. The difficulty that comes with working in teams, putting together a stable product all while being distanced in your own home is no doubt an immense challenge. Still, many games this year have managed to pull this off. As an outsider, this feels near akin to a miracle. Horror game Remothered: Broken Porcelain is, unfortunately, not one of those miracles.
Broken Porcelain is the sequel to the 2018 survival horror game Remothered: Tormented Fathers. Both the entry prior and this sequel are said to be inspired by the classic point and click horror series Clock Tower. Considering that, and the fact one of the game’s protagonist provides quite the striking resemblance to Jodie Foster’s Clarice in Silence of the Lambs, its clear developer Stormind Games really care about horror. However, that’s unfortunately all that can be acknowledged positively about the game at the end of the day.
Webbing a messy narrative
Throughout your time with the game, you’ll be swapping perspective between two characters: Rosemary Reed, the returning main character of the first game, and newcomer Jennifer. The former takes more of a backstep in gameplay – she got her due already – but is still quite crucial in the narrative. Jennifer on the other hand is a freckly teenaged girl with some bite. She’s stuck in an inn, forced to essentially work as a maid for the very twisted people that are the head of the run-down establishment. It doesn’t mean she won’t put up a fight where she can. In the present, a mysterious old woman is recounting both Reed’s and Jennifer’s timelines, but she’s so scarcely present it’s hardly worth mentioning.
Jennifer’s story takes place in the 1970s. At the Ashmore Inn where she unwillingly resides, cruel older figures who bleed from their mouth and seem to be possessed by a bizarre plague of moths. The halls of the inn creak beneath your feet. You’ll often hear the muttering of your foes on the other side of walls. Just what is going on with that lady that owns an unintelligible amount of crows? It’s an eerie enough setting, for about thirty minutes.
A large part of her story follows you creeping through these halls, learning what you can and trying to escape with your life. Working out the secrets of the inn such as why the inhabitants are plagued the way they are, who the bouldering Mr X-like figure known as Porcelain is or who everyone in the game is revealed to be just isn’t that engaging at all. This is largely due to teetering on below average performances and narrative threads and reveals that just aren’t that rewarding or shell shocking.