Should you take a trip to Dormont?
Those Who Remain is a psychological thriller game that takes place in Dormont, a small town in the US. Dormont appears to be a regular and typical American town at first glance; however, it is cursed by a demon who shrouded everything in darkness. Most of the town’s population has been trapped inside the darkness, with no means of escape.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first started Those Who Remain, you begin as a man heading to a hotel to break things off with his mistress, only to become trapped in the town and there are dark shadowy human-like creatures with bright blue light coming from their eyes that will kill you instantly if you step in the shadows. To get around, you must keep finding new ways of expanding light either through a simple flip of a light switch to something more complex like using a car’s headlights to light the way before looking for the next source of light.
There are also choices to make as you uncover the mystery of Dormont and a little girl who died after the brakes on her bike were cut and sadly plummeted to her death. The ghost of the girl tries to help you uncover it, while you will come across the people responsible and after gathering both sides of the story, decide to either forgive or condemn them thanks to the help of a mysterious figure wearing a mask.
You’ll also be hunted in certain areas by a number of terrifying creatures including a naked woman with a hand for a head, a giant that can only be described as hideous and a crazy woman who chases you, while also making objects block your path or make hallways endless until you pick the right door. Another element to the game is that you’ll come across doors that open with a bright light, these teleport you to the same area but in a different realm so you can access previously unreachable areas to activate lights or find clues.
There are some truly great ideas here and when they work, they work great. There are some clever puzzles and having been in a room, to then go and enter the other realm and return to find it all changed in layout is unnerving but brilliant. There are a few downsides however, these include framerate woes, game crashes and sometimes glitches that trap you in rooms with no way out. It also doesn’t help that the reticule you interact with objects is so damn small that it requires way too much precision sometimes, which isn’t ideal when you are being chased.
The visuals are a mixed bag, some bits like great and the locations are well varied and detailed…but the character models are a bit basic. The voice-acting is impressive though and the soundtrack fits the atmospheric nature of the game.
While it can be glitchy and the framerate can drop a lot, Those Who Remain is a surprisingly good psychological horror and one that really needs to be played.