Are you afraid of the dark? If you are, then chances are you won’t enjoy Those Who Remain. I was recently lucky enough to get my hands on a demo build of the upcoming psychological horror from developer Camel 101, and I can honestly say that I was thoroughly impressed. The demo was only the best part of 30 minutes long, but it was enough to showcase its potential and more importantly, force me to change my underwear.
You begin the game with a glass of whiskey, a photo of your beautiful wife, and a gun, reminiscing of better times in your life. But you have finally had enough of ruining everyone’s lives with your mistakes and vow to make amends, starting now! You get behind the wheel of your car and travel to the town of Dormont where you plan to end your secret affair with Diane, but things aren’t as simple as you expected… This is where Those Who Remain splits from the fabric of reality and introduces you to the evils that lie within the darkness.
Those Who Remain uses a classic horror formula of avoiding what lurks in the darkness and using the light to your advantage. I instantly found out the hard way as despite the game advising me to ‘stay in the light’, I walked straight to see what the darkness held for me… Death — Lesson learnt. The demo displays a number of unique ways to can use a light source to progress the game. Initially, you find street lights as your savour, until some sort of paranormal activity begins knocking each light out until you reach a safehaven; another light source. These sources can be anything from flicking the light switch on inside a house, starting a generator to power some construction lights, plugging in some Christmas lights, or even something as simple as a lighter. If you wonder off into the darkness, you won’t return.
I came across a number of doors that acted as what can only be described as a doorway to another dimension. Here you can alter the reality you call home, by moving objects that are too heavy in your dimension, or by finding objects that simply don’t exist in your reality. There was no real explanation regarding this abnormal mechanic, but I am sure as the game progresses it will become clear what is happening, along with creating a number of new ones.
The last 5-10 years have been great for horror fans as we have been lucky enough to experience such great horror games as Outlast and The Evil Within series, but I honestly believe that Those Who Remain has the potential reach the level that these series have set. I can see a number of similarities between each of these games, but unfortunately we will have to wait until later in the year to see if Those Who Remain can match it with the big boys.