If you’ve ever ran down the hallway after turning the lights off, then you need to keep Those Who Remain on your radar. Published by Wired Productions and developed by brothers Ricardo and Bruno Cesteiro, Those Who Remain demo is a psychological horror that will make you keep your lights on when you go to bed.
Set in a small town called Dormont, you play as Edward, a disgruntled man with a strange past, and make your way through creepy circumstances. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Dormont and Edward. The game starts with Edward looking at a photo of his wife with a bottle of beer close to him. He receives a text from his mistress asking him to meet at a motel. Obviously they are going to braid each other’s hair and gab about the newest episode of prime-time television.
Edward heads to the Golden Oak Motel to break things off with this woman because he feels bad for cheating on his wife. Who says chivalry isn’t dead? When Edward gets to the motel, that’s when things get weird. No one is at the hotel, suitcases are strewn about, and there is an eerie calm. The woman you are meeting isn’t in her room and the phone rings. Edward picks up the phone and a strange, child-like voice on the other end says, “stay in the light.” Totally fine and completely normal!
The motel door slams and the phrase “stay in the light” is said again as Edward goes to open the door. His car is seen speeding off and we have no idea who took it. Edward sets off on foot to make it back in town and, as instructed, must stay in the light. This is where the meat and potatoes of the game starts. While you’re navigating the main road, strange creatures are watching you in the darkness – waiting for you to deviate from the light so they can take you. These guys look absolutely scary. They are only shadows with bright white eyes. If you get to close, one of them will grab you and attack you with an axe. The goal is to stay in the light by any means. If you die, you potentially become one of these creepy creatures. Maybe that’s where everyone in Dormont went off to. Talk about a bad vacation.
As you move Edward throughout the outskirts of Dormont, there are open doors with bright lights that lead you to an alternate dimension of the city. There’s a Stranger Things vibe to this that sets it apart from other psychological horror games. Edward must travel through these doors in order to solve the mystery hanging over Dormont and get through the night. Along with the mystery as to why the vast majority of citizens in Dormont has vanished, you also go through Edward’s past and cling to whatever sanity he has left.
You can also make choices that affect your gameplay throughout the Those Who Remain demo. Choose to help surviving citizens or leave them in the dark. It’s apparent that Dormont hides a lot of mystery and some citizens are not as innocent as they seem. Those Who Remain takes place over an entire night and you can have up to three endings depending on the choices you make. There’s a lot riding on the choices in this game so choose wisely!
I hate scary games. I have to play Fallout with the lights on. I barely got through Layers of Fear. Don’t even talk to me about P.T. (I still have nightmares about it). However, I could not put down the Those Who Remain demo. It was one of the best demos I played at Pax East. The mechanics were simple. It’s in first-person so you play as Edward navigating through Dormont. The graphics add to the game’s eerie nature. When you pass through doors to enter Dormont’s alternate dimension, it’s seamless with no glitches or freezing.
The Those Who Remain demo makes you scared of the dark again. It’s a psychological horror that will have you on the edge of your seat as soon as you start the game.
Those Who Remain will release on digital stores for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam for Windows PC on May 15th. It will be available on Nintendo Switch summer 2020. Trust me, you do not want to miss out on this game.