Project Remedium is a FPS with a rather unique setting, and the first game by the developer Atomic Jelly. It’s also the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign from early this year.
The premise of the game is pretty interesting at first glance, mainly because it’s not everyday that you can play the role of a nanobot that’s inside a little girl’s body trying to get of a pathogen that has infected her. Perhaps we’ve had similar premises in other video games, but I think that this is the first attempt to do anything similar, especially in the form of a first person shooter.
Now, the first thing I noticed right off the bat was that, for a FPS, the weapon feeling is pretty subpar, there’s pretty no recoil at all, which is a fundamental thing to make the weapons feel real, as if they had actual kick to them. You always have two weapons and the ones that you start with don’t consume any ammunition, and each mouse click equals a shot, which I find extremely annoying. It would be much simpler to just be able to hold down the mouse button and have the weapon still fire in semi-auto. As you play the game you’ll gain points that you can use to upgrade your weapons, with each weapon having 3 different modifications. These upgrades are essentially new ways to fire both of your weapons, either that is a rapid fire gun or a beam laser. With that in mind, if you end up using one of these upgrades, as opposed to the default weapons you get right from the start, you’ll consume ammo.
The game takes place inside a human body, in these wide open levels that are located inside certain organs that you’ll visit, such as the liver, stomach, heart, kidneys and lungs. Traversing these places is made a lot easier thanks to your grappling hook, which you can pretty much use anywhere. When you’re going from one organ to another, you’ll be put in these weird sections in which you’re travelling through, what I assume to be, arteries, and I’m not really sure what the point of these is. At first I thought it was a way that the developers envisioned to put the player in while the map was loading, but after those sections you’ll still face a loading screen, so it doesn’t make much sense.
The way you progress through the game is by completing objectives, if you’re lucky. These are pretty basic, despite taking place in an open environment. Most, if not all, of your time will be spent going to a certain place, kill X, Y and Z, an then go back to whatever NPC gave you that job. Basically fetch quests. These quickly become a chore given that you’ll find yourself going back and forth across levels which are pretty much a barren wasteland with nothing really interesting going on, at least after you’ve seen the landscape once. With that said, the checkpoint system in the game doesn’t really work as it should. There have been multiple times in which I’ve reached a checkpoint, closed the game, and when I came back to it, I had to things that I already had done prior to reaching that particular checkpoint. Also worth pointing out, the map included in the game is pointless, I can’t make heads or tails of it, it just looks like some abstract depiction of the organ you’re in, and most of the times it indicates you’re outside the map.
In terms of narrative, this is delivered through conversations with various nanobots that inhabit the host’s body and SuperVisette, a veteran nanobot that’s supervising your mission to eliminate the pathogen. This is probably one of the most annoying issues that the game has, the fact that some of the dialogue is voice acted and some is not, or perhaps the voice prompt isn’t triggering. With that said, the voice acting is serviceable at best and there I’ve came across some sections where the wrong subtitles were showing up. Still, I must say that some of the music is rather calming and it fits the game rather well, and the environments are pretty neat as well.
One of the most glaring issues the game has is its UI. It’s than it needs to be and a lot of elements feel and look like placeholders, and it gets in the way. For instance, the interface in the upgrade and crafting menus just looks like boxes with text in it, and sometimes the text doesn’t even fit in those boxes. It looks like someone forgot to add any detail or essence to these elements of the game. In the same way, animations for enemies are pretty much non-existent, enemies just seem to hop and slide towards you. The enemy AI doesn’t really do a great job in making the enemies challenging and engaging during encounters either, they just end up rush towards you, stand right next to you doing nothing, or randomly go back and forth behind some obstacle. Enemies also tend to get stuck inside walls and being able to hit you, while you’re unable to do anything against them. The player can also sometimes go through objects, and sometimes you don’t fit in places where, according to the camera, you should easily fit.
It’s also worth noting that, even though the game defaulted me to maximum settings, I was getting a rather choppy frame rate, going as low as around the 20s. Therefore, I decided to lower down the graphics settings a little bit. The issue I encountered when I attempted to do that, is that no matter what settings I applied, the frame rate would still be the same, while you could clearly see a change in visual quality. And that’s a shame, because while the game might not have the best textures or effects, the environments and the portrayal of the inside of the human body is pretty well done. Still, I can’t personally attest as far as the game’s scientific accuracy but the game does seem to try to be authentic, as authentic as a game with this concept can look.
In any case, quite honestly, this game is a mess and shouldn’t have been released. There was this one mission in which you have to shoot two targets on a shooting range, and while the game tells you to stay at specific spot, you can just walk up to the targets and shoot them. There were times in which I was supposed to go through a certain path but the way was blocked, so I had to restart the game which would somehow teleport me somewhere closer to where I needed to be. Nonetheless, the worst thing about this game, and why I don’t recommend anyone playing or buying it right now, is the fact that it has and had multiple game breaking bugs that didn’t allow players to progress. Personally, I think I encountered at least 6 of them, which have been fixed in updates but, as I write this review, I’m still waiting for another fix so that I can progress.
In the end, no matter how cool the game looks, how interesting it sounds or its gimmicks, as a FPS, and as a game in general, it fails to deliver an enjoyable experience. I don’t recommend it at all given its current state.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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