Developed By: Next Game Level / Mario Malagrino Published By: Ratalaika Games Categories: Shoot'em up. Release Date: 05.27.22
The first thing that came to mind when I saw REMOTE LIFE was it’s creepy atmosphere and look. The next was how it reminded me of those PC games with scary pre-rendered graphics back in the 90’s. I was a console kid, so these kind of games were always fascinating to me. This is what drew me to REMOTE LIFE.
Something to keep in mind. REMOTE LIFE was made all by a single person. Mario Malagrino as Next Game Level.
REMOTE LIFE is a gross, grimy, dark, horizontal shooter. I love shmups, so my first impression was pretty good so far. Though I’m more used to spritework or the standard 3D model than the uncanny monstrosities (in a good way) that this game employs. A big concern upfront is visibility. Thankfully, the game is lit in just the right way where nothing comes off obscured or hidden. The things you should look out for like enemy fire and well enemies, are all easy to see.
Not that this keeps REMOTE LIFE from being a hard game, because like most shoot ’em ups, it really is a tough one. Not that it’s unfair, but if you lose all of your hearts/lives at a boss, it’s back to the start of the Mission. And to me at least, that first boss just seemed relentless. But after a while, I did get used to it’s patterns, and it just felt oh so good to totally destroy it and watch it fall apart as it desperately keeps on fighting you. Did I mention this game is kinda icky?
There are a lot of different ways to utterly decimate these insects. You have four grades of weapons, three of which being canons like a spread, machine or missile shot. Grade D being some big rockets you shoot off. However, you can grab new weapons for Grade A-C, being incredible, unstoppable weaponry. The standard fire is a tad simple, small, and rather dull, but these weapon are visual treats, and mow through anything in your way. But you need to be careful, as they have limited ammo, and depending on the weapon, will burn right through it.
You can occasionally pick up Option-like side arms, though they are temporary. And some really wreck the enemies up. In addition to that, you’ll see the occasional turret that can help you. This being a better time than ever to mention that you arm all of your shooting with the right stick, and this includes the turrets!
Beat more Missions, get a higher rank, unlock more goodies, including new ships. This kept me going when I was starting to get a tad discouraged or frustrated at bosses. That and the snippits of story in the game. It’s mostly just in the background, but there’s planet eaters, missing crews, and all sorts of horrors.
So REMOTE LIFE is made by one person, but does it feel cheap in any way? Not really. There’s the big sign with all voice acting being text to speak, but otherwise, you very well could have fooled me. This is a great looking game, and the music absolutely is fantastic. I love myself some hype filled techno in my shooters.
I do have a few issues with REMOTE LIFE, though small. The big one, the elephant in the room is the fact I’ve had multiple occasions of the game just being stuck in an endless loading screen. In a game even remotely challenging, this can quickly become a pain. Luckily, there’s never loading outside of before and after Missions. This one is a bit of a nitpick honestly, but while I appreciate the use of a quick to menu button, please don’t make it available at all times. I’ve hit the Minus Button due to instinct of many games using it for a pause menu, and you know what that means. All progress in a Mission Lost. Make it only work when paused please.
REMOTE LIFE is an instance where I’m glad that my feelings this game would be good weren’t unwarranted. I find that western shoot ’em ups can either be complete trash, or a nice hidden gem. This is definitely the latter.
Buy Now: $18.99
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*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review