You know the drill. You wake up in the city that you love, put on some trousers only to find out that aliens have invaded. You leave your apartment, hoping to find that magnum you hid in the alleyway, before heading out to get some medicine for your asthma. But you also need to try and avoid contact with the cops, because for some reason or another, they are out to get you.
It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done, or where you are going. All that matters is that you are going to kick some alien butt. Oh and get that asthma medicine.
Welcome to the world of Remoteness.
We’re big fans of indie developers. We love games from the smaller teams, those that show big ambitions as they tackle complex game mechanics and reinvent the gaming world. Remoteness has loads of ambition, what with its open-world New York-ish city with a big event happening and some FPS shooter and stealth roots. But at times it tries to bite off more than it can chew.
The story goes something like this. A voiceover explains that there were meteorites that arrived in the night. We see some video footage of people partying and laughing. Then we hear screams, sirens and growling. You wake up in your apartment, look at some pictures of yourself and head out into the city, guided by a floating robot buddy who loves to chat. And my god do they like a chat, with one of the very first things being that of “I remember when it was full of people here“. Give us a chance, it’s only been a night.
After you leave the apartment the story in Remoteness is created by you and what you chance upon. There are some objectives to take in, but they feel quite vague at times. There are lots of events you can discover though, with these pushing the narrative forward. Whether you’ll want to or not is another matter.
The gameplay is set in the first person and the thing you need to do from the start is sort out the sensitivity settings because they default in Remoteness at nothing short of a mad level of quick look movement; one that has you reaching for a sick bowl. Then you need to get to grips with the movement which includes running, stealth crawling, and grabbing things. There are fire pits dotted around the city with refugees hovering around that act as safe points. Why these refugees are not being killed by the aliens is anyone’s guess.
Combat involves a mix of going behind a human enemy and killing them stealthily, or making use of a gun and a crossbow to attack the enemies. And then there is an electrical alien ability a bit later on. It’s very tough. The aliens and humans can spot you even when you’re crouched. Ammo is limited and I personally came across a bug that removed my gun when I died – all I had left were my fists as I attempted to punch my way to glory. That didn’t go down well at all. Even when you are tooled up, aiming doesn’t feel natural; fairly uneven. Topping it off is the fact that you are suffering from asthma and need to find medicine before a bar gets too low. This brings nothing but gaming pain.
Visually and the ambition should be applauded, as Remoteness creates a city for you to explore; one that is open and full of discovery. The textures are okay but far from this gen quality, but I have liked the way the developer has mixed real-life video footage and photos within the game. But never does Remoteness feel finished and it is in need of some patching to get rid of the strange physics and oddities dotted around. On the more positive side, there is some good voice-over at play, with a decent score adding to the atmospheric effects.
It’s nice to see the endeavour of the developer as they have looked to create an open-world FPS in Remoteness. But I don’t think the game is quite ready for release, with far too many problems attached to it. Remoteness is in need of some patching and only then may it well be interesting enough to look at it. The gameplay is all over the place, the asthma mechanic not needed, yet there could well be an intriguing game hiding away underneath it all.
Remoteness is on the Xbox Store