Going into this review, I really wanted to describe Project Remedium as “Skyrim with guns, with germs” but the truth is Atomic Jelly have created a game that’s difficult to assign easy jokes to. So let me pitch it to you – An indie first person shooter with skill trees and crafting mechanics, set on a microscopic scale inside a human body. “Painkiller” meets “Osmosis Jones“, maybe?
The game is in a bizarre setting for a first person shooter – a rundown industrial complex inside a human body. An army of nanobots is sent inside the body of a human to cure a disease, but over time have begun to give up on their goal. We play as a new form of nanobot, a fixer who is tasked with figuring out why its allies have stopped work.
This translates to us, the player, running around several maps themed around different organs, going to several different locations per map to fight enemies like germs and fungi and eventually a boss. Something about a construction worker being afraid of ghosts in mine tunnels in the human liver makes me glad I went through the effort of getting this game to work.
Project Remedium is difficult to just pick up and get right into. Long loading screens, framerate stutters and crashes make it frustrating to recommend right off the bat. But more importantly, the game isn’t what I would call easily accessible to new players. Most of the mechanics beyond “Go here, shoot this” don’t quite make logical sense and took time researching the Steam forums to understand. The most important thing I missed was that our weapons had alternate fire modes that could be unlocked by looting specific germs. It’s unfortunate that these aren’t unlocked at the start of the game, because without them we are limited to single shot shooting, reminiscent of bolt action rifles in a World War 2 game. Seriously, there are several alternate firing modes for both of your guns, so why not let us have fun with rapid-fire right away?
The shooting did feel really good once I had the necessary upgrades. Running and gunning and grapple hooking around areas looking for germs to melt was great. I don’t quite get why there were explosive barrels, but they did add to the fun. There is also a crafting mechanic, where you use molecules collected from dead germs and loot boxes to give yourself things like temporary boosts to your ammo capacity. There is also a leveling system, but there isn’t much indication of what is giving you experience and how long until you unlock your next skill point.
I’m having trouble deciding how I feel about the visuals in Project Remedium. Red fields of tissue matter, enemies that aren’t close to being humanoid, and industrial buildings scattered through it all, it’s great. But at the same time, the number of enemy types felt limited, and sometimes the nanobots industrialized invasion of the body felt silly with how minimally some things are detailed.
This really is an interesting game that could be excellent if the developers are able to better optimize performance and fine-tune the introduction to combat. If Atomic Jelly is able to remove some of these hurdles, I expect many more people would enjoy the game as much as I have. I do recommend this game, but maybe check to see if the developer is still releasing updates before you buy it.
- Automatically enabled subtitles
- Friendly color scheme to at least my own colorblindness.
- Custom keybinding and a visual depiction of the controls
- Difficulty mode selector in the settings menu
- The animated intro cutscene did feature flashing lights, but I didn’t notice any in the actual game.
Interested readers can check out the game on Steam for $14.99
Sam Adonis is a freelance writer who has previously been featured on IndieGamerTeam, IndieGameMag, and Indie-Love. You can reach out to him on Twitter @IndieSamAdonis