Our Score: 7/10
Remote Life is a 2D side-scrolling space shooter. An alien mothership is heading towards Earth. And you’ve been tasked with fighting your way in from the outside after a ship was transferred inside to take it down and failed miserably. Naturally, this entails shooting aliens, acquiring powerups for absurdly impractical yet entertaining weapons, and dodging gunfire.
You play as pilot John Leone. And while you must take out an alien mothership on your own, you are not required to accomplish so single-handedly. In actuality, your ship’s default weaponry are the gatling cannon, split lasers, and missiles. You can swap between them at any time using the shoulder buttons. These have infinite ammunition, but the real fun begins when you get a power-up. Which allows you to upgrade one of your guns into something more lethal until its ammo runs out. There are also class D weapons. Which are bombs that must be picked up before being used, and there are many various sorts of them.
You might assume that having limited ammo would limit you. But Remote Life’s weapons aren’t stingy, so you can and should use them as much as you want. This is a welcome relief, as this is a very challenging game. Playing on easy and quickly learning that trying to save your best weapons for when you need them will either kill you or cause you to pick up something else that will replace it.
One Hit is all it Takes
It only takes one hit to take you out, just like in classic games of the genre, whether it’s from an enemy, a missile, or a wall, and those three things are all over the place. Enemies charge at you from all directions, walls move about or revolve in complicated patterns, and massive doors open and close to encircle you. The levels themselves are claustrophobic, with tiny spaces and little regions that necessitate cautious navigation if you don’t want to be sprayed all over the place. Of course, there are bombs that urge you to run forward in order to defuse them before they blow, which is perilous given everything else going on.
Hitting the Motherload
Remote Life looks fantastic, especially when you’re firing some of your more powerful weapons and the screen is filling up. Everything is incredibly dark and nasty looking, which fits with the claustrophobic and awful levels where you’ll see victims being pumped through tubes and other such grisly things. The music is booming techno, which goes nicely with the fast-paced, frantic action.
As you encounter things in levels and your character reports them back to command, the story is a little more frequent than you might anticipate in the genre, with occasional cutscenes and even dialogue. John has a synthesised voice, which isn’t ideal, but it gets the job done, and the plot isn’t really the point of the game anyhow, especially since you’ll be too preoccupied fighting the swarms of foes and unexpectedly tough walls.
Hyper leap into a brutal-frenzied-techno-alien world in this fast-paced action game with insane scary images. Free the earth from this awful nightmare before it consumes humanity with its disgusting breath of evil.
Remote Life is a fantastic shoot ’em up that is as inventive as it is tight and difficult. The story and visuals are dark and ominous. With more presence than is really necessary but it adds to the aesthetic of the game. If you enjoy old-school shooters, Remote Life is one to look into.