Project Remedium is a strange, strange game. Described by its steam page as a “story-driven action shooter set inside a human body devastated by illness and bad circumstances,” Project Remedium was recently successfully Kickstarted by Playway on behalf of Polish indie studio; Atomic Jelly, and follows a nanobot; Nano+, is his quest to save a little girl from certain death. Invaded by a pathogen which has mutated and driven the other ‘bots insane, the player must travel to the major organs and kill a variety of enemies whilst preventing as much damage as possible to the body itself.
Before I go any further, I must say that part of my interest in Project Remedium comes from a game which almost traumatised me as a child. I don’t remember the name, but I remember walking around an infected host trying to save the body from perishing. It was incredibly dark, there were lots of alarms and “he’s going to die!”- so I’m glad this game is a little subtler in that regard. The first big contrast between this game and that is that the world (body) is so incredibly bright and vibrant. Whilst you would expect the body of a dying girl to be a grim, horrific place, Project Remedium does a fantastic job of showing not just death and corruption, but life. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a tangible sense of urgency, but it doesn’t cram it down your throat. (No pun intended.)
Now, I’m not the most knowledgeable about the internals of the human body. I understand that Remedium has taken a variety of artistic liberties, but regardless of this the world does a great job of making itself engulfing and believable. The somewhat steam-punky nanobot buildings contrast well with the detailed, fleshy design of the body, creating an engaging and traversable landscape; even if I do sometimes struggle to see the link between the “organ” and the level design. The graphical design is excellent, with an interesting and absorbing aesthetic which leads you to want to explore the alien world inside. From the introductory level and a tense battle with parasitic worms, I was hooked.
In order to save the body Nano+ must traverse the organs and save them one at a time from the corruption spreading through the body. There are a variety of enemies to fight, including mutated and corrupted nanobots. Your medical tools have been modified into weapons of tiny destruction; an energy cannon and a Remedium sprayer; which are used to defend your ward from the enemies inside. I would argue that the combat itself isn’t amazing at present, as it can sometimes feel clunky and imprecise, but the mechanics have some real promise. Your character gets a grapnel early on, allowing quick movement around the expansive environments and decisive manoeuvrability in battle leading to fast-paced decision making and tactical floating. Because of the nature of in-body combat, you also have to take care with your shots, as every off-target attack damages the organ around you. The enemies can feel a little like bullet-sponges, but I feel that with proper balancing this would be easily fixable. There are also some minor UI quality issues, but I have no doubt these will be tidied up and refined before release.
In short, Project Remedium has some real promise, and if the developers continue to refine it I can see it being a stand-out game of 2017.