I gotta start by talking about demos. They shouldn’t be used to shove a developer's ideas down your throat while showing off the story that needs to be saved for the release. If I know what’s going to happen there’s no way I’m going to pay to see just how right I am. A demo simply has to provide the wannabe player with the gameplay and visual style to develope intrigue. Now if the gameplay is intuitive and fun enough I just might suck it up and hand over the cash. This is not the case with Project Remedium.
You are a medical nanobot of some kind that is inside a human body. You are tasked, or programmed I guess, to rid a human body of a mysterious disease and keep the human healthy and alive. I admit, the premise sounded quite intriguing to me. There are many different aspects of the human body and the ailments that plague it, so the possibilities are endless here. I was looking forward to many alternate types of platforming along with various weapons and methods to combat the different types of enemies. Instead what I got was free roaming style levels that were very reminiscent of Command & Conquer: Renegade. *Shudders*.
Those weapons I was excited for were non-existent. Instead you just get two guns implanted where your hands should have been. I guess they didn’t want the nanobots thinking they could give hugs or focus on anything other than shoot the thing that moves! But that’s besides the point. Your two guns can alternate between weak mode, not-so-weak mode, really long charge up shotgun blast mode, and deathray-everything-dies-mode. I’ll give you two guesses as to which one I went with… YOU ARE CORRECT! I went with weak mode, because I didn’t know the whole time your weapon had different modes to it. The amount of information that you received in the tutorial is comparable to what you get on the side of a bar of soap. It explained how way points worked and how to kill things with health bars. In the game’s defense it DID say there were other weapons. But not really how to get to them. I was just pushing every button on the keyboard wondering what secrets I could find.
I will give Project Remedium some credit. It has this feature of health percentage attached to the human body you are inside of. Meaning if you shoot too much you will kill the human, which I really liked. So I blasted my deathray-everything-dies-gun at the wall of the liver, or whatever it was I was inside of, seeing how long it would take for me to kill my human. Then I got bored and wandered to the objective. It took so many hits to see the percentage go down it wouldn’t even matter if I payed attention to my shots at all. A feature like this is tough to pull off. It can take way too many hits to cause significant damage or too few, there’s a very thin line that makes it challenging without being frustrating. Unfortunately it doesn’t achieve that line.
Another feature I liked a lot was this grapple hook you are given to navigate the environments. It has this ridiculous range, no cool down, and can be used in mid-air. I spent a good ten minutes just flying around with this gleeful look on my face. It’s not anything groundbreaking but it is a gameplay style that has been nearly wiped out in adventure platformers due to its ability to make people forget they’re in an adventure platformer and just zip around to every objective. But this isn’t a bad thing! I got the same amount of joy from that grapple hook as I did from navigating the puzzles in Portal.
This demo proved a point that you can start with high quality ingredients that if refined and used individually can create a masterpiece. Throwing them all in a blender will not end up with the same result, only a bowl full of mush, maybe high quality mush but you still can't convince anyone it’s any good to eat. Project Remedium is a hard to navigate, boring, terrible mess of great ideas. If I was to give one piece of advice to developers Atomic Jelly. Take each of the ideas you put into this game, separate them, and make a game around each of them. In all honesty, if there was a platformer made with just the grapple hook at it’s core I would play that till my finger nails fell off. As it stands, Project Remedium I want to love you so very much, but I just can’t do it.