REMOTE LIFE Review thumbnail

REMOTE LIFE Review

A super-tough twin-stick shmup

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing an Xbox Series X on

REMOTE LIFE is also available for Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch

REMOTE LIFE is rated Teen by the ESRB

If you're in the mood for a challenging scrolling shooter with twin-stick gameplay and stunning graphics then here's REMOTE LIFE.

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REMOTE LIFE screenshot 1
Whatever it is I'm shooting at sure looks gross

A twin-stick shmup

It's surprising that there aren't many games which combine twin-stick shooting controls and classic shoot 'em up gameplay yet REMOTE LIFE is one of them. It's structured so that you take on a series of missions from the main menu and each one is quite a challenge to overcome so even if you're moderately skilled, you'll end up chipping away at the levels every time you play. Needless to say, soaring through the environments as you target and shoot down encroaching aliens is a great deal of fun although there is no score system in place which means that leaderboard-climbers will be disappointed. If you want a similar game, definitely check out Gley Lancer. v1d30chumz 44-192-38-248

Gley Lancer Review
REMOTE LIFE screenshot 2
Protecting this giant hunk of junk doesn't feel worth it

Beautiful graphics

The first thing you'll notice about REMOTE LIFE is just how stunning its visuals are. It's one of those games where every ship, alien, projectile, and environment is pre-rendered as opposed to being composed of polygons; kind of like Daydreamer. There were a few games like this back in the '90s and it's an underutilized graphical style for sure because it looks exceptionally distinct and has the potential to be downright gorgeous like it is here. Meanwhile, the audio is okay with an overpowering electro soundtrack that muffles the effects as well as odd robotic voiceovers. In other words, I wish as much effort was put into the sound design as the detailed visuals.

Varied firepower

REMOTE LIFE allows you to equip up to 4 weapons simultaneously with the 3 main weapons being swappable at any time and the 4th being a powerful attack with limited stock. I appreciate that you have so much firepower at your disposal, especially considering just how varied some of the shot types are from bombs that explode into smaller projectiles to large wave-like lasers and a straightforward vulcan to a delayed missile strike. It's very satisfying to swap your weapons regularly and become accustomed to what each one is capable of. On top of that, you can control turrets and such that occasionally pop up mid-stage which has the potential to double your firepower. It would have been cool to deploy the 3 main weapons with 3 separate face buttons but other than that, this is great stuff. 😄

Frustrating stage designs

With all of that in mind, REMOTE LIFE is an incredibly challenging game even on easy difficulty but not for the reasons that you may assume. Specifically, its stage designs are downright brutal with the most frustrating moments coming in the form of tight spaces that you have to navigate through and doors that open and close. If you don't fly through an entryway before it closes, you can get stuck behind and have to sacrifice a life which doesn't feel fair as you're already dodging projectiles and hazards while trying to aim. It's a bit too much. Additionally, enemy projectiles can blend in to the background or even be too small to perceive. Whenever you get hit by one of these bullets that you didn't even see, it's disheartening for sure and will eventually make you feel like quitting altogether.

REMOTE LIFE screenshot 3
Tight squeeze ahead!

REMOTE LIFE presents a promising blend of twin-stick controls and shoot 'em up gameplay that really packs a punch. However, its frustrating moments that verge on being unfair as well as its complete lack of scoring hold it back from being great.

  • + Tight and challenging blend of twin-stick shooting and scrolling shmup gameplay
  • + Stunningly detailed visuals
  • + Solid variety of weaponry
  • - No scoring system or leaderboards
  • - Tight spaces and doors are a huge pain
  • - Some projectiles are too imperceptible
7.3 out of 10
Gameplay video for REMOTE LIFE thumbnail
Watch A.J. play REMOTE LIFE
Capcom Shoot 'em Ups Trivia

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