Review | Remoteness

Pass me the Remote

Alien artifacts, robotic creatures and flying spaceships suddenly roam the protagonist’s New York-esque hometown – it’s time to tackle them in this fairly ambitious yet low budget first person shooter by Italian developer KR Games. It’s time to play Remoteness on Xbox Series X!

Rough beginnings

The game begins with one of the least convincing opening sequences in recent memory. After a character with a heavy accent explains over a dark screen that the town was hit by meteorites and it’s basically a warfare out there, we get flashes of low-resolution stock footage of parties, followed by generic scenes of police cars and policemen standing around in an unspecified crisis situation with gunshots and some monsters growling in the background. We then start controlling the protagonist of this shooter, waking up in his bed to the sound of his alarm. And this is when the game’s most noticeable problem hits: the controls are, for lack of a better word, atrocious on a controller. And unfortunately, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The first time I moved the left stick I thought something was not working properly, as I ended up turning 90 degrees in an instant. Maybe my controller is acting up, maybe I have some weird setting turned on, who knows. But nope, that’s the game. The game’s first person camera doesn’t seem to bother with advanced concepts such as aim acceleration, and whenever you move it towards one way, the camera straight-up snaps to a position in said direction. The only thing that can be done in the settings to mitigate this is lowering the camera sensitivity, which makes the snaps less egregious, but it remains one of the most baffling things I encountered in a shooter on console. It’s not even a matter of getting used to an unusual setting – when trying to aim precisely at a target, such as attempting to land a headshot, the center of the screen will straight-up snap over the target all the time, making the game’s main enemy the camera itself. Perhaps some level of autoaim could have mitigated all this, but that’s not available. This is an enormous issue that severely impacts every single one of the many fights in the game.

Shooting sparse

But let’s assume we get over this major roadblock, or perhaps the developers fix it with a patch down the road. What should players expect in Remoteness is an urban setting open world the player walks into with a flying robot companion on their side, who will help with some of the shooting, the orientation and even crack a handful of jokes. You’ll keep on hearing the same ones a lot, as there’s not many in their arsenal. It may sound something akin to Crysis 2 or perhaps a title of the ill-fated Homefront franchise, and while there are similarities on the surface, the execution is closer to a cheap mobile game at times: buildings, cars, decorations are repeated all the time, virtually nothing can be interacted with or entered, and even what’s there and relatively functional at no point looks good or polished. It’s a big playground but shallow and void of things to do, with frequent walks of various minutes towards a point of interest without anything happening. There’s a subway segment, a couple of key locations where people can climb onto or enter, but it’s all very stale.

A lack of polish and iteration is the impression I get even from the gameplay itself. Aside from the abysmal aiming, enemies’ animations don’t quite react to our shots, even visible projectiles such as the crossbow’s shot can just miss them while hitting their 3D model. Their AI either completely fails to react to our presence from inches away, or they magically manage to see and shot us through solid obstacles, or at least attempt to keep shooting at a wall in the hopes that the hundredth time it will be the right one to wallhack the player. Invisible walls plague some of the open segments, the collision on many objects is rather questionable, and simple movements such as climbing and jumping feel very clunky. Virtually no feature in this game feels truly finished and rewarding, as slightly better graphics aside it feels like I’m playing a budget first person shooter from the 2000’s, the kind given away with magazines for cheap.

To make matters worse, the developers figured that adding an asthma-meter would somehow improve the experience – so players need to find sparse medicine all across the map to avoid dying, giving the game a sense or urgency that really wasn’t needed. The game has a minimap to facilitate navigation at least, but it’s integrated in the pause/inventory menu, forcing the player to continously go into it to find the way. The player can get stronger via interaction with odd alien artifacts, so at least there’s that. Free exploration is sometimes rewarded with some collectibles, unique cutscene events and a handful of out of place easter eggs of sorts, such as usable fireworks that light up the sky above us when activated. Plus at least some better weaponry is found when progressing, such as a cool assault rifles that at least in part mitigates the horrible aiming and hit detection by virtue of its fast and effective firing – but it’s still all too little to save the experience.

Remote from good

And I’ll be perfectly honest – I wanted to like this game. I kept my exposition to gameplay videos as low as possible to come in with an open mind, but what little I’ve heard about sounded promising, because the game has ambition. A dynamic day/night cycle; a massive open world with tons of events happening; a flying robot companion that helps us in the fights and in navigating, plus cracks up jokes. There is a lot in Remoteness that could have worked out well on paper, but the game’s good ideas clash with a disastrous execution where even the basic controls are nearly unusable and almost all elements of the game are severely unfinished and often straight up not working, making it near impossible to even aim and shoot at enemies. That should be the absolute bare minimum a shooter should deliver, but alas, Remoteness fails even at that. As such, I can’t recommend this game to anybody in this state.


Played on
Xbox Series X


  • We need more open-ended urban shooters
  • A few neat ideas on paper


  • Shockingly horrible controls
  • Awful hit detection
  • Barren open world
  • Very high difficulty due to the game being broken
  • Pointless survival elements
2.5 out of 10
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