Remnant 2 – A Staple of Souls-like gunplay
Remnant: From The Ashes was a solid game that felt like the best execution of the concept of making a souls-like with guns. When Remnant 2 was announced I was excited to see how Gunfire Games would build from that foundation. Even if it was just more of the same I would have been satisfied, however Remnant 2 did more than I was anticipating.
Remnant 2 lived up to my expectations when it comes to gameplay, bosses, and the feeling of exploration. It even exceeded them in some regards. Unfortunately, it falls a tad short in terms of storytelling.
Let me guess… You’re here on a quest?
Remnant 2 takes place 20 some years after Remnant From The Ashes. The Root remains on earth, albeit in a weakened and decaying state. It is after a short journey through the ruins of an unnamed city your custom character finds themself in Ward 13. Here you meet a cast of characters and vendors that sell items and upgrades to aid you on your journey.
The main plot is serviceable but doesn’t give enough answers from past titles to feel like a proper sequel. It feels like it’s just kind of there more out of obligation rather than a driving force. There is a clear juxtaposition between the quality of the main quest and the side stories. Exploring a new world is exciting due to its unique questlines, rich lore, and engaging NPCs with well-crafted dialogue while the main quest feels like an extension of a story that has very few narrative payoffs. This only further highlights how much the side content feels like a complete package in comparison.
Although the main story is lackluster, the gameplay in Remnant 2 is impressive and feels like a significant upgrade from the first game. The most impactful new addition to the series is the class-based system called Archetypes. There are four to choose from initially, but you may uncover more as you travel through each world. The Archetypes each feature unique abilities and perks that set them apart from one another and are a worthy reward for thorough exploration.
But you?… You are exquisite
Traits return in Remnant 2 giving bonuses like more armor, health, stamina, faster movement, and ability recharge. This time Gunfire Games put a limit of 60 earnable Trait points. This forces the player to make a more focused character to best maximize its efficiency and allows for more build diversity. You can adjust your points at any time, for a cost, which allows for experimentation.
The gunplay feels tight and accurate and every ability feels powerful and distinct. In addition, weapon mods offer a variety of effects, such as dealing damage, healing, and buffing players. Experimenting with new weapons and mods is a satisfying experience.
The boss battles are well-designed. I found them challenging and enjoyable to watch as the bosses kicked me around their arena. Each boss is unique and has gimmicks that set them apart from others. Some have mobs added to their fights that put pressure on the player while they’re trying to heal or reload, while others had challenging mechanics that tested player skill.
None of the bosses felt cheap or janky. When I was defeated it was due to my lack of understanding or skill, which encouraged me to tinker with my build or strategy and try again. The developers put a lot of love into the bosses and it shows, with each world’s final boss featuring secret variations and alternate rewards for different approaches.
A place of Great beauty… Palaces of gold and fields of Green
Remnant 2 also features a procedurally generated world, adding variety to exploration. Each playthrough won’t reveal all of its secrets, but adventure mode allows you to reroll completed areas to find undiscovered items. The variety and constant surprise I felt going through worlds I’d already played gave me plenty of reasons to revisit them. Remnant 2 brings a level of replayability not seen in most games and it does it in such a way that holds the player’s attention. Wondering what I’m going to get for beating a familiar boss in a new way never got boring and always kept me coming back for more.
Remnant 2 can be challenging, particularly on higher difficulties. It is recommended that new players start on Survival difficulty and gradually increase it as their skills improve, as even on Veteran, the game can feel excessively punishing and occasionally unfair due to increased enemy health and damage, as well as a higher frequency of special enemy spawns.
Here at the end of all things
Although the gameplay in Remnant 2 was enjoyable, the story was forgettable. The addition of classes and Trait point limitations offered more diversity to play style. Exploration is always rewarded and replayability remains exciting by introducing new areas and items. You can really feel the growth of the developers with this title. Remnant 2 has a lot to offer fans of the souls-like genre looking for something new.
- Thrilling and engaging combat
- Randomization makes the game replayable
- Deep customization options that allow for build diversity
- The story falls short in comparison to the side content