Title: Remnant: From the Ashes
Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Genre: Third-Person Shooter RPG
Platform: PC (Steam)
Audience: PEGI 16
Release Date: 20/08/2019
Price: £30.99 – The reviewer purchased a copy of this title out of pocket for review.
Remnant: From the Ashes may not have a striking name, but this shooter/RPG hybrid from Darksiders 3 Developer Gunfire Games excels. Find out just how much I loved it in this Rapid Review!
Remnant: From the Ashes takes the structure of a Dark Souls game and blends it with chunky, fast-paced shooting more common in games like Gears of War. This is a game that lives and dies by its moment to moment gunplay, and I have to say, I’ve not been this delighted by a shooter since Destiny 2. For me, Remnant even surpasses that game by pairing its stellar action with an extraordinary world and incredible replayability.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The premise here is that the Earth has been overrun by a corrupting force known as the Root. This enemy manifests as twisted, plant-like entities that take a variety of shapes and sizes. While the game begins in this unique post-apocalypse, you will also find yourself travelling to other worlds seeking a way to cleanse the Root from your home.
From a gameplay perspective, this means travelling through randomly delivered environments collecting weapons and armour, earning skill (or here, “trait”) points, and fighting enemies. As noted above, the main gameplay is that of a third-person shooter. By attacking without aiming, you’ll perform a melee attack with your melee weapon, but when aiming, you’ll fire whichever one of your two weapons you have equipped. These weapons are where the really game shines.
Rather than provide constant weapon drops, Gunfire has taken the approach of making every weapon wholly unique. Instead of finding a dozen sniper rifles with green, blue, and purple names, you will instead find a single rifle called “sniper rifle.” You then use crafting materials dropped by enemies to upgrade these weapons. You can also equip mods to the weapons, which give you abilities like a heal or taunt. While the weapons and mods start simple (shotguns, pistols, swords, etc.), they eventually diverge into weird and wonderful items. For example, my favourite weapon, Ruin, is a burst fire sniper rifle which can revive me once I charge its build-in mod.
You also collect armour, which affects your defensive capabilities and provides set boosts. Some armour may increase your melee weapon damage, and others may make your dodge cost less stamina. The result is that you get to put together synergistic sets of armour and weapons, giving you the ability to express yourself from a mechanical perspective. The sheer breadth of armour and weapons available makes this an absolute delight.
That diversity of content extends to the world and enemies as well.
Because this is not a full-priced game, I had expected to see a dozen or so enemy types throughout the game. Instead, the game throws a dozen enemy types at you in just the first hour. From simple, grunt enemies up to incredible looking bosses, the variety in what you’ll fight against is staggering. The enemies also distinguish themselves very well, and each new type has new tools to challenge you. And challenge you Remnant does.
While I didn’t find the game as challenging as a From Software title, it is quite hard to play solo. Remnant looks at the average level of all of your items when generating a new zone for the first time, and then bumps up the level of the enemies one higher than that average. This means that new zones will always be a challenge, but you can always level up and come back to them. On top of this, the game shines, and becomes more balanced, in co-op. While I’d say, this is absolutely a game worth playing solo, if you do have the option, playing with two friends elevates the experience.
So, with all of that out of the way, let’s talk about the structure of Remnant.
The thing that truly sets this game apart is the wheels turning behind the scenes. When you begin the game, it rolls a campaign for you. Each campaign features interconnected zones and dungeons, which vary from playthrough to playthrough. What this means is that you might see content completely different from what I saw. In your game, you might get a boss that drops a material allowing you to create a flaming sword. In my game, that same encounter might be a completely different adversary who drops a material that lets me craft a new weapon mod.
All of this means that every playthrough of Remnant is wholly unique. This encourages you to join your friend’s games to get items that didn’t spawn in your own world. It also gives Gunfire the ability to add new content to that game that you discover organically through play. With an upcoming adventure mode that allows you to reroll specific chunks of the world and multiple difficulty options, this is a game that you could play for a long time and not see every piece of. It’s incredibly refreshing and really is the icing on the cake of an incredibly fun shooter RPG.
Lastly, I want to touch on the world and aesthetic of the game.
Remnant features a really, truly inventive set of locations, enemies, and characters. Each world offers new secrets, NPCs, and visuals that are engaging and fascinating to learn about. I read every bit of dialogue and lore carefully to take in the fantastic story and history of the worlds Remnant presents. I really can’t wait for future content and games to expand on all of it further. With that said, this aspect of the game is best-experienced firsthand, so I won’t say anything further.
Ultimately, Remnant is one of my easiest recommendations this year. This game has a story, stellar gameplay, and awesome character progression, and it puts it all together into a phenomenal package. One of my favourite games of the year, don’t miss it if you enjoy shooters, loot games, or co-op.
Rapid Reviews Rating
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