| Played on the PS5 and a CLX Gaming PC |
Several weeks after launch and its finally here — my impression on one of the best games this year has to offer. The last couple months has been a trip; my wife is having twins and I’m spending all my energy ensuring that her comfort and health is checked. That also gave me time to dive into some games I was eager to play — one of then happen to be Remnant 2. I never played Remnant or Chronus before, so I didn’t know what I was getting into. After 30 minutes of Remnant 2, I quickly found myself flabbergast by its excellent blend of Gears of War and Dark Souls. “I was missing out on this?!” — shortly after I bought Remnant 1 and Chronus to play during travel to work, and break time. I fell in love.
I spent over 100 hours on Remnant 2, and through all of it I was left with nothing short of amazement. Not only is Remnant 2 substantially better than its predecessor, but its an entirely complete experience fill with excellent secrets and otherworldly level of detail throughout its entire package. It falls short in some elements, but surprisingly gets overshadowed by its sheer quality. I’m eager for the future of Remnant 2.
The Root Rot
Remnant 2 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a darkness took root and corrupted everything in its path. Otherworldly beings emerged from this mysterious artifact called The World Stone. You are set to stop the corruption by any means, which embarks you in a dark adventure to several mind bending worlds that randomly shifts upon each visit. That element also plays true to the tech behind the game, randomly generated levels where environments shifts alongside the enemies you face. However, as the game shines in world building, it falters in character design and personality. While the environmental storytelling and intricate details of the worlds are praiseworthy, the same cannot be said for the characters. In stark contrast to the carefully constructed surroundings, the characters’ designs feel lacking in depth and creativity. Furthermore, their personalities often come across as underdeveloped, failing to resonate with players on the same level as the world itself.
A prime example of this discrepancy is Clementine, a central figure in the overarching plot of saving the world from impending doom. Despite the gravity of the situation, Clementine’s monotonous and dismissive demeanor can feel jarring and out of place. This has been persistent since her revelation in Remnant 1. Her lack of emotional investment seems incongruent with the dire circumstances the game presents. This disconnection between character personality and the grand narrative can detract from the overall immersion. While the developer makes an effort to expand the characters’ backstories, this aspect too falls short of its potential. The attempt to delve deeper into their histories is commendable, but the execution lacks the finesse required to make these stories resonate. The backstories often feel rushed or disconnected from the main narrative, preventing players from forming a strong emotional connection to the characters.
It’s evident that the game’s strength lies in its meticulously crafted worlds. Each of the five distinct realms—Yaesha, Losomn, N’Erud, Labrynth, and Root Earth—offers an immersive and captivating experience that showcases the developers’ dedication to creating a rich and engaging universe. Among these worlds, N’Erud stands out as a personal favorite for its hauntingly desolate landscape and eerie world building. The concept of N’Erud, where inhabitants are the sole living beings in their universe, is a testament to the game’s unique storytelling approach. The exploration of this cosmic search across the universe for millions of years adds a layer of depth that sends shivers down the spine. The desolation and isolation are palpable, creating an atmosphere that’s both chilling and thought-provoking.
One of Remnant 2’s strongest suits lies in its wealth of secret elements. The game goes above and beyond to reward exploration and curiosity, even hiding a secret Archetype within its game codes, an Easter egg that truly delights dedicated players. This commitment to hidden treasures enhances the game’s replayability and encourages players to delve deeper into its mysteries. Having delved into the captivating world of Remnant 2 for over a hundred hours, it’s evident that the game’s world building is a standout feature. The attention to detail poured into the creation of the five distinct worlds is a testament to the developers’ commitment to crafting an immersive and visually stunning experience.
The game’s decision to implement randomly generated environments is another stroke of brilliance. This approach keeps each playthrough fresh and unpredictable, ensuring that players are consistently challenged by new experiences. This dynamic level design contributes significantly to the game’s replayability, keeping players engaged even after multiple runs. Adding to the allure is the fact that some secrets can only be discovered after rerolling the campaign, providing an incentive for replayability. This clever approach ensures that players are constantly discovering new aspects of the game, keeping the excitement alive and encouraging exploration. Now, I’m fully aware that most, if not all secrets been discovered but during the first couple weeks, it was blissful to see the community unfold it all.
The Loop Within the Root
Remnant 2 plays like a shooter with a hint of the Souls genre. It’s a blend I did not anticipate ever needing, and yet I can’t get enough of it. There’s no method of punishment in losing your loot upon death for example, but boss battles are challenging with learning patterns and dodging when needed, even in normal difficulty. This game shines as an exemplar of how sequels can elevate and refine core gameplay mechanics. A notable highlight lies in the impressive enhancement of build crafting, a marked improvement over its predecessor. The game introduces innovative elements that grant players an unprecedented degree of customization and choice.
At the heart of this enhancement are Traits, a core aspect that adds layers of depth and variety to the game’s build crafting mechanics. These Traits offer a wide array of benefits, players can tailor their character to suit their preferred playstyle and adapt to various combat situations. Want to be a devastating force with area attacks? Equip Traits that amplify your AOE abilities. Need more sustainability in battles? Select Traits that offer health regeneration or life steal. The sheer flexibility encourages players to experiment, adapt, and evolve their characters as they progress through the game.
Remnant 2 expands its classes in the form of Archetypes — it’s far more varied, replaces what mods did back in Remnant 1 like summoning minions to having it selectable as a focused class, which showcases the developers’ dedication to offering players a wider range of playstyle options. But it doesn’t stop there, the sequel introduces dual classing—a game-changing mechanic that enables players to mix and match Archetypes. The result is a richer and more diverse gameplay experience that encourages experimentation and creativity. I ran through the campaign starting off as a Medic, and dual slotted a Summoner so that I can be a force of medical havok. It was an extremely fun build that allowed me to constantly stay alive while buffing my allies with overshield, at the same time having my minions distract and lifesteal for me. But, it didn’t work so well in Apocalypse difficulty so I had to switch it up to Hunter/Technician which allowed me to do a crap-tonne of critical damage while also staying alive. It feels neverending and that’s a great problem to have.
REVIEW SCORE: 9/10
Gunfire Games deserves all the praise they’re getting. For such small studio delivery top-end AAA complete experience is a rare treat to have. It looks absolutely gorgeous in Unreal Engine 5, runs beautifully on the PS5/CLX Gaming PC and plays extremely well with an incredible amount of replayability — it’s a shame the characters falls short, but that’s overshadowed by its immaculate world building. I hope the developers works on it with their next project, one I am eagerly waiting for.