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Review | Remnant II

"Want to try out Dark Souls with guns? Try it, play it, and finish it. AAA developers can take notes, not everything is a live-service, and guess what – people still love complete games, especially in coop mode."

by Foggy, 17-08-2023, Edited by: No one (yet!)

So, Remnant 2? Yeah, awesome game! I never completed the previous game, but I just knew I must at least try this one. I didn’t just try; I completed it and enjoyed every minute of it.

First things first… Did you know that Gunfire Games (the developer) worked also on Darksiders II and III? I love that franchise, although the first Darksiders is the best if you ask me.

Remnant 2 is developed using Unreal Engine 5. It’s available on Xbox consoles, PS5 and Windows (Steam). And it’s not even fully priced, so if you want to experience a better version of the Remnant series, go and buy it. Before we start, I want to share my first pain with the game – performance mode has some issues; I experienced constant screen tearing while playing in that mode, so my choice was the other one. I can’t say I had any issues with the graphic mode – even the fps feels stable, although it’s not fully running in 60 fps. Haptic support is nothing special – probably for the better, considering you need to stay focused and sharp to survive.

Welcome to Ward 13 - where the post-apocalyptic things bites you if you're not careful. If you don't dig the characters or the voice-acting, try to open your mind to everything else, it will eventually fit. There is so much to love here.

Remnant 2 starts with couple of cutscenes, and I couldn’t not notice that they suck. Plain and simple – your character (which you can create, with quite limited possibilities) sucks. There is nothing here worthwhile when it comes to characters and cast, everyone is plain, although the lore behind each can be interesting. There are even some characters from the first game, which you don’t need to play to understand what is going on.

You want to eradicate Root, the source of all evil in this world. This evil survived after the first game, and yes, you are the chosen eradicator!

The concept of the game is evolving around visiting (teleporting) to other worlds in different timelines, while working your way towards the world bosses. Usually, you will roll a fraction of the main story – as the game is fully RNG, most of your adventure will look different every time you play. If you play the campaign mode, there will be 3 worlds, and 2 short ones, 1 being from the first game. There is not much new here, but at the same time the game looks better, it plays better, it has many weapons, and it’s fun! Ward 13 is your hub where you can craft, upgrade – talk with people and buy stuff. Use red crystals to trigger a checkpoint and a teleport point. Of course, replaying given game modes is simple, so experiencing everything the game can spawn on your run can be achieved pretty easily. Alongside of your main progress, there is an Adventure mode. Let’s explain that a bit more.

RNG games, procedurally generated dungeons... What is the point? Well, for start, every replay of game modes will be an almost unique experience. It feels fresh to replay the same world and its locations, when that world and the story changes. When you add dozen of secrets, boss alternatives and outcomes, the coop, numerous build setups... 100 hours will not be enough.

Adventure mode is not connected with the campaign progress, but you can play it to get different main story paths, dungeons, secrets, weapons, you name it… Everything on your character carries over, even some quest progress, minus quest items connected to your run. You can reroll (reset) the adventure mode, keep all you've gained, and retry. Getting 1 of the 2 main story fractions (per world) is easy, it all depends on the first area you get. The rest is pretty RNG, so getting all secrets can take time. Still, similar dungeons share even secret rooms, so getting that neat gun becomes much easier than troublesome. So, long story short, you want to get stronger, upgrade or find items, experience more story events – play adventure mode, keep replaying, and return to your campaign to continue where you left of, while carrying all you collected in both modes.

The game really shines here – the secrets and collecting guns for the build you want to pursue was my favourite segment. Okay, the gunfight is also awesome, but finding all classes (called archetypes), using 2 at the same time to mix out the perks and traits, trying to mod your favourite weapon with modes, while using just the right relic to heal/buff is awesome, so awesome. Some players will find this tedious, it’s not easy to reveal hidden stuff. There is one room where you must shoot the enemy inside some pipes, so that the water can fill the room. But you do that, and nothing happens?! Wait for an hour and a half, boom, the room is full of water! You can do other stuff while you wait, then teleport back to this dungeon and jump across the newly present obstacles to reach yet another secret room with a cool weapon. Boy, I loved finding stuff in this game!

There is a Dreamcatcher weapon. You're walking down the street, you see a boss that is fallen asleep. What are you going to do? Steal his dreams with that weapon, butcher the boss in his dreams and get his alternative weapon! Yep, this is not an ordinary game. Every secret is unique. I think I loved exploring and discovering stuff more than I loved the gameplay.

There are 11 archetypes, all unique. If you die a lot, try Challenger. Challenger revives you when you die (Sekiro much?) and lowers the requirements for heavier armours. If you max that one out, then you can assign another archetype and combine unique perks to create truly a unique experience. They come with special attacks, some of which are so OP you just must use them. If you max out one, you can use its trait even when using different class. The only minus here is that Trait points cap is 65 (it was 60 before the final patch), considering you can find trait point books that gives 1 point (there is 1 book per dungeon, on each run), and that point can increase your healing speed or something else that is really useful on the field.

Of course, it’s all connected with weapons you carry (1 melee, 1 long gun, 1 handgun). The weapons have modes (special, time-limited attacks which have a cooldown), and you can even collect fragments which you can then assign to relic you use to get even more % for the build you want. Of course, there are 4 ring and 1 amulet slots that will widen the possibilities even further.

I tried out 10 main weapons, couple of side weapons and maybe 3 swords. I prefer long range weapons, but I never tried crossbows for example. Riffles are my pick, so I kind of went in that direction. I’m 100% sure that we all play different styles, so just have fun and explore what gives you the most joy.

The best way to play the game is coop. It’s also the easier way, so prepare to die a lot in solo mode. At first, at least. Later, when you conquer boss fights, you are good to go. The first boss I got was pain in the ass. It took me 40 minutes to beat him.

There are 2 classes that comes with "revive" perks. One has a dog companion (called Dog), the other doesn't. With 3 skills (1 active at the time) per class, 2 classes that you can keep active, and weapons and their mods; you are in for a treat. I simply love games where you can micromanage your class, perks and other stuff - which ultimatelly forges your path and progress.

I told you the story is not really that good. But the atmosphere is awesome. Even the lore is great. There are many books with stories in dungeons, many secrets like waiting for 12 hours when you finish one of the worlds – to get a new location, which of course, has some items for you. I was constantly blown away with so many unique quest outcomes and ways to kill bosses. My 90h gameplay time never felt dull, it was constantly different until I got most of the collectibles. Even with almost everything in my bag, I wanted to explore different builds and weapons. It’s not the same when you kill a boss in one way – the other way gives different crafting materials! Some NPC’s react differently after beating bosses in a certain way. You will for sure replay each world for a couple of times. I know I did!

Maybe they should’ve added more enemy variety, more new locations, for sure. Apparently, we will get 3 DLC’s with exactly that. Also, reloading weapons seems a bit clunky, jump also; but all of that are just a minor minus points. If you try all of the difficulties, for sure you will experience the challenge you crave for. On higher difficulties it’s also clever to change relics you use to heal, maybe to buff instead of healing – there is everything for everyone.

Yes, the game is an AA title, don’t expect Dark Souls quality here. Expect an awesome soulslike shooter with RNG dungeons, RPG mechanics in form of micromanaging your character to its fullest. It feels a bit like Returnal when it comes to dungeons, Dark Souls when it comes to dodge mechanics and level of challenge, and I don’t even know with what to compare when it comes to some puzzles and secrets. Maybe I will compare other games with this one when some developer goes this way. And I truly want this kind of extra content in my game.

The beauty is in the eyes of... you! I never had any complaints about graphics, nor the environments. I love the scenery, the boss design, the armor sets... It's like playing Diablo and caring about how you look and what build you're going to pursue. I want a sequel, or the mentioned DLC's at least (and soon)!

If you like third-person shooters, soulslike mechanics, great character RPG system, good boss fights (minus the last boss, that was truly an awful boss design) – Remnant 2 will try and win you over. I was there at the start because I loved the first one (I will probably finish it one day).

If you want strong story and characters, this is definitely not for you. Everything evolves around gameplay and collecting. I just love collecting stuff in games, you know? When that is fun, like here! With using just a few words to finish this review: I had a blast, and you should too!

"An awesome sequel to a third-person shooter with deep character RPG mechanics that is fun, full of unique content, but with bad story and shallow NPCs. Well, we can’t get everything, but we can get a lot of fun!"
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