Having thoroughly enjoyed my time with the first Remnant game, Remnant: From the Ashes, I got everything I wanted from the sequel, Remnant 2, and much more. Not only were there more fun concepts from the first game, but the team went into this with a sharp understanding of what they were trying to accomplish. It gave them ample time to work on the smaller details of this refined sequel, putting more of their unique personality and flair behind everything.
Remnant 2 is designed for those who enjoy checking underneath every corner and replaying a game to discover the answers by exploring alternative paths. It won’t be for every souls-like fan, but for those who went deep into playing the first one, there are many of the same concepts, and the team at Gunfire Games has gone above and beyond with this sequel to deliver an exciting experience.
Remnant 2 Key Details
- Developer: Gunfire Games
- Platforms: PC (Steam / Epic Games Store), PS5, Xbox Series X/S,
- Release Date: July 25, 2023
- Price: $49.99
A World of Hope, Suffering, and Choices That Matter
The start of Remnant 2 will vary for many players. At the beginning of the game, everyone goes through the tutorial for the first time to introduce a new hero before they make their way to Ward 13, where we find the last of humanity fighting against the Root. This evil has spread everywhere on Earth and comes from the Red Crystal, an object at the center of Ward 13 that we use to travel between worlds The Root has attacked multiple other worlds like ours, causing mayhem and destruction in its wake.
Although the tutorial is always the same, the starting world a character begins at will vary for many of the playthroughs. If I were to create a new character and skip the tutorial, the starting location for that new character would likely be different from that of my first character, and I’ll have to adjust to new surroundings as quickly as possible. It’s a fun way to keep the game fresh anytime I want to begin with a new character and try a different archetype, the unique classes assigned to every character.
Despite the alternative starts, the main story connecting everything remains the same. There are drastically different choices I can make each time I play, and these can alter the final outcome, turning Remnant 2 into a delightfully repeatable experience – and what’s even better is the entire game is polished and smooth enough to warrant a desire to want to explore everything again and again.
Smooth Gunplay Surrounded by Mountains of Creativity
The major attraction in Remnant 2 is the gunplay, and what a fantastic time I had with the intricate combat. It’s a third-person, over-shoulder shooter designed to feel like a souls-like game. This means when you get hit by an enemy, their hits hurt, and you can dodge away from them if you’re quick enough. Rather than focus on the timing of parries as you would from Elden Ring or Bloodborne, it comes down to picking your favorite weapon to use at all times to keep baddies at a distance.
Your character can only hold three weapons, but there’s a lot of creativity in picking out what should be in those slots. You have your long gun, a handgun, and a reliable melee weapon you’ll probably whip out to beat the living tar out of anything that dashes too close to you. The long gun will be your primary weapon, serving as a long-range option, and it is typically your heavy hitter, with the handgun being a reliable secondary option for any situation.
You have a good amount of weapon variety that goes into these choices, from slow-firing sniper rifles that deal massive damage to medium-ranged assault rifles that you can use to mow down any foe that rushes at you. I enjoyed my time switching through the many options that I could pick out while playing Remnant 2, but I did settle on a reliable assault rifle that fit my Handler Archetype, where I had a companion dog that would draw the enemy’s attention and heal me if I hit the ground.
Although I did not pull away from my starting combination on my main playthrough, I experimented more with Archetypes like the Champion and the Field Medic. I felt a drive to play with the versatility of these choices and that having multiple weapons to fit any situation was the best way to suit my playstyle. On top of the weapon choices, there are various weapon mods and mutators that add a variety of flavors to any weapon.
These weapon modifiers can be swapped out at any time, adding another advantage I lacked or double-down on an aspect I wanted to exploit further. For example, with my Handler, I constantly used my Assault Rifle in combat but struggled to find a reliable way to heal that felt immediately helpful. Thus, I made sure to add the Healing Shot weapon mod, shooting a healing ball down on the ground to heal myself in the middle of combat rather than having to rely on the limited heals from my Relic, which serves as the game’s healing flasks from the souls series. There are various options, from ones that fire multiple missiles at a target, add a weak point to an enemy to land critical hits, or send out a shockwave to send something flying.
The weapon mods and mutators were your notes, and the weapons you used were the instruments, and when they blend together, they make Remnant 2 beautifully sing. Even if these choices weren’t perfect, their flexibility was wonderful and encouraged a lot of creativity I sometimes feel could be improved on other games. With my Handler playthrough, I found myself sticking with the healing ball far more often, whereas the other Archetypes benefitted from others that I never took advantage of, and this was purely because of my playstyle; the options are genuinely boundless if you’re willing to try something new, and they certainly lend a hand when your carving through the game with a group of two other players.
The combat was deliciously thrown in at every turn of my Remnant 2 playthrough, and it never stopped getting old. My only source of frustration is facing immediate death if I rolled off a cliff and fell into the abyss. I wasn’t a fan of reloading that area for a clueless mistake, but the frustration was more with myself than the game itself. The same goes for when I beat my head against the frustrating puzzles and pieced them together the world continued to open up, and it was exciting every time.
Remnant 2’s World Building Never Gets Old
My time with Remnant was fun and engaging – not only with intense gunplay but with the well-thought-out puzzles and worldbuilding that went into creating this dystopian masterpiece. For fans of FromSoftware narratives, much of that always happens here, but it doesn’t quite go so far as to leave things in the air. There’s enough of a guide and knowledge of where to go next where that I never felt lost, but I had to piece things together by paying attention, working on a little trial and error, and problem-solving.
One of the more memorable moments I had was reaching the end of the world, where I had to cross a ravine to reach the other side. There was nothing telling me how to create a bridge except for a water harp. I knew that if I solved it, I could make my way across and face off against the world boss. The Water Harp seemed stuck, and I could do nothing to activate it.
I banged my head against the puzzle for a good hour before needing a break, and I began to explore the rest of the world. There were more mysteries to unlock, puzzles to solve, and unique characters to meet in this world, each referencing back to the boss hidden across the water harp. Those stories gave me new perspectives of that boss, initially seen as a gigantic threat and a clear enemy, but the interactions and stories I read by solving the other puzzles painted a picture I had expected to find.
After my journey through the world, I discovered a new route that led to an initially unavailable area near the Water Harp, and I activated it. Now, I could advance this puzzle, but I had a brand new perspective of the enemy I was about to face, and I didn’t know how best to handle the situation, trying to decide between taking it down or letting it live, based on what I learned about that world. I would never have had that if I hadn’t explored Remnant 2 thoroughly. The game rewarded me for looking around, and it was entirely optional.
This happened a lot with my Remnant 2 playthrough. I made plenty of mistakes that I was glad to make, and seeing how those consequences and results played out, my playthrough was truly unique, and I couldn’t wait to fire up another character to try something new.
My time with Remnant 2 never felt old. I constantly explored new routes and retraced my steps to ensure I had covered every detail, and it was never tedious. The endlessly fun gunplay and encounters made each fight, big and small, feel remarkable. Uncovering the mysteries of each world will always sit with me because of how unique and fun they were to dive into.
Not only was it fun the first time around, but my second go was just as exciting, and I foresee many playthroughs in my future. It’s a highly replayable adventure, with Gunfire Games illustrating exactly how much they learned from the first title, and I’m already looking forward to all future content that comes out for Remnant 2.
|+ Enjoyable story with measurable choices with meaningful consequences|
|+ Delightful combat that makes for endless replayability|
|+ Exploration with a good amount of depth with lots of world-building|
|– Small hiccups in gameplay and silly deaths can be frustrating|
Gamepur team received a PC code for the purpose of this review.