AT A GLANCE
Title: Remnant: From the Ashes
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Release Date: 20 Aug, 2019
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBox One
Remnant: From The Ashes is a third-person action RPG developed by Gunfire Games – the people behind the Darksiders games and published by Perfect World Entertainment.
Remnant is a hybrid of sorts with an emphasis on boss fights, tactics, and difficulty similar to the Souls games, and also features looting and crafting mechanics to the likes of Destiny or Diablo. It blends gunplay and fast-paced challenging gameplay to create an adrenaline-filled experience unlike any other.
Despite sharing its difficulty and mechanics from Dark Souls such as slow healing mechanics and respawning enemies, the one thing that Remnant: From the Ashes does differently is that you do not lose any XP or currency when you die. Which is a good thing as you will be dying, a lot.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, Remnant is a very unforgiving game. Like its source of inspiration, you will be continuously pushed into corners with versatile mobs, punishing bosses and status ailments. Make one mistake and you will be sent back to your last checkpoint crystal and will have to go through the newly respawned enemies once again.
All players begin in Ward 13, an underground bunker that serves as the last bastion for humanity. The various NPCs here can be interacted with to know more about them. Ward 13 also serves as a hub of sorts and houses NPC vendors that can help you upgrade your gear or sell you items.
Levels are dynamically-generated that change with each subsequent playthrough creating random enemy encounters, quest opportunities, and in-world events. Even the boss encounters are randomized and provide different loot drops depending on which level they spawn. These item drops can be used to craft new weapon mods and unlock new weapons from the NPCs in Ward 13.
The game starts off slow as it slowly reveals the world around you. Then broken streets, dimly lit underground sewers and subways lead to lush bright forests. Due to the randomized nature of the maps, environmental storytelling and interesting locales are hard to find. This, in turn, leads to some bland and repetitive sequences in an overall immersive game world.
Remnant has three archetypes that decide what starting stats and gear you have. The Ex-Cultist specializes in providing support not only to themselves but also to their team. The Scrapper archetype is a starting class that is equipped with a loadout that excels in close-range combat. The Hunter is a long-range archetype that is equipped with a starting loadout that excels in long-range combat.
You are however not confined to a particular playstyle by your initial, and can easily put points into other skills and buy different weapons to mix up your playstyle. You can be an all-rounder with mixed stats or specialize in one particular playstyle.
Weapon mods further enhance the amount of flexibility in your playstyle by allowing you to add special powers to your weapons. These powers can change the way you approach fights, and offer you a way out of tricky situations.
Mods give your weapons an alternate firing mode, AOE heals to AOE attacks that can inflict a number of status ailments on enemies. Most weapons let you exchange mods freely, allowing you to experiment with a combination across your two equipped weapons to find a synergy that works best for your playstyle.
Every piece of gear you collect also alters your playstyle and you fine-tune them to suit a specific tactic. The world is filled with collectibles ranging from armor, weapons and trinkets and the occasional lore. Trinkets are the main collectible of this game which can be acquired through exploration and loot drops.
As I mentioned before, in addition to the classic timed dodge and attacks, there are other elements that are inspired from the Souls games, such as the Dragon Heart: a mystical object with charges that allows you to heal yourself, similar to the Estus flasks.
In addition to the life bar and stamina bar, certain enemies can cause you to be affected by these modifiers and will require you to treat them.
If you are poisoned, you take a tonic; if you bleed, you use the bandages; and if you are on fire, you must roll or look for water to extinguish it.
The controls are intuitive and well done. In a game where every second matter, making it easy to aim, switch between your weapons and dodge means the difference between satisfaction and rage.
Another selling point of Remnant is the co-op. You can get together with up to 2 other people and form a fire team to delve into the dungeons. This is where Remnant truly shines, being able to combine the different specializations of your team and outmaneuvering the enemy, creates a truly awesome experience. Even better, loot drops are shared and there is a skill line that allows you to benefit from teamwork. You can use Dragon Hearts to resurrect fallen allies in multiplayer. If you run out of them, you’ll have to resurrect at a waypoint.
Remnant: From The Ashes is a surprisingly good game that takes blends together some of the best elements in modern games. Despite a somewhat lackluster world generation and some spikes in difficulty, Remnant manages to deliver a fun co-op experience that is rewarding and a world that is filled with deep lore.