Remnant II: Review


This game was reviewed on PC.

Reviewed by:  Nikola Hristov

I'm gonna be honest with you when I say that the first Remnant game didn't really click with me. It was overall well received and people were citing it as a Dark Souls game but with guns instead of medieval weapons and sorcery. I played it for a few hours and wasn't taken aback whatsoever, despite being a massive fan of Soulslikes and looter-shooters. The recipe for this game to be amazing was there - but it just wasn't. The story wasn't interesting, the build variety could have been better and worst of all - the bosses were all damage sponges instead of actually unique enemies. Because of all these flaws I found, I dropped Remnant: From the Ashes, never to return. However, I'm so glad to say that the sequel improves on pretty much every complaint I had with the original - and has become one of my favorite games from 2023.

To start things off, I wanted to quickly cover the story - which is probably the only part of the game that still leaves things to be desired. Just like the predecessor, you're placed in a post-apocalyptic Earth, playing a nameless character, fighting against The Root - who want to take over the multiverse. Without spoiling much more, I can safely say that this premise is just here to explain what's happening in the gameplay - namely the realm-changing and teleporting around. None of the characters, NPCs or bosses will emotionally impact you like the Souls games do, but at least the dialogue and voice acting isn't bad (like some other games from this year). Like I said, this aspect can still be better and is ultimately what influenced my decision to not give the game a perfect score, but it's serviceable.

But with that out of the way - let's talk about where the game shines. Just like every Soulslike you have the ability to choose from different archetypes at the beginning of the game - all with different active and passive skills. However, around the midpoint of the story you gain the ability to simultaneously equip two at the same time. This allows for insane build variety and keeps the game fresh on subsequent playthroughs. But the real selling point is the ever-changing realms. Each time you enter a level, it may be substantially different from your previous experience with it - even though the level is called the same thing. This particular mechanic adds an insane amount of replayability to an already large game that you have no way of fully completing in just a single playthrough. However, if you're not interested in those things and simply want to enjoy the game a single time, you can absolutely just do that - it takes about 20 hours, which is shorter than most games out there and that's a good thing. However, Remnant 2 really shines when you restart the realms after killing their bosses and you get a completely different experience.

The combat is stellar. The gunplay is even better than the first game but you also get many more options. Not just in terms of guns - there's also Melee armaments such as blades, claws and spears for those who like to experiment. The vast amount of enemies due to the ever-changing realms also helps with keeping the fresh feeling of fighting against all kinds of monsters. But like I said, this game improves on every aspect of the first one - and this is most prominent with the bosses. In From the Ashes the bosses were incredibly boring to fight and while the weapons were cool to use, that was far from enough. My biggest gripe with them was that their difficulty was artificial - they weren't mechanically hard for the most part, yet had large HP pools for prolonging the fights. This lazy and boring design is thankfully not returning in the slightest. There's so many unique bosses here - giant specters, ghosts that trap you in a building, CHAINSAW DUDE from Resident Evil 4 and a freaking MAZE - that's right, a MAZE - which traps you inside of itself and you have to dodge its massive stone blocks that are trying to smash you. The creativity put into these is off the charts - and I'm so thankful they listened to the community, because the bosses went from one of the worst aspects of the game to one of the best.

I also cannot complain about the performance. I did experience a few FPS drops on my RTX 4060 computer, but that's because I had the settings on high. The OSTs are not as memorable as FromSoftware's Souls boss themes, but they served their purpose well. Lastly, the game also features a multiplayer coop mode - which I haven't played. But from what I've heard - it's pretty darn fun, so you and two of your friends can enjoy this experience together!

Overall, Remnant went from one of my most forgettable experiences in recent years to its sequel being a highlight of my summer gaming. Don't be scared off by the Souls aspects of the game - it's challenging, but not annoying to the point where you can end up rage quitting. This game features one of the most extensive customization systems, with weapons of all kinds, amulets, armor and many other upgrades. Despite the uninteresting plot, the gameplay WILL keep you hooked for at least a single playthrough - and probably more, due to the constantly-changing nature of the game. Remnant 2 is undoubtedly one of the best sequels ever in gaming, as it fixes almost all problems with the original and takes you for a ride you won't forget for a while.

Reviewed by: Nikola Hristov