The soul market is huge, and with major releases like Elden Ring, the genre is more popular than ever. This means that monotony is lurking, but Gunfire Games still makes an attempt at innovation with Remnant 2. After a first play session, it seems that the four years of development time has paid off.
Predecessor Remnant: From the Ashes was a success: sales figures were impressive and the game was praised by critics – the game scored 8.5 on Gamer.nl. However, the game felt a little gray and failed to fully distinguish itself from its peers in terms of style. Gunfire Games now wants to top the first part and therefore comes with a bigger team, a bigger budget and a nice twist on the genre. Remnant 2 manages to keep the previous game’s strong foundation intact and make it new with the necessary tweaks and additions.
A world full of tiles
After Elden Ring, there are big shoes to be filled in the soul genre. Gunfire Games tries to do this with a cooperative third-person shooter with thrilling aspects. Manufacturers give players the option to play alone, but recommend playing with friends because of the tricky battles you’ll encounter during the game. adventure awaits. Don’t worry if you want to play with friends later: you’ll have the option to invite your friends during the game. That is, to make the adventures and game world of Remnant 2 unique, the developers used what appear to be areas procedurally generated by a self-designed algorithm.
Manufacturers have created many different ’tiles’ with different enemies, bosses, landmarks, tunnels, corridors and other environments. These pieces are randomly assembled when you start your adventure, giving everyone a completely different gameplay experience. In any case, during the game session it was not noticeable that these pieces were randomly composed. With this technique, the developer expects ‘water cooler moments create, or so we were told in a one-on-one conversation. So the hope is that friends or colleagues will exchange stories about their unique happenings in the game.
This is reflected in how the story is structured compared to its predecessor. Where Remnant: from the Ashes follows a linear story structure, where you try to defeat an interdimensional evil called The Root by fighting your way to the heart of evil, Remnant 2’s story shoots in all directions. Both the areas and the story are completely randomized, so you collect different pieces of the story puzzle during your journey to eventually get a complete picture of what’s going on. What exactly the story entails is still unclear after our play session, though the game seems to take place at least after the events of the first game.
A soulslike game is quickly compared to FromSoftware’s work. When we do, it quickly becomes clear that the world-building and graphical style cannot match the acclaimed developer’s work. Although the different pieces were created with great detail, you still felt that there was a clear priority for the gameplay over the story.
Action, action and more action
Speaking of which, Remnant 2’s delicious gunplay is the game’s most distinctive aspect. The game plays like a pure shooter, although you soon find that you have to be very careful with your bullets. In Remnant 2 you have limited ammo, so you have to constantly think about the best way to kill the enemy in question. Your loadout mostly consists of weapons – you can do a melee attack, but that’s only if an enemy gets too close or you run out of bullets, for example.
During the game session, we encountered several enemies, including witches that can duplicate themselves and monsters that roll towards you like a car wheel. The variation of enemies ensures that you are always on your guard and have to work strategically on a regular basis. Combat is therefore comparable to other games in the genre, where continuous dodging and pattern recognition are essential. This is how the game looks run and armprinciple – you are forced to think constantly.
The game can offer quite a challenge due to the difficulty, the variety of enemies, the deadly attacks and the survival aspect where you have to pay attention to how much ammo you have at all times. Fortunately, the ability to use co-op can help with that. During the gameplay, you can invite your friends to join you and continue the adventure with you. Tricky combat is typical of the genre in Remnant 2 too – although this only really becomes clear during the boss fights. For example, out of the three hours we were allowed to play, we were stuck with a boss with a gigantic eye for at least an hour. The team we played for really started to think about our strategy. Which attacks work best now and what exactly are the boss attack patterns like? After a lot of pain and effort, this ensured that we defeated the final boss. This of course resulted in a wonderful euphoric feeling.
The game also gives you the option to make battles a bit easier through builds. Somewhat similar to games like Destiny, you can combine different skills, weapons and armor, which makes your character stronger and can deal more damage to enemies. In addition, you also have different classes that you can choose from at the beginning of the game. During the preview, we opted for the handler, a support class with a dog that helps revive your teammates. And yes, you can happily pet that dog.
a worthy successor
Remnant 2 manages to improve on its predecessor’s formula in a creative way. The unique tile mechanic is an interesting solution to make the game replayable without making the game world feel soulless. Remnant 2 also seems to keep all the good stuff from the first part intact, like the good gunplay. As a result, the game feels like a worthy follow-up to an already surprisingly good game.
Remnant 2 releases on July 25th for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC.