Remnant 2 is the highly-anticipated sequel to the hit game Remnant: From the Ashes. The game pits human survivors against perilous new creatures and god-like bosses in terrifying worlds. You can play solo or with up to two friends in co-op mode to explore the unknown and stop evil from wiping out humanity. To succeed, you and your team must rely on your skills to conquer the most formidable challenges and prevent the extinction of mankind. Ultimately, however, Remnant 2 falls short of expectations, consigned to the ashes from which it arose.
In Remnant 2, players will venture to Yaesha, a planet now under the control of the Root’s tendrils. Once a thriving world, Yaesha has been reduced to a desolate wasteland, teeming with death and decay. The inhabitants of Yaesha have bravely resisted the Root’s forces, but their efforts have been futile. I was intrigued to see how the sequel to the previous game would continue the story after the source of the Root was eliminated; however, once in the game, I found connecting with the story and comprehending the lore challenging. It just didn’t click with me as other games did, and when asked to explain the full story of Remnant 2, I struggled due to this difficulty.
In Remnant 2, an improved Archetype system offers players unique passive bonuses and impressive abilities. As you progress through the game, you can unlock multiple Archetypes, raise their levels, and combine them to fit your preferred play style. There are five starter Archetypes: the Challenger, Gunslinger, Handler, Hunter, and Medic. Additionally, you can unlock more non-starter Archetypes by finding specific items in the game. For example, defeating a monster and obtaining a ring can unlock the Alchemist archetype, which focuses on consumables and concoctions. This gives you many more options than what was available in the first game.
It’s important to understand that not all Archetypes are created equal, and their effectiveness depends on whether you’re playing solo or co-op. The Hunter’s range may seem advantageous in solo play, but it’s ineffective when enemies keep spawning before you and killing you. However, the Hunter’s damage output is impressive and worth considering when playing with a team since your teammates can keep you alive. Another example is the Challenger, which may seem invincible but is a trap for beginners and requires above-average dodge and timing skills since it involves close-range combat. Knowing when to choose a specific Archetype is crucial to succeeding in Remnant 2.
Remnant 2 boasts an improved character progression system alongside the enhanced Archetype system. With this system, you can unlock new Skills, Perks, and Traits that will significantly increase your character’s strength, enabling them to combat the evil taking over Yaesha. Your character’s Skills, Perks, and Archetype specific Trait will unlock automatically as you progress through the levels. Additionally, you will find Trait Books that allow you to invest Trait Points into specific traits based on your preferred playstyle. For example, if you’re playing a tank role, you can invest Trait Points into Vigor to boost your character’s health.
However, I feel there could be more incentives for progression, making the game more engaging. In comparison, other action RPG games like Diablo 4 offer more frequent opportunities for progress by acquiring new gear and skills as you level up. Remnant 2 lacks the same level of RPG elements, with limited skill options and infrequent, unimpactful character level increases. Furthermore, the absence of armor and weapon drops detracts from the game’s appeal. Conversely, Elden Ring provides a fair challenge requiring skill in dodging, spellcasting, and timing attacks. It is a prime example of an action RPG game that balances its difficulty with mechanics that work correctly.
Remnant 2 offers an exciting blend of ranged and melee combat requiring strategy and quick reflexes. Engage in battles against cunning enemies and colossal bosses, utilizing the most effective gear and weapons for each specific environment and encounter. Players at advanced levels must collaborate to defeat these formidable opponents to achieve the highest success and reap the most significant rewards.
Unfortunately, the skill ceiling of the gameplay is not very challenging, which was a huge letdown. Although the game offers challenges, it is due to the inadequate dodge mechanic and the overly resilient enemies. Another frustrating aspect is that enemy attacks or environmental effects like lightning can interrupt your character. For example, my dodge has failed to work correctly numerous times, and I have been interrupted to death, going from 100% health to 0 in a split second. While I do not expect my character to have instant reload or item use, the delay between triggering the mechanic and its use feels out of place in such a fast-paced game. Any movement or interaction with enemies or the environment can interrupt these commands, causing frustration, often leading to death.
I was skeptical about Gunfire Games boast’s dynamically generated content, but was pleasantly surprised that it was implemented exceptionally well. Our reviewing team at PC Invasion and fellow writers under the Gamurs umbrella spent many hours discussing the distinctiveness of our individual gameplay experiences. This led to many fun moments where we shared tips about solving world puzzles or fighting a new boss that no one had seen to this point instead of just us all experiencing a standard linear playthrough. It felt like each of us was playing a completely different game, making it stand out from other titles that claim to have high replayability but fall short. This fact is the high point of Remnant 2, making it the most repayable game of the year.
Unfortunately, Remnant 2 could be a late-gen PlayStation 3 game visually. While the graphics in Remnant 2 are improved from the first game, they aren’t groundbreaking. In fact, the recommended graphics card for the game is a GeForce RTX 2060, a three-year-old graphics card at this point. However, what I loved about the game’s visuals was the aesthetics and how Gunfire Games used them effectively. Since the Remnant franchise is set in worlds other than ours, many cool designs can be implemented for its worlds, NPCs, and enemies. For instance, the designs of the different bosses range from a werewolf to a big tree root to an evil ghost. As a horror fan, there was a lot to love with the design of the characters visually, even if they won’t win any awards.
Steam Deck and PC performance
I enjoyed playing Remnant 2 on my Steam Deck because I had better control over my character than using a mouse and keyboard. Dodging attacks and initiating counterattacks using skills were much easier for me to time correctly. However, my enjoyment of the game was short-lived once performance issues started. Despite lowering the graphics settings to the minimum, I experienced extreme lag spikes during specific parts of the game, which significantly impacted my ability to progress. One example was a part where the area was surrounded by lightning, and many enemies spawned. It took me several hours to complete this section because the lag spikes were so severe that I had to learn to play around with them. Overall, Remnant 2 is playable on the Steam Deck but be prepared for occasional lag spikes.
I had no trouble playing Remnant 2 on my mid-level Lenovo gaming laptop since the recommended system requirements are relatively low compared to other games released this year. In fact, I ran the game on Ultra settings with minimal performance problems, despite struggling with my Steam Deck on the lowest possible settings. This is excellent news for PC players who may still use older or less powerful gaming equipment, as the game remains easily accessible.
If you’re seeking a gaming experience that’s out of this world, then Remnant 2 is certainly worth considering. While it can be challenging to play alone, joining forces with your friends can make all the difference in the world. The combat system becomes less demanding, particularly with the dodge mechanics that have been implemented. While the graphics and storyline may not be mind-blowing, the game more than compensates for it with its expansive open world, which provides an abundance of possibilities for exploration. The dynamic generation feature turns Remnant 2 into a game you and your friends can enjoy for an extended period, resulting in one of the most replayable games of the year. Still, I was disappointed with the long-awaited sequel due to frustrating character mechanics, outdated visuals, and lack of a compelling story to connect with.