“The Dark Souls of third-person looter shooters.”
There’s only so much a game can do to pull me in and a punishing experience isn’t one of them. However, Gunfire Games’ Remnant: From the Ashes promised unique and meaningful loot that I just found it hard to pass u. And a week later, this is what happened.
Remnant is a Dark Souls-inspired game and it surely screams it on its sleep. There’s a tough progression from the get-go with a few customization options to go through as you start your adventure. Whether you’re trying to get off from being an in-your-face slugger, a mid-range soldier or even a silent hunter. It gives you the freedom on how you start but everything pass that is fair game. You can easily die at a moment’s notice against a trash mob or get sliced and diced by the first boss. No kidding! I’ve spent quite a lot of time against that one considering the game doesn’t hold your hand or give you a moment’s rest. Although I should’ve expected that after finishing Bloodborne in three months on and off. Yet the beauty of games like these are the exhilarating fights that is just borderline rage-inducing.
But what makes Remnant unique from the game it took inspiration from is its procedural generation starting from its world layout, possible dungeon and world bosses you can encounter and the many ways you can approach a boss fight other than gunning them down or slapping them silly. And that’s where it really hooked me into playing until past three. There’s no denying that Remnant is a really difficult game, but past that is a fun co-op or single player experience that is again, borderline rage-inducing.
When it comes to its actual narrative, considering it is a procedurally-generated world that changes layout after every subsequent playthrough, it becomes a stale experience with most of it tied few and far in between. Something that I would’ve atleast wanted to care about but nothing really stood out of the ordinary. Each major event happens as soon as you’re all set to leave a world and into the next set of tiles. And even after witnessing how everything played out, it didn’t really seem to matter and all was left was a sigh of relief as you go into the next playthrough to find equipment and loot you haven’t obtained from the first one.
Yet I guess at the end of the day, it really is all about the journey through wisdom and treasures and Remnant sealed the deal for me. There’s a lot of equipment to obtain from your average hand and long guns, melee weapons of varying shape and sizes to even armor, accessories, traits and weapon mods that alter one’s play style. Each and every single thing is unique on its own right and obtaining them grants more possibilities on how to end a boss you’ve already faced the first time. Mods by themselves offer so many unique abilities from healing and support, to summoning minions to fight for you and even granting unique effects like unleashing a swarm of greenish wisps to devastate your enemies or adding a lobbing grenade launcher to an already devastating rifle that shoots beams from its spout. As a major nutcase and completionist, it’s a game that doesn’t end after the final boss fight, but after I’ve obtained every piece of gear and maxed out their capabilities.
Visually, it’s a stunning piece of art set with a darker shade as the enemy known as the Root has taken over Earth. It eventually pulls you into different landscapes which is still filled with murderous-intent but with a bit more color and vibrant life. There’s quite a few enemy types that not only looks as hideous as they are gorgeous but also gives the impression that there is an unsurmountable love that has been put into the game. Earth which is filled with the Root creatures offer a dead-treant vibe to it that perseveres until the world’s boss which is either one of two things depending on how the world was generated but passed that you’ll find yourself trekking the endless desert or swimming with the fishes in the swamp that offers more unique creatures that you won’t find anywhere else. So you’re constantly trying to adapt to your circumstances, getting better and eventually dying a lot of times as new and more frustrating enemy types keep popping up as you progress.
However while I can spend all day praising the sun as well as the game, it does offer quite a few hiccups from its current state. Starting from frame rate drops (tested on Playstation 4 Slim), audio stutters whenever a huge spawn of mobs forces their spears and axes through my gut to an eventual crash when unlucky. As far as multiplayer goes, it’s not terrible but could’ve had more work put into it to be honest. Often times I find myself not seeing a friend’s lobby even after a couple of attempts to refresh the list and the only work around is to join their session through the “now playing” outside of the game’s menu. There’s also the persistent “Already in Session. Cannot join session” which happens a lot when you’ve just got off your session to join a friend or a random person online with the only fix to close the game and start over. A lack of public rooms is also something I find that needs to be added as randomly joining a person especially without in-game chat functions other than hooking up through party chat or messages offers a slightly less fun experience when compared to a friend lobby with party chat hooked up to rid the silence as well as telling how a person wants to take on a boss especially since world bosses offer different rewards when certain conditions are met.
Overall, Remnant: From the Ashes is easily one of the most frustrating yet exhilaratingly fun experience I’ve had since Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled was released. Some people have called it the Dark Souls of kart racing but whatever the case, Remnant, despite its difficulty spikes offer a great learning experience that can either be won through long and hard practice solo or be dealt with a team of two other people willing to help out. It’s the perfect single/co-op game for people wanting to have a punishing weekend and love the likes of looter shooters that is more on functionality over rarity. It doesn’t have the greatest of narratives nor the most stable of builds but a crash or two is worth the effort as it delivers an excellent dose of fun and rage.