Some may describe Remnant: From the Ashes as a souls-like with guns, but I would completely disagree with that statement. It has a different style of gameplay and a level of customization that is totally unique, trading sword, shield and bow for pistol, shotgun, and modifications that give you special powers. Remnants parts add up to a challenging but fun romp across diverse and beautiful worlds.
Since it became free on Sony’s PlayStation Plus service, I decided to dive back into the post-apocalyptic world of Remnant. The game is based in a world that has been completely decimated by a supernatural menace called the Root. Humanity has resorted to living in bunkers and hiding from the ever-present otherworldly threat, eking out life by scavenging for food and resources and using the now ancient weapons to defend what little they possess. Players start the game as an outsider, a traveler from a distant land with a quest to finally defeat the Root and take the planet back from them. This goal requires the protagonist to use quick wits and a quicker trigger finger as they fight their way through waves of horrific opponents. This desperate push is made all the more so as the protagonist is forced to scramble to pull literal scrap and whatever spare parts they can get their hands on to help them along the way, and build up their arsenal to push further into what remains of their broken world.
As players explore what broken earth that remains, they are forced to overcome an increasingly menacing ranking of monsters throughout the myriad of environments present within the game. The first major area explorable area is Rhom, the desolate, sand-covered irradiated wasteland whose inhabitants succeeded in defeating the root invasion by nuking their entire planet. As a result, the only life that ultimately survived are the deformed and broken Buri tribes and their ancient mechanical automatons that still patrol the dead world. The second environment presented to players are the dank swamps of Corsus. Corsus is unique in its being untouched by the Root, which has allowed an even darker evil to have taken this world. The mysterious Iskal have claimed Corsus as their own, and hold every living creature on the planet in bondage as drones for their Queen. The Iskal serve as a persistent threat, ready to swoop upon the player and turn them into another mindless worker if given the opportunity. The final world is the lush jungle planet of Yaesha. Yaesha is a beautiful planet full of life, and is home to the intelligent race of goat-legged humanoids called the Pan. Here, the player finds themselves in the middle of a civil war and will be forced to make one last push through the Pan to find the aid they are searching for.
The game’s enemies offer a tough but fair challenge even for those experience with third-person shooters. The traditional pew pew combat marks itself as unique by integrating sword-based melee combat into the brawl. Players aren’t forced to go it alone on their journey; they can rally with others online to seek out aid against some of the more difficult bosses and challenges present in the game. The gameplay ends up being a very versatile system that allows players to choose what sort of character they want to play. These playstyles cater to common archetypes – the brawler, that prefers an up close and personal style with heavy armor and shotgun to blast through your enemies, or the rogue, should the player prefer to fight from the shadows and stealthily eliminate their foes before they even know you are there using a crossbow. The combat is made more diverse by modifications that can be added to weapons that grant unique abilities – these abilities range from firing balls of radiation from your fists, to summoning creatures to aid you in your fight, and always shake up the way a person might approach a combat scenario.
The game offers prospective players a level of challenge that feels both fair and challenging, and recent updates have added even more content to explore and even more weapons and armor to collect. This continued post-launch support has left the title even better than it was when it was first released. All information about the latest updates is on the Remnant website.
Overall, the game ranks as a solid 4.5/5. The gameplay is smooth and every action performed by the player has real weight behind it. The game features beautiful worlds to explore, with an interesting back story and a steady drip of lore that encourages players to hunt down bits of information to learn what happened. This reviewer never encountered an issue with glitches or crashes, and the online interactions were seamlessly integrated into regular gameplay.
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