From the studio that brought us the Darksider’s series comes Remnant: From the Ashes; the latest in title to have a stab at the Soulsbourne genre. Over the course of my time with it, Remnant has become a must play title for me, and although it may have a few issues, it’s got me hooked and I cant wait to get back to playing it some more.
For starters though, the story is super confusing; you live in a suburban waste land, under constant threat from an ancient evil known only as The Root and struggling to survive. The Root has swept beyond this dimension, attacking and killing many other realities. But, this dimensions humanity has the power and technology to open an old portal – to be able to travel between realms and realities, fight off the onslaught and piece together what’s happening – in order to save their own reality and the human race.
When you start the game, you’ll have the small task of designing your player. The usual selection of choices are here, such as hair, face, skin colour etc. Once this is complete, you will go through the tutorial to learn the basics of the game, and introduce you to The Root. The end of this leads nicely into the main game; with you being overwhelmed by the enemy, some other survivors come to your aid, taking you back to their base of operations, known as Ward 13.
After a brief follow-up mission, you then get the fun choice of choosing your class. There’s a few to choose from, such as the Scrapper; is all about close range quarters with his large metal hammer and shotgun, he likes to get stuck into the action. Or, how about the Hunter; able to pick enemies off with his rifle and not even break a sweat. Finally, we have an ex-cultist; this guy is all about speed and agility. He may be weaker in some elements than the other two, but he will sure get the mission done.
You wont have to face this nightmare challenge alone though. Remnant features up to 3-player drop in/out co-op. It’s worth noting though, that if you have a friend join you, they will not gain progress in their own story. You will, however, be able to keep any weapons, upgrades and collectables found for use in your own game. It’s worth gathering up some friends though; while single player is quite the challenge, things are noticeably easier with some human allies on your side – at least until the boss fights.
Once you’ve chosen, then its time to get stuck into the game itself; a 3rd person survival action shooter. When you gain control and enter the world for the first time, don’t be expecting to pop everyone’s heads off though – this will take both practice and a lot of levelling up.
Anyone familiar with the Soulsborne genre will find some familiar elements here. For instance, you have check points which you can rest at along your journey, this will refill your health, ammo and dragon hearts but will also respawn all enemies in the area. The dragon hearts can be increased in number, and they will heal you as you’re in fights. This is emblematic of an overall more forgiving tone; here, if (or when) you die, you wont lose anything:, not a single piece of iron, bullets or anything at all. The only real punishment is to need to replay the area you are currently in.
The best way to get further in the game is to upgrade your gear. You can equip many different types of gear; a primary, secondary and melee weapon, two rings, a necklace and three parts of armour (head, torso and feet). As you may expect, they all have their own strengths and weakness’s, and the HUD shows the difference clearly, with big green or red highlights. You will also be able to upgrade all items in the game (apart from rings and necklaces), and this is where your hording skill comes into play. If you see anything shiny, you need to go full magpie and collect it all. This will be such stuff as iron, scrap, ammo and use-able items. Every item in the game will help you in one way or another, and you may even come across quest items for you to figure out where they need to go. The scrap will act as your currency in the game and you will use this to buy everything – items, upgrades, the lot – so its wise to save it up and focus on one item at a time.
As well as levelling your gear, mods can also be equipped to your weapons. These are mainly found by beating boss’s in the game. They will drop a weird item, and you can take this back to Ward 13 and speak to a young – and grumpy – lady, who will make mods and boss weapons for you. All the mods are different, and you can equip them to their primary or secondary slots, to add an extra edge to your character.
The game has lots of cool features, but without the core game play this would all be for nothing. This is where I feel the game really comes in to it’s own. The moment to moment game play is really fun; very much roll and shoot when it all goes south, but it always keeps you in control. The movement and combat feels fluid and smooth for the most part, however, I did experience some noticable lag when many enemies were on screen at once – the frame rate dropped to slideshow cit – but if they can patch this, then perfect.
There are tons of enemies in to fight, with a lot of variety throughout the four worlds, so you wont have them repeating too much as you venture back and forth around the worlds, to do dungeons and other quests. But, when it comes to boss’s the game doesn’t hold back They will continuously pound, ans with enemies spawning in also, it’s no walk in the park. Especially when you start mixing the poison, corrosive, bleeding, fire, shock and all the other elemental damage into the fold.
Aesthetically, Remnant is great to look at, with some real impactful effects, and a good use of colours across the board. It does a great job of conveying your surroundings and atmosphere. The voice acting isn’t great, but it gets the job done. The same could be said about the general audio, with an inoffensive soundtrack and ambient mix just kind of… there.
I have spent nigh-on 20 hours with the game, and my goodness, I cant wait to get back into it. There are a few small niggles, but the mix of difficulty with easy replayability and easy access makes this game worth trying out for anyone that enjoys some fun and a challenge.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.