Slashing and blasting your way through packs of tree-like creatures and gun-wielding monsters, Remnant: From the Ashes places you in an apocalyptic world where your help is needed to protect what remains. Throughout the story you’ll meet a team of NPCs that aid you in your journey – traversing various worlds, each with their own unique terrain and challenges in the form of difficulty and dying… a lot.

Developer Gunfire Games, known for the Darksiders series, launched their newest title on August 20th, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC. 

In my roughly six hours of solo gameplay, the likes of From-Software’s “Soulsborne” mechanics are noticed immediately within the opening minutes. Combining these mechanics into a third-person survival action-adventure game, similar to Ubisoft’s Division 2, and RPG character upgrade elements, Gunfire Games cultivates an adventure that feels both familiar yet refreshing. You’re allowed to customize your character and choose one of three gun-classes (long-, medium-, close-range) for short, and unlock and upgrade traits along the way to your preferred style of play. Coordinating these classes and upgrades will be crucial for those playing through the story co-operatively.

The game’s combat system requires a learning curve, one that will see you face death a few times during your first encounters against The Root (the games core enemies), but easy to master soon after. Once you’re comfortable with the mechanics, the combat feels smooth and satisfying, and will leave you eager to take on more fights. 

Remnant: From the Ashes utilizes a procedurally-generated algorithm to spawn enemies at random upon each death, checkpoint, or when you re-loading an area. This even applies to the bosses… yes, bosses. Although the bosses for an area won’t re-roll after your death, only for different campaigns. Remnant has about 20 different bosses which means it will takes multiple playthroughs of the game for you to encounter each one. Fighting, dying, and re-attempting the next group of whatever type of enemies the game throws at you is exciting, and if you’re able to persevere, rewarding enough with a satisfying loot system.

Unfortunately, when you’re not in combat, traversing the environments for your next objective can feel empty and lonely. Although visually appealing, exploring every nook and cranny in an area for loot can grow mundane, with only some scrap (in-game currency) and items used for upgrades to be found seldomly. A lot of the game’s lore is learned through reading many different computer logs and journals, which is insightful to many different character’s backstories, if you feel inclined to read all of the logs… and there are many many logs!

As I still have much of the adventure ahead of me, the story so far is your typical “we need your help to end this crisis for human-kind survival” plot, but with enough depth to keep your interest peeked into learning more of the apocalyptic world and how it came to be. 

Overall, Gunfire Games has delivered a unique experience that seems to be well-worth the $40 at this time, especially if you squad up and play coop. Combining melee attacks into shotgun-headshots into evasive rolling/dodging and hurdling to combat The Root is entertaining and strategic all at once. I am curious to see how the story progresses and I will update/publish a final review upon completion. 

 

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