Over the past few days, I have been exploring the universe of Remnant 2, the sequel to the highly acclaimed Remnant From the Ashes, available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox X Series. After completing the main campaign and spending around fifty hours playing, I am ready to provide you with the full review of Gunfire Games‘ title. A sequel that did not disappoint my expectations, but at the same time lacks bite and memorability. Find out why by reading the following review, here on Gameplify! But first, enjoy the official trailer.
Right from the start, the plot of Remnant 2 does not get lost in unnecessary frills. Just after the creation of our character through a rather basic editor, we will find ourselves in an abandoned city searching for Ward 13, a small community of survivors that will serve as the main hub. We realise early on that humanity has reached the apocalypse because of the Root, a plant species that has managed to annihilate most of civilisation. In the very early stages of the game, we will make the acquaintance of Clementine, a member of the Ward and one of the protagonists of the main story. The figure of Clementine will, indeed, prove to be fundamental in saving the world (or rather, worlds) from total destruction.
Without making spoilers of any kind, we can tell you that the story of Remnant II unfolds in a rather linear manner, through a marked and stable rhythm. Dead phases are nowhere to be found, contributing to a short yet deeply rhythmic and intense experience. What’s more, it’s not even that short, since it will take you around 18-20 hours to complete the main quest alone. A time which is more than sufficient for a TPS.
The lore, which has nothing to envy the most emblazoned triple AAA titles, manages to provide excellent narrative depth to the story and its structure. The NPCs we meet during our adventure not only all have a reason to exist, but also add narrative details useful for understanding the plot and the game world. We also really enjoyed the structure of the dialogues themselves, which give us a choice of response options to delve into those narrative aspects that interest us most.
Despite the preponderant RPG component, Remnant II remains a full-blown TPS (third-person shooter). The game offers a choice of different ranged and melee weapons, which provide a great deal of variability to the fights. The latter constitute a large part of the experience, which is occasionally interrupted by looting phases and short dialogues with NPCs.
There are five explorable worlds in all. Each of these has its own artistic characterisation and peculiar enemies, whose models, however, are rather repetitive. In each world, in fact, you will encounter no more than three types of enemies and as many mid-bosses.
Certainly, a sore point is constituted by the boss fights, which are anything but memorable. The bosses often have just a few moves available, sinning in predictability. It takes you very little, in fact, to understand the attack pattern and thus figure out how to defeat him.
Speaking of the difficulty, I definitely have something to say about the Survivor mode. Long story short, it’s too easy. It’s a mode that was designed for new TPS players but that, to a large extent, ruins the gaming experience. For example, in this mode, the usefulness of building different builds or equipping different abilities is lost. In fact, we can comfortably advance to the end of the game without the need to experiment with any new playstyles, but simply shoot everything in front of us. It is a level of difficulty that is badly calibrated and that effectively nullifies all the beauty of the RPG component.
In my opinion, the easiest difficulty selectable should have been Veteran, which offers a level of challenge that is up to the genre and takes full advantage of the role-playing component.
The RPG component of Remnant 2 is enormous. Between rings, clothes, weapons and equipable skills you have the possibility to customise your character literally from head to toe. Each suit or armour has different elemental resistances, such as fire or poison, giving you the possibility to build specific builds according to your needs.
The same goes for weapons. Indeed, some narrow environments are better suited to short-range weapons, such as shotguns, while others, wider and deeper, favour long-range weapons, such as machine guns and rifles. In addition, each weapon can equip mods and modifiers. The former are essentially special abilities, such as incendiary ammunition and rockets. The latter, on the other hand, improve certain weapon statistics, such as range or reload speed.
Moreover, during the campaign, you will find cards that will unlock certain upgradable physical characteristics, such as elemental resistance or reduced weight carried. The Tomes of Knowledge that you will find will provide you with additional points that you can redistribute in upgrading your stats. The latter can also be enhanced by relics, equipable items that slightly improve certain physical characteristics.
In short, your character is fully customisable in every aspect, and you certainly won’t lack options for approaching gameplay.
On a strictly technical level, Remnant 2 is rather lacking. Minor texture loading delays are present en masse, which are nevertheless good but not great. Poor artificial lighting replaces a completely absent ray tracing. Rather simple and sometimes cumbersome animations, which are especially noticeable in closed and cramped environments. Even the models and animations of the enemies do not turn out to be as detailed as one would like, considering that the fights constitute the core of the gaming experience.
In short, on the whole Remnant 2 certainly doesn’t turn your nose up, but we very rarely find ourselves admiring the technical details of an object or a setting. Nevertheless, the impact as a whole is very impressive thanks to the excellent art direction that manages to make up for the purely technical shortcomings.
As already mentioned, the art direction of Remnant 2 is excellent. What is striking is not the attention to detail but the visual impact as a whole. The worlds present all have a strong visual characterisation that makes them absolutely unique, embellished by enemies and mid-bosses that are perfectly integrated into their aesthetic aspect with the environments of which they are part. In spite of the trite post-apocalyptic incipit, Remnant 2 succeeds in shifting the focus towards very well-inspired and characterful alien environments with a clever narrative ploy, hinting at a noteworthy artistic conception.
The sound effects are excellent, especially that of the ranged weapons. The feedback of the latter is powerful and is exactly what we would expect from this title. A little less satisfying is the sound of the blunt weapons, which is the same among the many weapons used.
The soundtrack, on the whole, is good but fails to excel. Certainly, it comes into its own in the heated fights and against the main bosses, giving us a strong adrenalin rush. However, the theme of the fight against a mid-boss is always the same, which will start on a loop alerting us, basically, of the appearance of the boss in question. In the exploration phases, I appreciated the quiet stillness that increases immersion, but I would also have liked the presence of a dedicated theme for those particularly visually beautiful places and for the appearance of some memorable NPCs.
In conclusion, Remnant 2 clearly improves on the formula already adopted by the prequel From the Ashes and manages to entertain for a good number of hours. Certainly, its strong points are the shooting stages and the art direction in general, ranging from the visual rendering of the environments to the lore behind the main story. A plot that manages to engage but is perhaps too linear and predictable. The RPG component is very good but is a bit wasted if you choose the Survivor mode, which is far too easy to justify the use of different builds or playstyles. Remnant 2 is a dutiful sequel, exactly the minimum we would have expected from the sequel to From The Ashes. It does its job and does it all well. However, it doesn’t go too far, lacking the necessary audacity that could have made it a small masterpiece.
And you have played Remnant 2? What did you think? Let us know yours in the comments! Also, check out our review section to find all our reviews.