REVIEW – Remnant: From The Ashes is a Souls clone. You can also use weapons with bullets in it, too, so it could also be called a Bloodborne clone. Or even Darksiders could be mentioned, and for a good reason – the game was developed by Gunfire Games, who also made Darksiders III.
The studio’s situation is slightly weird: a few days ago, THQ Nordic… or let’s just say the parent company’s name, Embracer Group AB, has acquired Gunfire Games, but this title is published by Perfect World Entertainment. Because of them, my initial suspicions were right – it seems like the game was made with co-op in mind, and it’s not as entertaining if you play it solo… so it’s no wonder that this title (which even has randomly generated levels) was ANNOUNCED as a co-op by default.
The monsters called Root (see, that’s why that lead is used in bold just a line above) has taken over Earth, killed most of humanity, and, of course, we will be the ones that save everyone. Is it clichéd? Yes, it is. But we are not going to look at this during the combat, which could easily remind you of the Souls games, but, in this game, you will have faster movement, dodge the attacks in several ways, and there are also ways to fight with ranged attacks. Still, it will all feel familiar if you run into a floating red crystal in your path – if you sit down, you get your HP and your ammunition refilled; you can also use it to fast travel between crystals, but there’s a price for it all: the previously killed enemies will be respawned, The crystals have a cost to be used.
The differences start where you can use melee, pistols, or ranged weapons during combat – you can switch quickly between them, and you have to do that to survive. You must learn your surroundings to be capable of surviving the attacks. Sure, you might knock the lights out of a smaller group of enemies with a small axe, but a bigger guy right around the corner will need a different approach altogether with a rifle from a distance. You’ll need some improvisation, combined with the camera controls to fully master your surroundings until an elite enemy steps in (complete with a distinct audio cue). You must always be prepared as only one mistake could kick you back to the last crystal.
A point of interest is that randomly generated environments aside, the bosses, as well as the loot in the area, are semi-random. This approach is entirely like Diablo, as there are no repeats. You might see a boss in two entirely different dungeons in two separate playthroughs. This variation boosts replayability, but I have my doubts whether Remnant: From The Ashes is capable of going as strong as Diablo III. (The game officially came out today, on August 20, and although pre-ordering could have allowed you to play as early as August 16, the review embargo was lifted today.
Clever…) I think the game might break several relationships via the friendly fire if you play cooperatively. You accidentally blast your partner away by a highly developed shotgun (you can choose what to improve on your character or on their equipment). You might need to experiment and re-roll a bit to find what you want – the rolls will bring in different strong and weak points, and if you play with two friends, the chemistry will also be different. The adaptation steps in here: how do your characters’ abilities work together with each other, and how do they stack up against bosses and other enemies?
I think the game looks too grey and brown. The game’s visuals aren’t bad, but the world itself, or the tone at least, felt problematic. The controls also felt spot on, and the combat is easy to learn, too. The story, however, I need to mention it as a negative: after you get through the necessary evil tutorial, it will start very slowly. The audio wasn’t problematic (in my opinion, the voice acting felt great), but the difficulty is another question mark – Remnant isn’t the best-played solo. In a team, it’s much better, and antisocial people got… screwed.
In the end, Remnant: From The Ashes gets an eight out of ten because I believe it is outstanding cooperatively, but if you have to play it alone, it’s only a 6.5 out of ten as there’s no magic without a friend or two. The game is decent, but I’m afraid that it will fizz out after a while. However, we have to praise its good points – it feels like a love child of Darksiders, Diablo and the Souls titles, which makes it a pleasant surprise, although its release date is absolutely horrendous. In just a week, we’ll see four or five major titles launch, and they will overshadow Remnant – the release date is fairly illogical from this aspect. One of these games happens to be World of Warcraft Classic. Do I need to say more? Anyway, I’m saying that it’s a good purchase IF you have others to play it with. If not… then toss a coin and decide whether you should give Remnant: From The Ashes a try or not.
+ It’s fantastic in co-op
+ Easy to learn
+ Random aspects make playthroughs different each time
– Not the best in solo
– The story starts ridiculously slowly (and it’s forgettable as well)
– The visuals look… too brown and grey?
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Developer: Gunfire Games
Genre: TPS/Diablo+Souls clone
Release date: August 16, 2019 (pre-ordering) / August 20, 2019