Now that I myself have started playing Remnant 2 at last, I keep getting the same questions from my readers. Should I play it? Is it like Dark Souls/Bloodborne/Elden Ring? Or if I like Destiny, Diablo and Borderlands should I pick it up?
The answer to all of these is…yes. But I’ll explain a bit more as to how the game channels essentially all of these at the same time, while still feeling like a unique product.
There are Souls aspects here in terms of world design and the gameplay loop. The game has “campfires,” giant crystals that act as safe zones and warp points. If you die, you will be sent back to the last crystal you were near. You can purposefully go to a crystal to heal and get more ammo as well, but in either case, all enemies respawn and you’ll have to “re-do” things to get back to where you came from. This is a core mechanic of essentially every Souls game.
Combat also involves a lot of dodge-rolling, and especially with bosses, there is a lot of learning specific mechanics, dodging or hiding from timed attacks. But you know, with guns.
For those scared of the difficulty associated with games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, I’d say that’s…less of a concern. There is no “easy mode” but there are different difficulties. Even “normal” can be pretty hard at points, and veteran makes everything tougher, especially bosses. But if you want to go nuts there are Nightmare and Apocalypse difficulties, and even a hardcore mode. So yes, generally, it’s harder than most shooters in this genre, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to difficulty like FromSoft games. Plus, even if it’s “roguelike” you don’t lose all your currency when you die, or anything like that, so it’s a bit more forgiving, and farmable.
Speaking of farming, now we can head over to the looter shooter space. I would say that it is much more like the Soulsborne games than looters like Destiny, Diablo or Borderlands, but I would also say that fans of those games should still really like this one, even if bosses are not exploding in loot pinatas when you kill them.
In terms of how combat feels, the most obvious comparison is Outriders, a game that itself was influenced by the first Remnant, a third person shooter where you, the player, are not concerned with taking cover behind walls (“cover is for your enemies” is a great way Outriders was described). And there is loot, but again, I would…probably classify this more in Elden Ring territory. There are just specific weapons you find and upgrade in time. Basic ones you can buy, but the best ones are crafted after beating bosses and them giving you some material, or solving elaborate secrets to be rewarded with them.
The most common loot you’ll find in the world are things like rings (so many rings), amulets and relics. Armor is pretty close to entirely cosmetic, and can either be bought or is found through secrets, but has no intrinsic powers of its own.
Gun modification is an Elden Ring/Outriders combo. You can slot in essentially two different kinds of mods in your guns, some boss guns will come with a special baked-in one you can’t change. And you will upgrade those guns with materials to be +1 through +20, increasing your characters power and damage over time.
The rest of your build revolved around specific class skills and intrinsic properties of the class you choose, though later you can choose a class to combo with, which is the most reminiscent of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, most recently. There is a Diablo paragon-ish system where eternal grinding will give you bonuses to essentially every minor stat in the game over time.
And yet, despite the dozen games I’ve listed here, Remnant…does not feel derivative. It still feels like it’s own thing. This is based on the sheer volume of its exploration and replayability. Yes, there are more echoes of Elden Ring here in terms of discovering unexpected things in the world (again, constantly being compared to a GOTY is not a bad thing), but the way Remnant handles secrets and puzzles is unlike literally every other game here. I’m talking Myst-levels of complicated ansers to unlock the game’s biggest secrets, weapons, armor, even entirely hidden classes. Gunfire Games has said people have sunk hundreds of hours into the game and still haven’t found everything. Recently a class was only revealed through datamining its quest steps, which Gunfire did on purpose. Things get really, really nuts.
The conclusion is, yes, if you like Souls games you will like it (especially on higher difficulties, for the masochism), yes, if you like looters you will like it. But Remnant 2 still manages to be unique despite drawing elements from so many other series, and feels fresh and addicting because of it.