A Preview of Remnant 2
Remnant 2, the sequel to the best-selling game Remnant: From the Ashes, will be launching in a matter of weeks. Remnant 2 evolves the co-op survival shooter with new unseen worlds filled with deadly surprises and encounters. The sequel blends sci-fi, fantasy, and high-octane combat, offering players an addictive mix of exploration, discovery, and the thrill of survival against overwhelming odds. Continue reading to find out how developer Gunfire Games has reimagined and refined the Remnant gaming experience.
Remnant: From the Ashes
Remnant: From the Ashes, the first game in the series, is a third-person survival action game by developer Gunfire Games and publisher Gearbox Publishing. Released in 2019 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, the game can be played solo or with two other players. From the Ashes tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic world overrun by a malevolent, all-conquering force known only as The Root. Driven by unknown motives, The Root traveled from far away realms and laid claim to Earth almost a century ago, with the dwindling numbers of human survivors struggling to push back against these interdimensional invaders. Survivors from Ward 13, one of the last bastions of humankind, discovered the World Stones, which have the power to open portals into other realms and dimensions. The full potential of the World Stones is known only to the ward’s Founder, who has gone missing. Players are tasked with journeying into the other worlds in search of the Founder, the source of The Root, and a means to eradicate The Root once and for all.
From the Ashes drew inspiration from the slew of hardcore games that have collectively become known as Soulslike games. Its worlds and environments are harsh, and much like in Dark Souls, combat in From the Ashes is punishing, with enemies often presenting very tough challenges that demand skill, understanding of your equipment, and knowledge of enemy patterns and battle tactics. The game also features menacing boss encounters with complex mechanics that require involved strategies and proper preparation to overcome. From the Ashes was a big hit back in 2019 primarily for its skillful blend of satisfying gunplay and rewarding exploration mechanics: every time the world is reloaded, different bosses are waiting. The game’s procedurally generated levels change with every playthrough, allowing for variations of enemies, bosses, events, loot, and even story-related elements. Although primarily a third-person shooter, with its melee combat style and stamina bar, the game features a whole host of role-playing game elements, keeping players returning for more.
Remnant 2 storyline and gameplay
Remnant 2 takes place roughly two decades after the first game’s events. Ward 13 has been relatively safe and expanding beyond its initial confines, with peace having slowly returned. Unfortunately, the Root continues to invade other worlds through the Labyrinth portal, and the player must venture forth and stop it, hopefully once and for all. As players return once again to continue the story, they will notice a large number of changes, big and small, to the game’s mechanics and content.
First, the sequel incorporates verticality into its display, a feature that was conspicuously absent from the original game. This gives encounters a more dynamic feel. You are no longer confined to the ground; gaps can be leapt over, and enemies can attack from above. Also, a new three-dimensional mini-map has been added that helps you to contextualize environments and locate important objects. The map rotates as you explore, and when certain objects are in your vicinity, they light up on the map. A new inspection option has also been provided that allows you to tilt and rotate objects in three dimensions to get a closer look at their surface details.
Much of the weapons from the first game, including lever action rifles, pistols, machine guns, and shotguns, are present in the sequel, but it would not be much of an update without some new weapons, and there are plenty of enticing options. In the recent trailer, an assault rifle with an aesthetic akin to The Labyrinth, a throwing axe, a flail, and a bow have been spotted.
Remnant 2 is much smarter with its randomized dungeon generation, and with each playthrough, entire biomes will be generated that each have their own specific NPCs, bosses, and quests. For example, in Yaesha, you may find yourself battling flying monsters across floating islands on the first visit and then wandering through a forest with killer lizards on the second visit.
Remnant 2 archetypes
In Remnant 2, you will have much more flexibility in customizing and polishing your character’s abilities thanks to the overhaul of the character classes system into one that features archetypes. Choosing a starting archetype provides you with a predefined set of gear loadout that consists of an armor set, three unique weapons, and a signature archetype trait, not unlike how From the Ashes treated the different classes. However, in Remnant 2, you are given additional archetype perks and skills that can be further unlocked and improved by gaining experience and leveling up. Each archetype has a prime perk, and by leveling it up, you can unlock other new perks that can buff your team, increase damage, and so on. And unlike mods, skills have cooldown timers. Remnant 2 basically features an independent progression for each archetype. The following are the 11 archetypes available in the game:
- Challenger is a flexible fighter who can be tailored to one’s playstyle. This archetype is designed to wear heavy armor without getting encumbered and has a skill whereby they can get back in a fight after taking fatal damage. They are skilled at handling mobs of enemies, from sending a high-impact shock wave to the ground with a stomp skill to turning into an unrelenting, unstoppable force with a skill that buffs movement speed and melee damage.
- Handler gets a dog companion that has three modes to utilize. Guard will make the dog howl to draw aggro from enemies, support will make the dog heal the player and any allies in the group, and attack instructs the dog to go on the offensive. The bandana the dog wears around its neck changes color depending on the current mode. You can also order the dog’s location using a ping system.
- Gunslinger is the prime damage dealer and weapons expert. This archetype has a skill that enables automatic reloading of both equipped weapons. Another skill, the quick draw, allows the player to shoot six rounds from the hip, automatically targeting enemies within a certain range. The Gunslinger is a master at firing at a high rate, handling weapons, and managing ammo efficiently.
- Medic is the team’s support archetype and primarily helps keep others in the fight. Medics are more resistant than other archetypes to getting interrupted while using relics. Skills available to the medic include being able to punch a hole in the ground to create a healing spring, forming a shockwave that can heal downed allies, and expelling healing energy to form a protective shield for the team.
- Hunter is the only Archetype making a comeback from Remnant: From the Ashes. This character excels in delivering damage from a distance, with a primary emphasis on targeting vulnerabilities and executing high-intensity, short-duration attacks.
- Summoner is a support archetype who can summon minions to fight alongside them. They are also able to create elemental traps and barriers to protect themselves and their allies.
- Alchemist is a hybrid damage dealer and support archetype who uses elemental vapors to fight their enemies. They are also able to buff their allies and debuff their enemies.
- Explorer is a seasoned expert recognized for locating precious items and contributing vital support to their team, possesses unique skills. These proficiencies enable them to generate bonus items and obtain rarer drops upon vanquishing formidable foes. Boasting a range of abilities, the Explorer can augment their loot-detection potential, amplify team offensive power, discover concealed riches, and augment the traversal speed of all team members.
- Engineer is a ranged damage dealer who specializes in using turrets and other technological devices to fight their enemies. They are also able to repair friendly summons.
- Invader is a melee damage dealer who specializes in using stealth and mobility to get close to their enemies. They are also able to create portals to teleport around the battlefield and summon decoys to bait enemies.
- Archon is a powerful hybrid damage dealer and support archetype who can use their elemental powers to devastating effect. They are also able to buff their allies, debuff their enemies, and drastically increase their mod damage.
A dual archetype mechanic adds even more functionality. Dual archetypes give you the ability to use traits and skills from a different archetype on your character. For example, if you are a Gunslinger, you can take a trait and skill from the Challenger archetype to add toughness to your character. You can only use one skill and one trait from the secondary archetype, and these start at level 1, regardless of the level of your primary archetype. Also, you cannot equip prime perks from the secondary archetype. However, overall, this system grants much more freedom when creating a character. You can also swap between unlocked skills or change to a completely different archetype out of combat; no more having to start a new character to try a new class.
Lesser updates to the game
From the Ashes had some memorable boss fights, and the sequel continues the trend of delivering countless satisfying bosses; however, it definitely ups the ante in scale and mechanics. The Mother Mind is one such example, attacking with its massive limbs and eventually destroying the platform that players stand on. New enemies, from small creatures to giant beasts, can be seen in the trailer, but details on the specific characteristics of new enemies you can expect to encounter in the sequel are not yet available.
You will see some familiar worlds in the sequel but also some changes. Yaesha, home to the Pan, has become overrun by the Root and warped almost beyond recognition. The Fae and Dran worlds of the first game have combined into one—Losomn. The major change to the world of Remnant 2 is in the design and depth of each dungeon. The graphics and detail in each level look to be very well designed.
The combat in Remnant 2 looks similar to that of From the Ashes. Every time you sprint and dodge roll, stamina is consumed. You can equip two guns and a melee weapon and use different armor sets. Several new melee weapons have been added, and the melee combat style has been improved. With the new weapons comes a new enhancement mechanism: alongside the modification slot is a mutator slot.
From the Ashes was best played co-op, and Remnant 2 is likely to be similar in this regard. Based on the gameplay showcased thus far, co-op looks to scale up the difficulty, as was the case for its predecessor.
Remnant 2 release date
Remnant 2 is scheduled to release on July 25, 2023, and will be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The game will not be released on Xbox Game Pass upon release, but whether it will be available in Xbox Game Pass in the future is not yet clear. For those interested in preordering the game, you can purchase:
- Standard Edition ($50): Base game, Pre-order bonus.
- Deluxe Edition ($60): Base game, Pre-order bonus, Elder armor set, Radiant armor set, Void armor set.
- Ultimate Edition ($70): Base game, Pre-order bonus, Elder armor set, Radiant armor set, Void armor set, 3 Days early access, DLC bundle (Expansion pass for future DLCs), Survival pack.
While you wait for the game to drop, make sure to check out the Xbox Game Pass and see why Acer is an official sponsor.
Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.