Remnant: From the Ashes Preview – Survival Action From The Makers of Darksiders

I admit that there are times when I get tired of shooters. Now, no, I’m not in the bandwagon that’s saying “Ah, today’s shooters are nothing like the shooters from the good ol’ days!” or anything like that. It’s more that there’s usually a rinse-and-repeat formula that shooters tend to stick with, which makes a majority of them to be kind of dull and repetitive for me. That said, there have been a few notable shooters out there that have managed to be pretty darn good, like Rage 2 and World War Z for instance.

This all leads me to say that going hands-on with Gunfire Games’ (the developer behind the Darksiders series) third-person survival-action shooter Remnant: From the Ashes was actually a pleasant surprise. The title wears its influences on its sleeves, such as the crushing difficulty and helpful mechanics found in the Dark Souls series and the cooperation-focused gameplay of Tom Clancy’s The Division. When chatting with the development team, they were happy to share multiple times, the role both of these games played with their upcoming shooter. With this in mind, though, Remnant: From the Ashes is an ambitious, unpredictable, and genre-blending adventure that could rise like a phoenix to be something special.

Remnant: From the Ashes is set in a post-apocalyptic universe with four distinct worlds where dangerous inhabitants lurk in every corner. The human race has been surviving by just a thread as interdimensional beings known as the Root have decimated humanity, leaving the world ravaged by the invasion. As one of the few survivors who want to put a stop to the Root, players must venture beyond the World Stone, a relic enabling travel between worlds. With deadly enemies to watch out for, allies to team up with, and plenty of secrets to uncover, players can expect an epic and challenging fight for survival in Remnant.

Thankfully, there’s no need to worry about going solo, as Remnant has you be a part of a three-player squad. For those that want a challenge, though, there is a single-player option (which I’ll gladly do). Anyway, at the start, a specific class must be chosen for your character, or in this case, survivor. There are three classes to choose from – Scrapper, Ex-Cultist, and Hunter, each comes with their own unique weapons and abilities, but they can be customized in multiple ways so players aren’t restricted to using the same type of equipment all the time. This flexible gear-progression, that’s similar to that of the one in Tom Clancy’s The Division,  is actually a nice change from the usual gear formula that’s in a majority of shooters as it gives players the freedom to make and build a character that fits their playstyle, and it’ll also come in handy when trying to survive in Remnant’s multiple worlds.

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With Remnant, expecting the unexpected is what players constantly need to keep in mind. You see, each world is dynamically generated, randomly, so of course, every time you explore a world, it isn’t always going to be the same. This element doesn’t apply with just enemies, however, this applies with other things like quests, rewards, and the layout for environments, which is what will end up giving Remnant immense replayability and a significant challenge factor. However, this doesn’t affect a player’s overall campaign progress and character progress.

Making progress isn’t as easy as one, two, three, though, as combat is intense as it requires the player to be alert at all times. Gunfire Games’ has been known for throwing in challenging enemies and bosses, especially when it comes to the Darksiders series, and Remnant isn’t going to be any different — as the developer mentioned that there’s going to be over 100 unique enemies, and over 20 tough bosses to take down. From my time with the game, every enemy did put up a fight, as they each had their own distinct movesets, and one boss, in particular, absolutely destroyed me and the other two players in my squad. This is where the sort of Dark Souls influence comes into the picture, but not only that, there are rest points scattered across the world that are just like the Dark Souls series’ bonfires.

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For Remnant: From the Ashes, survival will be of the fittest. Regardless if you choose to embark on quests solo, or with two other survivors via host-based co-op, expect to die and retry over and over again. However, that’s what players will most likely love about the game, I know that’ll be the case for me, at least. With its deep and challenging gameplay alone, Remnant: From the Ashes is definitely shaping up to be an epic fight for survival that’ll be worth taking on.

Remnant: From the Ashes is set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC-via Steam August 20 for $39.99. The game is currently available for pre-order.

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Brad Crespo

Editor-in-Chief - On a quest to play as many new games as possible while trying to finish an endless backlog.