Thursday 26 September 2019

Remnant: From The Ashes ★★★★☆

‘Remnant: From The Ashes’ is a third-person shooter ARPG from the creators of ‘Darksiders 3’, a game I reviewed last year as a solid four out of five. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the Root (tree-like enemies) have taken over the world with the goal of wiping out the last of humanity. It’s a strange game to review because it has so many mechanics borrowed from different games, but when you add them all together, it works surprisingly well.

After a few hours of playing you will start to see similarities between this and the souls like genre, whether that be from the challenging difficulty of the game or how you go about upgrading your equipment. I wouldn't say this is a blatant copy of ‘Dark Souls, but it takes the mechanics that worked well in those games and implements them into a completely different style of action game.

It borrows from games like Diablo, where dungeons are randomly generated from various tilesets created by the developer. This usually works well, but one of my main complaints of the game is that with this system in place you can come across very repetitive areas. In the first zone of the game, I went into two different dungeons that were almost identical in the way they looked, so it really is pot luck as to whether you will get an interesting seed when you first load the campaign.

The core gameplay is a third-person shooter and here it really shines. Whether you are facing an onslaught of enemies charging at you as you roll out of the way to find an opening to shoot, or perhaps facing off against one of the many excellent (and frustrating) bosses, the combat feels excellent to play. The shooting mechanics are sound and you never really feel like the game is being unfair. That's not to say you won't get angry though… many a time I’d made lots of progress only to be greeted by a horde of enemies that ended my life very quickly. When this happens you get sent back to the nearest crystal, similar to the bonfire mechanic in Dark Souls. 

One of the coolest things about the game is that you will never see all bosses and equipment in just one run of the campaign, which on first play takes over 20 hours. The game is designed to be replayed, rolling a new campaign each time on harder difficulty settings, so there are so many options for replayability here. I could also see the developers adding new tilesets and campaigns through DLC, which would keep players coming back for some time (and would also fix the issue of repetitive gameplay – hope you’re reading this, Gunfire Games!).

Onto the graphics - which are truly beautiful. It’s not a realistic game, but not quite cell-shaded either, appearing very much like Darksiders 3’s comic book style. You will travel from a ruined city to lush swamps and everywhere in between, and there are some gorgeous vistas to behold.  It isn't the graphical fidelity of a AAA game, but despite this I still found myself stopping to take in those wonderful overgrown cityscapes.

Throughout my first playthrough, even with the repetition, I really had a blast with the game - so much so that I can't wait to reroll my next campaign, trying out some new weapons and armour along the way. I haven't witnessed all of the bosses yet but I look forward to seeing what else the game has to offer. The lower price point and endless replayability means this game is well worth your time and money.

Hannah Read

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