Remnant: From The Ashes, As Told By Steam Reviews

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A week after its release, Remnant: From The Ashes remains at the top of the Steam charts. It’s safe to say that its core conceit—what if Dark Souls, but guns—is resonating with people. Is the game living up to lofty, gothy expectations? For the most part, so far, so good.

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Kotaku’s Heather Alexandra found herself pleasantly thrilled by Remnant when she played it last week, saying it’s becoming one of her favorite games of 2019. Many Steam users feel similarly, lauding the game for its challenge and general Dark-Souls-y-ness, as well as its twists on that structure, like a deep deck of locations and bosses that re-shuffles itself every time you start a new playthrough. Other players feel like the difficulty is a little too much—especially when you’re not playing co-op—and boss fights rely on cheap tactics. This, of course, has summoned a ravenous horde of “git gud” contrarians to chant their favorite refrain, because while Remnant’s world is infested with ancient evil from a chaos dimension, we live in hell.

Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews
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Illustration for article titled iRemnant: From The Ashes/i, As Told By Steam Reviews

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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DISCUSSION

afriendtosell
afriendtosell

I enjoyed playing the game until the negatives of it started shining through like hellfire.

1) There’s really no reason to explore any of the areas you’re in outside of finding upgrade materials, and unique drops from chests are almost nonexistent. (Most chests just drop money + upgrade materials.)

2) Because of the randomized nature of the game, you will not be able to find every weapon or piece of armor available—which is fine, even for legendary boss items; but your mileage may vary if you get stuck in the early game wielding weapons you don’t like. Ditto for weapon mods. (And there aren’t that many non-boss drop weapons, or unique weapons, in the first place.)

3) Fight balance is all over the place. At times, it can be challenging—your sniper build suddenly runs into an enemy with non-standard weakspot placement, or who is shielded over said weak spot, for example—while other times it’s just a drag. There are a large variety of enemies and encounters you’ll come up against, but a lot of the time you’re either killing: a) fast melee; b) slow but heavy hitting melee; c) quick moving/homing walking timebomb; or d) ranged.

The game attempts to throw curveballs into the mix by having (very few) enemies that can attack you using special abilities (like making a gas cloud that will explode after a certain amount of time) or enemies with special defenses (a popular one is that a melee enemy will be immune to all damage for your first several hits until it opens up somehow/drops its defenses) but, by and large, these more interesting encounters are very few and far between.

3) 99% of Boss Fights are a joke wherein difficulty is determined not by the boss themselves, but the constant presence of Adds that spawn, endlessly, throughout every phase of a fight. Why this was the primary focus for every boss fight, I have no idea; but if you’re playing in a group? The adds are manageable, and the game plus like (imo) a familiar romp through lower difficulty Destiny 1 raids. (Or going through DS2 on PC and having to fight red phantoms inside boss rooms through NG+)

Fighting these same bosses SOLO, however, is an exercise in frustration—because most every boss encounter will just throw and throw and throw Adds at you to the point where THEY are the main problem, and nothing the BOSS is actually doing is all that difficult to deal with. (It’s artificial difficulty—and, again, to go back to comparing this to DS2: the difficulty comes from how mobs can SWARM you, rather than the mechanics of the boss fight or encounter being unmangavle or hard to learn. I’d say MOST bosses in Remnant are trivially easy if not for the massive amount of trash mobs they come with.)

Now, I know WHY the adds are there, since they drop ammo and help you charge your various abilities; but when you’re playing solo and spending more time killing trash mobs than actually figuring out how to beat a boss, there’s something wrong.

(“Play in groups!” I hear you say. “It’s a group shooter!” To which I reply: don’t wanna and don’t have the time, and also none of my friends have the game. Which, granted, is a me problem.)

I enjoyed what I played of the game, and the setting + world-building are phenomena...but if you’re looking for interesting characters, or don’t have a dedicated group of people to play Remnant with, I’d give it a pass.