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    Remnant 2 review


    What is it? A procedurally generated looter shooter with tough combat and a wild imagination.
    Release date July 25, 2023
    Expect to pay £42 / $50
    Developer Gunfire Games
    Publisher Gearbox Publishing
    Reviewed on AMD Ryzen 5 3600, Nvidia RTX 2080 Super, 32 GB RAM
    Steam Deck Verified
    Link Official site

    I am a space ninja, carving up robot sentinels on an artificial planet stranded in time. A few hours ago, I was blasting cockney elves off a dilapidated clocktower with a gun that fires cubes. Before that, I was having my life drained by a cursed boardgame in an antechamber of a vast golden palace. Oh, and let’s not forget the time I chased my friend through an ancient temple as he was dragged underground by a sentient tree.

    If variety is the spice of life, then Remnant 2 is a blazing hot videogame vindaloo. It can barely go half-an-hour without throwing some weird mystery box at your feet, and only half the time do its contents pop out to kill you. As someone who deeply distrusts the skinner-box feedback loops of cooperative looter-shooters, Remnant 2 completely bypasses my cynicism about the genre. It does this by giving me exactly what I want from gaming, namely unique and exciting adventures with my pals that never rely on the numbers going up to keep me planted in my chair.

    (Image credit: Gunfire Games)

    Overall though, combat is both entertaining and rewarding. The same can’t be said for Remnant’s overarching narrative, however. There are tons of interesting stories hidden within Remnant 2’s world, in the form of side-quests, individual world stories, and narrative asides like custom-written fables that you can leaf through in ancient libraries. The main plot, however, is even more incidental than last time, a “find three things to save the universe” affair that is very basic and lacks any interesting twists or characters. It revolves heavily around a young woman called Clementine, who you spend precisely five minutes with before she is abducted by a strange inter-realm entity, and thus you never get the chance to form any relationship with the character. What’s doubly odd is that you start the game accompanied by a completely different female character who is your avatar’s closest friend. But once you arrive at Ward 13, this character is immediately relegated to “NPC merchant”.

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be to write a coherent story for a game this wide-ranging, especially given large portions of Remnant 2’s campaign are procedural. But this is also exactly why Remnant 2 needs it. Without a neatly threaded story or a consistent cast of side characters, Remnant 2 can, at times, feel like a bunch of random cool shit Gunfire Games has tossed into a blender. 

    Still, perhaps that’s the price for a game that refreshes itself with every other step you take. I might not take any unifying life lesson from Remnant 2, but there are a dozen smaller moments that’ll be bouncing around my head for a good while, and that doesn’t include the ones I haven’t seen yet. It’s a self-assembling experiential blind bag, with layers upon layers of colourful, plasticky fun.

    As seen on PCgamer

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