The best games are the ones that come out of nowhere. The Souls series remains my favorite of all time, and the sleeper hit Demon’s Souls had minimal marketing. I remember sitting in my living room and looking through IGN’s review list of PS3 games and seeing which games scored the highest that I had yet to play. Nestled in a comfortable spot at the top sat Demon’s Souls. After reading the review, I knew I had to get my hands on the game, and the rest is history.
Remnant: From the Ashes (RFA) from Gunfire Games, followed an almost identical path to the aforementioned Demon’s Souls. I was scanning the bandwidth for a good game that could steal 15-20 of my hours and came across this title. I had the chance to watch some footage and read some reviews and I knew that this game would be my next stop. After spending around 15 hours with RFA, I can safely say that any fan of the Souls games or first-person shooters should not overlook this one.
Story and Gameplay
Remnant: From the Ashes puts you in control of a character who washes on shore and is promptly attacked by walking trees. The hero stumbles upon a gate and is led to safety by a group of survivors. The plot slowly unfolds through the course of actions with NPCs in the bunker and you come to understand the dire situation of the world. For the most part, the NPCs do a decent job of connecting you to the world with some minor annoyances, including an angry shopkeeper that barks at you every time you walk by her.
Once you get settled into the game, you will have the option to decide how to customize your character. Similar to the Souls games, your decision provides early-game weaponry that you can later alter if you so choose. Ultimately, the game lets you choose three methods: close range/melee, mid-range, or long range. Each style brings their own strengths and weakness but provides enough difference to make each play-through feel unique. I decided to bring the heat up close, forcing me to learn the importance of dodging. After some time through the game, I went with a mid-range pistol and stuck with it for the remainder.
The monster designs in RFA are decent. You will feel the repetition of each biome; however, I did enjoy the uniqueness of some of the designs. The true creativity lies within the bosses themselves. Every single boss made me appreciate the hard work the graphic designers put into this game. From a jaw-dropping fire dragon to an incredible fight against two butterflies, I do not recall a single boss fight that left me disappointed. In addition, the boss arenas are fantastic, allowing you a great deal of freedom to approach each situation differently.
The combat is fast and fluid. I did not once feel like I lost to a boss because of poor design; rather, the defeat happened because of my mistakes. The big knock against the game comes in the regular levels. After playing through a few hours, I felt rarely challenged from the main area. I preferred to run through levels to get to my next destination quickly.
The randomly-generated world provides some beauty but some drabness as well. In the early stages, I felt fatigue from the desert and mud-filled worlds of RFA. The beauty truly opened up in the jungle areas in the late game. In addition, the level design caused me some confusion when I did backtracking to prior dungeons. Because the levels are randomly generated, I would often get confused if I just did an area to completion or if I had to start over.
RFA can be played offline or with friends. I went the majority of the game solo and found the experience to be very fair. However, during one of the boss fights (I will not spoil which one), I had to jump online and find help after trying to beat the boss by myself for close to three hours. Up until that point, I could take out a boss in 5-20 attempts. I felt that this boss was made to play with others, and that created some frustration.
I am hard-pressed to say a bad thing about Remnant: From the Ashes. The trait system in which you level your character is not the best, levels can sometimes be a bit drab, and the regular monster design is OK. Beyond that, you are going to have an incredibly fun time roaming the world and uncovering the unique lore as you go along, stopping every so often to take on amazing bosses.
Pick this one up.
If you are interested in my video review, check it out here!
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