Remnant 2 lacks the soul of a Soulslike game

Remnant 2 lacks the soul of a Soulslike game

Nimue from Remnant 2

How can a game that pits a dog against Lovecraftian gods be so mind-numbingly dull? I’m completely over the post-apocalypse. Seriously, I’m done with scrappy survivors scrounging for supplies in decrepit places. I’m tired of those urban explorer types who act like they’ve never seen a cup of coffee before. Enough with the sepia tones, dusty streets, and tales of humankind’s greed destroying civilization. It’s exhausting.

Enter Remnant 2, the sequel to the sleeper hit Remnant: From the Ashes in 2019. This game managed to push me over the edge like a two-headed camel with a radioactive straw. Sure, it takes you to different settings, from palaces to forests to slums, but they all share the same underlying theme of human downfall. The gameplay involves third-person shooting with dodging mechanics reminiscent of FromSoftware games like Dark Souls. You run, gun, dodge, and roll endlessly, occasionally throwing in some special powers depending on your chosen archetype.

Remnant 2 tells the story of a multitude of catastrophes caused by an interdimensional evil called the Root. These catastrophes are all connected and have spread across the Remnant multiverse. Your goal is to find a way to defeat the Root and put an end to its crusade against all life. Sounds intriguing, right? Well, let me tell you, the game’s convoluted story is like a tangled mess of confusion. It’s like they intentionally made it complex to avoid explaining anything. Talk about frustrating!

I don’t mind dense narratives and unreliable narrators. Remnant 2 clearly draws inspiration from the Souls series, which I adore and still hope for a Bloodborne sequel. But even the original lore in Remnant 2 is presented in a way that makes understanding it feel like deciphering ancient hieroglyphics. The characters don’t even try to simplify things, leaving me baffled and uninterested in the cliched post-apocalyptic world they’re trying to create.

Now, let’s talk about the gameplay. It’s as if someone got high one day and thought, “Hey, Dark Souls with guns would be awesome!” And that’s pretty much what you get. Run-of-the-mill enemies attack in groups, there are bonfire-like checkpoints, your movement is limited by stamina, and bosses have predictable telegraphed attacks that you need to dodge. It’s a mash-up that works to a certain extent, but it lacks the same sense of accomplishment you get from other challenging games.

Progressing through Remnant 2 feels like watching a movie you’ve already seen a thousand times. You mow down plant monsters, stone figures, robots, and even British peasants (the scariest enemy, mind you) with your trusty loadout, but it quickly becomes repetitive. The combat encounters become predictable, and I found myself rushing through areas just to move the story forward. Even the bosses, which should be the highlights, are mostly bullet sponges designed to test your equipment progression.

But the biggest issue with Remnant 2 is its lack of identity. It shamelessly borrows from other games like God of War, Control, and Return, without bringing anything truly unique to the table. Instead, it constantly reminds me of all the better games I could be playing. And while it encourages multiplayer after the campaign, the lack of character customization and meaningful loot diminishes the excitement.

To make matters worse, the real world outside the game doesn’t do it any favors. Playing through Remnant 2 during a heat wave in California made me realize that we’re living through a slow-moving, boring apocalypse already. So excuse me if I’m not thrilled about diving into a bleak post-apocalyptic setting anytime soon. Remnant 2 is simply not the game to reignite my interest in that genre.

Remnant 2 will be available on July 25 for PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X. This review was based on the PC version of the game provided by Gearbox Publishing. Just a heads up, this article may contain affiliate links, but don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the content. You can check out GameTopic’s ethics policy for more information. So, until the next game comes along, I’ll be off chasing more exciting adventures. Stay entertained!