So first of all, an admission. I very nearly skipped on Remnant II as I thought it was a sequel to another game I wasn’t overly fond of. That being Chronos: Beyond the Ashes and not Remnant: From the Ashes. So to my utter shame I never actually played the first title in the series. I will rectify that at some point though.
With that being said, it means I went into Remnant II completely fresh with no prior knowledge of the series. So, what did I make of it?
Well let me say that I am gutted I had never gotten into this before as Remnant II is utterly brilliant. The opening bit was action packed and drew me in and whilst the tutorial section to get decked out at The Ward was a tad tedious it allowed me to take stock before heading into the world.
And what a world it is. Remnant II is filled with atmosphere and plenty of surprises as you travel across numerous and varied locations, with each feeling somewhat unique, but also linked to a much larger world. Something many games struggle to get right, but here it comes together wonderfully.
We have a game that is part souls-like and part looter-shooter with sprinklings of RPG elements and some very satisfying action combat. You see whenever I hear ‘souls-like’ when describing a game, I get turned off a little. As to me that means, slow, meandering and overly difficult, to the point I don’t find them fun.
Yet Remnant II strikes a clever balance. The game is difficult, that cannot be denied, yet it feels accessible thanks to various different ‘archetypes’ you can build, all of which will slightly change how the game feels to play. It allows the game to feel fresh even deep into it. The combat, whether it be gunplay or melee based feel fluid and perfectly paced, where other games in the mould can feel like walking and fighting in mud.
Because of my ADHD, I do tend to jump around games quite a bit, thus really enjoy ones that can allow me to get deep into them, or play a 20 minute session later down the line. Remnant II does that well. I struggled to get past the opening areas of Elden Ring because it felt like a game that needed me to invest all my time into it. However here I’ve been able to jump in and out whilst splitting time with MXGP, Slay the Spire, Venba and other titles that are as far removed from Remnant II as you can imagine. That level of accessibility cannot be understated.
I honestly love Remnant II more than I though I ever would. It looks lovely on a full PC, but I am playing mostly on Steam Deck, which has required me to drop resolution below native, add some FSR trickery and set some fps limits. It does make the game look rough at times, but it doesn’t distract from the overall experience.
I would like to see more accessibility options with regards to the UI specifically, as I did struggle with text when playing on the smaller screen and also I did have some struggles with identifying enemies as they don’t always stand out from the environments. Again I would love more and more games to implement the contrasting backgrounds feature of the Spider-Man titles.
Overall though, I absolutely love Remnant II and I will go back and play the original, but even if you missed out first time like me, don’t be put off jumping in now, as the experience is so good you don’t want to miss out again.