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Remnant: From The Ashes: A worthy soulslike shooter

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It's good to see studios taking the concept of a game like Dark Souls and applying it to a different genre. In a way I don't think it's far to call Remnant a Souls-like because the only thing it really has in common is a collection of memorable boss-fights. You don't collect a resource from dead enemies that is reset when you die; you don't have a corpse to return to; you just die and restart at the checkpoint, keeping all of the stuff you picked up on the way. The game makes a small attempt to explain how this fits in the story, if you can find it.

I've enjoyed the game a lot primarily because the combat is simple, meaty, and satisfying. I imagine it becomes better when in a group, but I've only done it solo. Dodging out of the way of a devastating attack from a boss or elite feels as rewarding as it should be, as you see yourself rolling out of danger (or straight towards it) milliseconds before the attack lands. It reminds me a little bit of The Surge. I also thought it was clever how they punish slowness by throwing more and more elite enemies at you, so it definitely pays to move fast unless you want a bigger fight.

That said, I wish they didn't go for random generation too much. To their massive credit, even the bosses you encounter are subject to this, so there is definite replay value in re-rolling a campaign and seeing what other bosses you might find. But so much of the game feels like a dungeon > dungeon boss > world bit > dungeon > dungeon > dungeon > dungeon boss > world bit > big boss, and the variety in those dungeons is _severely_ lacking. I can understand why, because they're randomly placing bits of map together to make an area, so they all have to connect somehow so the player doesn't get blocked by impossible terrain. But it's so damn stark, and the linearity isn't rewarded with any kind of real narrative beyond what you get at the start of the game.

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I really hope there's a sequel in the pipeline, and that they push this style of shooter forward.


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