Remnant 2 is a title released on July 25, 2023, created by Gunfire Games. It is an action game that combines elements of the shooter and Soulslike genres, and it sparked countless discussions just weeks after its release.
Players almost immediately started comparing the game to its predecessor, with which it shares much more in common than one would expect from a sequel.
Both games are set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with hostile monsters and various dangers. Both are based on skill-based combat and survival in challenging conditions. In both games, players also have to battle the hostile faction known as the Root. So, how does the comparison between Remnant vs Remnant 2 look? Which is better, and why?
Game World and Environment
The first Remnant was released in 2019 and, like the sequel, was created by Gunfire Games. In this game, players take on the role of one of the few post-apocalyptic survivors, who travels not only the Earth but also to various other worlds during their journey.
Interestingly, the game’s worlds are procedurally generated, so each player can encounter something entirely different on each playthrough.
The world mechanics in Remnant 2 are very similar, with interdimensional travel through procedurally generated worlds. However, aside from a few entirely new locations, the sequel reuses some of the locations with new names and slightly different appearances.
Players generally agree that the worlds in the second game seem much more interesting and deeper, with a duller colour palette that adds the sense of horror.
Gameplay and Mechanics
Games in the Remnant series are classified as Soulslikes, even though they were not created by FromSoftware. However, they share similar mechanics, where the player’s character’s death is an integral part of gameplay.
In the first Remnant, to balance the difficulty level and keep players engaged, the gameplay system allowed for relatively fast leveling up and significant opportunities for upgrading weapons. The feeling of progression and empowerment as you play was quite high and satisfying.
Remnant 2, while based on similar mechanics, has slowed down the pace of leveling up and upgrading the character and equipment. It has also made unlocking new levels and abilities less impactful.
There is a significant emphasis on the Archetype system, which requires players to build their characters in a more complex manner. From player feedback, it’s clear that enemies can feel overly tanky in some cases, which increases the game’s difficulty and makes it more similar to other games in the subgenre.
Weapons and Mods
As mentioned earlier, character leveling significantly improved their abilities and statistics in the original game, and this progression was noticeable. The same applied to upgrading the weapons used.
With character progression, players could genuinely feel significantly stronger. Players also discuss the mods, which added variety and complexity to the gameplay.
Remnant 2 is a relatively new game, so it cannot yet match its predecessor in terms of available mods. However, when it comes to weapons, although upgrading them is not as impactful as in the first game, players appreciate the bigger variety of starting guns.
Some players also mention that finding new guns can be a challenge. Whether this is an advantage or a disadvantage depends on the player: some find this system satisfying, while others feel they spend too much time upgrading their equipment, and despite higher damage numbers, enemy deaths don’t always feel satisfying.
Progression and Difficulty
The quick leveling up and noticeable progression during character upgrades were aspects that satisfied most players in the original game. Players also noted that the game provided resources to experiment with and upgrade their characters and equipment within a short amount of time. All of this contributed to challenging yet fair gameplay.
In Remnant 2, the leveling up is noticeably slower, and weapons take longer to upgrade. Players also highlight that they experienced more deaths during gameplay, not necessarily from tougher bosses, but often due to environmental factors (like being pushed off cliffs). This might sound familiar to fans of Soulslike games…
Lore and Storyline
In the 2019 Remnant, players take on the role of one of the survivors of an apocalypse caused by mysterious creatures known as the Root. Their task is to find the creator of Ward 13 (an underground bunker facility for surviving humans) and fight dangerous enemies from another dimension.
During their journey, the protagonist explores various locations on Earth and beyond, including a place known as the Labyrinth, which allows travel to other dimensions.
It becomes clear that the Earth’s downfall was not a random event, but the result of a failed experiment to allow humanity to travel to other dimensions. The game’s story was further developed with the DLC Subject 2923, in which players defeat but not eliminate the invaders.
You might be wondering, “Do I need to play the first game?”. Well, not necessarily. Although Remnant 2 continues the storyline and features the demise of the original main character, it also develops its own fresh story and introduces new aspects. Therefore, a new player can successfully start with this title.
In Remnant 2, Ward 13 has significantly expanded, providing a safe place for survivors. However, the Root still wreaks havoc beyond its walls. The protagonist of this game sets out into the world to find a way to finally defeat the Root, visiting even more incredible locations and dimensions than in the first game.
So, what are the overall feelings and experiences of players with both titles? It’s worth noting that both of these games do not receive ultra-high ratings among players—unfortunately, this is a common issue for Soulslike-style games. The relatively high level of difficulty can deter many players, especially those looking for a more enjoyable and stress-free gaming experience.
However, when it comes to Remnant: From The Ashes, there is a general sentiment of satisfaction. Players appreciate the game’s length, its level of difficulty and challenge, the procedurally generated worlds, and the terrifying enemies. They unanimously say that the game provides a sense of accomplishment.
In the case of Remnant 2, reviews are mixed. Some players feel that the sequel is merely an expanded version of the first game with minor improvements, but also added difficulties compared to its predecessor.
Others praise its replayability, fresh elements, and much better graphics, especially in terms of location and enemy design, and they claim that Remnant 2 is significantly better and more enjoyable. However, some reviews also mention optimization issues, especially on PC.
Conclusion and Recommendations
In summary, what to play? Which game is better? In our opinion, both of these titles have their strengths and elements that make them worth trying, as well as some minor flaws that can indeed affect the final evaluation of both games.
If you’re faced with the decision of which game to buy, and you wonder whether to play both, only the first one, or jump straight into the sequel, know that starting with Remnant: From The Ashes may provide a foundational understanding of the game’s world and mechanics.
Playing the first part will also allow you to delve much deeper into the world’s lore.
However, if you’re someone who values improved graphics, a more fleshed-out world and storyline, as well as greater challenges, you might lean toward Remnant 2. Ultimately, both games offer unique experiences and cater to different player preferences.
As a fun fact, not many people know that Remnant was not the first game in the series chronologically—at least in terms of events. In 2020, a prequel to the game called Chronos: Before the Ashes was released. Due to the lack of related titles, this game escaped the attention of many players. However, it offered an interesting mechanic: with each death, the player’s character aged by a year, leading to changes in their statistics.