Title: Remnant: From the Ashes – Subject 2923
Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Genre: First-Person Soulslike Shooter
Version Tested: PC
Official Site: https://www.remnantgame.com/
Release Date: August 20th, 2020
Remnant has genuinely held a special place in my heart for some time now. I got the chance to review it here a while back and loved it, even if it does borrow a little much from the genre’s best. The follow-up DLC, Swamps of Corsus, was good but felt more like a game update than a fully-fledged DLC. With that, it only felt fitting that I see it through and review the final DLC, Subject 2923. This DLC immediately caught my eye, mainly thanks to some solid visuals and a promise of more story details to come. From a game that borrows as much from Dark Souls’ combat as it does its storytelling, one can only ask for more story, right?
Beauty Amidst Subject 2923’s Chaos
Going in, Subject 2923 immediately takes a differing turn from the normal game. From the urban jungle of the usual Earth, Remnant puts you into the countryside, filled with farms and trees as far as the eye can see. It’s a landscape that heavily reminds me of Hunt: Showdown’s world. That dilapidated, eery feeling you get tells you immediately that something’s off, and that it isn’t so abandoned after all. There’s a lot to explore as well, with secrets littered throughout for players to explore.
Then you step into Ward Prime, the first Ward of Earth, and the origin of the Dreamers. As you may have already guessed, this area is infested with the Root and you’re there to stop it. There’s a lot as far as visuals go, with a Ward much different than that of Ward 13. Everything feels more like a nuclear bunker, ravaged by the Root’s attack. Everything feels so dark in all the right ways, with only the iconic red glow of the infestation to guide you along. Moreso than the countryside, Ward Prime is filled with tidbits of information for you to read. It helps to give a better insight into the Root’s invasion and Subject 2923, the character you’re searching for.
And then finally, we have Subject 2923’s new world of Reisum. This one easily strikes me as the strongest of the three new areas. A snow-covered forest, littered with small encampments of enemies was a fresh landscape for Remnant. Where the previous two feel somewhat familiar, Reisum presents something unique to the game that you haven’t seen yet. What lurks below is only more intriguing, as mines infested with rat monsters drew me back to my time playing Warhammer: Vermintide 2. There may not have been as many secrets in Reisum, but the world and its beauty more than make up for it.
Fighting for Subject 2923
The areas though are only as good as their gameplay, and thankfully Remnant mostly delivers there. A lot of the gameplay is going to be your standard run of the mill stuff. You shoot enemies to get supplies to upgrade your gear to shoot more, with a new gear piece every once in a while. Thankfully though, the developers tried some new things with Subject 2923. Ward Prime has a completely new mechanic for traversing its areas, rather than just your usual puzzle. It may be a little overused, but stepping out of that comfort zone helps to set the DLC apart from Remnant. Reisum also had some minor shakeups, allowing a lot more in terms of stealth than the rest of the game.
The bosses are where I took some issues though. Some of the bosses present something challenging and unique, similar to the rest of the bosses. Others though feel quite forgettable. One that I won’t soon forget though is the final boss, but unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. It’s understandable for the final boss to be challenging, but there’s a fine line between challenge and frustration. This isn’t the first time where Gunfire had issues with this, but it’s much worse in Subject 2923. I won’t go into much because of spoilers, but even using an exploit to void one of the attacks still makes things frustrating. It doesn’t help that frequent frame stutters during the fight can sometimes result in you taking unnecessary damage.
Gearing Up to Explore
Gear is where it’s at though, and Remnant does manage to salvage some weak bosses with great gear from them. The various weapons and mods you secure from these bosses feel great to use and provide something unique. Subject 2923 experiments with something new in the melee weapons, and thankfully that manages to pay off. It makes the melee weapons feel more usable, which is good for a game based entirely around your handgun and “Long Gun”. The guns themselves feel unique as well, especially the one you get from the final boss.
That brings us to the story. I hate to say it, but there isn’t much to talk about here. There is some insight into what originally started the Root invasion, but that’s about as far as new things go. The story boils down to finding Subject 2923 and putting an end to the Root. There could’ve been more done to flesh out your character, those of Ward 13, or even the new Subject 2923. Everything though feels like it’s still at a very basic level. It may not matter much to those who come to expect that, but it feels like a lot of potential wasted.
Verdict: Remnant: From the Ashes manages to be elevated immensely by Subject 2923. Compared to its previous DLC, it manages to add content and expand upon the backstory quite heavily. It proves it’s not afraid to try new things, and those help to set it apart from the base game and Swamps of Corsus. The final boss may be mediocre by design, and the story may have been underappreciated, but those who come for the gameplay are going to love most of what’s on offer. Fans of Remnant: From the Ashes won’t regret picking up Subject 2923.
- Not afraid to take risks
- Fresh zones
- Unique weapons and armor
- Beautiful art
- Some interesting bosses
- Added backstory
- Poor final boss
- Minor polish issues
- Story could've used more