One of the reasons I joined Checkpoint is my pure love of games. I’ve played through hundreds of games over the years. Naturally this allowed for me to learn what does and doesn’t work for me in titles. Take a bit from this game and a little from that, oh and maybe a bit of that one. Rarely have I found a game that’s amalgamated everything I love from games in one single package. Remnant: From The Ashes, from Darksiders II developer Gunfire Games, is one of those games.
You begin the game with a character customisation screen. Here you choose your class, gender and other more minor features. There isn’t a lot of range here but it doesn’t really matter either. It still was enough for me to fill the role of my character, a powerful and heroic healer with a cowgirl look. Now, your adventurer is rudely thrust away from their goal right in the opening scene. A cruel tidal wave has knocked our hero ashore and they’re soon up against some of the foes they’ll revisit later in this post-apocalyptic Earth. This introduction is very fast paced and you hardly get a chance to register these enemies. Before long you’re attempting to save a stranger you come across. No such luck of course, they die and you’re downed, barely escaping with your life. This excellently sets the tone of the game: You’re a down on your luck adventurer, with your end goal always just out of reach.
Soon after you awake in a shelter known as Ward 13. It’ll serve as your hub area where, thanks to some friendly and charming locals, you’ll get to upgrade and buy weapons, armour and items. Purchasing of perks, which tie to your weapons, is also available here. They’re sold to you by a cute, grumpy female mechanic. All of the characters in the hub have a bit of personality but it’s mostly surface level. This is okay, they’re not exactly there to drive the plot forward, just help you back up on your feet and getting geared up to venture out.
Pieces of the mystery of why Earth has fallen start to make more sense here in the Ward. You learn more about the foes you faced earlier, The Root, and how they’ve come from another realm and are now conquering Earth. You activate a giant crystal shard in the Ward and this then allows you to travel elsewhere on Earth, where you need to progress. This too will later let you travel to other realms. Soon after you’re off, searching through foreign realms with terrifying enemies for Ezlan, a character mostly spoken about in hushed tones.
If you think you’ve heard of this before it’s because you have. It’s your typical open world adventure game, filled with bosses, mini-bosses and the like. We’ve seen it mastered in games like Dark Souls. We’ve also seen other much-loved games pay faithful homage to the genre like last year’s Ashen. Remnant: From The Ashes falls into the latter.