Perhaps the biggest highlight of Remnant 2 was its incredible world-building and design. All three core worlds—Losomn, N’Erud, and Yaesha—were so distinct and immersive that they very well could have been their own games. In the first Remnant 2 DLC, players revisit Losomn in an attempt to track down the One True King.
The new Forlorn Coast adds another variant to Losomn, making it one of the zone’s three roll possibilities. The mad king thinks everyone has betrayed him, and teleports his castle smack dab in a Dran coastal town. After my roughly seven-hour journey through the new area, I was pleased with the content the DLC added to Remnant 2. To put it simply, this is just more Remnant 2, and that’s not a bad thing.
Remnant 2: The Awakened King DLC (PC [reviewed], PS5, Xbox Series X|S)
Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Released: November 14, 2023
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
The level design in Remnant 2: The Awakened King may be the best by Gunfire Gamers yet. You start on the outskirts of the coastal town, with the castle of the One True King looming above. Inside the actual locale are plenty of events, dungeons to explore, and new loot. Eventually, I made my way up the cliffside to the castle of the mad king, overlooking the coastal dark Dran I had just spent hours exploring. It’s a cool touch to actually look out over the town from atop the castle, knowing you have actually traversed its streets.
While overall, I enjoyed the new area, there is one specific locale that I found to be incredibly frustrating. The Forgotten Commune is cobbled together with wooden planks and ramshackle hovels inside a deep sewer system. Throughout most the level you have to be careful not to fall off, while also fighting enemies in narrow corridors and tight spaces. If the developers told me they were doing their own rendition of Blighttown from Dark Souls, I’d certainly believe them. I’d be upset, but I would believe them.
Speaking of which, The Awakened King is definitely on the more challenging side. I started on Veteran difficulty—the second of four difficulty levels—and actually ended up bumping it down to Survivor after slamming my head in The Forgotten Commune for a while. Some of the new enemies are super brutal, often spewing out poison-exploding orbs or exploding themselves on death. At some points, it felt over-the-top difficult, especially after just returning to the game after having not played for months. One of the bosses even spawns a slew of the explodey enemies, all while in a tight and narrow space. It not only took a few tries but definitely checked my patience. Have I mentioned how much I disliked The Forgotten Commune?
The master of pain and suffering
I didn’t unlock the new Ritualist Archetype until I finished playing through the new content, so I didn’t have the opportunity to level it up too high, but I dug even just those earlier experiences. The Ritualist brings a new playstyle to Remnant 2, focusing on a risk-reward system that drains your health in exchange for more damage and lifesteal. I’m eager to dive back into Archetype more, it’s a fresh addition that better balances the pain that comes with difficulty and another reason to go back.
Speaking of new content, Gunfire Games sprinkled quite a bit throughout the core Remnant 2 game as well, primarily in the form of items and mutators. It’s a great opportunity to play with a friend if they’re new. With how the DLC works, the new area will simply be added to the pool of being rolled when you visit Losomn.
I assume that with the first DLC pack being broken into three pieces, we’ll also see a new area in N’Erud and Yaesha. I feel like The Awakened King was the ideal supplement to Losomn, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the others if that is the goal.
Remnant 2: The Awakened King doesn’t do anything too wild or reinvent the wheel, but that’s probably for the best, as the core game is already fantastic. It adds more content to an already outstanding action RPG and continues building on the scale and depth of its world. Content-wise, there’s plenty there with a handful of new bosses, dungeons, and an all-new Archetype. If Remnant 2 already had its hooks in you with the base game, you’ll like what Gunfire Games has to offer here. If you haven’t, now is as good a time as any.
[This review is based on a retail build of the DLC provided by the publisher.]