I had a peek at Remnant 2's newly-announced second DLC: The Forgotten Kingdom, which fleshes out the forests of Yaesha with gorgeous vistas and machine gun pottery

Remnant 2 still has a special place in my heart—which is why I went to bat for it when we were deciding on last year's best games. It's a title that suffered in part because it arrived in a year that was absolutely rammed with high-profile releases, but I still think it's a must-play for soulslike fans.

It's also been getting DLC that's fleshed out the world considerably. The Awakened King, the game's first expansion, was a great time—but it also made the base game better, too. See, Remnant 2 operates on a procedurally arranged system of dungeons and storylines. While the majority of its worlds are hand-crafted, the order in which you experience them is random.

The Awakened King had a set story you could play through (called a "one shot"), but buying it also added most of its boss fights, dungeons, and zones as potential destinations in Losomn. Essentially, you're getting both a short singleplayer campaign (The Awakened King took me about eight hours to beat) and a content expansion for $10. Not too shabby.

The Forgotten Kingdom carries on this sound strategy by fleshing out the world of Yaesha, a verdant jungle infested by the big bad Root and filled with Satyrs. I was kindly given a hands-off sneak peek with developers Ben Cureton (principal designer) and Cindy To (principal level designer). 

"Just like in the Awakened King, this area tells you more about Yaesha," Cureton informs me as he rocks up to shoot some Root with the Explorer archetype. The forests here have a new coat of paint, masonry and pottery is coming to life—but as Cureton starts to climb, the most striking thing to me is how vertical the overworld is.

(Image credit: Gunfire Games)

Like the game's first DLC, the team at Gunfire Games is using the new one-shot structure as an excuse to create far more connected areas. While a base-game Remnant 2 playthrough can feel a little Diablo, funnelling you through a series of spider-webbing procgen corridors linking major setpieces, The Awakened King—and, consequently, The Forgotten Kingdom—give the team a chance to make something a little more hand-crafted.

"The team is using this as an experiment to try new things, right? Like we've done the procedural stuff before, but that doesn't mean it always has to be fully procedural," Cureton notes, saying that the goal is to "give you that [handmade] experience" the first time around, "but then: 'Wait, this is new, this isn't the same, this loot is different, this door is taking me somewhere else'… It's a really cool opportunity."

Cindy To concurs: "We really wanted to push a larger static overworld, 'cause we felt like that was more conducive to tell the story we wanted to tell ... in this DLC, it's very much the same approach of 'if I see something, I can go there'." I later note that I'm getting 'eau de Blighttown' from the massive height variations I'm seeing, to which Cureton laughs: 

"We got no problem with Blighttown. I have very fond memories of going through Blighttown in souls, hundreds and hundreds of hours… it's nicer to run an equivalent at a slightly higher frame-rate," he says, tongue firmly in his cheek. He then proceeds to fight a giant pot flinging bullet-hell amounts of projectiles at you, which I think is an improvement on FromSoftware's infamous poison swamp, personally.

(Image credit: Gunfire Games)

As for the content of the DLC itself, I only had a brief, 20-minute glimpse at it—there's new enemy types, new dungeons, new bosses, the whole shebang. But I find myself without a lot to say about what I saw—the new Yaesha biome looks gorgeous, the new enemies are inventive and cool, but overall it's Remnant 2 doing what it does best: figure out what works, then add more of it and do it better. The wheel has not been reinvented as much as it's been greased and given rim lighting, and that's just fine with me.

As far as the as-yet unannounced Archetype goes, Cureton wasn't able to dive into the details with me, but he mentions that the team tries "to make each Archetype themed to something ... the most we can say about the [new archetype] is that it's the class you can use to benefit builds that really rely on skill usage." That should play nice with The Awakened King's ritualist, and a ton of other builds besides. 

(Image credit: Gunfire Games)

As for the next DLC in the trio, I asked whether it would follow the established pattern and take us to the sci-fi wasteland of N'Erud—after all, the game's getting three DLCs, and there are three base worlds. Cureton wasn't able to fully confirm where the team would be headed for obvious reasons, though he admits: "I would say you could make an educated guess, and you'd probably be close."

The Forgotten Kingdom will arrive from another world April 23, and will be priced at a generous $10. If you're already a fan of the game, though, there's a $25 bundle including The Forgotten Kingdom, The Awakened King, and an as-yet-unannounced DLC. Like with the game's first expansion, you'll also be able to bring a friend along even if they haven't bought it—they just won't be able to use the DLC-specific stuff they loot.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.