Remnant 2 is one of 2023's unique experiences, a third person roguelike Soulslike shooter with a heavy focus on procgen environments that is really rather excellent. It's a game designed for multiple playthroughs, solo and co-op, all of which should turn out differently. And it's also brutally tough when it starts ramping up with the highest difficulty, Apocalypse, inspiring a bit of moaning even among the die-hards.
Apocalypse is not for the faint-hearted and can fairly be described as the endgame challenge when you already know what Remnant 2 has to offer: bosses and tougher enemies will one-shot you, even grunts are deadly, and your build and execution has to be spot-on for any chance of survival.
Thus it was that, shortly after launch, some players had a bit of a whine about just how difficult Apocalypse mode was (you'd think the name might have been a clue). Enter our hero: Gunfire Games' developer Ben Cureton, who goes by the handle Tragic online, who shortly after launch delivered some home truths.
"Apoc isn't meant to be a free pass to ignore damage," said Cureton. "It's called Apocalypse. It's not called 'I get 3 orange slices and a medal for participation.' We will adjust some values if they need to be adjusted."
The player reaction to this was, broadly speaking, great amusement. It helps that generally speaking Gunfire Games has a good relationship with its community, responds quickly to issues, and since launch has kept up a steady stream of fixes and additions.
Fast-forward a few months, and Cureton has an announcement to make:
I may have been too harsh.In the recent update, we made sure players could obtain 3 Orange Slices and a Participation Medal for playing on Apocalypse. You do not have to own the DLC, you just need to have the latest build.Use them together for an extra buff! ❤️🏆#Remnant2 pic.twitter.com/e3Qi0zaKwINovember 15, 2023
"I may have been too harsh," begins our forelock-tugging antihero. "In the recent update, we made sure players could obtain 3 Orange Slices and a Participation Medal for playing on Apocalypse [...] Use them together for an extra buff!"
Well well well. "Cmon," said player Grahf-Naphtali. "Show us the napkin you first drew this medal on. We know you kept it."
"I'll be honest," replied Cureton, "the design direction for the look of this item was 'Make it look like someone asked [hard-bitten weaponsmith] McCabe to make a Participation Medal... and she did it, reluctantly.' The hand-scratched #1 makes me laugh."
The joke being that the orange slices are a bit of a low-tier consumable but the participation medal… hey, now this thing's got some serious buffs going on. It's awarded to players after dying to a boss in Apocalypse difficulty and, as well as minor buffs (increases health and stamina by 10,) it has the major boons of increasing movement speed by 10% and reducing incoming damage by 10%. That's some participation alright.
"I think it’s funny and I also like that it’s actually kind of good too," said JamesJamez69 on the game's subreddit. "It’s like something good but also laughing at the people that have to use the boost instead of building better and using better niche items."
All's well that ends well, as I imagine they say often in apocalyptic situations. The fruit and medal are found in the latest patch, while next week will see the game's first DLC proper arrive, including a charming new class called the Ritualist that lets you set foes on fire, melt them with acid, electrocute them, and make them bleed—all at once.