Remnant 2 follows in the footsteps of its soulslike inspirations with some truly gnarly—and inventive—bosses. There are fey princes who call down deadly swords, knight-kings that raise walls of flame, and this big purple alien guy. My personal favourite is a boss in the Labyrinth zone, which is just a bunch of deadly cubes with nooks you have to crouch under.
It turns out that, in order to get the vibe right, Remnant 2's dev team went boots-on-the-ground themselves—as revealed by principal environment artist Shaun Brahmsteadt II in a recent interview with Exputer.
"In general, if you could beat [the boss] the first time, it was too easy. Designers were often challenged to complete no-hit runs on bosses. Usually, the ones that got close but couldn’t completely do it were the most successful." You can tune all the numbers in the world, but it's no replacement for getting a handle on the game-feel yourself. Still, the no-hit modifier is a fun dash of masochism on top.
I'm reminded of how, last year, Final Fantasy 14's devs actually had to apologise for testing their Savage difficulty raid too well. They always add a "little extra" to bosses under the assumption that World First players are better than them, but their playtest team actually performed better than anticipated, and threw the whole thing off-kilter. It's a delicate balance, so having the metric be something most players won't go for—a no-hit run—is smart.
"At [Gunfire Games], we really try to make games we would want to play ourselves … Bloodborne, Dark Souls, and Elden Ring [are] favourites of a vast majority of our team. I think from the beginning, our goal was to make the game challenging. We, as a studio, like to challenge ourselves; It’s a core philosophy of Gunfire."
Brahmsteadt also reveals that the game has three DLCs in the chamber: "I can’t reveal too much at this time, but we have 3 DLCs planned, and I’m super excited for them!" I've been a little distracted doing dumb motorcycle stunts in Cyberpunk 2077 myself, but I'm looking forward to strapping on my favourite lever-action and returning to Ward 13 for another spin around the multiverse.