I loved Remnant: From the Ashes with all my heart—it's an ambitious third-person romp through a fantastical multiverse wonderland. It's a little rough around the edges, sure, but it has a ton of heart. My number one nitpick, however, is that it took way too long to show off what was great about its setting: unrestrained creativity.
For the uninitiated, Remnant—and Remnant 2—both share the core premise of travelling between worlds. You start off in a recognisable, post-apocalyptic Earth that's shrivelled due to the Root, an infestation of horrible tree monsters obsessed with butchering humanity.
Don't get me wrong, I like the Root—they're a neat Last of Us-style twist on the usual undead legions you're so often tasked with slaying in soulslikes. The problem is that the Earth they've invaded is kinda just boring.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with it, but it's criminally dull when compared to sand-blasted radioactive wastelands, pestilent swamps, and an arcane forest filled with satyrs. Remnant: From the Ashes dragged its feet getting you to its best bits—you gotta shoot and dodge roll through an entire muddy, quiet cityscape before you get to the juicy multiverse nonsense.
Imagine my relief when I got my hands on Remnant 2 a little early this week. There's a brief tutorial on planet Earth, sure, but it's busy with enough NPC chatter to keep me from thinking too hard about how much I'd rather be in that one cyberpunk world they showed off in a trailer.
Just as I was starting to worry the game was making the same mistake twice, my guy got whisked away to Losomn, a land where two alien species named Dran and Fae are at war with each other. It's completely unrestrained, with grand vampiric architecture that would give Lady Dimitrescu a run for her money, like if you smashed together Bloodborne with Alfheim from 2018's God of War.
Within a few moments I was fighting flying sylvan creatures, gunslinging at a knight with a moonlight greatsword, and partying with this little freak:
Yes, they are juggling skulls atop a bone pile. Any worries I had that Remnant 2 would follow the drudgery of the first game's opening hours have been thoroughly dispelled. While your mileage may vary, as differently-generated versions of Remnant 2's worlds can be structured in wildly different ways, I doubt any of them will be boring.
Remnant 2 releases next week July 25, though players who pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition can hit the ground running this weekend.