I don't have a lot of different games to write about for this past week because I pretty much just played Remnant 2 for about 22 hours. I very much like this game.

Remnant: From the Ashes is a game that I think took many people by surprise. It was AA, from a studio I certainly had never heard of before, and it seemed like another "Dark Souls clone," except with guns this time. But then it released and people really liked it, myself included! It was all of the things I mentioned, but it clicked together in a way that worked. The gunplay was slick as heck, the lore was pretty interesting, and the randomly generated environments added an interesting sprinkle to a person's run. It wasn't perfect though - especially when it came to boss battles, which pitted wave after wave of mobs at you, on top of a hard hitting big bad. I cleared most of them in co-op because of that difficulty. Expansions came out that added more depth and helped the game's balance, and then a sequel was announced. I grabbed it day one, and I'm glad I did.

Remnant 2 is funny because it does a thing that I think is only possible with video games, in that a sequel will almost always be better than its original because time gets to be spent on mechanical refinement. Obviously there are exceptions to that rule, but that's what Remnant 2 is: Remnant 1 but better in every single way.

That improvement starts with the newly added class system. Contrary to the original, Remnant 2 lets you pick a class and subclass, which give you two abilities and a bunch of stat adjustments. Finding the synergy between them is fun in a very Final Fantasy Tactics sort of way. For example, I paired Handler, which is a class that lets you have a pet dog, with Summoner, which is a class that lets you have pet demons. This works out very well because the Handler class reduces the damage friendly fire does to your team mates and army of critters. This matters because the Summoner class allows you to pop a bullet into your demons to enrage them, increasing their damage for a bit of time. Now you can shoot them more often! Or you could pair Summoner and Medic, so you can shield your demons and not do any damage at all when you shoot them!

All Archetypes in Remnant 2, Ranked | Attack of the Fanboy

That sort of natural build crafting is a ton of fun for me because I hate looking up builds - which I do often because I'm a dummy. I wanna play the game on my own dangit! It's very hard to be a dummy in Remnant 2, because it carefully lines up all the different ways you can make cool class combinations and lets you put the pieces together yourself like a smarty pants.

The guns and mods feel better too. Over 20 hours in and I haven't gotten tired of pointing and clicking, or shooting bursts of flames out of my auto-rifle (that I immediately burn to death in because, again, I'm a dummy). Co-op is also pretty seamless, and the randomly generated nature of worlds means that I can jump into any buddy's campaign or vice-versa, and still get new rings, weapons, or mods that I haven't found in my own campaign yet.

Remnant 2 is a co-op shooter on track to deliver this year's most  dependable sequel | Rock Paper Shotgun

The boss encounters are cool as hell now too. They feel more akin to a raid in an MMO than bullet sponges. There are different phases, AOEs to dodge, and so on. The mobs still show up, but now they're a minor annoyance to delete so you can stock up on ammo again.

All that said, the thing that probably sticks out the most to me in Remnant 2 is how restrained it is. This game does not let you shut your brain all the way off, if at all. It has incredibly in-depth puzzles and secrets that you can wrack your brain solving for extra rewards. And they can be esoteric as hell too, in a fun way: my favorite so far was shooting a pipe to let an area fill up with water. This takes one real world hour to do - luckily you can go do other stuff while you wait, but that's hilarious! My friends and I have spent the past week or so comparing notes and learning about each others' choices in our respective playthroughs. Each world you travel to has a storyline that can be resolved in two, sometimes 3 ways, all leading to different rewards. That further incentives to either co-op with peeps to see the alternatives, or reroll your own campaign and do things differently.

Even the game's classes were a secret to everybody. I thought we just had the three or four that were shown before release, but there are tons of hidden ones that can completely change how you play - including one that was purposefully hidden in such a way that only dataminers would be able to find it. It's cool! It reminds me of trying to find everything in a game before the internet made that sort of thing impossible. Even if I do look up puzzles sometimes because I'm a dum-

Is Remnant 2 Crossplay?

All this refinement and added depth seems to have come with a price that is all too familiar these days: the PC port is kinda trash. I have mentioned before that my tower could probably kill God, and yet it's struggling to run a game that is by all rights stylistically interesting but not exactly graphically taxing. And it feels like it's getting worse. Yesterday it was so bad that I had to put the game down. I'm hoping a restart might help, but if not, I might have to wait until it gets patched.

The fact that I can say all of that and still heartily recommend Remnant 2 is a testament to how much fun I'm having. It's a good-ass, goopy-ass game that I literally couldn't put down until the game itself forced me to with its performance, pfft. I'm so excited I got the legendary edition just because I know I'll be diving back in when the expansions come out.


So yeah, that's what I played for most of last week! What about you? Let me know, here or on cohost!