Remnant: From the Ashes in the test - co-op shooter for friends of cultivated looting

Remnant: From the Ashes in the test - co-op shooter for friends of cultivated looting


Three and a half years after its initial release, Darksiders 3 developers Gunfire Games and THQ Nordic are releasing a Switch port of Remnant: From the Ashes, previously released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. With such a late port for the Nintendo Switch of a title that was not exactly outstanding technically at the time, all alarm bells went off in my head. Was the third-person shooter with supposed Souls bonds in the post-apocalypse competently ported for Nintendo's hybrid console, or is it again a development for the quick dollar? You'll find out all of this in our test!

Looter shooter for masochistic people

First of all, you should know what kind of game this is actually about, because there are many different terms buzzing around in the reports that need to be unraveled. At its core, Remnant: From the Ashes is a third-person shooter with added melee elements that sends the player through procedurally generated worlds in search of new resources to upgrade their gear. But the term Soulslike is also often used and at first glance it is easy to see why. Along the way you'll discover checkpoints that heal you, fill up your Dragon Heart - this is the equivalent of Dark Souls Flask - and respawn all enemies. Also, the bosses are tough. But this is where the parallels stop. Although there is a melee option, this is limited to a light and a heavy attack, there is no block or parry system. The focus is clearly on gunplay, the melee option is just the last ally you have between charging enemies and dying. You don't lose any equipment or resources after the virtual screen death either, you are only reset to the last checkpoint and have to free the area from the evil vermin again. But who or what are we actually fighting here?

In Station 13 you upgrade your equipment

© Gunfire Games / THQ Nordic

You initially create a character based on three predefined classes - melee fighter, ex-cultist or hunter - with the help of a fairly limited editor. After the cutscene introduction and the short tutorial that follows, we wake up in Ward 13 and seem to find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic scenario. Here we can once again serve as the prophesied hero who actually doesn't know why he should save the world again. No, really, the story could hardly be more generic and at first it doesn't exactly create an arc of suspense that you would like to continue with. After a few conversations, you can leave the bunker for the first time and you will find yourself in the grey-brown ruins of a city that is littered with glowing red root creatures. This is the so-called seed that seems to be responsible for this mess. Gradually you work your way through the randomly generated level sections and learn more about the world and local events. The combat system is very powerful. If you make short work of your herbal adversaries in close combat with the shotgun, the hit feedback is definitely a pleasure. The enemies mainly become a problem when they corner you or catch you unsuspecting. So it's quite common that you initiate a fight and other root henchmen come along, but they not only come from the front, but also from areas that have not yet been explored. This quickly causes stress with the relatively rigid musculoskeletal system of the created protagonist and so you bite the dust more often than you would like. However, there is a solution for this and it is called: Co-op!

Smoke screens? We already know what to expect...

© Gunfire Games / THQ Nordic

You can hunt the seeds with up to two other hunters, but this increases the level of difficulty exponentially . However, clever tactics and hedging give you a valuable advantage that absolutely benefits the gameplay. The boss fights in particular are really not bad parents and due to their random order they can represent an extreme hurdle for one or the other player. Because depending on when certain boss fights are coming up for you, you can cope better with them or not. My third boss, for example, was so difficult that I suddenly didn't see any land at all, despite the fact that I was making relatively easy progress so far. However, this could be solved with two people, since the focus is no longer on one player. With the bosses, there are many standard opponents who pursue you mercilessly and give you a difficult time. While it's certainly doable solo, the focus here is clearly on cooperative gameplay. This is partly due to the fair loot system, which even rewards public games with strangers. If someone picks up an item, everyone gets it credited as loot - so simple and yet so ingenious. Only the friendly fire can cause frustration when a troll is up to mischief in the round as well as experimenting with different weapon and armor builds. These are surprisingly exciting and offer enough different attributes or abilities for every type of player to develop their favorite play style. A melee fighter who likes to face multiple opponents and sprints fearlessly into battle? No problem! In addition to the story, you also have an adventure mode that generates a new, random world for you while leaving your story progress untouched. This is useful if you want to head out with other hunters for new loot, or you're specifically interested in one of the different biomes.

Solid tech, but nothing more

As you can read in the introduction, I had certain concerns about the technical implementation on Nintendo's hybrid console. But I can give the all-clear here with a clear conscience. Remnant: From the Ashes runs very smoothly most of the time and doesn't reward you with resolution mud because the game is constantly being scaled down. My feeling tells me that the frame rate is unlimited, which also means that a permanent 60 FPS is not to be expected here. However, the number of frames per second is constantly at a fairly high level and fluctuates slightly below the 60 mark. Graphically, the title is definitely not a treat - it wasn't even on the stronger competing consoles. The grey-brown drabness dominates at first and you feel like you've been transported back to an early Gears of War of the Xbox 360 era. In addition, there are often smaller pop-ins when you enter buildings or new rooms, but they never disturb the flow of the game. The biggest problem is probably the loading times, because between the individual level sections you are welcome to go get a coffee before you are allowed to enter the new area. Especially if you travel back to Station 13 more often because of potential upgrades, this can be very annoying. Despite the existing flaws, the port is still on a very good level and doesn't have to hide.

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