Remnant 2 took the summer by storm this year when it released, peaking at a massive 110,000 players on Steam alone. What's more, Gunfire Games has taken that to heart by hitting the ground running and releasing their first of 3 planned DLCs: The Awakened King. Formed as an area where players can naturally roll in Losomn, they'll find themselves in the Forlorn Coast; along with a formidable new story to conquer comes new booty to attain, weapons to achieve, and trails to blaze (quite literally at times.)
What is Remnant 2?
Remnant 2 is what Dark Souls could be if everything were based around guns. There's much more to it, but this is Gunfire Games take on Elden Ring meets bullets. It's equally punishing, even more so than any Souls game on the highest difficulty. Built around class systems that players unlock through exploration, players can solo or co-op throughout the entire game once the opening is completed. No playthrough will be 100% identical, either, as pathways are procedurally generated every time a player initially enters a world.
Check out my initial Remnant 2 review for detailed information and insights into the main game.
Remnant 2 The Awakened King: The pros
The Awakened King
Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Genre: Third-person shooter, action role-playing Playtime: 15+ hours
Release date: November 14th, 2023
Price: $9.99 at G2A (PC)
Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Windows PC Reviewed on: PC
The basis for The Awakened King follows the player in Losomn, where the One True King has returned from his slumber, now corrupted by the Root, to achieve vengeance on the populace.
As you'll learn, he believes the Fae betrayed him, and the Dran have rightfully taken their place instead. A clever player will quickly see a familiar face only seconds into their playthrough if they peer carefully through a door, hint hint.
Unfolding this mystery comes as often as the player wishes, as they can almost entirely skip much of the narrative if rushing through content. While most enemies will make themselves apparent, the few that are more evidently standing around without worry may be sought for dialogue, especially in the opening moments.
A yellow reticle also cautions players that they're temporarily friendly until the player decides to open fire. Players will need multiple playthroughs of the DLC to see, earn, and hear it all. Comparatively, The Awakened King was my third favorite world story behind The Nightweaver, also found in Losomn, and The Ravager in Yaesha.
While it's not something that will culminate in a movie that could win an Oscar, it's more than serviceable. One that gives players that extra motivation to enjoy another sprawling adventure by Gunfire Games.
Oh man, this is such a freaking fun class. It doesn't need any vocabulary buttering to make it sound beautiful; it's just delightful. Watching enemies suffer endlessly around you through a myriad of skill usage and perks is satisfying, to say the least.
While some classes only shine once maxed, equipping Ritualist in the primary slot grants the Prime Perk, "Vile." This perk deals an additional 15% status damage to enemies and spreads all status effects to nearby enemies on death. Enemies suffering from bleeding, shock, or anything will apply it infectiously. To make the most of this, I ran Merciless, a weapon players can get from the Ravager in Yaesha; the weapon mod applies bleed to enemies.
I also maxed Amplitude, the perk for AoE. When all was said and done, any foe I killed with bleed would spread it to all adversaries within a 22.5-meter radius. There were moments when my computer would hitch because so many enemies would start bleeding in the room or other areas I hadn't reached yet. I can't count how often I laughed from having so much fun using Ritualist.
Players can continue to build around status effects using items they may already have or ones they'll find on their journey. Additional bleed damage paired well with my primary weapon, but if you find yourself using the Sparkfire, you'll amplify your fire damage. Whatever you choose, building around the Ritualist is entertaining and doesn't require a super-specific build to make it worth using. It'll become a fan-favorite shortly after release.
I could go on and on about the Ritualist and how it functions, but players have had that information for weeks now. I'm just here to tell you it's as awesome as it sounds on paper.
Weapons and other items
Remnant 2 guides
Let's talk about the added weapons. So far, in my three-and-a-half play throughs of the DLC, I've found a new one each time. While two of my finds were ranged weapons, three have been melee. One such weapon, the Abyssal Hook, hit like a cruise liner to the face.
Dealing a devastating 505 damage when maxed, this thing was easily one-shotting low-tier mobs. On a charged hit, Abyssal would grant 10% towards melee stagger, making larger enemies kneel before your greatness. While it wasn't my go-to during my play through, I used Stonebreaker for the shock status to pair with Ritualist; bully-builds will have a blast with this anchor from the deep.
One of my last and trickiest to locate was the Sparkfire. The pinnacle weapon featured in trailers, this gun packs a punch when paired with the Ritualist. Igniting enemies unabashedly, the Sparkfire is an absolute treat to use on non-boss enemies. Especially once the status effect is transferred to everyone around a Ritualist on death, the weapon lights the world ablaze. It's something I don't think I'll ever grow tired of.
I missed so much during my opening playthrough, which still took me well over 6 hours to complete as I took careful steps to avoid dungeons along the way; spoiler alert, I did anyway. Every time I rerolled, I found something new before I made it halfway to the end. Even now, just before I sat down to write this, I inspected an item that clearly has room for something to slot into it, and I have no idea what that is yet. As of last night, I'm still finding new rings and amulets. They won't stop!
Bosses, enemies and overall difficulty
Alongside new enemies and bosses comes a new level of difficulty attached, one that Gunfire, in my opinion, balanced rather well. I played on Veteran for my initial play through, not knowing what to expect. I wanted to experience the baseline that many players will be facing. I found a couple of enemies and zones rather challenging. Having to balance class leveling again was tough! It wasn't until I was back to being maxed and well-versed in these foes that I could deal without breaking a sweat.
One boss, in particular, was excruciatingly painful to deal with. Players may or may not face 'them.' Still, if they do, they'll have to juggle damage dealing to the boss and enemies alike while being hounded in a tightly-knit space. With almost no room to breathe, perfecting your dodge is a must while dealing with multiple near-one-shot explosives that, if stacked, prove fatal. I loved it.
Remnant 2 The Awakened King: The cons
While there's plenty of reason to play The Awakened King, there's some room for improvement, even if it's minor.
To start, I never really came across what seemed to be prominent puzzle rooms like I did in the main game. There are numerous secrets to unveil if a person is careful enough, like how players acquire the Sparkfire shotgun. It's just that nothing comes close to the Wind Chime puzzle or riddles in the Imperial Gardens. Maybe it's a simple misstep on my part, but a notable puzzle room or two being added in future DLCs would be incredible.
Another knock on The Awakened King is that quite a few assets have been reused. Gunfire has found an incredible way to polish the overworld areas with its setting on the coast and castle in the midst. However, some sewer dungeons and ash-based areas feel all too familiar when scouring them. A player wouldn't recognize these areas as DLC unless they knew the dungeon names by heart.
Remnant 2 The Awakened King: Should you play it?
Like I said of the main game back in July, absolutely. The Awakened King is an incredible reason for players to return to the world of Remnant. It's even worth bugging your friends who haven't yet had a chance to dive in to join you as you slay through the DLC alongside them. Players without the DLC can enter the host's world, but can't use any DLC-specific items they may pick up (But they get to keep them).
This DLC continues to give, even after a solid 15+ hours of playing through it. I can't believe how many items, areas, hidden puzzles, and more there are for $10. I'm eager for more players to join me in discovering mysteries I have yet to solve in one of the best PC games around.
Remnant 2 The Awakened King
The Awakened King DLC is excellent value for money, offering more extra content than most recent expansions for just $10. I still haven’t discovered everything this return to Losomn has to offer after 15 hours.