I put my fair share of time into Remnant: From the Ashes, and I found it to be a pretty good Soulsborne shooter when I reviewed it last year. It had some problems, like repetitive boss battles and dull melee combat. What it excelled at was its unique, alien worlds filled to the brim with aliens that want to kill you. While Remnant: From the Ashes - Subject 2923—which concludes the game's storyline—doesn't do anything groundbreaking, it plays on its strengths and even improves a bit, too. In short, it's a new journey worth taking.
Exploring Earth in Subject 2923
I'll cut to the chase—the story isn't that great. It's a conclusion for the events of the main game, yet you can play Subject 2923 without paying attention to it and likely have the same amount of enjoyment. With that said, our player character begins this new campaign on Earth, and then we eventually travel to a brand new world called Reisum. The main appeal of Subject 2923, for me, is the new world we get to explore, but the elements on Earth aren't half bad either.
Earth's new area isn't huge or on the scale of some of the other planets in the base game (like Corsus or Rhom), but the atmosphere is fantastic. Earth is absolutely screwed in the Remnant universe, and the beginning portion of Subject 2923 is this creepy, dark and dreadful off-the-beaten-path area filled with Root enemies. It's dark and decrepit, with rundown houses and dead fields of farmland. It's an excellent portrayal showing just how much an impact the Root has made.
You'll travel a spooky bunker called the Ward Prime, which is where the whole Root debacle began. There's a few lore tidbits for those who are interested in the story, although navigating the bunker is the main appeal of this area. Ward Prime is a clever combination of supernatural and science and shows the potential of the story; if only it were fleshed out more in the vanilla experience. But, while this new section has great atmosphere and tense sequences of combat, Reisum was what I was most excited to explore. For the most part, this frosty planet full of mole-rat men didn't disappoint.
Rodent World in Subject 2923
Reisum is a snowy, harsh planet filled with primitive rodent men. I affectionately refer to them as deadly mole-rats, as that is how they appear. These are a new enemy type called Urikki, and they're pretty fun to fight. Some Urikki are lanky rogues that throw knives or shoot their guns at you. These are pretty standard enemies, but some of them are more challenging. There are these hulking brutes that charge at you and soak up bullets. They make for some exciting combat situations.
The most troublesome of the new crop of enemies have big shields that block your bullets. These Urikki pull some surprising moves on you, such as throwing the shield like they're Captain America. Getting around their shield is your biggest hurdle and offers a great challenge. Another enemy is essentially shamans that shoot out ice magic. One time, I got hit by a blizzard-like attack and it blinded me with frost until I killed the shaman. It was annoying, but a unique mechanic compared to the base game's enemies. There's a great amount of attention to detail put into each enemy, and the same can be said for the bosses.
Boss fights were my biggest gripe with Remnant. Most of these old fights consisted of whittling their health down, then facing a wave of weaker enemies that spawn periodically throughout each fight. During my run through Subject 2923, only one of the bosses played out like that. The others have some terrifying and brutal moves, which proves that Gunfire Games listened to feedback and improved.
One fight in particular consisted of a burly brute riding an equally imposing mount. There were two separate health bars, so my strategy was to take out the mount to reduce the mobility of the rider. This made the fight easier to manage since the rider wasn't as fast anymore. Still, he was able to put up a challenge as he ordered missiles on my position and leaped in my direction. The other was a prison warden who was extremely fast despite his size. His chain of attacks was quite thrilling to avoid, and the satisfaction of defeating him after numerous tries was fulfilling. While I won't speak specifics on the final boss, it was more enjoyable than base Remnant's annoying Dreamer fight.
As for Reisum itself, it's a distinctive new area that fits well with the rest of the planets in Remnant. You'll navigate through a snowy wilderness filled with huts and structures made by the Urikki. I was slightly disappointed by the lack of dungeons within Urikki, but that may have been the luck of the draw. I only found two, but I tried to explore every corner to find more. These two dungeons on what looked like ice floes were very similar to one another, as well. I hope that subsequent runs have more variety, but the ice floe aesthetic wasn't half bad. Exploration as a whole, though, feels like vanilla Remnant, which is something it excels at.
You'll also come across new loot such as trinkets, weapons, and mods. Personally, I found three new weapons. Two of these I received from the story, so every player will acquire them. My favorite is the new Fusion Rifle, which feels a bit like a handheld minigun that blasts orange bullets at an insane rate. Remnant has tight gunplay, so this is a welcome addition to the arsenal. As expected, I was underwhelmed by the melee weapons, but I'll take new loot over none at all.
Remnant: From the Ashes - Subject 2923 Review | Final Thoughts
There were a couple of problems in my run through Subject 2923. First, I encountered four crashes in the five hours it took to beat this DLC. My screen would freeze, and the only way to get out of the game was through Task Manager. Furthermore, during the final boss fight, one particular attack would cause the entire game to freeze for a second, which threw off the timing of dodges. My hardware is quite beefy and I'm confident in being able to run every game on the market, so it's possible Subject 2923 needs some tweaks. Otherwise, the story concluded as abruptly as the main campaign. I didn't feel like it was a totally satisfying ending, despite the lore being fleshed out.
Subject 2923 plays it safe, but it's still a great inclusion to the base game. With new gear like the powerful Fusion Rifle and locations like the rodent-infested planet of Reisum, current players of Remnant will have no problem enjoying this DLC. For those who may have found Remnant's boss fights to be disappointing, or simply got bored of playing, now is the time to return. After playing Subject 2923, I'm actually quite hopeful to see what Gunfire Games has next—and I actually hope for a sequel, since it's clear that the Remnant formula has potential for even more.
TechRaptor reviewed Remnant: From the Ashes - Subject 2923 on PC via Steam with a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
- New Locations Are Cool
- Fun Enemies and Loot
- Improved Boss Fights
- Unsatisfying Ending
- Some Crashes and Freezes