Remnant 2 was a very fun soulslike when I played it earlier this year, with worthwhile exploration, heavily expanded build-crafting, and tons of replayability. As such, I was excited to see what would be next for Gunfire Games’s acclaimed soulsike. Recently, I got to sit down with the Principal Designer and Principal Level Designer for the game to get an early taste of the game’s first DLC, The Awakened King.
A Refresh of the Refreshing
For the 30-minute preview, I watched the team explore a new expansion to the region of Losomn, a fan-favorite location. The new expansion is an extra storyline that can appear during runs, like the asylum storyline for Losomn itself. However, you can select it when choosing Adventure mode for Losomn. This means that while it has a lot of the Dran and Fae architecture you’ve come to see meshed together, it houses plenty of new secrets.
The part that immediately caught my attention was the sheer sense of scale in the levels. While Yaesha’s gigantic trees and N’Erud’s colossal buildings were awe-inspiring, Losomn never held that same sense of grand scale while still being a fun region to explore. The Awakened King fixes that mistake by immediately displaying a gigantic castle in the distance, leaving you hungry to explore its vast royal labyrinths. Even from the minute you step into the DLC, you’re greeted with a large bridge high above that displays bodies hanging from its side. It’s a grisly setpiece, but if you’re already a fan of Remnant 2, it’s what you’ve come to expect.
These visuals expand further when utilizing Remnant 2’s multipath approach. While you can simply run the required content and be satisfied, there’s so much you can find if you’re willing to veer off the beaten path. This still applies to encounters as well, with the ability to avoid specific engagements if you wish. One of the first shown in the preview was a group of Dran ranting about the hell the Fae have brought upon the town, before attacking the player due to not being one of them.
Later in the preview, I was shown one of the new enemy types and its boss variant, the Impaler. This enemy is all about slow and powerful attacks and even sports a brutal finishing move where it sticks you onto a spear and places you in its arena as if you’re a trophy and a warning to all who dare engage them. The expansion is clearly sporting that signature gruesome style the game is known for, and might even create a few new dents in your desk as you miss dodges that you swear you timed right.
Beyond completely new content, the team was mostly tight-lipped on what’s changed with the base game. However, they were able to show a few things off. Namely, some new affixes for the Abberations you find scattered throughout the wild. Some of these are devastating and even caused the player to die during my preview run. To be fair, I probably would’ve done so a dozen more times than they did. They also showed off a new Mutator for your weapon, though I won’t spoil that one.
All around, I’m interested to see how The Awakened King evolves Remnant 2’s Losomn further beyond. While I was apprehensive seeing the game’s most varied location getting more variety, it’s clear now that it’s a great choice for a first DLC outing. Even after the preview, I’m left hungering for more. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait like the rest of you. Remnant 2: The Awakened King launches on November 14.