'Remnant: From the Ashes' Is Multiplayer ‘Dark Souls’ I Didn’t Know I Needed

We’d died a few times, but the group held together. The three of us sat around a shattered bit of crystal like it was a bonfire, strategizing on how to properly take down the fire breathing dragon on the other side of the fogged doorway. We’d failed a few times by this point, but we always did a little more damage to the dragon, always felt that we were making progress. We had a strategy—I’d focus on incoming Slayers, tree-men with whipping tendrils, while my partners worked the dragon, trying to capture its attention. We stood up, loaded our weapons, and walked through the fog.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kvgn/remnant-from-the-ashes-is-multiplayer-dark-souls-i-didnt-know-i-needed

I have a question for everyone disappointed by the difficulty in Fire Emblem Three Houses. Why not start harder? I never got into the fire emblem series because I’m not good at these games. I got through Tactics Ogre and FFT advance and figured Fire Emblem would be similar, but I was real bad at the GBA games so I just wrote the series off.
Hearing that 3 houses is easier has actually made me interested. But it seems like they signaled that this game was going to be easier from the jump with the focus not being on . And everyone on the podcast LOVES hard games. Just adores hard games. It’s my biggest disconnect with the show (that and loving sad media about angry men who show their emotions through rage). So it seems weird to me that Patrick wouldn’t start on a harder difficulty.
This all brought me back to the Sekiro discussion and game difficulty discussions in general where the idea that people are bad at games never enters people’s minds unless they’re the ones encountering that difficulty. Like Patrick with the shark board game. I’ll probably lose a lot at Fire Emblem. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to change the difficulty mid game, but the entire discussion just fell kind of flat with me from a bunch of people who get off on hard games intentionally not choosing the hardest path first.
Anyway, Remnant sounds cool. It might be a dark souls type game I can actually get in to. Much to my chagrin, I’m better at shooters than slashy games despite loving slashy games and not liking shooting things.

I’ve been playing this solo over the past few days (despite today being the official launch day, you could buy the pre-order edition on Xbox or Steam and get early access this weekend), and I’m really liking it. It starts with a kinda generic post-apocalypse vibe, but it gets a lot more interesting and varied as things go on. I’d love to play with some other people though. While it can be enjoyed solo, the boss fights in particular seen designed with co-op in mind. So I guess if anyone else gets this on Xbox, hit me up!

Is there no matchmaking for Remnant?

So, you can join someone else’s world, or leave yours open to anyone to get matched into, but I’m not necessarily sold on this being a great game to play with random people. For example, I’m the type of person who likes to work my way slowly through an area, uncovering secrets and lore, and really being meticulous. I’m not necessarily thrilled by the idea of a random person jumping in and running straight to the end of the zone to get to the boss room.


From the reviews I’ve read, it sounds like the game is well balanced for single player even though they’re leaving on the multiplayer as a big marketing thing.

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The weird thing about Fire Emblem is that you cannot increase the difficulty once you start, you can only decrease it, and it’s not really clear about how that works. I did a Google when I started to find out what difficulty I should play, because past games have been pretty stingy with experience on harder difficulties. I essentially found that the wisdom is to start hard and go down if needed, but that’s not really clear at the beginning. On hard, I died in the first mission… So it’d be easy to take away that it’s too tough, even though I haven’t had much trouble since.


From what I’ve played, they’ve definitely balanced it so that you can complete it solo. However, I would say that the boss design (at least from what I’ve played), even if it’s balanced to be doable solo, lends itself particularly for multiplayer. I’ve only fought a few bosses, but based on that, and reading others’ experiences with the bosses, they all utilize mobs of enemies as a core component of boss encounter design. It can be pretty difficult to deal with mobs, dodge boss attacks, and find windows to actually do damage to the boss while playing alone. So while they did an admirable job of making everything possible to do solo, the encounter design is pretty clearly oriented around having multiple people to handle different roles.

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That’s a bit disappointing. I’m maybe gonna pick it up tonight and try it out. Is it possible to, like Dark Souls, just pull in a player to help with a boss then kick them out?

I don’t think so. There’s no ‘summoning’ mechanic. You basically just have the option to join someone else’s world, or play your world, and then having the option of leaving it open to anyone to join, just friends, or playing offline.

So I picked up the game last night and played up through the first boss solo.
It was actually very doable. But also very stressful. The game seems to be broken into an overworld with some dungeons you can enter. At first, I was surprised at how easy it seemed. Then I entered the first dungeon and got swarmed by little dudes and died. I died a lot in that dungeon, but it had that Dark Souls vibe of figuring out how to solve he encounters. The little monster guys would come in waves and could eat through a lot of my ammo, but I found out I could melee them with one hit. Melee feels similar to a medium-heavy weapon in Dark Souls, but it doesn’t take stamina.
Something odd that I noticed is that is seems like enemies might continually spawn? It’s hard to tell. But I feel like I fought more waves when I went slower. I definitely fought different numbers of enemies in different places depending on each respawn.
It’s really nice that you don’t seem to lose anything on death. So after dying to a sort of miniboss several times, I warped back to the hub and upgraded my equipment with he very generous stuff I found. Also picked up some healing and had a much easier time with the miniboss.
The boss fight itself was pretty cool. I fought Shroud. I definitely had the experience that Austin talked about of going from “I have no idea how to overcome this” to “Oh I understand and can do it” and it happened pretty quickly. Won on my 2nd or 3rd try. There were a lot of mobs but they became mostly environmental hazards. The arena was fairly big and elaborate so I could weave between objects and walls to avoid mobs and mostly target the boss.
It was fun! But the most surprising thing was just how stressful it was. Being in a dark corridor waiting on some horrible monster to jump you… it’s a lot. And having to run around an arena looking for a boss who can teleport and hit you from behind while being chased by mobs… it felt like a horror game in a lot of ways.

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Picked this up last night and had a really good time. My first boss was also Shroud, who I died to very quickly my first try and then immediately defeated pretty easily when I calmed down and focused on staying out of the line of sight of most of the enemies while taking opportunities to hit Shroud with my big hammer.

I ended last night after beating my second boss, The Ent, and my experience with that was much more the “traditional Dark Souls boss progression” that Austin mentioned in Monday’s podcast. My first few attempts I got absolutely bodied and increasingly frustrated, but eventually I got the patterns down and barely eked out a win. (It didn’t help that I wasn’t curing a status effect I was getting because I forgot to check my consumables until I beat the boss).

It’s funny that I can tell Gunfire Games made this because of how similar the subway tunnel areas look to the same kind of areas in Darksiders 3, which I played all the way through.

Also, to anyone playing this, make sure to explore the lower levels of the Ward after you find the keycard early on. There’s a whole lot of good lore / world-building stuff down there, but also a good amount of consumables and even a trait and new weapon to find.

Excited to dig in more tonight, and probably co-op with my friend, which should make it even more fun.

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Wait, are the bosses randomized? I haven’t looked up much about this game other than that it was like a combo of Dark Souls and Hellgate: London. My first boss was one of those big guys with the big sword, and i’ve fought four bosses since then and none of them have been bow and arrow dude.


The way I beat the dragon was by switching to a sniper rifle and just staying the hell away from him. That’s the only way I could figure out to avoid his big fire sweep attack since dodging through it sets you on fire and dodging away from it is impossible. Which also gets you set on fire. Lots of getting set on fire in that fight.

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Yeah, there’s a pool of bosses that it pulls from, so you can end up with completely different combinations in subsequent playthroughs. It also incentivizes jumping into other people’s games to help out, as they may have different bosses, which can them give you different weapons/mods/traits that you can then use in your own game.

I also got to fight the dragon. So. Much. Fire. But the weapon you get from it is pretty awesome. Turns out that setting bosses on fire is a pretty efficient way to work that health bar down.

So I’ve played about 10 hours of this with friends, and I gotta say this is very rapidly becoming one of my favorite games of the year. If you have a pal or two to play this with I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The combat feels weighty and satisfying without being overly complex. The nature of the procgen in the game means that while you can totally plan out a build and reroll you campaign or jump into other people campaigns to get the stuff you want, it’s also really fun to just go with what you get and figure out your build from there. I was so sure I wanted to do some kind of assault rifle build, didn’t get said weapon or anything comparable, then last night I stumbled into a crossbow build I’m having an amazing time with.

Speaking of the builds, there a good diversity of them and they play really different from each other. The game also gives you times when it wants you to switch it up and it gives you enough currency to do so. You might be playing a sniper but the enemies in the area are all really weak but super fast and numerous, so you swap out your armor and rings and guns to be more of a shot gun build. Or maybe you’re a shotgun build but you need to find enemies at range so you take out a hunting rifle. There’s variety in how the game wants you to play without it feeling too rail roady.

The story is interesting, it’s not exactly high theater or anything but it’s strange and it goes places and is told succinctly enough that despite the fact I’m playing with two friends I’m constantly goofing around with, we all know what’s going on and are engaged in the story. Sure we aren’t stopping to read all the lore journals we find, but we’re enjoying the story we’re getting. I’d really recommend going in blind on the story, but just I’ll spoil the pitch of it here in case it gets anyone over the hump to play this game. You and your allies are fighting against an Monstrous Apocalypse on Earth. During your journey you very quickly learn that it’s not just an Apocalyptic force, it’s THE Apocalyptic force that has and will destroy myriad worlds. In your quest to stop it you visit a different alien worlds and fuck shit up.

The other reason I’m really enjoying this game, and this is kinda meta, is that this feels like a rarity in the modern game space. It feels like a B game. It’s not big enough to be a triple A game, and it’s not small enough to be indie. It feels like one of the old B games from the mid 2000’s before games became such behemoths budget wise. It’s got enough polish to be fun to play, but it still sometimes feels janky, or like they were really stretching the budget. It’s nostalgic in a way that I love.

I know this has been really rambly, and it’s already gotten a bunch of positive press both on and off Waypoint. But this generally feels like a game that could be a lot of folk’s GOTY and I really recommend folks don’t overlook it in favor of bigger name games.


Using randomization and proc gen in the context of this kind of game is such a great idea I’m surprised someone didn’t do it sooner. I really want to play this.

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The procedural generation has kind of broken it a bit for me, unfortunately. I can see past the curtain and now i’m noticing that all the maps are basically windy one-way corridors made up of brown prefabs. Considering that environmental exploration is my favorite part of Souls games this is a big negative. None of the maps are interesting, they are just places to fight in.

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I think that’s the biggest issue with the “Dark Souls With Guns” comparison. In a lot of ways Remnant is just Darksouls with guns, but when it comes to the actual environments, it couldn’t be further. If anyone is looking for a hand crafted world this game is going to be sorely disappointing. It’s a mouthful but a better descriptor of this game would be “Dark Souls With Guns, Except The World Is More Like A Diablo Clone”.

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The biggest comparison i’d make after the Souls one is actually Hellgate London.

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I’m hot and cold on it. I had a moment last night where I stumbled into a really cool quest and got an awesome reward I used to beat a boss later. But the between bits are tough for me. It’s better once you’re past the game giving you sewer dungeons.
Otherwise I’m having a lot of fun. I think the combat really clicked for me.