Fighting to Survive in Remnant: From The Ashes – PAX West 2018


Remnant: From The Ashes might be my favorite game from PAX West 2018. Regardless, it’s one of the titles from the show that I’ve struggled to get out of my head. My demo of the upcoming survival-action shooter began in a dimly lit subway station, one that had been desecrated by an ash-covered overgrowth which was now sprouting pink blossoms. I was immediately struck by the game’s ominous atmosphere and felt hesitant to press forward; but being strapped for time and armed with a shotgun, I took my first steps down the ruined terminal.

Suddenly, a group of Flame Devils emerged from behind a crashed subway car. In between my erratic shotgun bursts, which I immediately started firing off at the first sign of danger, I could hear a wall of guttural screams coming from the plant-like monsters. By the time I successfully sniped the first Flame Devil, a second one had flanked my backside and very quickly sunk its axe into my side. It was at this point in the demo that I realized Remnant: From The Ashes is a game you need to take seriously. With less than half of my health remaining, I attempted to dodge roll away from the enemy, until surprise, I ran out of stamina. As I frantically attempted to reload one of my guns, the fiery tree demon took two more swings at me and then it was lights out.

remnant from the ashes

My second attempt facing the horned, blade-wielding creatures went much smoother. Now quite respectful of the stamina bar and my weapons’ slow reload speeds, I took pot shots between every dodge, careful not to overexert my character. By adopting a methodical approach to combat, I was able to learn enemy behaviors and successfully execute more complex move-sets and strategies even as the game threw new opponents my way. While waiting in line to play Remnant, I had overheard bystanders comparing the game’s dodge roll to Gears of War; however in practice I’d argue that Remnant feels more like a stamina-based action game wherein dodging is more crucial to survival.

Since I was playing as an Ex-Cultist, one of several archetypes available to play as, I began the next fight by utilizing my Seed Caller power. This ability allowed me to summon my very own plant demon, called a Hollow, to help fight on my behalf. While it didn’t do much outside of absorbing some aggro and inflicting a few wounds before its demise, having a companion to aid me during combat encounters made all the difference. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to play as the Hunter archetype, but the class seemed to take a long-distanced approach to combat and sported an ability called Shade Cloak, which is a cool ass ability name.

remnant from the ashes

Hints of a larger experience began to emerge as I ravaged my way through the rest of the subway system and eventually emerged to the surface. Along the way I picked up a myriad of materials from perished members of The Root – which is the official name of Remnant’s creepy antagonists – that could seemingly be used to craft new equipment or upgrade existing gear. I can only imagine how fun it’ll be to craft gear, coordinate load-outs, and customize a character alongside a group of friends during a co-op session.

My time with Remnant came to a climax as I battled against a towering beast called a Root Dragon that beset an entire city square in flames. Dodging between spouts of fire, pools of hot oil, and hordes of enemy Root, I successfully completed what was one of the most frantic third-person shooter encounters I’ve played in recent years. Remnant: From The Ashes, a video game that I can’t wait to play more of, is scheduled to release in 2019 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. In the meantime, stay up to date on the game’s progress by following Remnant’s Twitter and official website.

Follow all of OK Beast’s PAX West 2018 coverage here.

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