Remnant 2 released with a bang in the middle of the year, treating fans of the series to another challenging experience with some fresh new mechanics. Now, the developers at Gunfire Games have released The Awakened King, the first piece of DLC that takes players back to the familiar streets of Losomn, introduces tons of new gear and foes, and answers some lingering questions.
Straight off the bat, Gunfire Games has done right by the players who choose to pick up The Awakened King. The DLC lets players launch an Adventure mode that only includes all new material, so that the first time you dive in, you won’t have to retread old ground. This ensures that every single thing you encounter, each boss and weapon, will be brand new. Given the random nature of Remnant 2, you won’t see everything the DLC has to offer on the first playthrough. The next time you choose to roll a Losomn Adventure, content from The Awakened King will be woven into the mix, thus adding more to an already bursting main campaign.
While Losomn was already a visually striking biome, this new version of it in The Awakened King is like something ripped from the nightmare visions of a Lovecraftian horror story. The dreary and dilapidated seaside town of Losomn is drenched in rain, with water running off guttering and lightning arcing through the sky. And in the midst of the dirty tones of the Dran world sits the opulent castle of the Fae, torn from one realm and plopped right down into the middle of their village. It’s an incredible backdrop to the action as you weave your way through the labyrinthine streets and sewers.
Gunfire Games has upped the ante with the DLC in terms of verticality and level design, with some sections requiring leaping from pallet to pallet across a well’s chasm, climbing up and around bridges over the roiling sea, or even skipping across boats to acquire some juicy items. All the while you’re curving your way toward the tower to deal with this new threat.
Of course, while I was trying to soak in the atmosphere, I was also fighting for my life against a slew of new enemy types. One particular fiend is a humanoid covered in sacks of poison that dives at you, releasing noxious orbs that slowly track to your position. Even when you’ve defeated them, the enemies will explode, releasing more orbs, which really tested my ability to keep an eye on which areas were safe, all while kiting other foes.
Then there’s the warriors that dual-wield spears and rush to your position to try and skewer you, witch-like things casting spells, and giant bloated-looking deep sea people. It’s a smorgasbord of foes that looks like they’ve crawled out of the ocean, been birthed from some curse, or descended from the heavens.
The curse and Lovecraftian themes continue with the addition of a brand new Archetype to Remnant 2. The Awakened King introduces the Ritualist, a subclass that focuses on dishing out debuffs. I have to say, as someone who was tied to the Handler and Challenger combo, the Ritualist has me hooked. One of the first moves you get has your character draw a hex in the air and then literally punches it, sending out a shockwave that obliterates your foes. Another move sends out a pulse, applying Bleeding, Burning, Overloaded, and Corroded to nearby foes – all at once. This couples nicely with the Prime perk that makes enemies more susceptible to debuffs and spreads it to nearby enemies when they die. It has this cascading effect as your poison seeps around the battlefield.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Remnant DLC if it didn’t include oodles of new gear to unlock. It will take multiple playthroughs to see it all, but the developers are touting about 10 new amulets and 20 new rings. I walked away from my first playthrough with an amulet that increased my damage based on the number of enemies suffering from a unique negative status effect, a new relic that healed me instantly but gave some drawbacks, and a fist full of rings.
New jewelry is always nice, but what really tickles my fancy are the new weapons. Even after a few hours of gameplay, I had a melee weapon that looked like a huge anchor, a scythe I built out of two pieces, and an awesome Long Gun that boasted homing rounds and a huge bump to my damage output.
Everything about The Awakened King is dripping with style. The rain-slicked streets of Losomn are an eerie treat to explore and the Lovecraft undertones give it an air of mystery and dread. Gunfire Games has done a tremendous job enhancing the already excellent offering of Remnant 2, and making the entry into the DLC easier for players is a massive win. Now if you’ll excuse me, I want to get back in and unlock more of the Ritualist’s skills and see what other goodies are lurking in the deep.
These impressions are based on a PC version of the DLC provided by the publisher. The Awakened King DLC for Remnant 2 is launching on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on November 14, 2023 for $9.99 USD. Players can purchase the DLC Bundle, which includes all three DLCs, for $24.99 USD.