In 2019, Gunfire Games and Perfect World Entertainment released the sleeper hit, Remnant from the Ashes, and to me, it was the perfect mash-up of Soulslike gameplay, while added the ranged combat that many of the games in that genre were missing. It was frantic, the combat was enjoyable, and get this, it told a story that didn’t require you to do a lot of research outside of the game. However, many fans had started giving up hope that the Gunfire Games would revisit the IP and provide additional content, despite saying that they would. Enter Swamps of Corsus, which includes several new additions, including new traits, weapons, and more importantly, a survival mode.
Game Name: Remnant: From the Ashes – Swamps of Corsus Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PS4, Xbox One Publisher(s): Perfect World Entertainment Developer(s): Gunfire Games Release Date: April; 28th, 2020 Price: $9.99
As the name suggests, there this DLC focuses on the swampy region of Corsus, in both the campaign and the adventure mode. While the campaign receives an updated version of Corsus, to bring it alongside with the other larger reasons, the adventure mode is also streamlined to give players a bit more to do. There are several changes, including new story elements that I won’t spoil here and it does help provide some backstory to what’s going on in Corsus. Several new and challenging enemies are also roaming the area, as several new bosses. One of which you’ve seen already, the Barbed Terror.
It’s not a drastic change, but for those who’ve been visited the area more than a few times, you’ll see what’s been changed.
Outside of the changes to Corsus, both the paid DLC and the free update introduced several quality of life changes. Many of which were sorely needed. You can read about this update and changes here, as there are too many to include in this review. One change I’m happy to share here is that melee has received a boost and is viable to create a melee-only build. Sure, you could do that before but now the damage has been buffed, while the new trait “Rapid Strike” that allows you to swing your fists even faster.
Someone said Nightmare was too hard.
For the most hardcore fans, Gunfire Games have added a new difficulty, Apocalypse, which is available in all game modes. Some people felt that Nightmare was too tame, so now you’ll get to enjoy this newer, crazier, and more deadly difficulty. I’ll just say this, it’s damned hard, and I’ll be surprised if those dame people end up saying it’s too easy just like they did with Nightmare. Then again, no I won’t.
When playing the campaign mode on hard, nightmare, and apocalypse difficulties, the world bosses and elites will drop a new currency called Growing Fragments, which can be used to craft armor skins, thanks to the new NPC who has set up shop right next to the Root Mother. This guy has a tragic backstory, so make sure to talk to him about it. The skins will require you to already own the armor to use them, and even then they’re not that interesting. Instead, the skins are merely palette swaps.
Though, to be honest, I was expecting a bit more than what was presented. For someone like myself who enjoys a good story alongside the gameplay, and the way the DLC was presented, I was hoping for more lore than what we got. There’s so much more than I felt could be built upon and this feels like a missed chance.
It’s all about the Survival Mode
The main reason to check out the Swamps of Corsus DLC is the Survival Mode. I had the pleasure of getting some early hands-on during PAX East 2020, and trust me when I say it took a lot of willpower (and fear from NDAs) to not talk about this game mode.
I found this mode to be immensely fun and this is exactly what fans of the Soulslike genre have been asking for, and yes it has permadeath. You’ll need to pay attention to everything while prioritizing your survival. You could be playing for a long time, or have your life snatched away in an instant. Then again, that’s what makes the mode so enjoyable, or frustrating.
At the start, you’re given a limited amount of scrap which you can use among five pillars that allow you to purchase gear and items to help you along your way. The interesting aspect about this is the items presented are randomized, so at any given time you can end up with some crappy starting gear, or end game gear. Early on I ended up with several high-end pieces that helped make my initial chances higher. How you choose to arm yourself is up to you, and as items are swapped around, you’ll have to decide what works for you, with the budget you have. Or you can be a bad-ass and jump right into the game without spending that scrap, as you’re always armed with a pistol and some healing items.
Either way, once you’re finished you’ll be dumped into the playing world which are randomized bits from the campaign. There are no story elements, just you and a straight run through waves of enemies and a final boss. Unlike the campaign or adventure modes, there’s no chance of getting lost as there’s just one path forward. Depending on the difficulty you selected, your Survival Mode settings and bonuses will vary. As does the number of glowing fragments that drop from elites and bosses.
What’s important to note there is in the upper-left of the screen, as there are three of importance; a blue and red meter, and a level indicator. The red meter is a clock counting down and every time it resets, the enemies in the survival Mode get stronger. The blue meter is your experience, which also will grow as you kill off as many enemies as you can. While the level indicator lets you know how far you’ve advanced if you lost count that is.
You’re racing against the clock here, that’s the best way to explain this. Take too much time and the enemies will overpower you, yet you’ll need to search out the levels for chests and purple sacks that provide randomized (there’s that word again) gear. Traits are also scattered across the levels that when picked up will assign a random trait. Both of these are equipped automatically, so no need to stop and see what you just acquired. Besides, time is of the essence here.
When you eventually do die, and you will, a summary screen will inform you of how well you did, what you ended up collecting, and bonuses. For those who manage to stay alive long enough, you’ll see a bonus such as account-wide items once, every five stages. All of which are new gear that’s been added to the game. Which is a nice incentive to get you
This is also a great mode for streamers, who don’t feel like grinding through the game and just want to mow enemies down. So far I’ve made it to the 13th level on Nightmare and that was a challenge. How about you?
Should you buy Swamps of Corsus
Let’s be real here for a second. Chances are if you enjoyed the base game of Remnant from the Ashes, then you should have zero reasons not to pick up the Swamps of Corsus DLC. The Survival Mode is exactly what fans of the Soulslike genre have asked for, repeatedly. While I would have liked a bit more narrative story elements, what Gunfire Games has provided gives me hope that the developer will continue to bring more content to this refreshing and polished experience. Truth be told, I would have been happy with just the Survival Mode, it’s just that much fun.
Review Disclosure Statement: Remnant from the Ashes: Swamps of Corsus DLC were provided to us by Gunfire Games and Perfect World Entertainment for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Fans of Remnant from the Ashes will finally have a reason to revisit the title with the addition of the new survival mode, and the revamped Corsus region. While the quality of life changes improve on an otherwise fantastic experience and give melee a much-needed boost. Oh, and Apocalypse will consume you.