In my mind, I want to say that it’s about time I’ve had a reason to dive back into Remnant 2. While I’ve enjoyed my time with the base game, I’ve pretty much everything I’ve wanted. I’ve beaten the game alone and with co-op players, including on Apocalypse difficulty. I’ve done it all. But now that the first DLC, The Awakened King, has been released, I was eager to return to the game. But is this DLC worth the wait? Will it get you back into playing Remnant 2? Find out in our Remnant 2 – The Awakened King DLC review.
Game Name: Remnant 2 – The Awakened King DLC Platform(s): PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC (Steam) Publisher(s): Gearbox Publishing
Developer(s): Gunfire Games
Release Date: November 14, 2023
First things first. This DLC does not add to the story introduced in Remnant 2 but is played out via the adventure mode. Of course, that also means that if you haven’t progressed to the point where you can access Adventure Mode in Remnant 2, you must do that first. For those that are curious, that requires you to finish whatever starting biome you start off in.
Finally, some closure in Losomn
In Remnant 2, I encountered the imposter storyline involving the One True King, who was put into a slumber. While I could never interact with him, I did encounter two imposters, the Red Prince, who is related to the One True King (as you’ll find out in this DLC), and his council. I was a bit upset we didn’t get to wake up the king, but that’s going to be resolved for better or worse. The king is back, and he’s not subtle about this return. When you visit the Forlorn Coast, a massive castle has taken root (heh, wordplay) that you can see in the distance. Immediately, I was like, “I want to go there. That should be fun.”
During this long slumber, he was corrupted by the root, and now that he’s awoken, he’s not in the best of moods. Upon making my way to his chamber, I can see nothing but death and carnage, and when I finally get to speak to him, he’s pretty much a murderous machine who has no time for debate. He’s menacing, imposing, somewhat of an ass, and yet, honest. I expected him to be something along these lines, and I’m happy that my expectations were fulfilled. A lot is going on here, and I won’t spoil it. But finally, being able to close out this storyline was nice to see.
Behold, the Ritualist Archetype
Ah, yes. One of the biggest reasons to play this DLC is the addition of the Ritualist Archetype, which is pretty badass and fun. This class does its damage based on DOTS (damage over time) and taking advantage of negative buffs. At first, it sounded like a massive pain to do damage, but after unlocking the class and playing with its abilities, I dare say I can return to another class. While the idea of doing damage this way isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I can say that the second ability of this class is both a lifesaver and a way to do a lot of damage quickly.
Pairing the Ritualist with another high-dealing class or one with a high damage-dealing ability, such as the Challengers Rampage skill, is chef’s kiss.
Another nice thing about this class is that it isn’t as cryptic as looking for the Archon archetype.
Random generation still gives me frustrations
Then there’s the random generation, which caused me many issues. You see, the DLC adds a bunch of new locations, including the Forlorn Coast, Drowned Wen, Palace of the One True King, and Chamber of the Faithless, which will always be available as it’s part of the story. However, several new locations, such as the Derelict Lighthouse, The Forgotten Commune, and the Glistering Cloister, are added to the pool of existing locations from Remnant 2. What stinks about this is that you never know which locations you will get, and the three locations I mentioned contain mini-quests to get unique weapons. I’ve spent hours trying to get all those locations to spawn, and it’s not like you can tell from the start of your adventure run. This bugs me a lot, as two of those locations have items that are part of a quest to get, while the Glistering Cloister features an interesting boss encounter that I’ve only managed to play once out of 15 hours of playing the DLC. I hope this gets tweaked so the new locations are added to the rotation more often.
This goes double for all the added gear that’s to be found in the game. I’ve played different variants of the locations with different rings, and I’m still finding them. I know I haven’t found everything, such as the weapon that Gunfire Games keeps teasing, so I’ve been playing the Awakened King DLC every chance I can. However, I have found new rings, several new weapons, and the new Ritualist Archetype. There’s also this strange fellow that I can’t quite understand and more than likely, I’m missing something, but I’ll figure it out… eventually.
That said, I appreciate Gunfire Games’ approach to ensuring that critical locations are always there instead of being random, which makes it possible to finish the DLC quickly.
Finally, more traits
One of the biggest concerns with Remnant 2 was a change in the number of traits we could equip our characters with. This has been changed with the new DLC and upcoming patch for those not playing the DLC. Now, we can equip up to 85 points worth of traits. While this is nowhere near the amount we could equip in Remnant from the Ashes, it’s a nice change and a step in the right direction. On the one hand, that’s fantastic; on the other, it’s like, “Just let us have all the things, please!” Also, why is there a trait that helps us climb ladders more quickly? Shouldn’t that be tied with movement speed?
Why couldn’t this be longer?
Sadly, the DLC isn’t as long as I hoped for it to be. Sure, Gunfire Games did state that it wouldn’t be long, but geez. The first time I played it, it took around 3-4 hours to complete, and that was because I was looking for everything and was also subject to the game’s random generation. But after that, I could quickly go from start to finish in less than 40 minutes, which was frustrating as I wanted it to be longer. This couldn’t be helped, as Gunfire Games was more concerned about telling the story, which meant that not everything could be randomly generated, and specific locations had to be static. This means that as long as you know the ins and outs of those locations, you can breeze right through them. And given that the main location itself, the Forlorn Coast, doesn’t have boss encounters, the King’s Palace and the generated locations are the only locations to waste time banging your head on encounters. I can count on one hand how many actual bosses were new to this DLC. Bosses. Not aberrations, but actual bosses. That’s a letdown. That is unless some are hidden, and I can’t find them.
That said, I loved what Gunfire Games did, and hopefully, with the next DLC, they’ll have a way to stop people, such as me, from blowing through it from start to end in such a quick manner.
The Awakened King adds some extra lore to the Remnant 2 universe, and we finally get some closure as to what happened to the One True King and what caused him to be in the state we found him in Remnant 2. So, that’s nice. But other than this, this is the same game we played earlier this year, and I didn’t expect anything different. The gameplay is fun, the gunplay and melee are as enjoyable as before, and getting new gear is always fun. It’s just that I wanted more. Sadly, with many of the locations being those we played in Remnant 2 and only a handful of new ones, that can’t be helped. Still, after all the hype that this DLC had, I can’t help but feel a bit let down. Perhaps that’s my fault, but it is what it is.
Regardless, if you enjoyed Remnant 2, as I did, you’ll enjoy this DLC. However, don’t expect to play this DLC for any extended amount of time, and that’s my main frustration here.
Remnant 2 is available now on PS5, Xbox, and PC (Steam). The Awakened King DLC will launch on November 14 on all platforms for $9.99. and is also included in Remnant 2 Ultimate Edition.
Review Disclosure Statement: Remnant 2 – The Awakened King DLC was provided to The Outerhaven for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy.
Remnant 2’s first DLC, The Awakened King, is a change to how Gunfire Games tells its stories, and in that regard, it does a great job. However, adding a handful of new locations tossed into the pool of existing locations is frustrating as I encountered the older locations more than I did with the newer locations. This meant I constantly re-rolled my adventure until I encountered the new stuff. This needs to be addressed for this DLC to be worthwhile to new and existing Remnant 2 players. But outside of that, I enjoyed the DLC, and the closure to the storyline that started in the base game was refreshing.
The gameplay is classic Remnant 2
Gunfire is trying something new with it’s storytelling
The new locations (when they appear) are refreshing
The Ritualist archetype is an excellent addition to the existing classes
Not long enough
Kept encountering old locations instead of the new ones