Remnant II was one of the better action games I had played this year to date, and I am one of the worst souls-like gamers out there. Elden Ring trash mobs made a mess of me but when I played Remnant II at release in co-op, it was such a fun experience. Now we have the first paid DLC in the form of The Awakened King DLC, and this is the first of three planned DLC from Gunfire Games. Those that purchased the Ultimate Edition of Remnant II will automatically gain access to the DLC at no additional cost. There are new monsters, new bosses, and a new class to unlock, the Ritualist, in this dark and drab coastal town of Dran within a new world of Losomn.
In The Awakened King DLC for REMNANT II, The One True King has awakened and is out for blood. Corrupted by the Root during his near-death slumber, the mad king sees betrayal at every turn and is on a rampage of revenge. Since his castle first arrived in a Dran coastal town, the tides are angry and the weather is chaotic, surfacing all manner of creatures from the depths and leaving many mysteries in its wake.
This DLC content is completely separate to the main campaign and can be played whether you have finished the base game or not. You just have to have advanced the main campaign far enough to unlock adventure mode. At a world stone, you click on world settings and create a new adventure mode campaign. You can switch back to your campaign mode at any point, and back to the DLC again without progress being affected in either mode. In addition, if you have The Awakened King DLC but your mates don’t, only the host needs to have the DLC enabled to be able to play the new content together. I am loving how games are doing this lately as not all of us can afford all the games/DLC.
Once I had started the new content, I was reminded just how incredibly detailed the environments are in this game. These docks are dark and gloom, and it reminded me of playing Thief back in the day. I was a little rusty with the combat, and the first mini boss I encountered wiped the floor with me. Thankfully I didn’t have far to run back and got my revenge. These docks have lots of ladders to go up and down levels, and I was impressed with how easy it is to read the verticality of the minimap, with red areas highlighting areas I had missed and where to head next.
The new mob types are super creepy, and you knew you were in for a world of hurt once the music changes subtly. If you have killed everything that was alive but the battle music is still playing, be sure to look around and keep moving as something else is still hunting you. The first major boss I encountered, the Sunken Witch, was a bloody piece of work. What made this particularly difficult/frustrating for me was that you fight her in this super narrow corridor initially and she hits bloody hard. However, it’s the times where she swings at you seven times in succession that had me yelling at my lack of ability. Her big hits destroy some of the obstacles around us which opens up the areas you can use to get some breathing room. That is until she jumps down on top of me and kills me for the 12th time. God it was good to finally take her down, but far out I had to take a couple of breaks and come back later, though she’s a gentle giant compared to the other bosses.
There are a few puzzle areas to test your metal, similar to the base game. I did get stuck on the ethereal mansion puzzle and had to ask for some help from mates. It was frustrating because you couldn’t just leave the area to come back later, you had to figure it out. As always, once you work out the solution it’s a head-smack moment. This leads me into the moment I found an item to unlock the ritualist class. I won’t spoil how to get it other than to say it’s near the canals of the flooded city. You take the item back to Wallace at Ward 13.
The ritualist is the first new class for Remnant II, and they utilise status effects to punish enemy mobs, rather than buffs like the Alchemist uses. The ritualist’s prime perk is called vile, and this makes enemies even more susceptible to status damage, and not only that, but it also then spreads to nearby enemies too. Using miasma applies bleeding, burning, overloaded and corroded to enemies within range, and it really does melt their faces right off. If you’re feeling confident, there’s also the deathwish ability. This is a self-curse that disables normal healing and drains your health which sounds awful, but heavily increases damage and has a lifesteal. It’s useful to burn down mobs quickly if you’re out of heals which happens to me a lot.
Overall, Remnant II – The Awakened King is more of the same good, meaty combat along with a new class to play with. I got frustrated on each boss fight, but these souls games aint my jam and it felt so good to finally best them. I had to call in a friend for help, so it is great that only one of us needs to own the DLC and they can drop in/drop out. I am looking forward to seeing what’s to come in the next two DLC from Gunfire Games in 2024.
This review utilised a Steam key provided by Diva Agency and Remnant II – The Awakened King is available now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation for less than AU$15, and is a free update for Remnant II Ultimate Edition owners.