It’s been almost three months since Remnant II was released and Gunfire Games has been working tirelessly to provide an even better experience to their player base. Not only have they pushed a couple of balance patches and improvements over the past few months, but they also put together a brand new DLC.
The Awakened King is the highly anticipated DLC and serves as the first of three DLCs that Gunfire Games has promised to their fans, with the later two coming out sometime next year. In this in-depth review, we will be covering The Awakened King’s story and setting, the latest additions, and more. Most importantly, is it worth picking up? Let’s find out.
Remnant II The Awakened King DLC Review
Genre: Action Survival Action-Third Person Shooter Role Playing Game
Developed by: Gunfire Games
Published by: Gearbox Publishing
Release Date: Nov 14, 2023
Platform/s: PC, PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S
Reviewed on PC
Price at the time of Review: USD 9.99
Story and Setting
The Awakened King DLC builds upon the existing lore of the biome of Losomn where the worlds of the Fae and Dran merged, throwing both sides into an ever-growing disastrous conflict. In the past, the Dran were peaceful creatures. However, they have now evolved into group-minded creatures that can be easily provoked into madness and they are willing to do anything to protect their kind.
On the other hand, The Fae, once an organized and highly respected race, have lost their sense of direction. They are now tormented by an insatiable craving for the life force of the Dran, which has made them hostile towards them, seeing them as inferior beings.
In the base game, the Traveler was involved in the Fae’s internal conflict where the One True King had been forced into a long slumber by traitors. He has now been awakened, angry and violent, and threatens to bring chaos and destruction to the already ravaged world.
You as the Traveler will return to Losomn to determine the situations of both sides and unravel the deeper mysteries revolving around the One True King’s purpose and rampage of revenge. As a player who loves the world of Losomn in general, my curiosity about how the events would unfold was extremely high.
The moment I set foot into the new area, I found myself eagerly wanting to explore my surroundings and determine the situation of the land. Right off the bat, I met new NPCs who provided me with useful information about what was happening or how to progress. Eventually, I met returning NPCs as well.
My first few hours in the DLC were filled with excitement, as I was eager to know the answers to my questions regarding the story. As I dived deeper and ultimately reached the ending of the DLC, I found the conclusions a little bit underwhelming, even after exploring both outcomes.
One of the highlights of Remnant II: The Awakened King is the introduction of new items, Weapons, Armor, Mutators, and Trinkets. Players can expect to find powerful new weapons and gear that will aid them in their fight against The Awakened King. Each of these newly added items is worth checking as they offer unique effects that can further bolster existing builds.
Not only do we have a lot of new toys to play with, but the greatest addition that the DLC provided is a new archetype, the Ritualist, offering a new playstyle and abilities to experiment and tinker with. A DPS Archetype that mainly relies on status effects infliction, I can already see the potential of it just by looking at its kit.
Additionally, the DLC raises the Trait cap to 85, allowing players to further customize their builds that strengthen their overall prowess. This adds another layer of progression and depth to the game, giving players more reasons to continue playing and exploring.
Players can now expect a static overworld or general area that is full of secrets. During the player’s first playthrough, the DLC will set itself to a One Shot Mode. This mode will let players undergo a pre-determined layout and set of dungeons, intended for a first playthrough. The caveat is, that it can only be accessed once. Hence the name.
The developers were clear about this as they wanted to experiment and effectively convey the story through having a static-level design. I for one love this feature, as they can freely give their efforts and focus on improving certain levels in a much more detailed way. Also, I love the fact that I can remember the locations of the available dungeon openings in the overworld. Looking for an unexplored dungeon in a randomized space felt like a chore in the base game.
On the flip side of things, players who love to have a randomized experience can still enjoy the DLC. After clearing the first playthrough, the overworld will remain the same however, the contents of the optional dungeons will be randomized. After the One Shot Mode, expect to have previously explored optional dungeons in Losomn appear in the DLC area.
Along with new areas, a new set of enemies and bosses has been introduced in the DLC. Although there are only a handful of new enemies added to Remnant II, each of them is distinct and they should not be taken lightly. Each new enemy type has its own strengths and weaknesses for you to figure out and during my time, every enemy kept me on my toes, and letting my guard down in most cases resulted in my imminent death, especially when playing on Apocalypse.
As expected, I found the major Bosses interesting and well thought out. I was given the opportunity to fight two of them and they rewarded me with shiny items and a satisfying experience. There were lots of exciting mechanics for me to figure out which led to engaging and fun encounters.
Design, Audio, and Visual
Let’s talk about Design, Audio, and Visuals. As with the base game, The Awakened King features great visuals and atmospheric-level design. Although I did not notice any improvements in its overall graphic fidelity, one can clearly see that Gunfire Games put a lot of effort into level design and progression. Especially on the DLC’s overworld or main area.
As Bloodborne fans, we all know that Losomn was somewhat inspired by it, so we can’t help but want to see more of this world. And the DLC did a great job of granting this desire, expanding my favorite biome.
Each section is distinct and intricately crafted, making exploration satisfying and immersive. I can clearly picture the sections I’ve been through during my first playthroughs. From the perilous docks of Forlorn Coast with an ominous lighthouse on it, newly designed sewers, and inner slums where danger lurks on every corner, to the city street’s plaza that will offer anyone a nice view of the towering castle.
The overall level design offers a mix of the staggering amount of open environments which I appreciate with tight corridors and spaces that keep players on their toes. Coupled with strong and immersive ambient sounds and OSTS that will set anyone’s mood to the right tone.
Voice acting on the other hand is no slouch. A high quality of voice acting can still be expected which adds life and defines the characters of the newly added NPCs in the DLC.
The developers did a great job of presenting their new world and I can’t help but think about what the next areas of the upcoming DLC look like.
Performance-wise, I have not encountered any game-breaking bugs that halted my progress or ruined my immersion. Although I experienced some stutters even with the latest drivers installed, though these subsided after a couple of game restarts, and generally the performance was pretty smooth. I played the game with the following specs, RTX 3060, 32 GB RAM, and a Ryzen 9 7950x, the game’s performance is averaging between 80 to 100 FPS at 2k resolution.
Replayability & Pricepoint
The Awakened King offers more hours of loot hunting and satisfying areas to explore which are full of secrets. Expect three to five hours on each playthrough according to the developers. But be reminded that you need to play with subsequent playthroughs to get everything that the DLC can offer.
One can easily get more than 10 hours of game time depending on your RNG. Your mileage may vary greatly because of this. Personally, my first playthrough took 6 hours and the second one took 4 hours. Having two subsequent playthroughs done, I felt that I had barely scratched the surface and wanted to dig further.
Having a price tag of $9.99, I believe players who will get the DLC will get their money’s worth if they decide to seek out everything that The Awakened King has to offer. However, players who want just buy this DLC for the story or play it as a one-time thing are encouraged to wait for a sale.
Remnant II: The Awakened King offers a substantial amount of new content and enhancements to the base game, and the new areas, items, and NPCs provide a fresh and exciting experience for players to enjoy. The increased trait cap and new archetype add reasonable depth to character progression and offer new playstyles to explore that can be enjoyed for dozens of hours. For the fans of the series, this is a slam dunk.
Remnant II: The Awakened King DLC is a worthy addition to the ever-growing content of Remnant II. The new Equipment, Class, enhancements, and especially the level design provided an enjoyable and immersive experience that will keep players engaged for a good while.