I Found My Favorite Class in Remnant 2: A Hands-On Preview

When diving into a new Soulslike game, one of the most crucial decisions is selecting the right class that matches your playstyle. It can be disheartening to invest hours into a game only to realize that your chosen class doesn’t align with your preferences. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to try out Remnant 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Remnant: From the Ashes, and I’ve already found my clear favorite.

A Personal Journey with Classes

Recently, I had the chance to demo Remnant 2 at the Game Developers Conference. Armed with the goal of defeating a challenging boss, I embarked on this adventure by experimenting with three different classes. The first two attempts were met with difficulty, but everything changed when I tried out the Handler class, the new addition to the sequel. In fact, it wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say that I triumphed alone, as my adorable yet deadly canine companion was instrumental in my success. This experience left me captivated by the Soulslike shooter, thanks to its major overhaul of the class system.

Embracing New Archetypes

Remnant 2, like its predecessor, is a third-person shooter that draws inspiration from the Soulslike genre. It incorporates notorious features such as high difficulty, bonfire-like checkpoints, evasive rolls, and colossal bosses lurking behind foggy doors. However, the sequel distinguishes itself by focusing primarily on gunplay rather than close-ranged melee combat. Remnant 2 maintains all the familiar elements while introducing a significant change in the way character classes are handled. Each archetype still revolves around a specific set of weapons, but now they come equipped with a plethora of skills and perks that gradually unlock through a progression system.

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During my demo, I began as a Gunslinger, a well-balanced class that showcased the game’s robust shooting mechanics. With precise shots from my trusty handgun, I took down flying enemies effortlessly. The Gunslinger’s special ability resembled Overwatch’s Cassidy, employing a “fan the hammer” burst-shot move. What stood out was the ability to aim the shot myself by holding down a button. Furthermore, pressing the left bumper targeted the shot towards nearby enemies. This nuanced gameplay added depth to my experience.

Three characters shoot at a boss in Remnant 2.
Image: Gearbox

Playing as a Gunslinger acquainted me with the basics and emphasized the satisfying impact of every shot. The immense power behind my attacks made obliterating enemies a sheer delight. However, my journey wasn’t without challenges. I found myself surrounded by adversaries, enduring substantial damage while trying to eliminate them with pinpoint accuracy and nimble evasive maneuvers.

After acclimating to the rhythm of combat, I faced the boss of the demo: a grotesque floating head at the center of a circular stone arena. Dodging its tentacle strikes, maneuvering around acid pits, and leaping from collapsing platforms evoked a visceral experience reminiscent of Doom Eternal.

Seeking a change of pace, I switched to a sturdier close-ranged archetype akin to Destiny’s Titans. This time, armed with an automatic shotgun, I unleashed a barrage of rapid-fire shots at the boss’s face. The class’s passive perk granted me a second chance at life, reviving me with half-health upon near-death. However, the close-quarter slam ability didn’t quite suit my needs against airborne adversaries.

Man’s Best Friend: The Handler

In the pursuit of finding the perfect fit, I stumbled upon the Handler, a support class with unique cooperative play potential. Armed with a burst-shot pistol and a rapid-fire machine gun, the Handler’s true strength lies in his trusty furry companion, and yes, you can even pet it.

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My faithful canine companion transformed my playstyle entirely. With a simple press of the left bumper, I could sic it on enemies, granting me better control over encounters. Commanding the dog to howl attracted enemies, providing me with much-needed respite. Although the dog could be incapacitated in battle, it boasted a substantial health bar, ensuring its durability. As a final touch, my loyal companion could even revive me by fetching one of my health-restoring Dragon Hearts. Is there anything this little buddy can’t do?

I had the opportunity to put all these newfound abilities to the test when I confronted the boss that had previously bested me a dozen times. With an efficient way to handle smaller foes, I could focus my firepower on the formidable enemy at the center while having the safety net of a potential revival. This forgiving playstyle resonated with me, and on my first try with the Handler, I emerged victorious against the beast.

A Revamped Class System: Impactful Choices

The revamped class system in Remnant 2 feels like a step in the right direction, imbuing the initial class selection with more impact. It’s not just about the weapons you wield but also how the perks synergize with your preferred strategy. The game embraces a hero shooter-like approach, reminiscent of the dynamics seen in Outriders. This newfound confidence in the sequel’s challenge leaves me eager to rise to the occasion when the full game releases. With my trusty dog by my side, we will become an unstoppable force, creating a whirlwind of chaos while looking utterly adorable.

Remnant 2 is scheduled to launch for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC later this year.

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Editors’ Recommendations

  • Ghostrunner 2 is already giving me more of what I loved about the original
  • Remnant 2 is a master class in great shooter boss fight design
  • I’m already pining for PlayStation VR2 to get Half-Life: Alyx

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