Review: Remnant From The Ashes (Nintendo Switch)

Let me see if you’ve heard this one before: it’s a lot like Dark Souls. Heard that? Over the last few years, many games have taken the Dark Souls-like gameplay and mixed it with all sorts of different things. It usually means something that is extremely difficult with brutally challenging enemies and environments where you’re expected to die and try again. The Nintendo Switch is no stranger to this type of game, with many (including Dark Souls Remastered) on the platform. Remnant: From The Ashes tries to do something different with the genre, and the gameplay mostly works. The Switch version, however, doesn’t fair as well.

Review: Remnant From The Ashes (Nintendo Switch)

Remnant: From The Ashes stands out from a crowded Souls-like field by offering a unique gameplay style. It’s a 3rd-person shooter Souls-like, meaning your actions will primarily be focused on your typical 3rd-person shooter gameplay, with the insane challenge of a Dark Souls-like. It’s a unique twist. Every enemy and environment you come across challenges you, making you constantly doubt yourself on when to attack or when to hide. It’s hard to even describe; the closest example I can think of (that I’ve played at least) is something like Dark Souls combined with The Division. It’s truly unique and was something I kept going back to just to see how far the developers would push the idea. 

The thing with Remnant: From The Ashes is that if you aren’t a fan of Souls-like games, then this game isn’t for you. It doesn’t attempt to make the genre more accessible for that audience. It is a tough as nails, frame by frame endurance challenge throughout the experience. Thus, your actual enjoyment with this game will be directly tied to your enjoyment of the genre. If you’re a fan, then Remnant: From the Ashes will offer something new and interesting. If you aren’t a fan, well, it’s exactly the type of experience you won’t enjoy.

One of the biggest issues with Remnant: From the Ashes is its insanely long loading times. It was completely normal to wait a few minutes for the game to load into the main menu and then a few minutes to load into the actual game. This long loading time would happen every time you died, which, surprise suprise, happens a lot in a Souls-like game. 

The other major issue is how the game looks and plays on Nintendo Switch. To be clear, the game is playable on Switch. However, its low framerate makes every enemy encounter that much harder. Every enemy and every boss comes down to a literal frame by frame decision, yet the lower frame rate on Switch means you have to overcompensate when you attack or defend to make up for it. Again, the game is playable but much harder because of this. 

Additionally, the game looks rough on Switch. At this point in the console’s lifecycle, we all have come to terms with the fact that many third-party games on Switch wouldn’t look the best (with the trade off being that we can play it on the go). Remnant: From the Ashes looks rough in docked mode and even worse in handheld mode. Details on everything are blurry, and pop-in happens all the time. Whereas games like DOOM Eternal and The Witcher 3 show how much developers can push the hardware with great results, Remnant: From The Ashes shows that most developers still can’t balance visuals and gameplay on the platform (7 years after its release).

So is Remnant: From The Ashes worth playing on Switch? Sure…if you don’t have any other means of playing this game elsewhere. It’s a unique take on the Souls-like genre, blending 3rd-person shooting gameplay with the challenging combat of a Dark Souls game. It surprisingly works and offers something new to the endless Souls-like games that are out there. The issue with Remnant: From The Ashes is that if you don’t like Souls-like games, this isn’t the game to change your mind. Plus, the Switch port is rough to look at and harder to play due to technical issues. If you absolutely want a unique Souls-like experience and only own a Switch, Remnant: From The Ashes could be worth checking out.

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