Remnant 2: The Forgotten Kingdom is predictably fun, but there’s still untapped potential

I knew exactly what to expect when I booted up Remnant 2 again to play The Forgotten Kingdom. Bedazzling environments, an enchanting soundtrack, ruthless bosses, and a whole new Archetype to discover and tinker with. It’s a ton of fun in a bitesize package with more of everything I loved about the base game. But, just like the first DLC, it left me hungry for more instead of fully satisfied, and I can’t help but feel Remnant 2 deserves more than just another rehash of a world we’ve explored before.

More of the same, can’t complain

A Remnant 2 character looking out over Yaesha in The Forgotten Kingdom DLC
The new environments are gorgeous, but nothing you won’t be familiar with. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Forgotten Kingdom DLC launched on April 23, adding a new storyline to Yaesha. If you played Remnant 2‘s first DLC, you already know what you’re in for—a three-to-four-hour-long journey with a handful of new areas, bosses, and items. Like last time, you can experience The Forgotten Kingdom in its entirety by choosing a “One Shot” Adventure that lets you play all the new levels in one go. You can only do this once, so pick your difficulty carefully, and make sure you explore every nook and cranny of Yaesha’s new zones to collect all the new loot, because afterward, they’re mixed in with levels from the base game.

Exploring Yaesha again is a blast. The new zones are nothing short of breathtaking, and Gunfire Games’ art team deserves a pat on the back. You start the DLC in the Ancient Canopy, a lush purple forest with crashing waterfalls, ancient ruins, and glowing gold crystals guiding your way. After you kill the first pack of monsters and start exploring, a hauntingly beautiful melody kicks in, evoking wonder, awe, and excitement for what lies ahead. It’s a treat for the senses and brilliantly composed. I just wish the whole DLC was this captivating.

Shortly after I entered the second zone of the DLC, my character excitedly quipped: “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Except she had.

The new zones are prettier than anywhere else in the base game, especially compared to Losomn, the somber Victorian fantasy world we revisited in the first DLC. But we’ve seen Yaesha’s verdant jungles numerous times before, and it’s all starting to feel stale. Yaesha was the setting of Chronos: Before the Ashes and an explorable world in Remnant: From the Ashes and Remnant 2, meaning The Forgotten Kingdom marks Yaesha’s fourth appearance in the series. It’s an iconic world with great significance to the lore, but you’d be forgiven for wanting something new.

And it doesn’t take long before things start feeling familiar. Shortly after I entered the second zone of the DLC, my character excitedly quipped: “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Except she had. She was standing in front of a land formation she’d seen dozens and dozens of times on her prior adventures through Yaesha. I was only half an hour into the DLC, and things were already starting to get predictable, taking the edge off the charm.

Brutal bosses and secrets galore

A Remnant 2 character fighting Lydusa in The Forgotten Kingdom DLC
The bosses are all challenging and satisfying to beat. Screenshot by Dot Esports

But if you temper your expectations and don’t expect to have your mind blown, you’ll probably have a great time. Like The Awakened King, the bosses are the best part of the DLC—The Forgotten Kingdom adds one new world boss and eight minor boss encounters, and they’re all a total blast. Because I’m a Souls veteran who loves punishment, I played on Nightmare mode (the second-highest difficulty) and mostly enjoyed the ride. I wouldn’t recommend this for newcomers or even average players, but every boss I faced put up a challenging fight and was hugely satisfying to take down, whether it took me two tries or 20.

There’s more to enjoy than just bosses, though. Like the base game and first DLC, there are secrets tucked around every corner in The Forgotten Kingdom. The latest DLC adds two dozen rings, a dozen amulets, seven weapons, a few new armor pieces, and a variety of other collectibles to uncover. About half the new items are stashed in secret areas or awarded for solving clever puzzles. Finding these items on your own feels rewarding, but if you’re after a specific item for your build, it can be tedious working out what to do—unless you’re playing with a Wiki open.

The item that lets you unlock Remnant 2’s new Archetype, the Invoker, is by far the worst offender. The Invoker is great fun and satisfyingly powerful; it’s essentially a shaman with elemental-themed abilities, like a giant tidal wave that summons a lightning storm. Its Prime Perk doubles your ability charges, so it’s ideal for builds that thrive on powerful skills, especially if you pair it with the Archon Archetype. But actually unlocking the Invoker took me hours and was beyond frustrating.

You have to stand in a specific spot between two sand mounds for five minutes while your character slowly sinks into the sand, after which they awaken in a secret area containing the Archetype item. Finding the right spot is finicky and unreliable, and you won’t know you’re sinking unless you intensely stare at the screen for minutes at a time. I have no idea how anyone discovered this, and I don’t know why Gunfire Games chose to hide the new Archetype this way, but it’s much worse than making it a reward for natural exploration, like the Ritualist in the first DLC.

Time for something new

A Remnant 2 character fighting stone enemies in Yaesha in The Forgotten Kingdom DLC
It’s fun, but I can’t help but feel like I’ve done this before. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Invoker Archetype and all the new items are just as fun as you’d expect, and they all serve to expand Remnant 2’s already-impressive build diversity. But the overt familiarity of The Forgotten Kingdom’s setting and structure, combined with Gunfire Games’ clear reluctance to do anything new, dampens the DLC’s appeal.

It doesn’t help that we already know what the next DLC is going to be—a new storyline in N’Erud. After that, what happens next? Will Gunfire Games call it quits on Remnant 2 and start working on a third game, or is there something else in development? I’m desperately hoping it’s the latter.

I called Remnant 2’s first DLC, The Awakened King, a “miniature masterpiece that left me yearning for more,” and I’d be lying if I said The Forgotten Kingdom made me feel any different. Remnant 2 was one of my favorite games of 2023 and possibly one of my favorite games of all time, so more of the same could never be a bad thing.

But the first two DLCs felt very phoned in, and I doubt the third one will be any different. Like many Remnant 2 players, I want to see a new world instead of just revisiting old ones with a fresh coat of paint. There’s so much potential for Gunfire Games to further expand Remnant 2, like the Reisum DLC in Remnant: From the Ashes. I just hope there’s more in store beyond revisiting another world, because Remnant 2 is a fantastic game and deserves to reach its true potential.

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