Remnant 2’s The Awakened King DLC goes bigger and bolder

Soulslike shooter Remnant 2 was the gaming surprise of the summer thanks to some fantastic boss battles and an engaging run structure that enticed players to hunt for new loot. While it already has plenty of replay value, Gunfire Games and Gearbox Entertainment confirmed plans to support the game with substantial DLC for at least a year before Remnant 2 even released. Now, we know more about its first piece of paid DLC that launches on November 14: The Awakened King.

Remnant 2: The Awakened King takes place in the universe of Losomn and pits players against The One True King, a powerful ruler corrupted by the root, who has now teleported his castle on top of a coastal city. Ahead of The Awakened King’s reveal and release, Digital Trends had the chance to see the DLC in action and speak with game designers Ben Cureton and Cindy To about their creation. The Awakened King seems poised to double down on enhancing the best parts of Remnant 2 in what may be the game’s biggest location yet.

Upping the ante

The Awakened King is a new campaign available to anyone who has unlocked Losomn in Remnant 2. It’s a bit bigger than a single world and brings with it a new story, an Archetype called The Ritualist, and a host of new weapons, items, bosses, enemies, affixes, and mores. Digital Trends’ look at the DLC began in one of its earlier areas, with Cureton slowly navigating the city’s lower levels and taking on new enemies, like one that can climb on walls and ceilings and spit acid.

The developers highlighted how one of the goals of The Awakened King was to make a much larger area for players to explore. While many Remnant 2 locations tended to be more linear or restrictive on where players could go and procedurally generated whatever players came across, this DLC is aimed at letting players go almost anywhere they can see, from the docks of this coastal town to The One True King’s castle, with points of interest and narrative content dotted throughout these massive areas. One memorable encounter introduced a being called the Dire Fiend, while another saw some town citizens fighting against the player after they stumbled upon an anti-Fae rally.

The player fights an enemy in Remnant 2's The Awakened King DLC.
Gearbox Entertainment

This bigger scope is impressive, but it does mean that the overworld of The Awakened King is more static. Whereas many zones in Remnant 2 can change drastically from run to run, Gunfire Games is experimenting with placing players in a less randomized world in The Awakened King. That said, the developers still affirmed that there are procedurally generated elements like the loot players can get, enemy affixes, or the smaller dungeons or mini-bosses that players will discover as they explore this coastal city and make their way up to the castle.

“There were some biomes in the retail game where some of the world was static,” Cureton tells Digital Trends. “What we wanted to do here was expand on that kind of curated experience while all of the side content of it is still procedurally generated, but built around the core of this town. It’s an experiment, something we’re trying.”

Badder bosses

After this, the developers brought me deeper into the DLC, where the player can explore The One True King’s castle. It’s quite ornate, significantly contrasting the dreary coastal town where players start the DLC. Eventually, we stumbled onto a boss called Bruin, Blade of the King. The boss fights were my favorite part of Remnant 2, and this new one didn’t disappoint. Bruin was aggressive, constantly dashing at the player with powerful slashes. One particularly brutal attack will instantly kill the player if they are hit with low health. However, the developers quickly asserted that attacks that can kill players at full health will be a much rarer occurrence with DLC bosses because they know players don’t like them.

The key to doing well in this fight is targeting a skull chest plate that Bruin is wearing. Once this is destroyed, its weak point is exposed, and players will have an opportunity to get the upper hand while bobbing and weaving around Bruin’s attacks in a cross-shaped arena. The developers reiterated that boss fights were still an essential part of the game to get right in this DLC, with To going into more detail about how The Awakened King‘s refined boss arena design plays a vital role in that.

“Arenas go hand in hand with the boss types,” To tells Digital Trends. “It’s just as effective to present the player a problem within the space relative to their bosses. We wanted to make sure that we looked across the board at what bosses were done, make note of what made certain bosses and arenas memorable, and took that into consideration when designing new bosses and arenas for this DLC.”

Bruin is a boss in Remnant 2's The Awakened King DLC.
Gearbox Entertainment

The Awakened King looks like it will offer players more of what they loved about Remnant 2, just on an even bigger scale. Gunfire is experimenting with more static overworlds, but the visual design of The Awakened King’s coastal town and castle are still memorable, and the various dynamic encounters and bosses players can come across look as entertaining as ever. If you’ve already played Remnant 2 a lot and are looking to get even more replay value from it, then this DLC will deliver more of what you want on a massive scale.

The Awakened King launches on November 14 and can be purchased on its own for $10 or as part of Remnant 2’s $25 DLC bundle, which will give access to future DLC as well.

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