Advertising a game’s last DLC as the ‘final update’ is always a bittersweet experience; on one hand, you get more of a game you enjoy, but you know as well that this is the end. In the case of Remnant: From the Ashes, their Subject 2923 DLC is that last hurrah. And for one of the biggest surprises of 2019, is a fitting conclusion.
One year has passed since the events of the main game, and whilst the Root were considered defeated, pockets of them still remain. You are tasked by Ford – the founder of your home base Ward 13 – to venture over to another ward called Ward Prime to investigate the origins of The Dreamers. Subject 2923 is a direct follow-on from the conclusion of the main story, as those who finished will remember that you faced off against one of The Dreamers as the final boss.
Ward Prime was a military base set up in the 1960s to begin new experiments known as The Dreamer Program… it seems even in the world of Remnant that humans are responsible for their own downfall.
There is also another new location called Reisum – a frosty and icy world that introduces new fearsome enemies, and a new elemental condition called Frozen. Here you will encounter a mysterious woman with ties to something that you have great interest in.
In terms of gameplay, Subject 2923 is far more familiar to the main game in comparison to the Swamps of Corsus DLC that came before. Players progress through these areas activating checkpoints – Remnant’s version of Dark Souls bonfires – killing everything in their way. As well as the new areas, there are the usual secrets to be discovered, along with plenty of weapons, armours and trinkets to combat the new adversaries.
In this expansion, existing weapons are still perfectly valid. And if they are already upgraded to the max with a Simulacrum, they will be more than capable. Unfortunately, there isn’t a new form of Iron introduced to further bolster your weapons’ stats, and enemies aren’t much stronger than those that have come before. Therefore – at least on Normal difficulty – Subject 2923 doesn’t pose much difficulty to those that have already bested the main game.
That said, Remnant isn’t afraid to throw a difficulty spike in the middle of proceedings. During a run through of Reisum in Story or Adventure mode, a particular Ice Conjurer boss can turn up and slow your progress down.
It is also much more run-of-the-mill than the Swamps of Corsus DLC. This is good news for those that weren’t a fan of the Survival mode, but perhaps disappointing for those looking for a change of pace. But Subject 2923 works in conjunction with Swamps of Corsus too: the new additions can appear in Survival Mode and Reisum can be re-rolled in Adventure mode from the beginning.
There are the usual secrets to be found in Subject 2923, that are well-rewarded. As well as the standard locked doors requiring keycards or fuses, there are various weapons and armours that can only be obtained by doing specific things. One boss for example – which is actually two bosses in one – rewards different items for which one you manage to kill first. And an armour set can only be obtained if you look at it through a tiny gap on the hull of a grounded ship, before then returning an item to a rat with two heads.
On the subject of rats, these are the new enemy types you will be facing in Reisum. Having never had a problem killing the multitude of enemies in Rhom or Yaesha in the base game, killing these in Reisum is harder. They’re not more difficult; they’re just unconventionally cute. The rats come in all shapes and sizes, and if it wasn’t for the fact they started shooting me first – or drop kicked me in the face – I would seriously think twice about blasting them away.
New DLC means new achievements, and Subject 2923 has five of them for a total of 250G. A couple are progression-based so won’t be missed if you complete the DLC. There rest are also for finding unique items and areas, but one of these currently is not working properly so cannot be obtained. A fix is on the way though.
Subject 2923 for Remnant: From the Ashes on Xbox One is a far more conventional DLC than Swamps of Corsus. And where Swamps of Corsus relied on repetition to get maximum enjoyment out of Survival mode, Remnant’s Subject 2923 feels a lot shorter in comparison. But don’t let that put you off; it is still packed with the same hardcore gameplay as the main game. And with Reisum offering a brand-new area, there is plenty to see and do. It is a fitting end to a very underrated game, but one that hopefully spawns a sequel on the next generation.