Ever since Remnant: From the Ashes arrived on Xbox Game Pass, this sleeper hit has provided plenty of hardcore third-person shooting action to many gamers. It has also gone from strength to strength with a slew of free updates keeping things fresh. Now, the first premium DLC arrives in the form of the Swamps of Corsus update. This primarily focuses on two aspects: the Corsus area itself and a brand new mode.
When the game first launched, it has to be said that the Corsus area was probably the weakest in terms of a technical standpoint. Laggy with frequent framerate drops when playing online, it was an area myself and others ran through as fast as possible to avoid any further bugs.
Now that this has been revamped, things are a lot smoother. But don’t think this makes it any easier.
To access this new Corsus area, you need to start a new Adventure mode. Once in, things may look similar, but it isn’t long before the changes become apparent. The Cult of Iskal is in charge now, and the Queen leads them from her hideout. The gameplay remains the same: travel through the hub area to the various dungeons before happening upon the Iskal Temple where the Queen resides. Whilst the Queen can be defeated, she can also become an ally as you team up with her, similar to the decision you had to make in the main game as to whether or not you should side with the Undying King.
The Queen isn’t the only new boss to feature in the Swamps of Corsus: as well as the usual monsters that still appear including Ixilis, new baddies such as the Dream Eater and Barbed Terror have arrived and are packing serious punches. You may need to re-roll the Corsus Adventure mode several times in order to see everything; unfortunately, there isn’t a way to choose whether you just want to see the DLC dungeons or not.
Then there is the Fetid Pools area which is a new dungeon with a puzzle section granting some serious rewards. The rewards can only be unlocked one at a time however, so the already immensely replayable Adventure Mode has been multiplied tenfold thanks to this new dungeon. As with everything else in Remnant though, don’t expect an easy ride.
For those that haven’t purchased the DLC, fear not; Corsus in the Campaign Mode has still had an update by introducing a few new areas and tweaks to existing enemies. The new Adventure Mode is reserved only for those that have bought the DLC.
The other substantial new mode to be introduced is Survival Mode. This brand-new mode puts you right back at square one in Remnant with a game type that takes away everything your character has looted and upgraded so far. Starting with just a Repeater Pistol, a handful of scrap and only the odd couple of consumables, players must race through areas as fast as possible.
Kills earn EXP, whilst traits and pieces of armour can be found readily in the game world. Unlike the main game, levelling up increases strength and defence automatically, because you are against the clock. On Normal mode every six minutes the enemies increase in strength, though this does pause when a boss is defeated. The amount of time before enemies increase a level on the harder difficulties is less, and on the hardest difficulties the timer doesn’t pause at all.
Each location is randomly chosen, as is the boss that you must face. But the rewards for defeating them are greater, with the new currency of Glowing Fragments. These can be unlocked in regular modes but at a much lower rate; Survival Mode is easily the most effective way to obtain them.
And you will need a lot of them, as they are used to buy armour skins from a new vendor, Whisper. Found next to the Root Mother, Whisper offers these skins as a new way to kit out your character. They are purely cosmetic however, and do not offer any additional stat boosts, but do give your characters a fresh wardrobe.
For some reason unbeknownst to me, some players were calling Remnant too easy on its hardest difficulty, Nightmare. For those, a new difficulty has also been added for free, Apocalypse. I think I’ll stick with Normal though as it is more than enough of a challenge in itself!
Swamps of Corsus on Xbox One is a DLC that offers tons of replayability, in a game that had it to spare already. Previously a surprise hit, this update has propelled Remnant: From the Ashes into one of the best games available on Xbox Game Pass. And there is more to come, with the recently announced Subject 2923 expansion coming in August. This final and largest DLC will conclude Remnant: From the Ashes as it explores the link between The Dreamer and The Root, as humanity begins to return to the streets of Earth. It will feature new areas along with the usual updates to existing areas and modes we have come to expect with Remnant.
Between the Swamps of Corsus and Subject 2923, Remnant still has a long way to go, which will please players no end as they continue their journey into this unique and brilliant hardcore shooter.