"We're not going to short you on content, ever," Remnant 2 expansion 'The Forgotten Kingdom' makes a promise.

Remnant 2 The Forgotten Kingdom promo of an NPC waiting by a wall.
(Image credit: Gunfire Games)

What you need to know

  • Remnant 2 released in during the summer of 2023 and has sold over two million copies.
  • Remnant 2 is currently available on Game Pass.
  • The Forgotten Kingdom, a new DLC for Remnant 2, launches on April 23.
  • The new DLC returns to the world of Yaesha, with a new story, items, bosses, and weapons.
  • A new Archetype has also been revealed, the Invoker. While details are scarce, it will make use of the spiritual magic of Yaesha.

Remnant 2 is one of my favorite games from 2023. It was a brilliant, hard-fought journey for the entire experience. In what even the Creative Director for Remnant 2, Ben “Tragic” Cureton, calls “Souls with guns,” the highly successful Remnant 2 is a non-stop action thrill ride from beginning to end. 

Following the initial launch, the rightfully named Gunfire Games released The Awakened King DLC. Matching the experience of the base game and more, The Awakened King ended up being one of the best expansions I've played in recent years. Now, with The Forgotten Kingdom on the horizon, the anticipation is noticeable on my face. My expectations are soaring, and I can't wait to delve into this new adventure.

From Gunfire Games:

In this upcoming DLC for REMNANT II, players will piece together the forgotten history of the lost tribe of Yaesha as they attempt to quell the vengeful wrath of an ancient stone spirit called Lydusa. Navigate the lingering traces of torment, treachery, and death that haunt the land's once proud ziggurats, as Lydusa's living stones wander the crumbling remnants of an ancient civilization in search of fresh blood. In a brand-new storyline, players must uncover the secrets of the lost tribe by exploring a mysterious new area within the world of Yaesha. In this strange new location, players will traverse new dungeons, acquire powerful gear—including a new Archetype, “The Invoker"— meet unexpected allies, and face new threats in their quest to return some semblance of peace to the forgotten kingdom.

To discuss The Forgotten Kingdom, I met with Ben Cureton, the Principal Designer for Remnant II, and Cindy To, the Principal Level Designer. They were kind enough to show me an early preview of The Forgotten Kingdom. Let's go through some of the details first: 

  • New Storyline, Dungeons, and Area Based in the World of Yaesha: Delve deeper into the biome of Yaesha and experience a brand-new storyline where players will unravel the mystery of Yaesha's lost tribe and a vengeful stone spirit called Lydusa, and her living stone constructs. 
  • New Archetype - The Invoker: Drawing strength from the Nature Spirits of Yaesha, this new Archetype can harness the mystic power of the jungle. More details on the Archetype will be revealed in a new Archetype Reveal Trailer. 
  • Many Items and Powerful Weapons that Enhance Gameplay: Outfit the wanderer to survive this more deadly version of the world of Yaesha by choosing from a host of new weapons and modifications, along with new items, like amulets and rings. 
  • New Bosses, Characters, and Fearsome Creatures to Encounter: Mysterious threats and survivors of unknown origin emerge from the crumbling remnants of the forgotten civilization of Yaesha, bringing new challenges for all players.

This interview has been edited for grammar and clarity.

Returning to Yaesha

Vibrant colors offset the dark contrasting shadows. (Image credit: Gunfire Games)

Upon returning to Yaesha, I was immediately captivated by the vibrant and enchanting color palette. The waves of colors that wash over the landscape are a sight to behold, offering a unique and diverse look that is both familiar and fresh. The forest background is dotted with floating spheres of light, which beautifully contrast with the dark silhouettes of the shadows. It's a visual feast that draws you into the game's world.

Cindy went on to explain, “We really wanted to explore a more vibrant color palette. It's this beautiful, almost vial luminescence-style jungle.”

The landscape, a backdrop for the enemy of the area, the living stone: “For those who are very familiar with Yaesha lore, there were mentions of the living stone. So those creatures were just like a snippet that we showed off in the base game. We're in a civilization where tons of living stone creatures have been lying dormant for many years. Clearly, your arrival has disturbed the presence of these dormant creatures.”

From what I saw during my preview, the world itself is your enemy. Plants rise from the ground near-randomly, and terrifying cobblestone enemies rock toward the player character. I was frustrated that I wasn't the one playing the game! My chance will come, but I felt myself getting close to frothing at the opportunity to jump into new Remnant 2 content.

Much like Awakened King, the overworld isn't procedurally generated; don't worry, the dungeons still are. This is done to allow the world to be a critical storytelling component. The overworld now features living, breathing story elements, enhancing the immersion and narrative of the game.

Cindy illustrated, “With the environment, just like our first DLC, we wanted to make sure the environments we were creating were well represented in the story.”

Ben added, “The first [DLC] was a bit of an experiment. We wanted to see what kind of storytelling we could do with the environment while still maintaining some of that procedural generation within dungeons and what's behind each door and things like that. People really seemed to dig that. So we're continuing it in this one by having a memorable overworld.”

It's this beautiful, almost vial luminescence-style jungle.

Cindy To

Ben and Cindy are right. In my time with the Awakened King, the overworld was a memorable storyboard in which I felt part of it. Rather than the story taking place through cutscenes, I could see it happening around me; I could stroll and live in this story-driven environment. Physically approachable scenes through controllable player movement that is impossible through cutscenes sounds simple, but it invokes a more malleable narrative. 

That's not to say cutscenes aren't prevalent in The Forgotten Kingdom. They still occur before significant fights and story elements, but I appreciate developers who wish to find more creative avenues to express their tale. Rather than cutscenes being the only narrative driver, the world exploration and moments leading up to gunfights are part of the story, too.

More things for players to play with and more reasons to use your old toys, too

The Invoker class definitely looks magical on a spiritual level. (Image credit: Gunfire Games)

“There was a post recently about Diablo's latest patch where they said that Diablo patch notes are 10,000 words. I'm like, 'Hold my beer,' because ours are like 7,000 already, and we don't have anything in them. We've updated almost everything.”

Ben emphasized how many things they've touched upon, going into great detail on their process as they decide what gets balanced.

“I would say it's probably fair to assume that we're not going to short you on content, ever. The balance thing is not necessarily new content, but it's going to make the game feel fresh. If you start over, you'll pick up items you already had and go, 'wow, this has a new use.' Things like hearts, necklaces, guns, and traits. We even reworked some traits because, you know, people memed on the Wayfayer trait. So we addressed that. This is a massive patch for progression as well.”

I'm eager to jump back in and spend time tinkering with all the trinkets and weapons that have been retooled. For fans returning, their favorite builds could feel entirely different, and in a good way. Ben also mentioned that very few items are being nerfed; the vast majority are buffs or reworks to items to make them more competitive choices against some of the more popular picks. I immensely respect this as someone who loathes balance patches marked by a significant amount of nerfs. Looking at you Borderlands 3, I'll never forget what you did to my boy!

We're not going to short you on content, ever.

Ben Cureton

“As we continue to push to what Ben was leading to, as we continue to push the DLCs, we want to make sure that the core of Remnant is well taken care of and quality of life and just making sure that Remnant 2 remains a game that can stand up on its own two legs for the long haul.” Cindy added.

While Remnant 2 isn't a live-service game, their dedication to the player base on an ongoing basis is to be applauded. Their love is tangible, and I could sense it pouring over their words and into my ears as they spoke. While it may not be evident through simple text on a screen, they were noticeably excited to answer every question I had. The amount of commentary they offered isn't adequately expressed, as I'm only using about five percent of the total quotes I could be! They're passionate and I'm here for it.

Boss clips and tight lips

Looks like a boss location.. Well, anywhere does if you think about it long enough! (Image credit: Gunfire Games)

Things like new items, story characters, or even the new Archetype were kept under wraps during the preview. Although the new Archetype will be revealed prior to launch, I was given a look at a unique weapon and the new Kiln boss. The first of which Ben enthusiastically shared, noting that his “handler” from Gearbox, Brad, might give him a hard time about it later. I'll cover the gun in a moment. First, the Kiln boss. 

I love Remnant for its use of non-typical boss fight mechanics. While it was nowhere near something like the Labyrinth Sentinel, a fight that was controversial for many, it's still absolutely unique. I hope we're in store for more.

The ordeal with the Kiln boss was presented in standard fashion, but as the fight progressed, it was more akin to classic Galaga. A vast array of light poured out villainously towards Ben's player as he did his best to dodge each one. Using iframes will be essential to escape its radiant beams of death. Whenever he had an opening, Ben would take well-earned shots at telegraphed points of weakness to take down the dream-like Zelda jar.

Ben explained, “This is very reminiscent of Barbed Terror from Remnant One, which was just a stationary boss, right? No ads, or anything like that.”

Look out Link, Mike is gonna show you how it's done. (Image credit: Gunfire Games)

Cindy threw in, “It's more of a Bullet Hell kind of thing.” In the context of the Kiln boss fight, this means that the boss will unleash a barrage of projectiles that players will need to dodge. It's a gameplay style that requires quick reflexes and precise movements, adding a new layer of challenge to the fight.

I then watched Ben getting pulled in via a cyclone power before a colossal gravel hand stretched from the Kiln, causing decimating damage. The Kiln then opened itself, revealing something underneath that appeared open for attack. However, Ben knew what he was doing and cut the battle short by falling to one of its rays. It was humorous to watch him pretend to be bad. All in an effort to hide the later stages of the fight.

That's where most of my preview time stopped. He teleported back to Earth, where we spoke a little more, but I was able to get another quick reveal on something else—a weapon! A firearm that Halo fans will find somewhat familiar. I won't give it all away, but let's just say that players might find themselves using the gun to do a bit of sewing.

More to come, and I can't wait

I can't wait to see red splattered across the environment. (Image credit: Gunfire Games)

There's still much of the Forgotten Kingdom to uncover, including the highly anticipated Invoker Archetype. While details are scarce, it has been hinted in both my interview and the press release that it's closely tied to the rich and immersive narrative world of Yaesha. It's always exciting to see what new surprises and developments are in store for fans, and it's even more so when the press is also kept out of the loop.

As I sit here working on this preview, I find myself glancing down at the corner of my screen, anxiously checking the date. In just under two weeks, the new DLC will finally be released, and I can't wait for everyone to experience what I hope will be another masterpiece. The anticipation is almost palpable, and I am excited to see the reaction it receives from fans and critics alike.

For players returning, you know what you're in store for. As for newcomers, Ben and Cindy hope to see you as well.

“There's no game that has the mechanics that Remnant has. You could play an Outriders, or a Gears, or some other great third-person shooter. You could play a Souls game and get incredible melee and exploration, but 'Souls with guns', there is no game like this.” Ben expressed.

Cindy went on to agree, “There really doesn't feel like a lot of games on the market that are close to Remnant. So personally, as someone who loves Helldivers, Back 4 Blood, and Left 4 Dead. Getting a couple of my friends and just having that really fun co-op experience where you know, you're going to walk out of that game having stories of, 'oh, I actually friendly fired' or 'Hey, did you remember that one time when blah, blah, blah happened?' There's not a lot of games where you remember those goofy, funny moments!”

I couldn't agree more Cindy. Let us know what you're excited about below in the comments or somewhere on our social media pages. Don't forget to come back to Windows Central for our comprehensive review of The Forgotten Kingdom. I can't wait to share my thoughts on this exciting new release once I get the chance!

Michael Hoglund

Michael has been gaming since he was five when his mother first bought a Super Nintendo from Blockbuster. Having written for a now-defunct website in the past, he's joined Windows Central as a contributor to spreading his 30+ years of love for gaming with everyone he can. His favorites include Red Dead Redemption, all the way to the controversial Dark Souls 2.