Remnant: From the Ashes, the incredible third-person, Souls-like ARPG from developer Gunfire Games, has been a personal favorite since its original release in 2019. Everything from its gritty, post-apocalyptic setting to its Souls-like (albeit much more forgiving) mechanics made it an instant classic for those that love the genre. When we covered the game back in 2019, David was impressed with everything from the lore to the mechanics. With Remnant II on the horizon, fans of the gritty action shooter have been itching to jump back into the action. While we eagerly await the arrival of the upcoming entry to the series, Gunfire Games has also been hard at work bringing the original into the hands of Switch players.
As an aforementioned fan of the franchise, I’ve been eagerly waiting to play through Ashes on everyone's favorite handheld. Having now had a chance to spend some time with Remnant on Switch it's time to see if it holds up on the little Nintendo console that could. So grab that coffee, kick back, and check out our review of Remnant From the Ashes Nintendo Switch port Edition.
*This review will focus primarily on how well Remnant performs on the Switch, for a look at our original review check it out here.
That Old, Familiar Feeling
Remnant: From the Ashes is a great game. When it originally came out on PC back in 2019, it attempted and succeeded at giving us the challenge and mechanical performance we had come to expect from Souls-like games. Every enemy has mechanics to learn and counter and every boss an exercise in patience and strategy all of which are balanced with fine-tuned and responsive controls.
Thankfully all of this has translated exceptionally well. I actually ran the game on both PC and Switch side by side thanks to my capture card to do a quick comparison of controls and response. Using my wireless Xbox controller for PC and wireless Pro controller for Switch I ran through a series of areas to see how the two responded to various combat situations.
Impressively the responsiveness on Switch felt similar to that of the PC. In fact from a controls responsiveness perspective, both games performed exceptionally well. Playing in hand-held mode was slightly more of an adjustment. This, of course, can be attributed to the Joycons which historically don’t hold a candle to a pro controller in regard to accuracy. Overall though, even in handheld mode, Remnant played exceptionally well.
Likewise, Remnant also performed exceptionally well on Switch. I didn’t notice any major drops in frame rates or shuttering during my playthrough. In fact other than some longer load times than you would see on PC, Remnant ran like a champ on Switch. Likewise, the multiplayer was a wonderfully smooth experience. Like its PC brethren, You can quickly join or create a multiplayer game with up to two other friends. In our testing, my son and I had no problem joining each other's games online and were pleasantly surprised to see a local network co-op option as well.
While I tested Remnant: From the Ashes on my Switch, I was also able to run the same tests on the Switch Lite. I was again pleasantly surprised to see it running smoothly without any frame rate dips or shuttering. Likewise, there were no major bugs or screen tearing that took place on either system.
Even in larger, more open areas, the port was able to render and manage everything happening onscreen with ease. There were no delays in loading menus or managing inventory and everything felt quick and responsive. While this level of responsiveness is important to any game, it is especially so in the case of a Souls-like game where a second delay is the difference between life and death. Thankfully performance on the Switch and Switch Lite is fantastic and my son and I have been enjoying replaying the title from the comfort of the living room couch.
The Cost of Performance
While I am impressed at how well Remnant runs on the Switch, it does come at a visual cost. There is a significant downgrade in the overall quality of the visuals on the Switch. This is a pretty common occurrence with titles being ported from other consoles or PC. In fact, it is typically the area that is sacrificed first for the sake of performance. Games like DOOM Eternal or Outer Worlds (you can check out our Switch review of Outer Worlds here) suffered greatly from this. It's the tension a developer has to manage when trying to make a title accessible across multiple platforms.
The question you always have to ask is whether it's worth the cost of sacrificing the visuals for the sake of performance and as a follow-up, how much is too much? In the case of Remnant, Gunfire seems to have managed that tension fairly well. The visuals definitely take a hit but not to the point of no return. In fact, when considering how smoothly the game runs and how responsive the controls are, the lower-quality visuals really aren’t that much of a sacrifice.
The draw distance in open areas is still fairly clear and while objects in the distance don’t have the same sharp crispness as its PC counterpart, everything in the foreground is clear and serviceable. I did notice some heavier downgrading of the visuals in cutscenes but during gameplay everything was clear and sharp enough and didn’t take away from the overall experience.
I did notice that the game seemed a bit darker by default than its PC counterpart both while docked and in handheld mode. Thankfully a quick slider adjustment remedied this problem and I was able to dive into the action without any issues. While the overall visuals are a clear downgrade from the PC version (and understandably so) they are never so far degraded that it takes away from the emersion or overall experience.
Remnant: From the Ashes is still an excellent game. Gunfire Game’s port to the Nintendo Switch has made an exceptionally great game accessible to a whole new group of gamers. Tight, responsive controls and consistently smooth gameplay performance make up for some downgraded visuals. This leaves you with a solid offering for the Nintendo Switch. If you’re in the market for a Souls-like with a unique story, a bit more forgiving gameplay and also like to game on the go then I can highly recommend picking up Remnant: From the Ashes on the Nintendo Store.
Full disclosure: A copy of the game was provided by PR for the purposes of this review.