Remnant 2 David Adams interview: “Even though it is randomised, every act in the game is handcrafted”

by on June 12, 2023

It isn’t every day you get a chance to speak to someone with a CV like David Adams of Gunfire Games, the Austin, TX based veteran designer of the classic Darksiders series, not to mention ace action RPG shooter Remnant: From the Ashes, which scooped a handsome 9/10 review score on this very site. And that brings me to the reason I ended up in the swanky Gearbox offices in Amsterdam, where not only did I get a hands-on with the hugely enjoyable Remnant 2, but a chat with the affable Texan.

The first thing I wanted to find out, perhaps a tad selfishly, was how Adams would sell this one to someone not particularly au-fait with the kind of Souls-like, procedurally generated action it contains.

“I think that what I like about the game, is it kind of combines two things. If you like really good action games, with cool, fantastic enemies, then it definitely delivers on that front. There is a lot of really tight action, and it is a lot of fun in co-op. It is also a really good exploration game. There are a lot of secrets hidden in the world, and the world is randomised – you may have noticed that some people (gestures towards the room of media playing the game) have different worlds that they are playing in, even from the get go!”

Remnant 2 David Adams interview: "Even though it is randomised, every act in the game is handcrafted"

Fresh from playing the game for a solid hour, one of the things I noticed were the epic and at times quite disturbing boss fights. I told our Dave that I was a big fan of confronting any kind of vile, Lovecraftian beasts. “So are we!” was his immediate retort. Which led me to ask just what kind of stuff had influenced the production of the game.

“Well, one of the cool things is the game structure. We can explore different worlds. One of the worlds is inspired by Pan’s Labyrinth”- I immediately had to stop him there, as Del Toro’s horror fantasy masterpiece is among my favourite movies of all time, and I had clocked a decidedly fawn-like character early doors. “It was definitely an influence. There is another world inspired by Victorian England, and Fey mythology. One of the NPCs is Nimue, who is better known as the Lady of the Lake. In the first game we had a stage that was a mixture of Dune and Mad Max.”

Remnant 2 David Adams interview: "Even though it is randomised, every act in the game is handcrafted"

In terms of what games the Remnant 2 team themselves like to play, it seems we have a bit in common not just movies-wise but in video games too. “I like adventure games. I like Zelda. As you can see from Darksiders which is basically a Zelda game. I love Elden Ring, the Souls games, any game with any sense of exploration. I love Fallout, again because it is a world I can explore and find cool stuff in.”

Going back to the matter at hand, Remnant II is procedurally generated, which means that no two playthroughs will be the same, and ostensibly you could play for weeks before there is any real noticeable repetition. “I like to call it random reshuffle”, Adams reveals. “Even though it is randomised, every act in the game is handcrafted. I think sometimes that procedurally generated games can sometimes start to get really repetitive, because it really is very algorithmic. But in this case all of the little chunks have been handcrafted. NPCs, bosses and major points of interest you encounter – what the system does is sort of rearranges it all. Even the storylines, and the route through the storyline is changed! Even if two people both went to the same world, for example you both went to the jungle world, you may encounter two entirely different storylines just within that world.”

Remnant 2 David Adams interview

Like most people of my age, I dabbled with online gaming, but have FPS-fan kids, and the excellent co-op capabilities of Remnant 2 offers me the chance to dip my toe back in, as my kids and friends would love this one. “It’s definitely cool in co-op” David enthused. “All the items in the game are randomised, there are a ton of secrets, and although it comes across as a straightforward action game on the surface, there are plenty of opportunities to go off the beaten path. So if you are playing with someone else – such as one of your kids, you have an incentive to enter their world, as there may be loads of items and secrets in there that you may not be able to get in your game. It is a really fun multiplayer experience, as you can jump into someone else’s game and you get a completely different set of things!”

Adams explained that “We are right at the end now, I mean, Summer is the plan and I think we are going to announce the release date soon”, and he seemed genuinely pleased that I went away looking forward to play more.


Remnant 2 is coming to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S|X on July 25th. Impressions and interview based on hands-on time in Amsterdam, flights and accommodation were paid for by Gearbox.

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