Best of 2023: Remnant 2’s final boss is brutal and mind-altering at its best

Remnant 2 has few bosses. There is a corrupt alien wolf with a lot of eyes and really wants you to kill a magical deer. It’s also what I can only describe as a night terror turned into ethereal flesh, crawling out of the walls and trying to kill you while opening a hatch from its chest. to spit spiders at you. There’s even a giant alien kid who blurs the lines between realities and tries to kill you using a combination of black holes and laser beams to protect his home from the event horizon.

Note: Remnant 2 spoilers ahead.

Remnant 2 is a significant leap from the first game in almost every way imaginable, but the boss design is one of its biggest strengths. And among these bosses, one that tops them all in terms of power and design is Annihilation: the final boss of the original game.

Annihilation is a massive dragon root. The Root is a virus that grows close to other living things on the worlds it invades, and at this point, it has effectively corrupted space and time to the point where you have to destroy everything just to stop it. Annihilation is The Root’s final form in Remnant 2, and aside from being a large draconic creature, it also has a sword so large that even Sephiroth thinks The Root is overdoing it.

While dodging massive sword swings, exotic projectiles, and destructive energy blasts, you must shoot this fearsome character and do everything you can to not only survive, but defeat a seemingly impossible enemy. also destroy. However, you’re the hero and it’s a video game, so if you’re committed enough to your build or just skilled enough, you’ll drain Annihilation to zero health.

This final boss is a brutal action-RPG, so naturally there’s another stage and that’s where things get really interesting. Destruction reaches up and grabs its horns, then opens its head like a toddler with a bag of chips, revealing what appears to be a Dreamer inside the monstrous beast.

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At the end of the main Remnant you fight a Dreamer. These are the humans who, with what looks like a virtual reality headset on, act as a portal to other worlds for The Root, and are basically the cause of the whole apocalypse in the first place. It’s only fitting that there is one within Annihilation to control things or act as an unwitting host for the horrors they inflict on the rest of existence. However, you don’t have a chance to think about which one, because you’ve just made it into phase two.

At this point, the arena transforms into what appears to be a linear model video game. The boss now faces you like you’re in an arcade cabinet, and the newly revealed Dreamer tries to hit you with the same massive sword, but he’s also gained the ability to summon trees from the ground. to try to slap you. .

So, you have to dodge swords, new projectiles and trees to win this part of the fight. It’s an extremely interesting transition, but it’s only the beginning of a mind-blowing second phase. Once you’ve dealt enough damage, the screen will crash and the fight will go back to square one.

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You’ll once again have to fight Annihilation, who spawns homing projectiles while trying to blast you into oblivion with his massive sword, and then the fight, once again, returns to phase two. From here on out, you have no way of knowing when the fight will change, and whenever it does, the boss will resume whatever attack it was going to throw at you in the next phase.

The result is pure chaos. While it’s nice to keep track of what attack each stage was trying to beat you to death with, it all moves so fast that most people can only dodge what’s in front of them. . It’s an intense and deeply stressful fight that will kill you multiple times.

Because of the damage this boss can do, you probably won’t even see the second phase in your first few tries, and that’s only on the lowest solo difficulty. If you’re playing on one of the harder difficulties or with friends, then the boss has more HP and can deal more damage.

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Not only do you have to learn the different timings the boss has, but you also slowly start to absorb the weird timings that rotating between phases can offer. Given enough time, you’ll get the hang of it, and it’s hard to see this boss as anything other than one of the coolest moments in gaming in 2023.

It might even be one of the best final bosses in games in recent years. On top of the call back to the first game, combat refers to many things Possible Continue with the game and what Remnant’s story could look like, like how it’s heavily hinted that you’re in an in-game simulation. Above all, it’s just a very visually and mechanically satisfying fight.

Crushing difficulty, visual flair, and sheer wow factor combine in Annihilation, a massive tree dragon with a little dude in a virtual reality headset inside that pops its head off before it engages with reality. It’s a combination that’s hard not to like.

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