PC Review: The Last Remnant

Games for Windows gets The Last Remnant, but is it a better version?

The Last Remnant is a brand-new adventure from the creators of the Final Fantasy series. Benefiting from the finest creative talent and the latest technological advances, it is set to raise the bar in next-gen gaming, with graphics powered by Unreal Engine 3 and an innovative battle system.
Somehow, I missed out on the Xbox 360 version of The Last Remnant so sadly I’m unable to compare both versions, but from what I can tell…it was a fairly good game, just hindered with some awful graphical problems. The Games for Windows version improves that slightly, but the end result is more or less the same.

The PC version has specific new features, here’s a nice little list:

Players will be given the choice of Japanese and English voice-overs, as well as a variety of subtitle languages

Exciting new quests will challenge players like never before

Devastating new special attacks will make combat even more dramatic

When forming a union, players will be able to allow multiple leader units to join for a more powerful union

Autosave and normal save functions will be available between consecutive battles

Players will be able to play the game using a mouse and keyboard

Graphical weapon previews will be added to assist players with equipment selection

The overall speed of gameplay in battle sequences will increase

New allied characters will be added to aid players in battle

Character animations will be improved

The PC version sadly offers no achievement support, which I find odd. The game came out originally on the 360, so why not add the same achievements to the PC version? Gamers might be dismayed to learn that they will need to install Steam to get the game up and running, which requires an Internet connection…so if you buy the game and your connection comes crashing down, you’re out of luck till it comes back.
Once you’ve registered the game online, you can access it without any problems. It does require you to have 15GB of free space, which is pretty extreme and the game still comes on 2 discs. It also requires you to have at least 1.5GB of RAM, so bad luck to those that only have 1GB or less. Luckily though, if you have the hardware to run the game…it looks pretty good, although it doesn’t implement DX10 support, which I find to be a missed opportunity.

The story revolves around Remnants which are scattered relics of a bygone age. Throughout history, they have been used for good and evil. Now, a mysterious figure has emerged, seemingly intent on seizing them all. Meanwhile, a young man scours the land for his kidnapped sister. Could her abduction be linked to the struggle for control over these artefacts? You’ll have to play the game to find out, but I must say…it’s not the most original story, yet it gets the job done.

As an RPG goes, The Last Remnant is pretty good. The combat is more about strategy and formations, while not becoming stale. I must say, the game is heavily focused on combat…which some might find a bit off-putting, but luckily there aren’t any random encounters…instead you see your foes and can choose to engage them or run. Fighting does require a bit more thought than just attacking, but it usually comes down to a pattern of attack, heal, attack, heal to succeed, like in most JRPG’s.
The game does offer a lot of free roaming, non-linear play…which is a nice addition in today’s mostly linear games. RPG nuts will be able to get to grips with the game fast, despite there being a learning curve…while newcomers might be overwhelmed by all the little things like forging weapons, combat and abilities. The Last Remnant doesn’t change the face of the genre, but it’s a good game regardless and great on the PC. Having said that, I did find myself using my Xbox 360 controller for the game more than the keyboard/mouse setup. Of course, it comes down to preference over which control method you choose.

The visuals are great and the framerate is solid, a much needed improvement from what I hear about the original. Voice-acting is a mixed bag, some great and some…not so great. Background music is memorable and fits the feel of the game incredibly well.

The Verdict

The Last Remnant does a lot of things right as an RPG and the PC version is more refined visually than the Xbox 360 version. It may not be that groundbreaking, but it’s a lengthy game and one that RPG fans should enjoy.