When The Last Remnant’s removal from storefronts was announced back in August 2018, it was cause for concern. People did not have to wait long for an explanation, as Square Enix announced a remaster not long after it disappeared. Now The Last Remnant Remastered is here, and certainly it is notable for making one of the more niche Square Enix RPGs better looking and relevant again. But even more important is how this impacts the game itself. The improved visuals, ability to move even more quickly through dungeons, and ability to enjoy all of the PC improvements on a console for the first time may make it more inviting for people who were always curious about its characters and story.
All of the changes to The Last Guardian Remastered are ones that are immediately visible. The game is running on Unreal Engine 4 instead of 3, which means it seems more smooth, looks noticeably better, and has drastically reduced loading time. In the field, you can hold down a trigger button to have Rush run. It’s great for navigating hubs, but I found it most handy when trying to use Timeshift to mark as many enemies as possible for my next chain of encounters. This is in addition to the features added in the improved PC version of The Last Remnant, like the removal of leader limits and ability to set an ordinary soldier as a union leader, a Turbo option to speed up battles, autosaves, and having important characters marked on the minimap. This is essentially the ultimate version of the game.
It is the relationships between certain characters and the world building involving Remnants that made The Last Remnant really special. Having a game that is tighter mechanically when it comes to other elements, like visuals and loading times, and lets you more quickly move around the dungeons and maps so you can better chain together battles or get to the story segments, can be helpful. It lets you prioritize what matters and makes those little sidequests to get new recruits and valuable items go faster. This is a version of the game that is great about expediting things.
There are so many people to like here. David (and his relationship with Rush) can be a joy to watch. It is one of those situations where someone might be suspicious to come to Athlum and hear people rave about how good and caring is Marquis is, especially after seeing how quickly he agrees to aid Rush and take him in. But as the game goes on, we see how true he is and the consideration he shows to people, even if it means things might not go so well for him as a result. Emma comes across as this incredibly real and protective warrior. She is an example of a female general in a game who, instead of being eye candy and in some inconceivable outfit, is scarred, suspicious, and strong, to the point where she is initially dubious and is willing to make some tremendous sacrifices to protect David and the kingdom she loves. (Though really, focus on having improving and having other characters in your party.)
Even the other leaders you can recruit have significant backstories with details that might make you really identify with them and want them around. Baulson is the very first person you will recruit via a quest, and he’s fantastic. His reasons for becoming a mystery, to care for his sister, and the good heart hidden behind his gruff personality, is a delight. Extended quests, like the ones between the star-crossed lover Paris and Charlotte, do a great job of making these people that aren’t major characters like Rush, David, or Irina to life and feel important. In the case of Paris, we first reunite him with Charlotte, thwarting an assassination attempt on his life when we do, deliver a letter, take Paris to Charlotte again, save her from a kidnapping attempt, then help make peace between Paris’ kingdom of Royotia and Charlotte’s Balterossa, which brings the two back together after their parents stop feuding.
As for the Remnants themselves, it is interesting to see how these otherworldly things appear in the world around the characters and influence things. We see how a good Remnant can save people, protect towns, and change the world itself. We watch as unbound, Blank Remnants can connect to someone and provide new abilities and benefits. We even witness the drastic disasters that can come from unbound Remnants when they collapse. From the very beginning, The Last Remnant Remastered is teasing people about the nature of these possible beings, what we could see as we go along, and the positive and negative impacts they may have. We learn how important Rush and Irina’s parents are and why people keep taking an interest in what initially appear to be the children of two notable and famous figures. It is a game that it is great to see grow, especially since there is a time skip in it. (There are a lot of quests you can miss, so make sure you do a lot of them before heading into The Aqueducts!)
The Last Remnant Remastered is a way to play the game now and enjoy the benefits of the PC version on a console for the first time. It fulfills a promise by bringing it to a PlayStation platform after the PlayStation 3 version’s cancellation. For people who enjoy Square Enix RPGs and fantastical stories, it offers the what could be the best way to go through it.
The Last Remnant Remastered is available for the PlayStation 4.