The Last Remnant was one of the few RPG’s that Square Enix launched that was separate to the Final Fantasy franchise. When it first released in 2008, that fact was enough to help garner interest. After all, Square Enix knew what it was doing when it came to turn based RPG’s.
However, as much attention as it received leading up to its original release, it wasn’t enough to go beyond cult status. That being said, The Last Remnant did get a PC release not long after. A PlayStation 3 release was announced and then cancelled. Now, a decade later, the publisher is pulling the game from Steam — one of the very few – if not only – places to get your hands on a copy today. Xbox 360 discs stopped being manufactured several years ago and there’s a very small chance of players getting their hands on a physical copy.
Square Enix did note, however, that those who already own the game on Steam will be able to continue playing The Last Remnant. What was missing from the announcement, however, was any kind of reasoning behind the game’s de-listing.
The gaming community reacted to the news with a range of emotions. Many were surprised that the game was being removed, while others hadn’t realized that it was still being sold. Others hadn’t even heard of the game before, but thought it looked interesting, scrambling to get a copy while they still had a chance.
This news comes as a bit of the shame. It was a heck of an RPG and was exceptionally well received when it released. Although the Xbox 360 and PC versions had some differences, both were critically acclaimed. Looking back on The Last Remnant, it’s easy to see why. It’s one of those rare RPG’s that holds up to the test of time.
Taking a bit of a turn from typical RPG’s, the game lets players build up a somewhat sizable army made up of groups that players command in turn based battles. Instead of commanding hero characters, these characters are given a general command and they relay these commands to their group. Essentially, you’re the off-screen commander of an entire army, with characters using their intelligence to deal with foes.
Players have to be tactical with commands due to differences between regular enemies. The two main types of attack commands are Combat Arts and Mystic Arts. Essentially, these break down into weapons-based and magic-based attacks, respectively. The tactical part comes into play on two fronts; the biggest being with enemies, as many have a natural tolerance against one of the two Arts.
(For the record, there are more than two types of Arts in the game. For simplicity, I’m keeping it to the ones that even casual players of the game would be familiar with. Combat Arts and Mystical Arts are the more commonly used Arts.)
Strategy is needed when players take into account their characters. As with many RPG’s, each character has his/her own weaknesses and strengths. Some may be great with Combat Arts and terrible with Mystic Arts. This leads to players having to think of ways to set up their groups, such as putting all of the Mystic Arts users together, etc…
The storyline takes players on an amazing journey even if they ignore side quests. In total, there’s dozens of hours of playtime, excluding time spent grinding. Unfortunately, this is necessary at some parts of the game.
Characters are given an exceptional amount of room to grow and reveal their backstories. This carries over to many of The Last Remnant’s optional side characters. If they’re recruited, many will reveal their backstories following a side-quest focusing on them.
All-in-all, the PC community has lost one of its greats. For those of us who have already bought the game, we’ll be able to live on in its glory. For those who didn’t get the chance, they’re sadly going to be missing out on a truly unique RPG.