The Surge 2 is out now and is available on PC, Xbox One and PS4, and it’s a bloody brilliant follow up to the first outing of the series by Deck 13.
The Surge 2 is set in Jericho City and is a much more interesting map than we experienced in The Surge 1. The Surge 2 picks up where the Surge 1 left off. The city has been decimated by a nanite virus / seemingly paranormal catastrophe and the city has fallen to chaos. As a survivor of an air crash, you wake up to find yourself in prison / medical facility with no idea of what’s going on outside. Your first task is to break out and see what’s happening for yourself.
View the Surge 2 launch trailer below:
If you’ve played the previous Surge game you’ll be immediately familiar with how the game works. It clearly takes many cues from the Dark Souls games but its futuristic setting and general playstyle do enough to make it a great game in its own right. This isn’t a comparison between The Surge 2 and Dark Souls.
The core of the gameplay in The Surge 2 is built around your Exo suit and choice of implants and weapon loadout. The options available after only a few hours of play are staggering with god knows how many combinations to choose from. There is certainly something here for every playstyle. As you get closer to the end of the game the combinations of equipment can be a bit overwhelming but if you’re a fan of tinkering to get the last bit of DPS from a build you’ll be in hog heaven.
The combat is fast and furious and once again you can target specific body parts to lop off your enemies in order to gain upgrade parts and new crafting schematics. The slo-mo animation as you finish an enemy and dismember them still hasn’t got old and I’ve yet to grow bored of them. Quite often they come as a relief as it means you might get a brief breather from the stress of the fight. Combat feels well balanced and certainly rewards those who are prepared to invest the time into perfecting the mechanics. You can button bash to a degree but you’ll fare much better if you practice honing your skills.
Exploring Jericho City can be challenging as there is no map to call upon a whim and there are no waypoints to guide you around the game world. As you progress you will find yourself opening shortcuts leading back to the med bays that act as save and safe points where you can upgrade your gear and level up. There is no greater feeling of relief than opening a door and finding you’ve just opened a door to quick medical access!
There is a much greater range of environments when compared to the Surge 1 which could feel very repetitive in nature. In contrast, Jericho City is sprawling with lots of side paths to explore and hidden areas to find. The different environments stop exploration from getting stale although the colour scheme does feel a bit washed out.
To add to the pressure of the game you drop all of your non-banked currency (tech scrap) at your point of death, you’ll be dying a lot. You then only have a few minutes to get back to the same point to pick up your scrap again, once the timer runs down it’s gone forever and to make it even harder, all of the enemies will have respawned too! It can be stressful walking around the world with a large amount of scrap on you but sometimes you need to have this on you as you make your way to the various vendors within the game.
Boss fights are challenging as you would expect but generally come down to learning the mechanics of the fight and then working these to your advantage. They are satisfyingly large and intimidating and some are deadly quick. Each boss kill grants you a piece of loot that you can use to open up more parts of the map or upgrade your gear.
If you played and liked The Surge 1 then you’ll love The Surge 2, it’s a bigger, better and more refined version of the former. It’s also worth a go if you like the Dark Souls games, yes the setting is very different but The Surge plays in a very similar way and is definitely one of the better Soulsesque games out there.
The Surge 2 was reviewed using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive Developer: Deck 13 Release Date: 23rd September 2019 Reviewed On: PC Also available on: PS4, Xbox One.