The Surge 2 is the sequel to the original. It is an action adventure in the vein of Dark Souls. It was developed by Deck 13 Interactive and was published by Focus Home Interactive. It was released in September 2019 for PC and Consoles.
Jericho City has been walled off from the rest of the world. Life has no meaning, and gangs have now taken over various parts of the city. The explosion that took place at the CREO Institute caused Nanites to scatter everywhere, and destroy the city as the residents once knew it. As you’re on an airplane, the nanites attack it and make it crash, thus landing you in the city. You wake up two months later, not sure how or why you’re there. All you know is you need to get out, and you have a guiding voice that tells you that it needs help. So off we go!
The story had a lot more going for it than I expected. Not only are you trying to find your way out of Jericho City, you’re also trying to find Athena, who is a child you met on the plane, and save her from whatever is happening to her. You see bits and pieces of her journey through little “visions” that you get when interacting with certain parts of the world. The game is basically broken down into acts, and the game even does a perfect job in telling you that if you proceed past a certain point, the world changes. But it wasn’t only the main story I was invested in, there were also a bunch of side quests that I could take part in.
These were where the game got weird and silly, depending on the quest. One quest I had to find a bunch of audio logs to find out why a squad of mercenaries turned on each other. Then on the flip side of that, I had to bring audio logs to a robotic vending machine that loved to gossip. I’d have to help a tour guide find the civilians that she lost in the nanite ravaged city. Then I spray painted a symbol around different areas “to fight the power man!”. It blended it all up perfectly and brought some light hearted charm to the world. At the end of the game, you end up getting two choices to make. I backed up my save so I could see both of them without running the game twice. Unfortunately, no matter what choice you end up making, the ending is exactly the same. So why give you a choice?
Then in the DLC, The Kraken, this is where the game took kind of a left turn. The main game is dark and gritty and messed up. But the DLC felt light hearted and silly, as I was tasked with boarding an airship carrier that has a little town on it. I was greeted with gardens, grass, and colourful houses, and an NPC asking me to find him weiners so he can have a barbeque! But the point of the DLC was saving this town from robot pirates!!! YARRRR! It was light hearted, it was fun, it had a touch of darkness, but unfortunately it was over way too fast. Before I knew it, I was done and back on my way to Jericho City. But at least I got a really awesome weapon out of the deal and some weird pirate armour!
The gameplay is where the game may lose players unfortunately. It takes heavy inspiration from Dark Souls. Where the gameplay and combat is punishing and unforgiving. The levels are mazes that make you wonder where to go, and hope for safety around the next corner. I was always excited when I finally got to open up a shortcut back to the Medbay, so I could not only level up, but I had the ability to upgrade my equipment and bank my techscrap that I didn’t use, for later level ups or upgrades.
The game employs a new parry system that wasn’t found in the first one, that if you play, you better hope you get used to, as it was paramount to my survival. Many bosses required me to learn how to parry them to be able to do good damage. Some bosses required you to parry them many times before they were knocked off guard to do good damage. But against normal enemies, parrying helped you cut limbs off them faster. This leads to you getting new weapons or armor, plus materials to upgrade your armor with. But you usually have to wait a while for those. As you progress through the game, the enemies get number ranks beside their health bars. Little did I know, this number meant the rank of which the materials would drop off them. So if I needed Mk.VIII material, I needed to dismember a rank 8 enemy, but the game never told me that. I just sort of figured it out.
As you level up, you get attribute points. These points can only be used on 3 sets of attributes. Health, Stamina, and Battery Capacity. The battery is used to replenish your health consumable, and is charged by hitting enemies. It’s also used to dismember enemies. Unfortunately if you don’t use the battery, it goes away, which was honestly a terrible choice if you ask me. You need to equip an “implant” which is basically a skill to keep some batteries around if you always wanted one. As you level, you also unlock implant spots. As I said, these are basically skills that you can find around the world that do random things for you. Maybe they give you more capacity for your gear, or let you do more damage if you parry enemies, or let you gain battery when you take damage. The possibilities for a good build were huge! I always found myself thinking of new implants to use when I unlocked a new slot. The possibilities were huge!
As you explore the game, it seems so massive at first. You get thrown into Downtown Jericho City after the tutorial, which is just a big hub world basically. There’s so many places to go and enemies to kill. Every area you went to was a small, self contained area though. So once you reached it, you just had to worry about what was in it. Unfortunately you can end up stumbling into places that will kill you immediately if you’re not careful. But enemies hide everywhere in every map. Heck most of the time, I found the basic enemies and areas themselves, harder than the bosses at the end of them! It was odd to have a hub world, considering the first game was honestly quite linear.
- Silly Side Quests
- Fun DLC
- Variety Of Builds
- Parrying Is A Necessity
- Last Choice Doesn’t Change The Story
- HUB Is Confusing At First
The Surge 2 is a great step up from its predecessor but also has its faults. I loved the mix of silly side quests and DLC with the dark tones of the story. For fans of the souls like gameplay, I can’t recommend this enough. Especially if you love sci-fi!
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Deck13 Interactive
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Focus Home Interactive
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £24.99/€29.99 Europe / $29.99 North America
Trophy Information: 58. 1 / 3 / 8 / 44