The Surge 2 on PC
Two years after the tumultuous release of the original, Deck13 is giving things another shot, once again bringing players back to their unique, machine-driven dystopian future with The Surge 2.
The story picks up immediately after the events of the original, as debris from the rocket that launched at the end of the first game accidentally hits the plane carrying The Surge 2’s nameless protagonist.
Two months and a character customization screen later, and the main character awakens from a coma to find out everything has changed for the worse.
Just outside of the CREO base that makes up the setting of the first game, Jericho City has been quarantined by the government due to a nanite pandemic.
At first, the idea that The Surge 2 would take place just outside CREO was interesting.
While the tight corridors and factory setting of the original made for a spooky decor, they never did much to serve the game’s narrative.
Yes, the CREO factory did reflect the apocalyptic nature of things – with nothing but enemies sprawled all over the place.
The problem with that is the sheer lack of interaction with NPCs and other characters in the game just left the world feeling a little boring and hallow.
With Jericho City, it seemed like there was much more space and life to the setting at the start, as areas felt more interesting and varied, ranging from a detention center to a repurposed strip mall.
The further the game goes, the more lifeless the world begins to feel though.
Alongside the fact that very few characters have interesting things to say or much interactions at all, most of the story is once again hidden away in audio logs.
While there are some interesting bits of lore that can be found in these audio logs, they are a poor substitute for an actual story.
Combat-wise, the game is still as fun as ever, as the weighted gore of the original returns.
Once again, The Surge 2 takes heavy influence from the Soulsborne genre, prioritizing timing and precision.
Dodge, duck, parry, and block against the cretins that make up the post-apocalyptic world and you’ll be rewarded with openings to attack and deal damage.
Though this is still easier said than done in The Surge 2, the flow of combat still feels like an improvement.
Implants like the Directional Block Analyzer and the Physical Aggression Redirector provide big assists, either informing the proper way to parry or helping with auto-targeting limbs.
Equipment drops and enemy placements have also improved considerably, two key factors that led to frustration in the original.
In The Surge, it took far too long to find anything even close to a feasible rig setup.
Armor and weapon variations were slim pickings, as blueprints didn’t usually match up with items that were relevant to my level or build.
When they were, I rarely was able to earn and deposit enough tech scraps before getting ambushed by the density of enemies placed within an already tight area.
For The Surge 2, it was only a few hours into the game before I had a half matching rig set up and an insanely quick light weapon that was actually a blast to play.
All these factors led to me enjoying fights far more this time around, not minding the fact that I had to reface a lot of the same enemies after going back into the MedBays.
Regardless, the grind does take its toll on you the further in the game gets, due in part to the disjointed maps that make up The Surge 2.
While I knew the general direction in which I had to head, I can admit to getting lost more than once trying to navigate to where I needed to go next.
Just like last game, exo lifts and shortcuts were definitely a big help, but some sections required a lot to unlock these areas. This is only made worse by some location’s necessity to progress without being able to backtrack, like when you have to jump down a ledge.
That said, Graffiti tags are a welcome improvement to navigation in the game.
Through this new system, players can tag specific spots with icons in order to guide you to secrets you might not have found otherwise. These can also be rated on a like to dislike ration to make sure bad advice isn’t given.
When it comes down to it The Surge 2 is definitely a solid improvement on the original.
While its plot, setting, and navigation are as subpar as its predecessor, improvements to combat and equipment, as well as other small touches, make this a title worthy of grabbing if you’re into games with a heavy focus on exploration and stamina-based combat.
If you weren’t a huge fan of the original or simply don’t enjoy the genre much, there really isn’t much about The Surge 2 that is going to make you want to play it.
Score: 3.5/5 – Fair
- Combat is even more fluid
- Improved equipment drops
- Graffiti tags
- Another lifeless world and narrative
- The Grind is real
- Navigation is still a chore
Should You Buy The Surge 2?
If you liked the original or are into the Soulsborne sub-genre, The Surge 2 is a game worth buying, even if you may want to wait for them to knock off a few bucks.
The Surge 2 Platforms and Release Date
The Surge 2 is now available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
The Surge 2 Developer
Deck13 is a German video game developer and publisher based in Frankfurt. They are responsible for Lords of the Fallen and The Surge.
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