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The Surge 2

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Deck 13
Release Date: Sept. 24, 2019

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


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PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'The Surge 2'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on Sept. 4, 2019 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

The Surge 2 keeps what fans and critics loved about the original – hardcore combat utilizing a unique, dynamic limb targeting system and deep character progression – while also expanding greatly upon the formula.

Pre-order The Surge 2

I'll admit that when you talk about a Souls-like game, I'm not usually terribly interested. To me, many games of the genre don't control particularly well and are in a setting that doesn't hold my attention. I'm not sure why I slept on playing the original The Surge, but what I can say is that the sequel, The Surge 2, is shaping up to be a significantly good game. I had the chance to sit down and talk with some of the development team at E3 2019, as well as play a preview build once I returned from the show.

The Surge 2 takes place two months after the events of the first game, with the fallout from the tech virus having forced the nearby Jericho City into quarantine. You play as a custom character of your own creation who shows up at a prison that's in complete shambles, with prisoners rioting and killing anyone who gets in their way. It doesn't take long to get into your exoskeleton, and when that happens, you become a force to be reckoned with.

On the defensive side of abilities, you can use your weapon to block or parry enemy attacks with directional blocking. You can also dodge out of the way, which takes a chunk of your stamina. It's all standard Souls-like stuff, but what feels refreshing is how smooth it all feels. It's not an easy game, and it will punish your missteps, but it feels like your successes and failures are earned, and rarely does it feel like the controls or combat system are in the way.

As you fight, you gain energy that can be spent to either heal yourself or finish off an enemy. The finishers are absolutely brutal, and which one you pull off is dependent on both your weapon type as well as the body part you're targeting. Heads and limbs will fly, and you have to make a choice. Sometimes, you'll be better off using that energy to heal, but as you become more skilled, you can expect to burn that energy on finishers more often.

One of the aspects of The Surge 2 that the developers are focused on and the proudest of is the greater amount of player choice. The original game was quite linear and had difficulty spikes that turned off some players. The sequel is not exactly an open world, but it is less linear, so you can revisit areas to grow stronger. Hit a hard boss? Go back and beat up other enemies for a while. Jericho City is a large place with many different locales and distinct looks to each. "Stepping out of the factory" is a big deal for The Surge 2, and players can expect to wander through areas such as some caves, a forest, and the city's harbor district.

Players who are unfamiliar with the plot of the original game can jump right into the sequel, but some elements carry over into the plot of the new game. The developers were tight-lipped about plot details but did talk at length about how they wanted to improve the sequel. The level designers collaborated more closely with the designers, more tutorial elements exist to get players accustomed to the game more rapidly, and the idea is to provide a more polished game.

Like the first game, The Surge 2 puts a sci-fi spin on the Souls-like genre. More importantly, the game is shaping up to be a much smoother and more refined experience than the first title. In my experience with the game, it was tough but fair, your victories are earned, and the developers clearly want to make The Surge 2 the best game they can. When it comes out, we'll find out how close they get to hitting that mark.

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