The Surge 2 is the new game from Deck 13 and Focus Home Interactive. While it garnered a cult following, the original Surge had it’s own problems in attempting to live up to the Souls template. I’m glad to say that – for the most part – lessons have been learned, and there’s some potential here for one of the better examples of the genre.
The game starts off with a rather interesting cut scene where you are on a flight over the city of Jericho, which becomes your home during the game. As the plane flies over the city it experiences an engine failure due to a weird thunder storm. Inevitably, the plane crash lands into the city, our chracter is knocked out and ends up unconscious for around two months. When you awaken, you come to see you are in a prison, unaware as to why you have been imprisoned. It’s almost deserted, and you find out that the city of Jericho is under martial law, robots cause havoc through out the city and all this is happening while a weird Nano storm looms over head.
Get ready to battle your way through all sorts of enemies and machines, cut them to bits with some massive and amazing weapons and unlock the secrets of the city.
The Surge 2 starts out slightly different from the first in the sense you can pick and design your own character. This has no real effect on the game but it’s cool to make your own kick ass player – though once you start adding parts to your exo-suit you won’t really see them anyway. Once you have designed your character, it’s time to break out of the prison and start to get some answers. The first area you begin the game in acts out like a tutorial, teaching you all the basics; from general movement and dodging, attacking and executing. There’s a lot of cool combos to learn – each weapon has their own – but the tutorial is really well laid out and built into the main game nicely.
I feel like the game can be played really in two ways; either just going for it and pushing through as hard as you can, or, like I did, super slowly, going back and forth, earning more tech scrap and levelling up. I found this was the best way to reach higher levels quicker and more efficiently. I was also able to almost farm the gear off of all the different enemies in the game.
When you kill enemies you will earn Tech Scrap – used to level up, as well as craft and upgrade your gear, which requires material as well as the scrap. As in the original, you can aim at different body parts during combat. If the part glows orange, you will earn that part if you can perform an execution on the enemy. This is done by smashing the armour before the person dies, hold the X button with the body part selected and you will remove that body part. Expect a lot of carnage when you start to remove bits, but doing this will earn you new schematics to learn and new weapons to use straight away. This is fantastic, as you will always find bits around the world to unlock and upgrade new gear, including implants. These come in all sorts or variants and you will be able to equip more as you level your self up. You will be able to store more battery, take less poison toxic, heal your self with one battery; there are loads of implants through out the game, it’s just a case of finding them.
Combat, though, is the biggest aspect of the game as – you may expect. Deck 13 have clearly put a lot of effort into the combat, everything feels super fluid and smooth. It never felt clunky or jumpy, but the controls felt super effective and on point. As is the movement side of things. The dodge works great as long as you’re quick enough with your own reactions. But like other entries in this genre, you will be able to upgrade and level up your health, battery and stamina. When you start to level your stamina up you can whip around quickly and effectively, and this helps loads – especially when dodging big enemies.
Bad guys come in a wide array here; we have small robots who will jump at you and either blow you up or electric shock you so you can’t move, escaped cons who may be weak, but have some rather large weapons they like to swing around, and some large foes in their own exo suits who all seem to all have a grudge with you, wanting you dead no matter what. All these enemies have unique designs and styles – some even have automatic weapons. You’ll need to adjust your tactics on the fly if you want any chance of survival.
Audio and visuals here are fantastic, with both complimenting each other well. The Jericho city landscape looks great, with its torn up land and decaying structures, while an almost urban rock track plays over the top, giving a great feel and atmosphere to the game. It made me want to explore all the secrets in the game and take on bigger and madder enemies.
My time with The Surge 2 is far from over. Lessons from the original have clearly been learned, with the whole production having a better feel to every aspect, from combat through audio/visual presentation. While in some parts the difficulty spikes to an almost frustrating degree, it’s worth persevering with. An absolutely brilliant entry into the Souls genre, and well worth picking up.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.