Review: The Surge 2

The Surge 2 strives to capture the feeling of a souls game put in a sci-fi environment. The first one had promising mechanics, yet didn’t quite deliver on its setting and story. This time we ventured into the broken, technological streets of Jericho City and found out whether or not the sequel had vastly improved on the original.

The Surge 2 is a Dark Souls game in everything but name and setting. The combat is hard to learn and even harder to master and most bosses take quite a few attempts before you can send them back to hell. The gameplay hasn’t changed too much from the original, which isn’t bad at all because it’s the game’s most enjoyable part. The changes that are there, like directional parries and multiple loadouts are all for the better and hacking through waves of enemies has never felt better or more rewarding.

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Dying, just like in Dark Souls, sets you back to the nearest bonfire, uhm medbay. Then, you only have a certain amount of time to get back to where you met your end to recover your lost souls, uhm tech. Tech can be used to buy or upgrade weapons, armour, stats and implants. The latter can be seen as useful abilities like elemental damage boosts, of which there are many scattered throughout the game. Players can easily swap between different character builds, which makes inventory management a lot more easy. We for instance had a build for dealing with humans, one for taking out robots and another for single-target bosses.

The combat and the vast amount of enemies you will be honing your skills against are both a lot of fun, yet not without their flaws. The same exact respawned enemy can have his left arm as a weak point at one instance and his right leg at another. This feels rather inconsistent and illogical. The directional parry which you will often be using feels just a little too slow and the delay between pressing the healing button and the start of the health regen can be infuriating at times. Nevertheless there are few better gaming feelings than toppling the boss that has been giving you a hard time for the past two hours.

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The Surge 2’s storyline is ambitious at best and never really seems to pull you in fully. Character customisation has been added, even including custom backgrounds, yet they do not make any difference in-game aside from the occasional two lines of dialogue at a vendor. The game offers quite a few different areas to explore, but they all look too much alike. Once again the ideas behind some elements of the game were better than the execution of them, sadly enough. We almost had a throwback to the disappointment that was Anthem. It also didn’t deliver enough on the sci-fi part of the game as we would have liked to see some kind of more technologically advanced weapon combat than spears and swords this time around.

There are other major improvements from the last game, like the more well thought-out gear and loot system, which work really well. This all helps shape the core gameplay in something addictive and versatile enough to keep you engaged for some time to come. The New Game Plus option is also one very cleverly done as it includes some new story areas, enemies and more.

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The Surge 2 is above all and addicting game to play. The solid combat and challenging gameplay are by far the game’s best selling points. The story and environnement may be lacking, as long as you like hacking your way through your enemies, leaving severed arms and legs in your wake, you are in for a good time. Hopefully we will get a third Surge game that finally delivers on its full potential.

Rating: 7/10
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Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
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Developer: Deck 13
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Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
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Price: €59,99/$59,99/£49.99

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