The original The Surge game came out during a popular time for Souls-Like games (not that it isn’t so anymore), but it managed to make clever use of that setting compared to similar games, putting on it a unique sci-fi limb cutting spin, filled with interesting Exo-Skeletons and it’s ultra-hard difficulty.

The Surge 2 is set in the same world, and once again follows the devastating surge which plunged the heavily machine-reliant world into a dark age, allowing machines to take over and start posing a real threat to humanity. Whilst the first one followed wheelchair bound Warren’s journey, who decided to join CREO for the Exo-Skeletons, allowing him to walk once again, the second one takes a different and less memorable route, allowing players to choose and create their own characters to play as.

The setting itself might not feel as unique anymore due to a plethora of sci-fi media we have recently been accustomed to, and the ill side-effect of having shallow characters associated with a character creation system is present here as well, but this isn’t really a game you’d get for a cinematic story-led experience, as like the first game, it is all about the gameplay and fantastic level design.

Challenging games, and in particular those that are well designed with an RPG element, usually ‘want‘ you to lose as much as you can at certain points, prompting you to spend time defeating enemies you can handle, until you are equipped enough to make dealing with any obstacles viable. However, as most people know, grinding for the sake of grinding isn’t exactly fun, especially when you don’t have control over what you get from it.

Fortunately, The Surge 2’s limb dismemberment system manages to keep the grinding fun, as you have full control over what you damage and detach, netting you with armour parts from your enemy. It puts the control in your hand as you know how and where to get the items you require to level-up your gear in order to defeat tougher enemies, making this loop satisfying, an aspect that is helped with the game’s intuitive controls where at a flick of a button you can go from targeting an enemy to focusing on specific limbs, with clear User Interface prompts letting you know how much damage you need to do.

The ability system has been improved as well, with a clearer UI that lets you easily store energy for certain add-ons you have. It is a clever feature that really makes you think about not wasting energy, which depletes if left unused. You must of course, scavenge parts in order to unlock new abilities or pieces of exo-skeleton which usually need to be fixed by finding relevant parts.

The level layout as you can imagine, is similar to the first game and most souls-like experiences, where save points are placed in a way that certain paths you progress on have shortcuts to bring you back. Any bosses that you may take a defeat from, are also segregated behind barriers, allowing you to fight them one on one without having to worry about any other enemies crashing the fight or accidentally wandering into their territory. All in all, it follows a lot of the popular formula from the Souls series of games which works well within the confines of this game.

Every time you die, you drop any resources you have earned, which prompts you to find the loot at your last death spot and gather them. However, the twist here is that you have a limited amount of time to do so in this game, before it permanently vanishes. It is an interesting system which mixed with the fact that you get more loot the longer you are out in the world fighting, away from your safe zones makes the players really think about the risk/reward factor of pushing on too long without saving. Whilst the story itself isn’t anything special and goes down a stereotypical sci-fi route, seeing your character follow a girl that haunts their visions, you will get to meet some interesting side-characters that you can interact with, some who were actually in the first game as well!

Lastly, the game looks visually stunning, with creative models and techno lighting, really pushing the sci-fi aesthetic to the top. To conclude, if you were a fan of the first game, there isn’t anything here that would deter you from enjoying the experience as you did with the first one. In fact, people who generally like challenging games where the grinding is more than just going through countless enemies, will also love the game. The Surge 2 is easily one of the best games to make use of the souls formula.



Author

Haris Iqbal
Haris Iqbal

I am a guy who loves anything with a powerful storyline, whether it be a game, book or movie, it doesn't matter. Just so long as it hooks me in and keeps my imagination captive till the last word/scene! Also, I am huge Silent Hill fan, so I love all things Silent Hill... and anything horror. Huge horror fanatic!