Welcome to The Post-Mortem, where I will be going in-depth with my thoughts and opinions on movies, games and more. Today’s subject is the much anticipated sequel to 2017’s hit sci-fi, action-RPG The Surge. Does The Surge 2 live up to the lofty expectations set by its predecessor or is it just another body for the corpse pile? Join me as we delve into the futuristic hellscape of Jericho City and find out.
As always, I like to begin with some full disclosure. Parts of this review were written during my initial playthrough of The Surge 2, with the remainder of it done after completion of the game. The copy reviewed here was the special Collector’s Edition, available in the US only at Gamestop, and was purchased by myself for $59.99 and not provided for review. My thoughts here are mine and mine alone and based on full completion of the game. I have not been offered any compensation or incentive for this review from Deck13 or Focus Home Interactive and nothing has pre-colored my thoughts and opinions. Now, on with the review!
Quick aside, you can check out my In Retrospect look at the original The Surge right here:
Title: The Surge 2
Developed By: Deck13
Published by: Focus Home Interactive
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One (Review based on PS4 version, played on a standard PS4)
Release Date: 9/24/2019
Story, Setting and Characters
Set just after the events of the first game, The Surge 2 begins with the player’s flight colliding with a mysterious anomaly and then crashing to the city below. After spending a few short months in a coma, you awake in the medical ward of the Jericho City police department. The echoing voice of a young girl rouses you into action, you take up the nearby defibrillators and set about busting your way through the facility to find your freedom. Along the way you will face off against other prisoners, just as confused as you are, and eventually secure an exo-rig of your own. After a showdown with the warden you step outside and are greeted by a very trustworthy fellow that promises help if you make your way to the Seaside Court and speak with Brother Eli, one of the head honchos of the Children of the Spark, a local cult. From here you make your way into Jericho City proper and the nightmare truly begins.
A major departure from the mostly self-contained setting of the original The Surge, The Surge 2 places you in the futuristic hellscape of Jericho City, now overrun by looters, religious zealots and military forces (for now). A common issue people had with the first game was the somewhat same-y nature of its setting, taking place entirely within the CREO industrial complex, there really wasn’t much chance for diversifying the location (though honestly I still feel that Deck13 did a great job of making each area of the CREO facility look and feel distinct from the others, but I digress). With The Surge 2 the shift to a more open city and the surrounding areas was a real opportunity to vary things up and give players all sorts of cool and different areas to explore. Were they successful? For the most part I would say so. Jericho City itself functions more or less as a hub area, connecting to the various “stages” you’ll be making your way through at one point or another in your journey to, well we’ll get to that in a moment. It’s pretty typical post-apocalyptic urban setting, lots of run down buildings, catwalks, alleyways and the like. It provides a fair amount of verticality and makes use of the structure of the environment to set up interesting combat scenarios and shortcuts to unlock later. From here you’ll visit locales such as the Port Nixon shipping grounds, which keeps much the same feeling of Jericho City but adds in a more heavy industrial feel that makes it fit right in with something you’d see out of the first game. There’s also Gideon’s Rock, which I feel is a major highlight of the game both for its environment and gameplay elements and it’s an area I will come back to discuss in more detail later so stick a pin in this one. For now though, it’s the most “natural” of the environments in the game and serves as a very refreshing change of pace from the more civilized and lived in environments that make up the bulk of the game. There’s also more traditional industrial, factory-like settings you visit later in the game as well as a heavily militarized zone, but not wanting to push too far into spoiler territory I won’t touch on them beyond that. There’s also the vast underground cave system below Jericho City that comes into play more later in the game once your movement options are expanded upon. So as I said, they did a pretty good job with varying things up this go around, and it all still feels very cohesive, like I can buy this all taking place within the same world and even general area.
So just what is it that’s driving you to explore this dystopian wasteland? In the first game it was a matter of survival, and Warren pretty much just being ordered around because what else is he going to do, right? Well, that’s…that’s kind of the case here, but there’s certainly more to it than that. The Surge 2, pushing away from Souls-like tradition, does actually have a more front and center plotline that carries you over the course of the game, complete with moments that drastically alter the game world itself and give a real sense of progression. As I alluded to earlier, when you first wake up in JCPD you hear the voice of a young girl. Shortly after dispatching the warden you see who you would later come to know as Athena in a vision. Once you escape the prison you meet with Brother Truman who sends you out to speak with Brother Eli on the outskirts of Port Nixon, setting you loose into the city below. Once down from the rafters you bump into a mysterious stranger that gives you some friendly advice before heading off to work towards his own goals. At this point your defacto goal is to find and rescue Athena, as well as dealing with whatever problems you happen upon along the way. This, for the most part, holds true over the course of the game just with new elements and layers added onto it, from dealing with a religious extremist that wishes to bind all of humanity to the looming nanite swarm to the dark and dirty secrets of the military response team that has quarantined the city to your own mysterious circumstances and the connection you have to this girl that apparently survived the same plane crash you were part of. Again, it’s a much more direct approach to storytelling than most games in the genre take, but it still falls into old tropes such as using various character dialogues and audio recordings to fill in motivations, background details and provide lore and worldbuilding. I did ultimately enjoy the plot of the game, it had a couple of interesting turns here and there and there were some good philosophical questions raised and I do look forward to what the sequel does with the setup this game leaves it.
The cast in comparison to the first game is exponentially larger, with multiple safe house type areas consisting of vendors, generic NPCs, NPCs tied into different questlines, story related characters as well as those you’ll bump into while you are out and about taking care of business. They range from a real life DJ hosting a 24/7 dance party to the refugees of an abandoned evacuation camp, some are down on their luck and somber while others are vibrant, expressive, and totally not Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man stand-ins. It does a lot to make the game world feel more alive, to take away from that sense of constant loneliness and isolation so common to the genre, even to the first Surge game. Some are fairly throwaway and inconsequential, but then you have characters like Kyle Baxter (the world famous actor from the Iron Maus films) or Rex and April that you actually do find some sense of investment in and I actually did care as I completed their respective questlines. Then of course there’s the hunting party you encounter on your trek through Gideon’s Rock, this is one instance that I really was glad I decided “what the heck” and almost by intuition just kept selecting a single dialogue option over and over and over and I was so surprised by the results and it really did manage to get a good laugh out of me:
Just little moments like that, something a lot of people may not even stumble upon, add some real life and character to the game and it’s appreciated.
Now I do feel that I should address something that, at least to me, is somewhat important and that is the drastic shift in tone this game took from its predecessor. The Surge, at least to me, was first and foremost a sci-fi/horror story and it really pushed elements of body horror, the loss of self and the general fear of the technological future as well as the all too important question of our environmental responsibility and where we are heading if we don’t take control of these things. It was a dirty, grimy game with a setting and tone that matched that flawlessly. It had its moments of levity, sure, and the expansions definitely pushed more towards the dark humor, but for the most part it was tonally consistent and it leaned more heavily towards the horror. The enemies you faced were mindless zombies, having their brains fried by the titular surge, the machines and drones of the facility also having become corrupt, your exo-rig is literally grafted onto your skeleton in a very very painful process. The Surge 2 on the other hand is much lighter in its tone, story and setting. There is a greater deal of humor throughout, the characters are by and large much “wackier” in their insanity (or just general personalities), there’s more throwbacks and nods in a very tongue-in-cheek way. If The Surge was sci-fi/horror then The Surge 2 is more along the lines of sci-fi/action, think going from Alien to Aliens as far as tone is concerned. Not to say that The Surge 2 doesn’t have its darker elements, as they certainly exist and certain elements are, well, really messed up, but by and large it is a departure from the tone of the original and if that aspect was something about the first that really drew you to it do know that it’s just not the same with the sequel before going into it. I didn’t mind the shift, I did personally prefer the horror of the first, obviously, but it’s not that the tone here is worse, it’s just different.
Graphics and Visuals
The Surge 2 is..not a pretty game. Now, admittedly, I did play through the game on the base PS4 so I will fully admit that aspects of this could be entirely on me for that, however based both on videos I have seen from other players as well as in general discourse online it does seem this is a common issue to the game and not just because of hardware. It’s not that environments, character and enemy models and the like are poorly designed, please do not take that from this as that couldn’t be further from the truth I loved the way the game looked from a general aesthetic. The issue here is with the textures, specifically (at least in my case) those on the player character. They just..didn’t work, they would most often just look muddy and not properly rendered, there were times they didn’t pop-in at all and the surfaces of the model were just kinda..there, and this was a persistent issue over my entire playthrough of the game. This did at times carry over to the environments, but it was thankfully rare in that case. There were also issues with the gamma much later on after a certain major event in the game and it was sorta hard to see at times in certain environments. Now these are thankfully issues that can, and to my knowledge are in the process of being patched and overall it didn’t detract from my experience all that much, but I do know there are those where poor visual fidelity is a major deal breaker and as such it is certainly worth mentioning. It’s that while I had no real issues with character models necessarily, the faces did leave a bit to be desired in a lot of cases. I can forgive a lot in this department in general, as the overall graphical quality of the game is certainly more towards the middle-end of the spectrum, because Deck13 isn’t some huge AAA level developer and I never expected this to look like a top of the line, hardware pushing title. I expected the game to look more or less like the first game, which was a very serviceable AA level game, and that’s what I got.
Besides, the actual general aesthetic and designs are what matter to me far more and on that end I do think the game succeeded. The weapons, armor, enemies all look great and distinct, the bosses are really cool (the ones that are more than just typical humanoid encounters, which there are sadly few of this time around). The weapons, much like the first game, are mostly re-purposed industrial equipment along with more traditional military gear as well as experimental nano-weapons and some of them really do just look badass. The Surge 2 really found its style and ran with it, I love the look of this game. The environments, to touch back on that point, do a good job of being visually distinct. Downtown Jericho looks like a rundown city and feels very distinct from Gideon’s Rock’s heavy use of foliage, rocks and water, which sets it apart from the very industrial areas you’ll be visiting later on in the game, which are nothing like the caves you’ll be exploring below. Each feels and looks distinct, flows naturally and fits in. There’s some cool effects with the nanite structures cropping up in certain areas, the environments (some of them at least) radically change over the course of the game and despite that you can still find your way to navigate them almost by sight as you grow to know them and their layouts become familiar to you.
Music and Sound
While nothing will quite compare to hearing Stumfol’s “Prisoner” playing each and every time you visited a medbay in The Surge, The Surge 2 does manage to have a couple of memorable tracks to its own name. The theme music that plays over the title screen is really something, and I also really enjoyed the hard rockin’ tune during the Warden Garcia fight at the end of the tutorial. Unfortunately, beyond that, I really can’t say I remember too much of the music this time around. DJ Talla provides some nice music to dance to at the Cloud9 bar, but other than that I think the most memorable song is the little beat the drummer plays at the Seaside Port safehouse that you can play along with. There may be a nod here or there that fans of the original may enjoy though, so do keep an ear open.
There’s a great deal more voice acting over the course of The Surge 2 as you interact with a wider variety of characters and the story is more heavily involved. For the most part it gets the job done, I can’t say there were any major standout performances, certainly no Oscar nods here, but there weren’t any that really made me cringe either. You can tell effort was put in by the cast, and outside of a line or two here and there it never felt phoned in or like they didn’t really care. So kudos to them. If I were to highlight a few on the better end of the spectrum though I think Athena, Kyle Baxter, Matriarch Celeste, the Stranger were among the best of them. Several of the robots had memorable voices and quirks, H.A.R.O.L.D., the vending machines, and of course a certain robotic gardener were also highlights worth mentioning.
I actually think the best of the voice work comes through during the audiologs you’ll collect throughout the game. Even from characters you’ll interact with directly, the performances on the logs is generally of a higher quality than in cutscenes or general dialogue. I don’t really know why that is, maybe these were different from recording the voiced dialogue in how they were done, but for the most part the audiologs were really fun to listen to.
The random quips from enemies, grunts, alerts from monitors and robots were all fine, weapons had very satisfying soundbytes when smacking someone around. I got really in tune with the various audio prompts that would accompany things like being able to perform a finishing move, when my stamina had run out, it allowed me to be able to play a bit by ear and not have to shift my focus off of what I was actually doing. I knew if I needed to back off and let my stamina recover without having to stop and look at my stamina bar to see that it was empty.
Finally we get to what really matters most, how the hell does the game play? Really damn well as it turns out. It’s 2019 and I’m sure most of you by now are familiar with the Souls-like formula, but for those that may not be I will enlighten. You start each area from what is essentially a checkpoint, from which you can level up or upgrade your gear, replenish your health, etc. From there you make your way through the environment, engage in combat, look for hidden items and paths, gradually making progress towards whatever story point or area you are heading all the while unlocking shortcuts back to that starting point should you end up perishing on your way forward. When you do die, and believe me you will, you drop whatever experience points (in this case, scrap) you were carrying on you at the time and you will need to make your way back to reclaim it before dying again (or, as is the case in this particular series, a timer counts down to zero) or else it is lost forever. You can use this scrap at the medbay (your checkpoint) in order to level up, obviously, it is also needed for crafting new equipment, upgrading your current equipment, and acts as the currency for various vendors that sell everything from blueprints to graffiti tags to ammo for your drone (all things we will get to in due time, dear reader), etc. It’s a tried and true gameplay loop, but this being The Surge we have a few more curveballs thrown into the mix.
Much like the first game, The Surge 2’s loot system differs from the norm seen in your traditional Souls-like titles. Instead of just killing an enemy and getting whatever they may or may not drop as a result of their demise, you have a bit of decision making involved. You see that cool weapon they’re holding? Wouldn’t it be great to take it and smack some guys around with it yourself? Go ahead and target their arm holding it, whittle it down and once you’ve done enough damage, perform a finishing blow and chop it off. Then pick up what is now yours and swing that shiny new weapon around. That enemy wearing some cool new armor you’ve never seen before? Cut ’em in half and get the blueprint to craft it for yourself! This guy got nothing new but you really could use some materials to upgrade what you already have? Target their head, target their legs, whatever part you need materials for, they can be yours! Or, maybe you’re just trying to get back to where you were really quick, or an enemy is just giving you a bit of trouble, you notice that their head is exposed while the rest of them is armored up, take advantage of their hubris and take them out much quicker by attacking those squishy bits. Something that really helped set this series apart from its peers was the implementation of limb targeting and tying that into the loot system, as I demonstrated above. If you see something you want, target that limb and take it. You need to deal enough damage to break the armor on any given body part, then if you’ve built up enough energy you can perform a special finishing move to literally chop that part off, you can then take whatever it was you wanted. If you cut off their weapon arm (usually the right arm) you’ll be able to add that weapon to your ever growing arsenal. If they’ve some sort of armor you have yet to see, you can cut off parts in order to obtain the necessary schematics to craft it for yourself. Already have everything they offer? You can cut off their bits in order to obtain materials needed to upgrade what you already have. Not every part of every enemy is going to be covered though, if you see an unarmored part you can target that and take an enemy out much faster, but you will miss out on the loot if you do so. It’s a balancing act of risk vs reward, that allows you to take each encounter on in the way that best suits your current needs. I do feel it necessary to also point out how great a job Deck13 did at the progression of loot. There’s almost always something new to obtain, every area introduces enemies with several new types of weapons and armor sets for you to acquire, all the way up to the very last area of the game. It keeps things very fresh and makes combat always rewarding.
Now let’s talk a bit about combat. This was definitely the highlight of the first game and Deck13 absolutely nailed it with the sequel. Combat flows so well, it is so fast-paced but maintains that sense of weight the first game had, combos come effortlessly, it looks good and flashy, the finishers are super satisfying. They really did a bang up job on such a key area for this sort of game, expanding upon the original in ways that feel like a very natural evolution. In addition to your usual blocks and dodges, The Surge 2 now features a directional blocking system that ties directly into being able to parry enemies. While not necessary, there is an implant (more on those in a bit) that shows which direction an enemy attack is coming from. You simply block and then push the control stick in the direction of the attack, given the right timing of course, in order to deflect it and open the enemy up to a vicious counterattack. Now, I never quite felt comfortable enough with my abilities to make due without said implant, but it is entirely possible to learn the proper timing for each enemy and attack and weapon that you don’t need to use it to pull off the parry, you just gotta git gud. Attacks can also now be charged, which is very helpful when up against enemies wielding shields, which can break them in a single hit if you’re using the right weapon for the job. Attacks are divided into horizontal and vertical, with different attacks being better for armored or unarmored parts and of course direction and attack animation is something you need to keep in mind if you are trying to hit a specific part because you may have that right arm targeted, but if your attack is smacking the enemy from the other side odds are you’re going to do more damage to their left arm and chest than you are where you’re actively trying to hit, so do take care.
Weapons, as I touched on before, generally consist of re-purposed industrial equipment or military gear. These fall into one of several categories, most of which are returning from the first game. Things like single or twin rigged, heavy duty or staff offer different styles of play as well as their own benefits such as being better for stunning enemies and breaking armor or building up energy faster that can be used for things like healing or charging implants or performing finishing moves. In addition to the returning classes we’re given a few new ones such as spears, which are very similar in function to staff weapons but focus more on poking attacks, or double duty (my personal favorite), which serves as a cross between heavy duty weapons with slower lumbering strikes with single button presses to much more fast, dual-wielded attacks as you would see with twin rigged weapons when the attack button is pressed in quick succession.
I mentioned implants earlier. This is a system returning from the first game and one that was also greatly expanded upon and for the better. Gone are the implants that simply increase your health or stamina, as those are now something you increase directly when you level up, instead we have a mix of more specialized implants (such as ones specifically for dealing more damage to certain enemy types or providing resistances to specific types of damage), ones that tie directly into the new directional parry (such as increased damage after a successful parry, healing or greater energy gain, defense, a mix of several, etc.), ones built around the reworked drone companion from the first game, and of course your slew of injectibles such as for health regeneration, temporary increases to defense or damage, etc. There’s a lot of room for customization and allows for a greater range of build variety than the first game did, which is taken further when we factor in…
Armor sets. Because there’s no Surge like Fashion Surge. In addition to looking stylish and badass, different armor sets bequeath different bonuses both for partial set completion or full set completion. You can mix and match and get the benefits of both or you can specialize in just one that does exactly what you want, the addition of partial bonuses really opens up things and lets you further customize to suit your playstyle and personal needs. You are also given the ability to swap between three different loadouts allowing you to set different armor sets along with implants for that specific build to any given loadout, easily changed from the in-game menu. Weapons are not specifically assigned to loadouts however, but you can favorite as many as you want and swap between them at will during gameplay.
That said, there are certain restrictions to just what you can have equipped and implanted at any given time and this ties directly into your core level. Every time you level up, your core level is increased by one and you are given two points you can distribute between health, stamina and battery efficiency. Your core level determines how much you can have equipped at once, with different armor pieces and implants costing varying amounts of core power to equip. There are implants that mitigate this somewhat, as their sole purpose is in fact to increase your core power, and once you reach a certain level it won’t matter anyways, but it does provide a bit of a gating system from just letting you equip all of the top tier gear right from the start.
Another element that was greatly expanded upon from the original is the drone. What was honestly largely useless in the first game has become an almost invaluable ally regardless of your build, and can even be a key role in a build focused entirely around it. Rather than feeding off of energy, as it did in the first game, your drone now has its own source of ammo that is shared among its various modules you can find over the course of the game. From a standard laser pistol to a sniper rifle, shotgun or even a focused energy beam, there are all sorts of new tools to take on enemies from afar. In addition, other types of ammo can be purchased that allows for your drone to launch timed grenades, explode on impact molotovs, or even (at a very hefty scrap price) heat seeking missiles. The tool I found most useful, however, was the “starfish”, an EMP blast that could open certain doors and maglifts as well as be used offensively to stun enemies (and given my build focused heavily on electric/stun based attacks, it played a big part in most combat encounters for me).
Navigating the world of The Surge 2 is, well, much as it was in the first game. Each major area has a single medbay with a multitude of looping shortcuts linking back to it. These ranged from simply opening a door from the other side to activating a maglift that would take you up or down to a different level. Later still you would gain access to a hook that allowed you to take ziplines down, and even later than that you received a tool that allowed you to take those same ziplines (and others) back up. It added a bit of a Metroidvania-esque element to the game that you really don’t see present in the genre, as you gained genuinely new abilities that changed how you could travel through the game world and opened up new areas and shortcuts through old ones. Sadly several of these tools didn’t come until much later in the game and the ability to sequence break to obtain these is very limited (and in some instances just not possible) so the world doesn’t completely open up in that way until you’ve not much left to do, but it does set the groundwork going forward for both DLC and future games to really build upon and I really hope Deck13 sticks with it because there’s a lot of potential there to be realized. So, progression within most of the game’s areas is largely linear, as mentioned you start from a medbay and move forward only really doubling back as you find a new shortcut that lets you hit the medbay again so you can level up or bank your scrap before heading further. There is one area that changes things up though, and that is the aforementioned Gideon’s Rock (so go ahead and take out that pin I told you to stick in it earlier). In Gideon’s Rock you are tasked with hunting down a strange nanite creature that has been stalking you since the start of the game. In order to do this you need to activate three repellers in the area. You are then given free reign to explore and tackle each of these in whichever order you wish, each path having its own distinct set of challenges on the way to the repeller, one even having a boss of its own you must face. It’s not a huge deviation, but I did enjoy having a set task within an area like this to tackle and then being given a bit of freedom to go about accomplishing that goal. Combine that with the fact that the boss at the end of all this is probably the best boss fight in the game, plus the aesthetic variety it brings to the overall setting, Gideon’s Rock really is one of the strongest sections of the game for it all.
Like The Surge before it, The Surge 2 largely puts the focus on standard enemy encounters rather than big flashy boss fights. Not to say that the bosses are a weak point here, they are for the most part much better represented than they were in the original game, but they are clearly not the primary focus and that’s ok. It’s refreshing to have a Souls-like where you do generally have to treat every encounter as a serious fight. You can die very easily, outside of one or two enemy types there really are no trash mobs here. There are quite a few more bosses in The Surge 2 than there were in The Surge, however many are either repeats of bosses you had faced previously, sometimes with a bit of a twist, or just buffed up versions of standard enemies. There are some standouts among them, Little Johnny and the Delver in particular are quite different from anything else in the game (well, the Delver does see some reuse but I digress) and some of the humanoid bosses are a lot of fun and have their own mechanics that make them stand out compared to the rest. Still, in a genre known for its spectacle styled bosses, The Surge 2 doesn’t really deliver on that front. Is that necessarily a negative? That’s hard to say, as it is refreshing to have a game like this where more focus is put on what you are going to be spending more time facing. Still, I would have liked at least a couple of other larger-scaled fights. The first game’s bosses weren’t always the best, but I did love having all these big machines to take down.
A few assorted gameplay elements I feel I need to mention but can’t quite fit into their own sections. So when you drop your scrap upon death you are given a time limit with which to reclaim it in, I mentioned this briefly before. Now, killing enemies within that time frame adds to the counter, giving you longer to reclaim your scrap. Additionally, when you are in the vicinity of your dropped scrap it emits a wave that will heal you periodically, given you an advantage over whatever it was you died to before (even you gravity!). Once you pick up that scrap you are fully healed. This is especially useful against some of the tougher boss or enemy encounters. You also build up a multiplier the longer you go between leaving the medbay and start killing enemies and returning with your scrap, meaning the longer you go and more scrap you put at risk the more scrap you earn. Again, playing into the whole “risk vs reward” thing. Energy plays a major role in this game as well, you build up energy upon attacking enemies (and with the right implants, taking damage or performing parries as well). You can use this energy to use your injectibles (such as to heal yourself), but it is also required for performing finishing blows so there is a bit of a balancing act to keep in mind in the heat of combat. You’re also now able to store charges for your injectibles at the cost of a single battery charge, these vary from injectible to injectible and injectibles can be upgraded as well to increase this. It’s all a great system and flows in with combat really well, rewarding aggression by allowing you to heal yourself in the middle of combat at the risk of not getting to perform a finishing blow and losing out on loot. While I do like that the drone is more viable and uses its own ammo, I do feel that having certain modules require energy would have added just a touch more decision making to combat that I would have liked to see. The game takes on more of an RPG feel than is the norm, with an active quest log that tracks various sidequests you will pick up along the way, which was a nice touch and helped differentiate the game a bit from its peers, this also keeps track of your key items, quest items, audio logs, etc.
The Surge 2 does everything that a sequel should do. It builds not only on the world and story of the first game, but takes the skeleton of the gameplay structure laid out in the original and really fleshes it out and expands upon it in just about every way it could be. Combat is tight, focused, fast and weighty. Fighting enemies is incredibly satisfying. Navigating the map feels logical, the shortcuts are worked in just as brilliantly as they were in the first, it feels amazing opening some of these up, especially with the Metroidvania elements that come into play as you progress and gain new abilities. The story is passable, it’s not the most thrilling sci-fi, but it gets the job done and sets things up for a potential sequel quite well. Visuals have their issues, textures could use a serious patch job and the general look does show that yes this is a AA budget title, but I’ve never had a problem with that (I mean, was Dark Souls ever really that great looking a game?). I never ran into the performance issues others have cited, no real noticeable frame dips or major bugs or anything like that. I don’t doubt that they exist, but I personally did not encounter them during my time with the game. Ultimately, The Surge 2 is The Surge but bigger and better. The world feels more open, there’s more to discover and explore, combat is better, the environments and finding your way through the world is better, the bosses are better, just about every system from the first game has been tweaked, improved or added onto in a way that shows Deck13 really cared about this project and wanted to put their all into it, that they listened and learned from the criticism they received for the first game. The Surge 2 isn’t perfect, but as far as what a sequel should be it is exemplary. I was so incredibly hyped for this game and it absolutely delivered on that hype. The Surge 2 is a no-brainer for fans of the first, and it is an easy recommend for fans of the genre.
I’ve gushed long enough, it’s time to give it a final, official score.
The Surge 2 – 9/10