Deck 13’s original cybernetic thriller, The Surge, took the gaming community by surprise when it debuted back in 2018 with its raw, visceral and challenging gameplay mechanics. As time has passed popularity for the game has only grown, leaving fans of the series excited to see a new installment.
The Surge 2 takes place after the original game’s protagonist Warren fails to stop the UTOPIA Project, resulting in a rogue missile being launched into space from the infamous Creo Complex. When the missile breaks orbit a massive explosion occurs. While it’s debatable as to whether the explosion was nuclear or EMP in nature, it effectively knocks a nearby plane, Flight 221, out of the sky sending it crashing to the ground within the limits of neighboring Jericho City. Carrying precious cargo onboard, the crash releases an infectious nanite scourge on the city, ultimately leading to a mass quarantine of the area.
Only one passenger survived the crash and is currently being held in the med lab of a police detention facility after waking up from a two-month coma haunted by visions of the final minutes of Flight 221. Driven by a slew of unanswered questions, this nameless survivor and main protagonist for this sequel sets out to find answers and unravel what’s going on in Jericho City.
Much like its predecessor, The Surge 2 tells a “bread-crumb” story leaving players a little wanting in terms of the overall main plot. As you progress through your adventures you will run into audio logs and NPCs who will help shed a little more light on things, but ultimately the story is a bit underwhelming and arguably forgettable. The good news, however, is that the game has other key features that outshine its lackluster backstory.
Visual upgrades from the original game are evident in Surge 2 which features more crisp and refined graphics than its predecessor. Labyrinth-like environments are aesthetically pleasing filled with skyscrapers, industrial parks, mountain trails and the likes throughout the surrounding local districts of the Jericho City. The larger boss enemies of the game are cleverly depicted and much more intimidating than other previous encounters from the series. Deck 13 has even introduced a new and welcome character customization option allowing players to shape their protagonist to their desired liking prior to setting out on adventure.
Though the game reaches new benchmarks in terms of graphics and even sound, the most notable accolades should go to gameplay. The combat elements that enthusiasts loved so much about the original Surge have all been methodically enhanced making for an even more satisfying gameplay experience.
Horizontal and vertical strike systems of the game are much more fluid and responsive, leaving players slightly less vulnerable to counter-attacks. Targeting your strikes at specific enemy body parts will yield new flashy executions as well as tech scrap and schematics for cool weapon and armor upgrades. Combat also now incorporates “directional parrying” as opposed to the previous all-purpose parrying to help keep things interesting on the defensive side of things.
The Medbay UI is much more efficient in the sequel allowing players to do all their customization and upgrades in one place utilizing tech scrap collected from combat. Players can easily upgrade their “rig” or exosuit with a variety of enhanced implants and weapon/armor upgrades as well as upgrade the health, stamina, and power of their rigs core system. As an added bonus you can now carry three specific rig loadouts to help you manage your constantly growing inventory.
Overall, The Surge 2 is a worthy successor to original game. Despite a weak story plot, the game’s core strength lies in the realm of gameplay. On top of that The Surge 2 looks amazing and has fair amount of DLC content already slated to extend the base game if you have the Season Pass. As was the original game, this is also a store shelf treasure. Get out there and pick yours up today or check out the online marketplace. In the meantime here at GiN we are giving this one a solid 4 and a 1/2 GiN Gems.