The Surge 2 Review (PC)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as the president in Escape From New York? But instead of needing rescued, you do it yourself? But also, you get to run around in an armoured and powered exoskeleton that aids you in facing the odds and defying them. Well the answer for that excruciatingly specific question, and likely more, is The Surge 2.
The Surge 2, from Deck13 Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive, is an action role playing game set in Jericho city. A broken and battle torn city that was recently struck by a crash-landing plane. The plane only had 2 survivors, of which you just so happen to be one of.
You wake up in the city’s police department’s medical bay. Your only company, the noise of sirens going off as a mass break out within the precinct takes place. This is the game’s version of an introductory mission. Escaping the riotous prisoners and ruined police department.
If you were not aware of the game series, then this would be the first inclination that this won’t be the easiest of games. As you make your way from room to room, you hear the screams of terror. Blood curdling shrieks, and terrorising mechanised footsteps of something that shouldn’t be here. You face off against enemies in a duel of strength and cunning. Timed blocks/parries making you last that little bit longer, as you start off as a glorified blood-filled pin cushion.
Once you have navigated far enough, you will get your first real taste of power in the game. You will get your exoskeleton. This starts off by increasing the strength of your character. Soon you will also be able to add armour and implants, and even comes with a roost for a portable modifiable drone.
Once you have finally ventured forth from the police department (which took me about an hour – I am an exceptionally slow learning blood filled pin cushion), you are faced with a beautiful view of Jericho City’s skyline. When you think you have just about had enough of your viewing pleasure, you are then confronted by a member of the local cult. This cultist suggests you take a trip down to their sanctum and meet their leader. It was at this point that I felt that I had made it. I had finally gotten past my countless previous failures and was starting to make headway with the game.
And it was the very next combat encounter, that I found out otherwise. Just a generic enemy and I was dispatched with ease. My timing was off, my attacks fell short and I am sure he smirked at me when I respawned. I don’t even know the character’s name, but I will never forget the silhouette of his body hunched over some tech scrap. This is a constant with the Surge 2, that every battle could be your last. You could go on a 40 person slaughter expedition for 10 minutes, with not even a scratch on your, newly applied, full set of armour. Then you see a tweaker with a flamethrower, and the next thing you see is your vital signs going flat. The Surge 2 does have a learning curve, but it isn’t gradual and I can’t get enough.
The game resonates with me more than other games within the genre have done so before. The game has its flaws, but they are ones that are embraced. Things like needing to restock the drone after having gone on a sniper rampage. Each action you make takes energy, and it feels like you are participating rather than spectating. Every combat has meaning when it can be your last. Especially when it means having to carve your way through the same horde of enemies again. But this time they seem to have an axe to grind… on your spine.
Having dabbled with the genre a few times before, I am angry that I hadn’t tried the first game in the Surge series. The Surge 2 makes you come back for more. It makes you think about it when you step away. You plan the path you take and how to take on each enemy in succession. You plan the way you will use heals, charge injections, and skip sections of the game through muscle memory alone. It is the first game in years that has made me stop and think, I can’t get enough, whilst playing the game!