A symphony of dismemberment!

Title: The Surge 2
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Deck13 Interactive
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release date: Out now
Tl;dr: A futuristic cyberpunk soulsborne RPG with wicked combat that is occasionally hindered by performance issues.
PC: £44/$50
Console: £50/$60
Family Focus?: Click here for more information

Ever since the first Dark Souls, I’ve had a thirst for games that punish you for making even the slightest error. A lot of current games can be mindless and not challenge you in any particular way – but Dark Souls seems to have brought that back as everyone wants to create their own Soulsborne title now, which includes Deck13. Starting with Lords of the Fallen they then built up to The Surge.

Unfortunately, I missed the first instalment of The Surge at the time of its release due to being enthralled with Final Fantasy XIV and preparing for the upcoming expansion that released the following month, and then I missed it again when it went free on PlayStation Plus this year because of Sekiro… So, I will be unable to mention any references to the first game.

The Surge 2 begins with your plane crashing after being shot down by a mysterious storm, you awaken weeks later in a detention facility with armoured guards patrolling the facility enforcing martial law. It’s up to you to rise up against these guards as well as take down ferocious robotic beasts all whilst a nanostorm brews overhead.

As mentioned above The Surge 2 is a classic Soulsborne style of game but set in a cyberpunk style city called Jericho. After a disaster people have begun to augment themselves with exosuits, a piece of kit you acquire early on during your escape from the detention centre.

You can customise and equip this exosuit with bits of armour you acquire schematics for throughout the game. This is where the Surge 2’s key gameplay mechanic comes into play – dismemberment. In order to acquire new schematics, you must first dismember enemies in the field to gain pieces of their suits to learn how to make them yourself.

This leads to some awesome execution animations as you carve these enemies apart in the most stylish of ways, well maybe not Devil May Cry levels of stylish but still pretty cool. You dismember enemies by beating down the health of their limbs then a prompt will pop on screen to tell you now is your chance! Dismembering your foes will be easy if you take advantage of the directional parrying where you hold the guard button and flick the right analogue stick in the direction of the oncoming attack.

After gaining these limb pieces you can make your way to a medbay, which is essentially the bonfires from Dark Souls. It’s where you level your character up and sort your gear out by crafting and upgrading said gear with the items you acquire. You can also bank your tech scrap so you don’t lose them in the field when you die which is a pretty cool feature for those that struggle with Soulsborne style games.

Graphically, The Surge 2 is quite the looker with various different locales from research facilities to rundown cityscapes to a luscious man-made garden. The Surge 2 renders all of these beautifully even in performance mode which favours frame-rate over resolution.

However, The Surge 2 suffers from crashes which thankfully, touch wood, hasn’t corrupted my save file… yet. The Surge 2 also experiences some frame-rate stutter and game freezing and also some horrendous screen tearing… I hope there will be a patch in the near future to help solve these issues. Whilst some of these complaints are annoying, others could be catastrophic if it does corrupt your save data after a crash.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Surge 2 and I’m still playing it as it feeds my hunger for the Soulsborne genre with it’s punishing and familiar gameplay. The dismemberment system is really cool and makes you fight tactically against your enemies instead of flailing wildly.

The Good

  • Incredible combat with an awesome directional parry system.
  • Unlock new weapons and armor schematics is unique.
  • Feeds the itch for the difficulty of a Soulsbourne game.

The Bad

  • Performance issues such as crashes, screen tear and occasional frame stutters or freezing.
  • Not accessible for everyone.

Family Focus

The Surge 2 is rated PEGI 18 and ESRB M for Mature. The Surge 2 is meant for adults with extreme violence such as dismemberment of limbs and decapitation. This game is not for little Jimmy.

This review is based on a copy of the game provided by PR for the purposes of this review.