In late 2017, developer Deck 13—Lords of the Fallen—released a rather Dark Souls-like game called The Surge. Fans of Dark Souls/Bloodborne immediately noticed the mixture of brutal difficulty and fierce combat the series is known for and it resonated well using a sci-fi theme versus the medieval one of Dark Souls. Deck 13 surprised no one with the announcement of a sequel—The Surge 2—and after the long wait, we here at Honey’s Anime re-entered the virus filled world and we have some thoughts on our experiences. If you want to know our thoughts on The Surge 2 then keep reading below to see our full review!
What to Expect
The Surge 2 takes players through another locations corrupted by a strange virus that manipulates machines and people alike. Arm yourself with an assortment of deadly weapons to stave off death from fanatical humans aiming to take your life. Craft various upgrades for your weapons as well as your RIG which can be customized to suit your playstyle. Be prepared for a truly challenging experience as The Surge 2 drops you into the fray quickly and without warning! Fans—or newcomers—ready yourselves for a truly tough time in The Surge 2!
For reasons unknown, you have found yourself in a perilous situation. Your last memories were of a plane crashing after a strange being appeared inside. After the panicked screams and crunching of metal stopped you awaken not in the plane but in some sort of prison’s medical lab. Arming yourself with a pair of defibrillators near your bed, you venture out to learn what happened while you slept. However, you will soon learn that the world has left you behind and erupted into chaos. A virus has spread through Jericho City and to survive you will need to battle those with a lust for violence. Good luck, you’re going to need it to survive in this deranged metropolis…
If you’ve ever played Dark Souls or Bloodborne—especially the latter—the The Surge probably didn’t surprise you much. Players armed themselves with a variety of makeshift weapons based on everyday tools and used them to smash/eviscerate virus corrupted machines/humans. The problems with The Surge though were weapons became pointless once you maxed out specific ones and combat began to grow stale from using said weapon a million times over. Thankfully, The Surge 2 learns from its past and combat/weapon usefulness has improved tenfold.
While there are a myriad of weapons to choose from in The Surge 2, weapons/combat feel more defined. Various weapons like the starting Deliberators and dual cleavers might seem similar, but each poses its own pros and cons. Now, maxing out a weapon might make it strong but against some armored enemies or machines it might prove ineffective. The Surge 2 allows players to quickly switch from two weapons and you’ll quickly learn that leveling up different weapons will help survivability go up.
Combat has also undergone some enhancements feeling smoother while retaining that visceral combat. You’ll still fight tons of enemies and aim to eviscerate their limbs to gain parts for your own gear. Now though, fighting feels more fluid as weapons all have a true style to them and you can unleash several various attacks—both light and heavy—or charge up attacks for a more meaty strike! You’ll need to master your weapons quickly though. Mob-like enemies won’t pose too much of a threat—unless in numbers—but bosses will challenge you like the first game. Most bosses have the obvious telegraph moves, but they aren’t foolish enough to just keep mimicking what will get them killed. Bosses—and enemies—in The Surge 2 seem smarter. You’re going to need to learn how to bob and weave in combat…otherwise enemies will rip you apart time and time again.
One of the more common complaints of The Surge was the lack of NPCs and areas to explore. Sure, you went through a wide assortment of “similar” looking places, but it began to mesh together quickly. The Surge 2 rectifies this by removing the building theme of the first and replacing it with an open city, in this case Jericho City. This metropolis might seem extremely large at first but Deck 13 was smart to keep the areas you visit in a small confined area of the city. You’re still going to find yourself occasionally getting lost as you end up in dead end alleys or temporarily impassable areas, but you won’t become extremely lost either. What is great about Jericho City though is the addition of way more NPCs and people to engage with. This allows a deeper narrative—that does tie in with the original game—to be explored and we loved digging around to meet NPCs who were both interesting and also a bit deranged.
The last thing The Surge 2 does right is the visuals. The Surge 2 looks incredible with some truly detailed locations and interesting enemy designs. Bosses might be giant hunks of metal but often they look ripped out of sci-fi movies/comics and we loved that. Enemies are often recycled—you’ll typically see a lot of similar looking humans—but as you progress in The Surge 2, there will be even more enemies to face that can be quite terrifying. Overall, The Surge 2 nails the sci-fi aesthetic quite well once again.
Now, The Surge 2 seems perfect, but there are some issues plaguing it…some that have returned from the original. The first issue is the combat’s repetitive feel. As violent and brutal combat can be, it begins to become overly familiar after the first few hours of play. Even when you meet new enemies or bosses you’re still fighting in the same way and going through the same motions. Another problem with The Surge 2 is the difficulty which feels ramped up. The Surge 2 can be—at times—extremely unforgiving to the point of frustration. One could say you just need to upgrade your gear and level up more but that’s where the déjà vu feeling of combat shows up. When you do have to level grind/grind for upgrade material, The Surge 2 can feel quite boring.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
The Surge 2 takes some elements of its predecessor but leaves behind the problems of the past while doing so. Combat feels a lot smoother this time around and you’ll often want to swap weapons out to see what armaments work best against specific baddies. We also loved the sheer amount of customization you can put into your RIG in comparison to the last title. The only issue that seems unavoidable while playing The Surge 2 is the feeling of repetition. Fighting through hordes of psychos is fun initially and while the boss fights all pose their own uniqueness, the feeling of doing the same thing over and over sets in after a few hours. Add to this the brutal difficulty that The Surge 2 has in comparison to its original and you’ll feel a bit drained when having to slog through an area again for the 10th time killing enemies who can be pretty extreme. Regardless though, if you need a tough as nails third person action title and loved the original The Surge, then The Surge 2 nails enough check marks to be a game we recommend to our readers.
Combat feels leagues better this time around being more smooth and even more brutal
Plenty of weapons to choose from each with a wide range of uses in comparison to the first game
Larger area to explore allows more freedom and the ability to meet more NPCs for a larger narrative experience
Sharp visuals with some truly cool boss designs
The customization variety is a lot more profound making it a fun experience building your own RIG
Combat does still get repetitive after a while
The difficulty sometimes can lead to pure frustration when having to slog back through a large number of enemies again for the hundredth time
Honey's Final Verdict:
The Surge 2 still isn’t a perfect sci-fi themed Dark Souls, but it’s getting a lot closer. If Deck 13 learns to broaden the world setting and add more enemy variety, then the next game could be nearly perfect. The Surge 2 though is a pretty solid title nonetheless with some truly visceral combat and a larger world to get lost in. We loved our time playing it and know many fans—and newcomers—will love The Surge 2 as well. Are you thinking of buying The Surge 2 when it releases this September? Tell us in the comments below! For more game reviews and all your anime article needs, be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!