Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
“On the way to Jericho City, your plane is shot down by a mysterious storm and crash-lands in the outskirts. You wake up weeks later in a derelict detention facility inside the city. Armor-clad soldiers enforce Martial Law, robots are on a rampage, and a dark, expanding nano storm looms over the cityscape…”
That was a quick preview of the game history, “The surge 2” brings you to the city of Jericho, a city that people KILL for scraps, get ready for brutal melee fights where you need to cut off parts of the enemy that you want to loot. The game starts with you waking up in a prison after the plane crash, you come across with the city of Jericho under a nanovirus called dFrag, which infects its inhabitants with a kind of evil artificial intelligence. If you think the crash wasn’t enough, you still have to deal with religious fanatics who believe that this virus is an Evil Force or salvation for the End Times.
Your main goal is to save some girl, for me, they should have worked a bit more on the plot to get you more interested since the beginning but during the game, the history does start to hook you more.
Creating your character: There are 6 options of classes with a profession and a background, unfortunately, there aren’t many options for you to choose during the formation of your character but at the end it doesn’t really matter because you will be using a huge armour over it, that brings us to an awesome detail on this game that is the fact that everything that you equip changes you visually which gives you the sensation of “My character is unique” I wanna start talking about the tutorial, which is fantastic! It is simple, quick and very efficient. Putting you in the face of danger right away, that helps you to understand and memorize how everything works. The things that the tutorial doesn’t cover are no problem for you to get it by yourself.
The game “coin” is the scrap you collect, it works like experience points and also virtual currency within the game and can be used to evolve your energy core (which also works as a reference for your character’s level), upgrade weapons, and purchase items from merchants.
The Upgrade system is pretty simple and fun because it gives you the precise sensation that you are in total control of where your character is going. The strongest point, in my opinion, is the fact that if you want to upgrade your arms you have to go after somebody that has an altered arm and SLICE IT OFF! Same for all other parts. The weapons upgrade is also very simple to understand and also really cool to do it because it shows you very clearly what you are changing, making the game EVEN more personalized.
Something that deserves a great highlight are the drones you have! Each with a specific function like; fire, spray (graffiti on any structure of the game, a mechanism similar to that of the Souls franchise, which alerts other players to secret paths, nearby dangers, etc.), put your flag, etc.
The fighting system is simple to understand and demands a lot of strategy from you and patience, you have to aim a specific part of the body to attack, the boss fights can take a while because you need to take your time during the combat but they are all awesome to go through.
To recover your health bar, you must spend a power module, and at the same time, to fill that module you must defeat your opponents. That is, if you are close to death, practically the only chance to recover is to face an opponent. The other way is to find a recovery point.
Tip: Keep an eye for weak points (if you are not looking for any specific parts) and be “patient”, the fights require some real thinking and attention to your stamina (you need it to perform an attack). An exposed area will take more damages so they are better to finish quickly an opponent, the parts with armour are more resistant but cutting that part of will give you the upgrade piece or that armour will be available for you to create. Another great tip that is to use the “parry”, for common enemies and also for bosses. Mastering this mechanics, which is not as demanding as other games in the genre, is fundamental for those who want to play the game more calmly.
Ps: Get ready to die A LOT… no surprise there since we are talking about a “SOULS” kind of game
The graphics are not the best part of the game, even on the PS4 the textures take a while to render… I have no big complains about the graphics but that “non-finished” texture is something that disturbs and to be honest is very outdated.
The thematic is INCREDIBLE! And it goes well with the “Souls” way. I’m a BIG fan of the “Cyber Punk” thematic.
Sounds & Music: Unfortunately, I haven’t much to say about this topic, because the job done on the voices were really well done and you can also notice a big variety of accents (I’m a fan of accents). The music fits really well in the game but is almost unnoticeable, I believe that may cause a “fade effect” on the music, don’t get me wrong the music is cool but it does not stand out, the fact that the song is not “loud” all the time gives you a good immersion.
I haven’t played the first game, but as far as I could see this apple didn’t fall far from the tree and you don’t need to play the first one to understand what is going on, the games are not directly related. The game has a great mix between explaining too much and go find it works by yourself. The equipment’s design is great! The game atmosphere is perfect! The last time I remember seeing something worried with the details of your surroundings was on the movie “ROBOCOP”, just like on the movie you can watch the NEWS on the TVs, that may sound silly but it does give you a perfect notion of what is going on in the city without you having to hear from some NPC. The game has a great dynamism there are several types of weapon available that will suit different play styles. If you like fast attacks, it is possible to wear “gloves” that do less damage but also uses less “stamina” on each attack and allow tactics like “hit and run” more easily. Those who like to use heavy weaponry will have weapons of high damage, but are slower and use more energy in each movement, the game allows you to create up to three models of equipment, it is possible to have sets that adapt to various situations… Something that can be annoying is having to kill the same “people” over and over again, but it is a “mark” of the “SOULS” series. And that forces you to go even further every time you play and give you that “fear of dying” that the games nowadays don’t have it anymore, the games are always saving every 5 minutes. Playing “The Surge 2” made me remember a lot a game called “BloodBorn” but with the cyber punk thematic. The maps are easy to memorize and so carefully done.
Enjoy the slow motion gore scenes