June 20, 2018 by Paul Curtin
With so many game developers claiming that their games are “the Dark Souls of” their genre, there really isn’t a better way to describe Focus Home Interactive’s The Surge series than as the sci-fi Dark Souls of the same ARPG genre.
But while Deck13’s The Surge was a unique Souls-like experience last year, it didn’t find anywhere near the amount of success as From Software has with games like Demon/Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
Now, the team at D13 is back just one year after the first game with The Surge 2. And at this year’s E3, we got a chance to check out behind-closed-doors gameplay footage that looks much more impressive than the first game.
In the demo we saw, the devs showed off the sequel’s new dystopian setting, Jericho City — a synthetic park filled with trees and other vegetation the previous game lacked.
The game’s unique limb-targeting system is returning in the sequel, allowing players to focus on exploiting enemy weak points, along with the ability to break off parts of foes in order to collect parts to build different sets of rare armor.
Unlike the first game that focused on lead protagonist, Warren, players will now also be able to create their own male or female character. And other new features such ‘Double-Duty’ trick weapons will allow players to transform their playstyle on the fly to suit each situation best.
With so little time passing since the last game, The Surge 2 doesn’t look dramatically different than the first game. However, the game’s pacing seems much faster and the art direction seems brighter and more exciting. Two features the previous game desperately needed with its slower paced combat that took place mostly inside drab industrial environments.
Having the ability to phase in and out of sight with glowing blue defensive shields and laser beams shooting out of their machine heads – many of the new enemies we saw in the demo we saw had a more mechanical look that instantly reminded us of the Vex from Bungie’s shooter, Destiny.
But like any good Souls-like, The Surge 2’s enemy encounters are far more advanced with the goal of slowly breaking down bosses piece-by-piece. The Vex-looking, Goddess Helena boss, started out with a shield and laser beam attack, but by breaking the shield and destroying her head, the battle turned in the player’s favor and the attack patterns of the boss changed to compensate for her losses.
As huge fans of Souls-likes, The Surge was on our radar back in 2017, but like many gamers, we just couldn’t make time to play it from start to finish. However, based on this first look at gameplay of The Surge 2, we’ll certainly be jumping back in for the upcoming sequel’s 2019 launch on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.