"The Surge 2 seems to control much better while expanding upon the original's unique combat system."
Last year, developer Deck13 (Venetica, Lords of the Fallen) released a 'hardcore' action RPG titled The Surge. Set in the near future, protagonist Warren fought his way out of an industrial complex using tactical melee combat, targeting specific limbs of his foes to guarantee himself different types of loot after they fell.
Set only a few months after the first title, The Surge 2 looks to expand upon the combat system, but you won't reprise the main character role of Warren — rather, you create your own character, male or female, from scratch. Our demo began just outside Jericho City in a beautiful but apparently artificial forest built by the wealthy, as if to give off a false sense of paradise. Above the city proper, a vast and strange storm brews, which somehow signifies the arrival of new bizarre and dangerous creatures to fight.
Here, we sought out a particular elite enemy roaming the forest. Equipped once again with drones along with a Double Duty — a two-handed weapon not unlike a greataxe with which we could opt for light and fast swings or heavier, more impactful blows — we set out to hack limbs on our way to boot up several repeller devices so we could better take on our final target. Targeting certain body parts is somewhat unique to The Surge series, as it typically determines what kind of loot you'll get, be it weapons, armor, or schematics — cutting off a leg nets you a holstered sidearm, for example. The Surge 2 also introduces consumables such as biosensors for stealth-related technology, including the detection of enemies attempting to hide in the bushes.
Finally, when we met up with our target enemy — a giant automaton known as Goddess Helena — we had the pleasure of dodging laser beams from her head while attempting to attack with drones and eventually overload her tower shield. Players will also want to collect audiologs and explore in general, as The Surge 2's story is nonlinear.
Whereas the first game had a floaty and sometimes difficult camera, so far The Surge 2 seems to control much better while expanding upon the original's unique combat system. It's also much more colorful than its predecessor, but not so much as to detract from the desolate urban setting that still exists beyond the forest. We look forward to seeing all the improvements as a whole when The Surge 2 releases next year on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.