Games of the Year

The Surge 2

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Combat is challenging and unforgiving. You’ll need to carefully study your enemies, rather than blindly rushing and wildly swinging your weapon without focus. Study their attack patterns and weaknesses, then strike hard and fast – even the weakest of enemies can be deadly! With The Surge 2’s technical fighting system, utilize a number of devastating tools to decimate your opponents. Launch opponents into the air with powerful combo attacks and use directional parries and weaving to protect yourself from the monsters and madmen roaming the city. Tune your exo-suit’s health, stamina, and energy levels and customize your abilities with implants. Aiding you in your journey is a trusty combat drone that can be fitted with guns, explosives, and other deadly technologies.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

To be honest, I would recommend to play the first game first - it has a better atmosphere, arguably better graphics and a more captivating story. The Surge 2 definitely has better gameplay, more interesting items, weapons and attachments, however, the final conclusion is that I enjoyed this one less than the first. Maybe it means I prefer the "feels" the game leaves me with instead of the actual gameplay, however, I know that to not always be the case.
In general though, The Surge 2 took what made the original Surge so good - its limb mechanic, and left it as good as it was, but added the blocking mechanic, which made the combat less about tanking and more about attacking. Recommended for all who enjoy a good souls-like battle style with a bit more aggression.

Review from Steam

If you liked The Surge, you will love The Surge 2, but there are two really big issues and one bug that still persists that reduce fun and can even ruin it.
Let me start with the conclusion, its a decent 6-7/10 for me and even a bit higher if you like Souls games, the story is actually quite good this time and you even have some choices that impact the story and ending.
Now lets get to the negatives:
First, you have to go through every map twice since they are doubled due to some story events their layout will change and you will be confused again since there is no map.
Second, the gear, while visually vastly different, feels almost exactly the same and there is just too much. I think i collected roughly 90% of all drone modules, weapons and gear and by the end i had a shitton of stuff which all kinda felt pointless because the differences were so miniscule that it didnt matter.
The bug i was speaking about is regarding savegame corruption. It happened to me twice, the first time i lost 6h of gameplay and almost dropped the game all together because its not fun having to repeat 6h of gameplay. But i liked the game and was able to repeat my steps in roughly 2h since i knew the layout, but it still sucked. Since then i manually created renamed copies of my saves to basically have a manual save option in a game that only allows infrequent auto-saving. The second time i only lost 10min due to that trick.
The Trick: Go to your Steam Folder --> Common --> Username Nr. --> 644830 (Nr. of The Surge 2) --> remote. There copy autosave0.sav and backupsave0.sav (or whatever number slot you picked for saving) and rename the copies with any number between 0 and 9. This basically doubles your copied savegame while the autosave will overwrite the save from the initial slot you picked. Just do it every time you go into a med station with incrementing numbers (one save for each numbers between 1 and 9 and once you reach 9 start overwriting 1 again), but dont overwrite the autosave slot this might cause some issues. The new saves only show up if you restart the game, but otherwise this will save you a lot of trouble if your savegames get corrupted.

Review from Steam

Sequel to the game that was Dark Souls with robots. Instead of playing as a man in a wheelchair who painfully gets an exoskeleton, you play as a custom character who ends up in a plane crash and gets their exoskeleton after beating up some prisoners. You then end up going on a quest to find a missing girl within a city that's been filled with violent scavengers, cultist, military soldiers, and nano-machines.
The game has to it a new protagonist who you can customize on top of picking the outfit they wear. There's also new enemies, new armors, and new weapons on top of an improved combat system. Executions are still good and brutal and you get a variety of side quest that can be very rewarding. weapons gained from boss fights are still the same in that you have both the regular version and the improved version, the latter of which can be gained if you kill the boss in certain conditions. Doing the latter will not only net you a better version of the bosses weapon, but certain merchants in the game can sell you the regular version of the boss weapon for free. And on top of that, you also get a new status effect that ties in with one of the new enemy types you go up against.
The cons that come with the game is the parrying system. While I didn't parry much in games like Dark Souls, I could get the hang of it with some enemies. In this game however, parrying requires you to match up the direction your enemy attacks and some enemies can attack much more quickly than I could react. Some bosses can be cheap that instead of being able to dodge their attacks, I would have to tank their swings while spamming my healing booster, all at a cost of not getting better weapons from certain bosses. In one last comparison to the Souls series, the devs didn't bother to take notes from the Souls sequels in letting New Game+ be at the players whim. If you beat the final boss, you can't go back and finish any side quest or do the DLC. Once you beat the final boss and let the credits roll, you have to do new game+. While I don't really mind doing New Game+ since it did mix up some enemy placements, the devs do not let you carry over any crafting materials you have. Instead you gotta farm up for that again. Starting NG+ also forces you to go through the beginning of the prison again which means you don't get to dodge but your enemies all get a damage boost. One last con is that some parts of the game can be buggy such as one of the encounters in the game you get is against some elite soldiers who will try to attack you at key areas. If you die to them, they disappear, if you face the final soldier in a final encounter but went through a certain entrance, he won't appear despite his dialogue appearing.
Overall, it's a fun sequel to the first Surge game.

Review from Steam

“Maybe humankind was meant to be sick from time to time. Maybe there is something to be learned from illness.”
~Tade Thompson
I love it when people learn from their mistakes. I mean, let's just admit it, after their previous Souls-like game, Lords of the Fallen, Deck 13 didn't really learn. Sure, The Surge sprinkled Lords of the Fallen with some interesting ideas, like customizable exoskeleton, for example, but all in all, it repeated every single mistake all over again. The game didn't let us make our own avatar, we were unable to manually customize our stats, while online features weren't even a thing. As the result, even though The Surge was totally playable, it felt way, way to limited to be considered as a real deal. It was kinda... fine addition to Souls-like family, but... you know how it is. As long as you're not a die-hard fan of such games and don't plan to play them all eventually, it was a very good idea to choose something else. Especially since we have a lot of such games on market now. Like... a lot of them. So, here comes the sequel and... I must admit, I didn't expect much here. I mean, they didn't learn back then, why should they learn now? Guess what? They did.
The Surge 2 is a surprising story of how developers actually listened to the critics and made the changes everybody wanted to see. The game welcomes us with a pretty basic, yet satisfying character creation screen, we've got the online features now (nothing big, it's somewhere on Ubisoft's ZOMBI level, but still) and guess what? We can manually customize our stats. In other words, everything people like yours truly complained about? It was fixed. And honestly, I didn't expect that. I mean... wow. Some other developers under Focus Home Interactive didn't really care and just kept giving us copy / pasted shovelware products again and again (hello, Spiders), but Deck 13? Like I said, it's just good to see people who care to listen and ready to improve. But enough about that, let's go into the details, shall we?
Let's start with the online features. Like I said, don't expect anything big here. There's no co-op, there's no dedicated multiplayer mode and you won't be able to invade other people's games. But. After you'll acquire a special drone (in The Surge 2 you'll be able to equip special drones which will follow you and provide you with different special abilities), you'll be able to leave the graffiti for the other players to see. You know, to mark your discoveries and give the others hints. I don't know about you, but I always loved such stuff. Even when it breaks the entire balance (like it did in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, where online feature allowed people to share pictures and therefore acquire all the figurines without doing any Picto Box job), I still feel like it's a lot of fun. Naturally, I loved to see such stuff in The Surge 2, but keep in mind – at the moment I write this review, community already did a perfect job and if you want old-school exploration without hints about pretty much every hidden item, you should totally consider going offline on the main screen to avoid spoilers.
The second thing I want to mention is stats. It sounds cool and, like I said, that's exactly what I wanted to see, but at the same time, it's not really that impressive. Long story short, like in previous game, we'll collect scrap, bring it to MedBay that serves as a save hub, and use it to upgrade our core power (which represents our character's level). Except this time doing that not only lets us equip more stuff, it also lets us improve one of our stats. Unfortunately, there are only three of those. Life, stamina and battery. The first two are pretty obvious, while the battery is a pretty tricky thing and upgrading it feels a lot like upgrading Estus Flask in Dark Souls. Long story short, it's directly related to your injectables, which helps you to heal better. Pretty neat stuff, but... that's all there is. Upgrade the core, upgrade the stats, grind for better gear, repeat until you'll overpower your enemies.
Talking 'bout grinding, by the way. The best thing about The Surge 2 is that they've removed those stupid core-related doors. In case you've never played the first Surge, it had certain kind of doors that were directly related to your core level. Your level was too low - you were unable to progress. And since it's Souls-like experience we're talking about here, it was just... you know. Stupid. In Souls-like games kamikaze runs, where low level players rushed to the final boss in their underwear screaming “YOLO, B*TCHES!!!” was a part of the fun. One of the most important ones too. So, forcing us into grinding just to make the game to look longer? Like I said, stupid decision. Thankfully, they've understood that in the sequel. No more level-based locks. You're still locked, though. But not in a bad way. Like in The Legend of Zelda games (see? Didn't mention Wind Waker for nothing), you won't be able to access certain locations without the right tools. And you only get those tools by progressing the story in the right way. Not like it's a bad thing, since you can still do your “underwear runs”, but... just sayin'. Still a lot of stuff “locked for later”.
Now, if you're going to play the game in a casual way, well... welcome to grindfest. Like in previous game, you can't just buy yourself better gear. The battle mechanics in sequel still revolve around dancing around your enemy and striking the weak points, while if you want better gear? You should consider attacking the protected parts instead. Long story short – you want a new helmet – you should find an enemy in a helmet and keep attacking their head. And even then – you won't get the helmet itself. You'll get schematics. And you'll need to collect the materials in order to craft the actual item and then upgrade it to make it shine for real. Pretty time-consuming thing, but for those who enjoy grinding, it does pay off. Just because it's easy to overpower your enemies here. At least, as long as we're talking about the default difficulty. Because yes, this game does follow NG++ mechanics from Dark Souls. So, while the first playthrough can be pretty easy for those who are ready to grind, the following playthroughs can provide you with a lot of challenge. And it's a good thing.
Now, about the bad stuff. The worst thing about this game is the fact that it's still pretty small. As long as we won't count hubs, in which you'll meet NPCs for optional quests, there are still about only six tiny maps for you to explore here and, while new tools provide us with a lot of shortcuts fun, I can't help but feel that levels are not nearly as tricky as those from the first game. Comparing levels from The Surge 2 with what we had before it is like comparing Dark Souls II with Bloodborne. Still cute, but not nearly as tricky. Some people would like it this way, but personally, I felt like levels became a bit too straightforward here. Also, the balance is still off here and there. Like you can get OP weapon a bit too early.
One way or another, I really want to praise Deck 13 for what they did here. Sure, The Surge 2 is not the best game you can ever imagine. It comes with somewhat cheap aftertaste and pretty much all the improvements are still way too basic, which means that we can't really compare this game with something from the big league. And yet, it's a cute little present for all the Souls fans. It's still way too basic and way too limited, but at least now it doesn't feel like something's missing. After the price was reduced, paying $29.99 for a cute little AA Souls-like game? I'd say it's totally worth it. Dixi.

Review from Steam

The tried and true Dark souls formula with enough variations to keep it fresh so it's not a straight up copy. Of those variations the directional parry system being the biggest difference and I love it. It forces you to learn the attacks of each enemy down to the second as well as the direction it's coming from. Not so different to Souls is the map system or lack there of where the map given to you are so basic that you have no clue where your going and are forced to explore all corners of the fully detailed map, with heaps of items and secrets to find, as well as little story beats to guide you along and not make your journey aimless. If you want Dark souls with a sick futuristic paint job then I absolutely recommend this title. Great game 8/10

Review from Steam

This game is great for Souls Like series type games and I recommend it for those who like Dark Souls but more modern feel.
This game can be hard on some PC Graphics but that can be worked with it's in-game settings which is pretty extensive.
I don't have many con's for this game but I'm more laid back than most.
All the same this game is a different feel but similar to Dark Souls and I like that very much.

Review from Steam

One of the easier Souls-like I have played since the healing system is much more forgiving compared to other Souls-like. Combat is good and the parry timing seems fair.

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