Limb-cutting, exo-skeletons and merciless combat is the name of the game. Well no, the real name of the game is The Surge 2, and here's our review of this 2019 sequel.
The Dark-Souls esc hack and slasher took a step into the 'grind, roll, repeat' world with the original and aim to tighten the nuts on what worked well. Frankly, the combat and build customisation was great in the foundation of the series, but the following instalment gives the gameplay a boost. There is still the same old strategy behind the progress, finding a medbay or safe area, which will allow access to upgrades and crafting, fight your way through an area of difficult enemies to make it to the end, wherein typically lies a boss.
However the weaponry in 2 takes a step in the right direction. With completely differing loadouts you can build, levelling up your favourite weapons and now having the ability to equip specific implants to your build, giving an additional layer of tactics behind your journey through the world. A little addition I would like to highlight is the game allows you to quick swap between pre-built loadouts, it's something simple, but god when you're stuck at a certain point with your build and think a previous tactic may be the way to tackle it, you don't have to spend too much time fiddling and changing every aspect.
The levelling and 'grind' has had a boost as well - with scrap collecting having a risk/reward to it. As you defeat enemies in the area, your collection multiplier begins to stack up, increasing the amount of scrap you pick up after each success. However - as per Dark Souls-esc titles - if you die, you drop your scrap. So it's a careful balance of sprinting back to a medbay to bank or spend your scrap or pushing onwards, thinking you'll be able to pick them up again if you go down in time, or make it to the next area.
Based in the ruined remains of Jericho City, Surge 2 excels at bringing out the best of the PS4 Pro in regards to the design of the environments. Not only is there a high level of detail in each environment, it seems to have shifted from the original game, where every area seemed to slightly blend together, and it's developed into a variety of colours and aesthetics. Upon entering the later stages of the game - a highly lush forest develops, which is frankly jaw dropping to experience in 4K.
It's a slight shame that with the outstanding combat and graphics, the story seems to have a slight lull to it. There seems to be a larger push towards building an RPG, which works well to a certain extent, with a large base of NPC's, packed full of side quests and dialect specific towards your character background. However the push to make this over-arching world jam-packed full of information seems to be slightly overbearing to those who can't track every detail and can detract from the story.
Overall however, The Surge 2 is a definite step up from the original Sci-Fi hack and slasher, with outstanding combat. If you enjoy Dark Souls, there's a significant chance you'll be pleased by picking this up. And if the idea of slicing peoples arms off while wearing a robotic exo-skeleton, then goddamn you need to pick The Surge 2 up.