The Surge 2 E3 Impression 2
Focus Home Interactive and Deck 13 showcased The Surge 2 at E3 this year. The hands-off demo showed an outdoor area that was a sort of mix between a city and outdoor nature environment. Not much was said about the story leading up to the demo, other than that it takes place in Jericho, a quarantined city with artificially-created nature. There was also a big storm visible in the distance. The developers revealed that the world is far less linear than in the original game; rather than locking players to a pre-created character as in the first game, players can now create and customize their own character to play with.
Most of the demo covered gameplay. The game features ten weapon types, an increase from five in the first game. The weapon used in the demo was a versatile axe that could be either used as a large, slow weapon that deals massive damage, or can be split into two parts and used with a much quicker moveset. The body-part-targetting system is also back, and improved. Specific armor pieces can now give enemies unique abilities, and the demo showcased a chest piece that can turn enemies invisible. Not so coincidentally, the player was prepared with a biosensor that was used to scan the area for invisible enemies. These types of situational, body-part-specific abilities add an interesting twist to the system. In addition to armor pieces, players can now also get drone upgrades by chopping off enemy limbs.
The Surge 2 also features a riposte system — in which players can do a directional block — and if used in the correct direction against an incoming attack, this can stagger enemies, opening them up for powerful counters. There’s added depth to the enemy A.I., and in the demo when taking on two enemies, one always stayed out of range to shoot the player, while the other attempted to distract him with close-up attacks.
We also saw a boss fight, in which the player could choose to target — and break — different boss parts, significantly altering the boss’s attack patterns. The fight was fast-paced and ever-changing, keeping the player on his feet throughout. Speaking of bosses, I asked the developers whether The Surge 2 would feature more bosses. Fortunately, they’ve heard the community, and promise that the game will have at least double the number of bosses from the first game, so we have ten or possibly more bosses to look forward to. I also asked the developers whether or not they were planning to offer more build variety this time around. Again, they heard the community and responded with an expanded implant system and implant choices, more armor choices with different stats and abilities, and in general many more options to mix and match overall.
For fans of the series, gameplay looked exactly like what they’d expect, with the same core mechanics and several enhancements to keep things interesting. The one worrying aspect I saw was that it didn’t seem to have that feeling of being alone in a mysterious setting and circumstances. Though I can’t be certain, it appeared that perhaps the player was on the offensive this time, actively hunting down enemies in an open, well-lit environment, and a very different overall atmosphere. The final question I asked the team was whether or not the save room song would be making a return. To my delight, the now iconic signal of safety will indeed be making a return, but they also said it will likely not be in every save room as before. Whether that is good or disappointing news is a matter of personal preference, but I do hope they use it in every room and as the exclusive signal of save room safety. The Surge 2 releases on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One sometime in 2019.