The Surge 2 E3 Impression
Just one short year after their previous sci-fi RPG, during which time the developers even had time to crank out a DLC expansion for it, Deck13 is back at E3 to show off some gameplay from the upcoming sequel, The Surge 2. Though the amount of information available at this relatively early stage of development is understandably sparse, we were nonetheless able to learn about a few things that would be making a return, as well as some all-new changes in store.
Superficially, not much seems to have changed between the two games. The player character is still a human augmented with what appears to be a full-body mech chassis used for extremely brutal combat maneuvers. Battles are cinematic, with dramatic slow-motion finishing moves and targeted dismemberment of enemy body parts to attain specific parts useful in upgrading your own rig.
But even here, new little touches were evident. First and most easily identifiable is the fact that weapons are now designed to have both two- and one-handed forms. Combos we saw began with the player wielding a large two-handed polearm, swinging it in heavy arcs, then suddenly breaking it into two pieces and continuing the attack with swipes of each half, before finally recombining it back to a single piece. This versatility, perhaps more than anything, looks amazingly cool, and, when combined with the meaty thunks and metallic clanks of the sound design, create some blissful havoc.
A few other additions to the general combat were unveiled, such as the ability to equip your battle drone with weapons harvested from dismembered enemy parts, making it an even more valuable tool in your bag of hurt than before. Players are also equipped with a sensor ability that sends out a tracking wave and detects enemies around you that are in hiding.
Though the demo’s primary purpose was definitely to showcase The Surge 2‘s combat mechanics, it was interesting to note, at least from what we were able to see, the game’s setting this time around may take a new direction. Gone were the derelict factories and robot assembly facilities, the mechanical inner sanctums and corporate façades. Instead, the action took place in a lush outdoor park, with greenery and plant life all around, though admittedly a man-made one with hidden behind-the-scene paths to discover.
I guess the change in scenery isn’t too surprising when considering what we were told next: The Surge 2 takes place several months after the previous game, in a place called Jericho City, which has been quarantined and that the protagonist is trying to escape from. Because of the more expansive setting, the game’s flow will also be less linear than before, with a chance to choose the order some areas and bosses are tackled, though I suspect this to only be true to a certain degree.
Lastly, we were introduced to a brand-new gameplay feature, when the protagonist removed his helmet and not only revealed he wasn’t Warren, the hero from the first game, but in fact he was a she. Turns out The Surge 2 will come equipped for the first time with a character creator, letting players play as any character they like. When asked about Warren’s destiny, we weren’t given more of an answer other than a cheeky smile and shoulder-shrug from the developer. I guess we’ll have to find out for ourselves when The Surge 2 is ready for mass production on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One sometime in 2019.