Combat power Surge, storyline blackout
The curse of the dreaded sequel is not unique to films, it is often the scourge of many a superb video game too.
So given its excellent predecessor how would The Surge 2 fare treading the infamously dodgy ground of the sequel?
For those not familiar with the Deck13 Interactive title, The Surge 2 is an action role-playing video game and comes two years after the well-received original.
You play from a third-person perspective and TS2 features a character creator which allows players to customise the appearances and gender of their player avatar.
Gamers also get their hands on a host of different melee weapons to defeat enemies, whose limbs can be targeted and gruesomely removed individually.
After killing or dismembering an enemy, players can equip the weapons, armour or gadgets and such left behind.
The setting is Jericho city and you have the freedom to explore. You will encounter a host of non-playable characters and must make various choices which will have a butterfly effect on not only the story arc but the game’s world too. A cool element is the fact players can also leave graffiti messages in the game world for other players to see (yes you can guess the kind of things that crop up!).
The crowning achievement in The Surge 2 remains the hard-hitting and meaningful combat. The impact of almost every blow feels satisfying and in that respect reminds me of the superb hit satisfaction felt playing the Soulcalibur series.
To parry shots you must angle your weapon correctly aka ‘directional parries’. These are difficult to get the hang of initially but prove to be hugely rewarding and satisfying with some practice.
The aforementioned limb targeting system is a very clever way of sprinkling some glitter on the game’s major grind elements as it makes for some gory and brilliant fun when collecting materials for crafting and customisation.
The level design is also supremely clever. The designers have managed create interesting areas that demand and reward proper, thorough exploration.
Where TS2 does suffer from sequel syndrome, though, is in the storyline which is a touch vanilla as are some of the characters to be brutally honest. As a result the game lacks stand-out moments which really stick in your memory and all the brilliant level design seems somewhat wasted as a consequence.
TS2 undeniably recaptures all the things which made the original great fun to play - namely the awesome combat.
It does little to take the series on by any great strides however I would be intrigued what developers could do with a third installment given the enhanced power of the next generation of machines that are on the way.