In The Surge 2 my navigation habits keep me from wasting hours traveling through a twisted, open map. Playing MapQuest in this third-party action RPG keeps the methodical battle from feeling too uncomfortable too quickly. It seems like a weird thing about a modern game, but the multifaceted and evolving world of Surge 2 interests me, even as the rest of the game starts to get boring.
What is The Surge 2 ?
Like 2017 & # 39; s The Surge The Surge 2 is a third party, forcibly diverted through science-setting, a fresh idea of a not-so-fresh genre. I activate checkpoints, unlock shortcuts, battle enemies, and earn currency for my victories. Death comes quickly and often, and if I can't go back to my body without dying (or before The Timer of Surge 2 goes away), the hard-earned currency of my previous life will disappear forever.
But The Surge 2 keeps things unique with its breakdown system, like The Surge before it. As I fight, I aim for different parts of the body. Taking an enemy's armored limb causes the most damage, but it damages my ability to steal enemy armor for my own needs.
Instead, I go for helmets, foot covering, body armor, metal gloves. After lowering the protective gloves, I complete the finishing stroke. My personalized character tosses his spear at the enemy's arm and kicks them from the chest. The hand comes with it and the enemy falls to the ground.
The hand – like the weapon it holds and the armor around it – is mine now. I can bring this armor to any Med Bay to create a piece that fits my character. What was theirs is now mine. Every enemy comes with the same kind of interaction, and I always choose to cut rather than take the easy way out with a battleship.
As I look to build on the loot I already have, I am forced to focus on different parts of the body. I have to upgrade my breasts so that I can better begin to dismember my enemies' chests – often using my spear as a pole to help the crane kick the enemy's torso so hard it separates itself from the other limbs. Choosing a body part to focus on is a fun mini-game that you can play and means that you can usually get something useful from any enemy you take out. Need a better helmet? Better start beheading everyone you come across.
This breakdown, acquisition and upgrade cycle is a solid identity for The Surge 2 that you must maintain from the original. But support is not the most attractive idea when it comes to a full-fledged sequel.
The only major improvement in the combat enhancements of Surge 2 is the orientation system in which a well-timed snap of a thumb stick destroys an enemy attack and opens them up for a serious counter. Aside from my money and animated animations, The Surge 2 game didn't bother me – even though you enjoyed The Surge two years ago.
But Surge 2 map design it rescues from continuation syndrome.
The game immediately feels familiar, and I start playing the basics almost instantly. My movements and attacks consume endurance, just as the strokes I take diminish my health. I can upgrade both, but I need to survive and get to the checkpoint nearby to use the currency I get from enemies.
After another death, I again spawned at the local Med Bay – a futuristic fire that acts as an upgrade station to spend my currency and checkpoint when I fail. I fight through the same place for hours that look like hours; meets new enemies, defeats some and dies others. Progress is never guaranteed, but each new step forward unlocks a new shortcut I must take that makes returning to where I was so easy.
It is as if the world is always ready to bend. Progressing progress always feels like a stubborn battle, but coming back from where I came is always a clever shortcut, suddenly available, far away.
I follow my path without thinking, without thinking about my enemies, before jumping back into the arena I have puzzled over the last 20 minutes. There's no boss here to block me, just a few new enemies are causing me problems. Any bad person could kill me alone if I'm not careful, and trying to take two at a time is a death sentence. As I explore the battlefield, overwhelmed by the memories of death I had to prevent, I begin to ponder my way.
Entrance through the front gate allows me to take the heaviest enemies first, but it makes it difficult to take them enemies at a time – not to mention the alarm that will alert all nearby enemies to my presence, if I'm not careful. My usual entrance from the top of the bus past the gate is the shortest choice, but it slides me between two strict guards and a hostile robot.
I pass the bus to get the robot out first. After a few good hits, I take off one of his hands before striking my last blow on the chassis. Now I just have to decide how I want to approach the enemies at the gate.
I spend most of my time at The Surge 2 analyzing these types of combat puzzles made possible by the game's claustrophobic world. In the 15 hours it took me to beat The Surge 2 the gameplay rarely changed and was so reminiscent of the first game that it felt more like an extension than an extension. But the map around me has changed completely over time, and in the end it was a complement to the formula that kept me going, even if so much of the rest of the game's design started to feel rotten.
It is this shifting map that really The Surge 2 shines.
Spending most of my time in The Surge 2 battling through the hub world – a future city in bad shape. I use elevators to climb new floors and zip lines to overcome from one landing to another.
Every new room I think has multiple exits, and checking the boxes every new path rewards me with a treasure or a new shortcut to the Bay of Med. The game card does not exist, replaced by card billboards that show my location scattered around the world. Sometimes I reach for a controller key for my controller that doesn't have it, but a dim map eventually adds to the charm of maneuvering. I don't want to look in the navigation menu, I have to constantly look around the world to find out where I am and where I'm going.
There are quests that transport me through areas such as a forest biome or a local port – each with its own spiraling shortcuts – but I spend time battling new enemies and creating my own mental map of the world. The map is small, making the crossing quick and easy. And by five o'clock I know how to get around every street.
My introduction to the world is what makes changing the game environment so much fun to experience. After a few basic searches, I reach a point where there is no going back in history. Before entering the next area, I get a warning that things will not be the same when I return. Naturally, I press on. There is a kind of cataclysm in history and a new force is built up in the city where I play for hours. I'm struggling with a quick boss and reappearing to see how this faction has already started to develop the world.
What I find is a card completely remixed, but not one that I don't recognize. The situation destroyed some buildings and walls, tunnels with new paths appeared and new enemies filled the old landscape. What was old is new again, but in a way that is still recognizable.
Some of my old paths have disappeared, but new study opportunities have been found. I go around the world I once knew so well without much understanding of where I was going. Sometimes I get lost and think about going back. But pressing always reveals a landmark I didn't know I was around, or a location I recognized.
Suddenly a remixed version of the map is beginning to form in my mind, with places that I know fit well into new locals. Every new discovery of an old area leaves me feeling like a kid stuck in the backseat during a long car ride just to pop up and shout, "hey, I know where we are", the moment I recognize the landmark . This realization always turns out to be right as the battle begins to feel all too familiar and bored. The acquaintance is not always bad, but in the case of The Surge 2 the familiar is simply aggressively good. Adding cinnamon to oatmeal does not create a taste explosion, but makes the experience much more enjoyable. With The Surge 2 the folded world map is this cinnamon that adds enough flavor to keep me interested all the way.
Surge 2 will be released on September 24 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC via Steam and Xbox One. The game was reviewed using the final Steam download code provided by Evolve for Focus Home Interactive. You can find additional information about Polygon's ethics policy here .