The Surge 2 review – gushing

The second cut is the deepest in Deck13’s Souls-like sequel, The Surge 2. Here’s our review…


Deck13 gets more interesting with each game it makes. The developer behind The Surge 2 has come a long way since 2014’s Dark Souls clone, Lords of the Fallen. In 2017, the studio transplanted that game’s challenging combat to a sci-fi setting in The Surge, a game with satisfying combat that was dragged down by frustratingly cryptic boss fights and a drab warehouse world.

Over a pair of substantial expansions, Deck13 proved it could deliver on setting, taking players to a corporate amusement park and a Wild West challenge dungeon. With The Surge 2, Deck13 has created a fascinating cyberpunk city that I thoroughly enjoyed exploring.

It helps that the series’ action combat remains great. Combining Dark Souls’ methodical, light-and-heavy attack-driven battles with Dead Space’s dismemberments was an interesting formula in the original, and it continues to work well here.

As you fight through streets patrolled by cybernetically enhanced enemies, you’ll alternate between vertical and horizontal slashes, using the right stick to target specific body parts. Striking where an opponent’s flesh is exposed will reap damage dividends, but opting to hit protected areas will result in the opportunity to sever a limb and, potentially, gain an armour schematic.

This risk-reward decision-making is complicated by this entry’s addition of a battery meter, which fills as you successfully land attacks. It takes one segment of charge to execute a finishing move, but you can use that same bar to heal.

Taking cues from Bloodborne and Doom (2016), regaining health in The Surge 2 is a reward for success in combat, a choice that has jettisoned the original game’s Estus Flask-like system. And that’s good! You’ll never need to worry about turning back to replenish health items. Instead, kill a few low-level enemies and you’ll have all you need.

Easier said than done, though, right? The Surge 2 begins with the knock-in-the-teeth that Souls players have come to expect. That’s par for the course. My biggest frustration here is that The Surge 2 leans too heavily on grinding.

The areas that you’re definitely supposed to be in are often patrolled by enemies that are much stronger than you, so you’ll spend a lot of your time running the same areas ad nauseam to level up.

But, the rest of what The Surge 2 does is compelling enough that I was willing to throw on a podcast and grind it out. It’s a marked step up from the first and Deck13’s best stab at the genre yet.


Tech scrap, the series’ metallic alternative to EXP-granting souls, now refills your health gauge when you pick it up. This incentivises waiting until you really need it, but means you may lose it entirely if you wait too long. A brilliant risk-reward choice.

Verdict: 72%

The Surge 2 isn’t perfect, but Deck13 has finally come into its own.

Genre: Souls-like
Format: PS4 (tested) / XBO / PC
Developer: Deck13
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Price: £43.99
Release: Out Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More like this