Gamescom 2018: The Surge 2 Makes Dismemberment a Way of Life

August 25, 2018

The Surge, which came out last year, was an interesting and unique melee action-RPG with a key point of difference, a body targeting system, which allowed the player to collect limbs and combine them for new gear. The Surge 2 was kicked into development pretty quickly, and looks to improve in several ways on its predecessor, as I got to see in a hands-off demonstration at Gamescom.

This time around, The Surge 2 takes place in the same dystopian future but in a new location, Jericho City. The city is under quarantine with a massive wall enclosing it completely, probably due to the weird wormhole-like storm brewing in the sky above, which itself may have something to do with the bizarre creatures rampaging through the streets.

Your character, who is fully customisable including gender and age (no decision yet on whether they will be voiced – developers are weighing up whether the time and effort is worth it for this kind of game) is a kind of cybernetic mercenary, dropped into the Jericho City on a mission to hunt a particular creature. The demo’s mission required the character to activate several’ propeller’ devices which will force the monster they’ve been hunting into a central area where they can face it.

In this apocalyptic future, natural areas are rare, and the demo takes place in a nature reseve that looks like an American forest, which is not the kind of thing you’d expect to normally see in the middle of a city, with dense foliage and even waterfalls. The wealthy of this world build places like these to simulate what the world used to be like, complete with animatronic animals. Branching paths and optional areas encourage exploration, which might offer treasure or lore.

In The Surge 2, the first game’s 5 weapon types have been expanded to 10. A new one is called ‘Double Duty’, and it looks almost like a huge double ended hammer. It can do heavy high impact swings, but can also break apart for quicker movements and attacks. In the demo I saw, the developer used the body targeting system to chop off body parts and then use what they had gathered to get schematics to expand their repertoire. Enemies have different kinds of equipment and armour, and while targeting unarmoured areas on an enemy may allow you to kill them faster,  you may want to soften them up for a finishing move to sever a limb for yourself. One device you can harvest is a scouting device that can check around corners and gather intel – one of many options to fit your gameplay style.

The player’s pet drone is now linked to the body targeting system, so you can take guns from enemy’s limbs and attach them to the drone for a secondary weapon, anything from pistols to bazookas. In addition, the blocking system has been upgraded and blocking can be performed in four directions, if you can time it right you can perform a powerful stagger, however it’s an optional advanced skill that players don’t have to use.

The demo finished with a boss encounter – although not with the creature the protagonist had been hunting, but a statue in the nature reserve that breaks apart into a giant golden robot. It’s a formidable foe that fires powerful lasers that cut through the grass and trees. Defeating her required using the drone and melee combat in concert, target the weak spot behind her face-laser with the drone, before fighting her staggered state with melee combat.

The demo ended there, but there’s sure to be a lot more to learn about The Surge 2 as it continues development for a release sometime in 2019.