The “Souls-like” genre is among my favorites in gaming, even if I’m awful at them. Japan’s From Software
established this blend of roguelike and action-RPG with Demon’s Souls
(it came out in February 2009 – it’s a retro game now!) and its successor series, Dark Souls
. And a bunch of other studios have been noodling on it since.
Deck13 is one of those that have been playing in the Souls-like toybox. The German studio has been around since 2001, and in 2017, it released The Surge. This riff on the From Software style of action-RPG was a surprise hit. It has a postapocalyptic near-future Earth setting. It ditches swords and maces for clamp-like power grippers, vibro-cutters, and massive column-like cudgels. Folks enjoyed the setting, the weapons, and how you cut new tech away from foes with gory finishing moves, using these spare parts to improve your character.
The Surge 2 is better in every regard.
Released on Tuesday, The Surge 2 combines excellent encounter design, intriguing weapon loadouts, and intertwining stages. Moment to moment, you’re on the watch for enemies, some standing out in the open waiting for you, others lurking between corners. Loot sits in numerous nooks. And building out your character and upgrading gear feels better in The Surge 2 than in many other Souls-like games.
One aspect of The Surge 2 I appreciate the most are its boss encounters. I struggled with bosses in Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III
. But I’ve had better luck figuring out the patterns, and kitting out my character, in The Surge 2. I feel like I have more time to breathe and see what a boss does here than in other Souls-like game.
I’m enjoying it so much that I’m giving away two limited editions of The Surge 2
: one for PlayStation 4, and one for Xbox One. (Disclosure: Publisher Focus Home Interactive provided GamesBeat with these copies to give away
or tweet me
about either your favorite experiences with The Surge or other Souls-like games, and I’ll pick a random winner.
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor