Parents' Guide to

The Surge 2

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Sci-fi sequel improves on original but still falls short.

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This action sequel tries to improve on the shortcomings of the original game, expanding the action and world to draw in fans, but still manages to fall short overall. The world of The Surge 2 feels more open, with side streets and alleys branching out for players to explore. The game also introduces a new drone mechanism, giving players the benefit of an extra flying sidekick to add to their arsenals. While The Surge 2 is definitely an improvement, it's still got more than a few short circuits of its own that keep it from living up to its full potential.

Right from the start, the game's visuals are painfully rough. Textures don't always mesh up quite right, lending to strange sights like character hair that only appears in patches. And depending on the game settings, players have to choose between a smoother framerate with sorely blurred visuals or sharp images but movement that's barely a step above a stop-motion movie. The game's also frustrating because it feels like the instructions are incomplete. After opening up the first two drones for use, players are only provided instructions on the use of one. This happens often, where weapons or abilities are only explained half-heartedly, if at all, leaving players to sort it out for themselves through trial and error … and lots of death. Finally, the combat control generally feel slow and sluggish, but with real weight to them. There's an odd realism in the effort it takes to swing a massive makeshift blade, though that realism disappears when you somehow cut someone in half with the steel nozzle of a flamethrower. All said, while the world feels larger and better fleshed out, the overall experience of The Surge 2 just barely sparks interest in its play.

Game Details

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