I was kindly asked to review The Surge 2, and I enjoyed it so much that it made me want to go back and play the first one. I’ve now found myself in this weird situation where I’m playing both of these games for the first time, simultaneously… So obviously I thought to myself I may as well write about both of them and compare them, right?!

I’m pretty new to the whole Soulsbourne genre, and in the last year I’ve completed Dark Souls 1 (A good place to start), and started 2 & 3 – I’d say that the difference, or jump, between the 2 Surge games is much more than the jump between Souls titles. For some, they may not like the changes, but I personally have found that I prefer the second. One thing I cannot understand about either game is that along the way, you’ll meet other survivors who are trying to survive and are struggling in this horrid, collapsing world… Yet you never go “Oh come on buddy let’s try and survive together”; I know as a game mechanic there’s a reason for this, but if this was the real world, you’d be collecting as many dudes and dude-ettes as possible! Anyways… Onto my points.

Firstly the glaring difference between the two is the speed of each – I understand you can change your speed in both games depending on equipment, but there is no doubt that the 2nd game is much faster paced – I even chose the fast build on number 1 as I’d be playing number 2 first! Regardless of this, the 1st Surge is a much slower/stronger game which is mostly about solid blocking and waiting for very small windows of opportunity to get in big attacks… Whereas the 2nd is much faster; you’re more nimble and have weapons that you can pull off flashy spins and a much longer combo – Not only that, but you can also pull off precise parries which stun the enemy and allow you to get a combo in, and make it look pretty cool. I just found that the gear and weapons given in 2 allowed you to build a much quicker build, and this made taking on more than one person much easier.

The difficulty to me seems much easier in the 2nd; I think I’ve died about 50% less in The Surge 2, and I’m unsure if this is down to me just being more comfortable with this style of play, or if it’s because the 2nd is simply just easier. One huge thing that affects this, which I’ve already mentioned, is the parrying; now this may simply be because this a huge part of Dark Souls, as this is just the way I’ve gotten used to playing, so this means the gameplay is therefore easier? Regardless, I’ve found myself falling into this style, and in turn really enjoying it.

I’ve found I can power through areas after a couple attempts, getting used to the layout of the game, and after my first few hours of grinding/upgrading I didn’t find myself struggling as I did the first one, in which I still find I’m dying a lot. Another reason for the second game being a little easier is the drone – Essentially in 2 the drone isn’t fucking useless; you can actually use it to finish off enemies when they’re pegging you down by jumping backwards and smashing triangle, whereas in the 1st it has about as much use as a fly.

The setting and feel of the entire game is really quite different in both – The first has this kind of brooding, dark, almost horror feel where the majority of the enemies are these almost zombie-like androids that are only out for braiiins… And legs and arms… And are a little scary. The locations are darker and more haunting for sure, and there’s a real sense of everything being lost. Compare this to 2 where you’re exploring a large open-ish city which is pretty well lit – The enemies seem to have more sense of what they’re doing, and actually communicate instead of just grunting and launching themselves at you. They seem to be more like people in your situation as opposed to people who have been brought back to life by previously defunct spare parts; there’s also a big difference in the fact that it has a kind of home hub, where your first main objective is to get here after escaping the tutorial prison – Here there are traders, people to interact with, and even a sort of leader who gives you quests… The first is just you surviving with the occasional solo interaction. This really adds to the dread factor for numero uno.

Lastly the story and narrative overall seems to just be more present in 2. I feel the 1st is very Soulslike where its like “You’re fucked in this dire situation, and you’ve just got to survive and see what happens”; it even starts in mystery as you’re just a bloke in a wheelchair that gets messed with in a lab, then thrown out. Comparatively 2 is more like “You’re a person on a plane, it crashes, there’s a mysterious girl to find”, etc, etc. There’s a lot more driven narrative throughout as opposed to the ‘fight’n’survive’ formula, and you actually get to choose what you look like and your gender! This gives The Surge 2 a much more personal adventure feel.

As I said before and in my review, I prefer the second game, but the first is still great – This isn’t to say that the 2nd is better and that isn’t my aim here; I merely wished to highlight the differences for all you there who maybe have only played one or the other. Or perhaps you’ve played both and completely disagree with me..? Let me know in the comments below!

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