It's been just over two years since German developer Deck13 released The Surge, a sci-fi action RPG directly inspired by the popular Souls series. Now Deck13 is back with a sequel, refining the original formula and adding character customization, greater combat variety, and smarter AI.
Despite its fresh take on the genre, the original The Surge failed to make waves, receiving only a lukewarm critical reception and audience response. Critics were particularly disappointed by the weakness of its story and lack of meaningful progression, but praised its 30-40 hour play-time and fluid combat. With the release of The Surge 2 however, these criticisms have been turned on their head, as this time it's the game's length that's coming under some scrutiny.
How Long to Beat The Surge 2
After receiving early-access to the game, reviewers are reporting play-times varying from 15 to 23 hours, with the average apparently around 20. This all takes place in the game's open-world, a tight, multi-level city that evolves with new paths as the story progresses, but apparently not enough to avoid some critics feeling as if they'd seen it all before.
As action RPGs go, 20 hours is certainly on the low side. To give some context, Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the latest two offerings from Souls developer FromSoftware, each boast average play-times of 40+ hours, more than double The Surge 2's. And even these respectable lengths are dwarfed by the big boys in the action RPG pool, with games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and The Witcher 3 averaging 75 and 100 hours apiece.
This isn't to say, of course, that a longer game is a better game. There's a lot to be said for a tighter, more compact experience, cutting down on the bloat and focusing on the core gameplay. This may have been what Deck13 was aiming for, perhaps feeling that as a small developer that it was over-ambitious with the length of The Surge 1. Unfortunately, Deck13 seems to have fallen a little shy of the mark, as The Surge 2 is currently scoring only a little better with critics than its predecessor.
With its average reviews and reduced length, The Surge 2 may fail to attract many gamers, even from those who enjoyed the first title. But for those masochistic fans of the Souls formula who find themselves with a overwhelming desire to play a sci-fi Souls-esque game set in a ruined post-apocalyptic city, The Surge 2 may scratch that unique itch. Or, of course, they could just wait a few days more for Code Vein, another sci-fi Souls-esque game set in a ruined post-apocalyptic city, which launches on September 27th.
The Surge 2 launches on September 24 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.