Sequels are a tricky business. The best of them not only manage to recapture what people enjoyed about the original, but also find ways to enhance them while effectively introducing new ideas. On the flip-side, there are plenty of instances where, despite a few new good ideas and generally high quality, the sequel doesn’t create quite as much of an impression. The Surge 2 fits snugly into the latter category: this return to the sci-fi Souls-like action game realm hacks and slashes just as hard – harder, in some cases – but falls just short of recapturing the same dismembering joy.
On paper, The Surge 2 does exactly what it should in order to achieve the goals of a sequel: it’s retained a lot of what worked in the first game, and throws in a few solid system updates and quality-of-life improvements aimed at making a better version of the original. However, there are some environmental design and storytelling decisions that eliminate some of the original’s charm and cause the story to trip over its own feet.