Underneath my yellow skin

The Surge 2 dirge and asundry

The Surge 2. Let’s talk more about it. First of all, the stuttering and freezing is getting worse. I’ve done some fiddling with it, but it’s still there. I’ve always had a problem firing up the game as it took several seconds to launch and my computer would freeze in the meantime. With GeForce, it would try to launch and fail, try to launch and fail, try to launch and fail, and then finally launch. Most of the time, the enemy is hindered by the same glitches, which is good, but it’s really fucking frustrating. My computer should be able to handle this game no problem, so I don’t know what is up with the game. I have read that other people have been having the same issues, which means it’s probably a game problem and not a ‘my computer’ problem.

I find myself strangely reluctant to play the game, and I say strange because I like the game fine as I play it, when it’s not stuttering or freezing. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it, either. Which in itself is weird for me. I have strong reactions to most things, and it’s rare when I’m meh about something. I also find myself trying to talk myself into playing the game more than I’m actually playing it. It was like this in the first half, but it really ramped up when I hit Delver, the boss I mentioned in the last post.

It speaks to the unevenness of the game that I can kill the enemies of the area with relative ease and then get wiped out immediately on the boss. And not in a ‘learn its moves’ way. In addition, the mobs are not done well. In my last session, I went through the beginning of the new area I’m in (again), and was reminded of one of the most frustrating things in the game–the difficulty imbalance. In this area, there is one of the robot dogs that I hate, one of the sniper shooters (A.I.D. officer), and another A.I.D. officer who all advance on me as a group. The only way to deal with them is to run back until all but one leash, and then beat that one enemy, rinse, lather, and repeat.

I just read a review of The Surge 2 that is spot on, though it is harsher on the game than I am. It suggests a fix for the freezing which is to play offline. It says you don’t get the hints from other players that way, but it would be a small price to pay. I’ll have to give it a whirl. Or not. The bigger points the review made about the game being a hodgepodge of other games really made me think. The reason I bought the game was because it was touted as a Souls-like. Or rather, the first game was a Souls-like, and this was supposed to be more in that vein.

It starts out that way, but then quickly morphs into something else. I was complaining to Ian how it shouldn’t be that I just level up my gear and myself to make a boss trivial, but that’s what I did. As I mentioned in the last post, I might have been slightly under-leveled for the area, but  it shouldn’t have made that much of a difference. Yes, you can over-level in Souls as well, but you still have to have some skill to beat the bosses. Or maybe it’s just my way of playing.

You can parry and block in this game–I just don’t. At this point, I pretty much just tank hits, bash the enemies, and continuously heal. I have plenty of core power, so I may tinker with my implants again so I don’t have to worry about my health at all. That will make the game so much easier, but as pointed out by Elijah Beahm in the review I linked above, it’s antithetical to Dark Souls.


In addition, while I love the drone and how much more useful it is in this game than it was in the last, it does trivialize a lot of the combat as well. I beat an earlier boss by hitting him three times with my drone–either Mollies or sniper rifle or grenades, and obliterated the second half of his health bar. It’s similar to the pistol in BB, but whereas it was an interrupter in BB to set up the visceral, it can do massive damage in this game. Which, again, I like, but it’s not very Souls-like at all.

I’m currently watching a playthrough of Sekiro by Maja Plays (she’s great, by the way, and she has a black cat), and I can’t help but be struck by how much better Sekiro is to The Surge 2. I mean, I don’t think I’m saying anything outrageous by noting this. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sekiro is on the shortlist of best games of the year in a month or so, and The Surge 2 isn’t even going to be in consideration. I have complex feelings about Sekiro for other reasons, but I will say it’s a fucking brilliant game.

I am not actively comparing The Surge 2 and Souls when I play the former, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I think it’s one reason I feel I have to finish the game–because it’s a Souls-like and I’m more than halfway done with it. Which is ridiculous, but its’ hard for me to put it out of my mind. And, it’s fine when I’m playing it, but I’m rarely really into it. I will say a pretty cool thing happened recently.

*SPOILERS*

The player character of the first game, Warren, shows up in this game. I first found his weapon, which was a nice nod. But, then, I just ran into him in the A.I.D. Command center as I wander around looking for the right way to go. It turns out that he was the stranger I ran into earlier who gave me my rad helm piece. He needs me to do something for him, which, of course, I’m more than happy to do. I like when the player character of the original game shows up as an NPC in the second game. That happened in Torchlight and in Borderlands, and it’s cool to see Warren in this game as well.

*UNSPOILERED*

I’ll try the offline thing the next time I play The Surge 2, but I don’t know when that might be. It’s funny because when I play a FromSoft game for the first time, it’s all I can think of. I play for hours on end, dreaming about it, and plotting what I’m going to do next. With this game, it’s mostly out of sight, out of mind–which is why I’m looking for another game to play.

The Outer Worlds has been in my periphery for several months. My impression of it is that it’s an open world RPG by Obsidian, the makers of Fallout: New Vegas. In addition, I knew it’ was set in outer space, and I liked the looks of it. I was wary because I’m not a huge fan of the Fallout series, and a lot of TOW seemed similar. I watched (and read!) a few reviews, and it seemed to be something I could sink my teeth into. However, it’s $60 and not on Steam yet, so I’ll wait on it.

The game that really intrigues me is Disco Elysium by ZA/UM Studio, which is also an open world RPG, but with a very different feel to it. You’re a hard-edged detective who wakes up from a drunken stupor. So far, so stereo-trope, right? Well, you have to choose your skills from the start, and they’re not your normal strength, skill, endurance stats, either. There are four major skills: Intellect, Motorics, Physique, and Psyche. There are six sub-skills in each skill, and you can mix and match as you please. I’ve watched gameplay, and it has a gritty and realistic feel to it (though it’s set in some indeterminate time). I know that if, say, you choose to make your character a big brute, he sees every woman as a potential bed partner and is very uncomfortable with even a hint of homosexuality.

Devil May Cry 5 by Capcom has been on my radar ever since it came out, but as I’ve noted before, I’m cheap. I am not paying full price for a game unless it’s a FromSoft game, and I don’t have a burning desire to play DMC 5, either. I played DmC and HATED it. I watched Ian play the first few hours of DMC5, and I was intrigued by V and his companions. It’s 50% off on Steam now and will give me 100,000 red orbs (currency) if I buy it now. Ah, Steam sales, how you taunt me with your steaminess and your sales!

It’s funny because when I play a FromSoft game for the first time, that is my life. I don’t play anything else*, and I’m completely absorbed in the experience. It’s a sign that I’m just not into The Surge 2 that I am contemplating buying and playing other games. I think I just need to let it go.

 

 

 

*Except maybe a casual game or a BoI: R run.

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