Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: The Surge 2

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.


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Feeling meh about The Surge 2

Let’s talk more about The Surge 2. I haven’t played much this week because while I enjoy* the game as I’m playing, I don’t have a burning desire to play it when I’m not. In fact, I oftentimes don’t have the wherewithal to play it, so I choose to play a game that doesn’t tax me as much. I love Souls games, obviously, but I have to be up for playing one. Funnily enough, I’ve reached the point with actual Souls** games where they are comforting gaming to me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have trouble in places. It just means that I know them well enough to turn my brain off as I play, especially if I play as a pyro or a strength-caster. Dark Souls III is my ultimate comfort game, and I have been thinking of playing it again instead of finishing The Surge 2. I’ll get to that in a minute, but let’s talk some more about Delver.

Delver is the nano beast underground who has three health bars. I have accepted, barely, two health bars, but I don’t like it. Yes, I understand that it adds excitement and tension, but it also feels cheap much of the time. I know it’s a staple of the FromSoft games, and they had one of the best ones in Sekiro (The Guardian Ape) ever, but I think it’s something that should be used sparingly. Having three phases?*** No. Now that I’ve said that, though, two of the three-phase boss fights have been amazing, and they were both in the DLC for DS III. Please note, however, that that meant fighting them near the end of the game. Yes, you can do the DLC earlier, but it’s not recommended.

Delver is halfway in the main game, and he is not optional. Come to think of it, I don’t know if there is an optional boss in this game. One of them I’ve fight *might* be optional, but I’m not clear on that. The rest, however, are not. Having a three-phase boss halfway through the main game sucked all the air out of me at that moment. I had no desire to spend hours battling this guy, so I Googled how to fight him. I stumbled upon a reddit thread (or a Steam thread. I don’t remember which) from a guy who said he had spent five hours fighting Delver and still hadn’t beaten him. Five hours! That’s how much I spent on several FromSoft bosses!  I was not willing to put in that much effort for this boss.

I’ve said before, but part of the reason I’m having more reluctance playing this game than the original is because it’s markedly better. The first game was a hot mess, and I pretty much accepted that. I played it without any expectations, and as a result, I had a good time with it. This game, however, I had expectations from the start. I expected it to be better than the first game, and it was–markedly. The environments are better; the graphics are better; the NPCs are more interesting; and the weapons are better.  Almost everything is better (though there is still a healthy amount of jank), and the bosses in general are…not sure better is the word, but harder is definitely fair to say. And more interesting.


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The Surge 2; the good, the bad, and the frustrating

So.  Let’s talk about The Surge 2. I’m still dealing with some shit physically, but I’ve been playing The Surge 2 on and off. More on than off, and I have feelings. So. Many. Feelings. I’m about halfway done with the game, which answers the question of whether I beat the first real boss or not. Who, by the way, is officially the third boss, but I refer to him as the first boss because the other two were tutorial bosses. In fact, in looking up the bosses for this article, I didn’t even remember the first boss at all. I mean, I had to fight him because I got out of the detention area, but when I saw his name, I was like, “What the fuck?” Even after reading about him and watching the video, I did not remember him. That’s how unmemorable he is, and I wouldn’t even call him a boss. We’ll get to that in a second.

Anyhoo, beating

*spoilers*

Little Johnny came down to sheer stubbornness on my part and something I mention often in playing Souls/Souls-like games: luck. There is always one or two moves by a boss that are troublesome for me.

Side Note: One thing I like about these games is how different people deal with different bosses. I’ve never had a problem with Gwyn, for example, and others took five hours to fight him. You’re supposed to parry him, and I’ve watched videos of people parrying him into oblivion. It’s a thing of beauty, and I really wish I could do it. More on that later as well.

I find in a good boss run, the boss doesn’t do the one move I hate that often. In the case of Little Johnny, it’s when he vomits the little spiders that shock you. He only did it once or twice in my successful run. Also, the stompy stompy bit. He didn’t do that much, either. I was pleased to be done with him and to be moving on with my life. Then, I encountered the area known as Gideon Rock, which was a microcosm of all I like and dislike about this game.

Let me just say flat out that gear is important in this game. In the original, I used the Liquidator set which was a light set with good resistance. Early on in this game, I wore the Scavenger set (Operator class) which was light, and the full set bonus was health regen on a finishing move. I will always take health regen over almost anything else. In Gideon’s Rock, I ran into an enemy that was way above my level. It’s called the GAIA Statue, and it’s a golden-plated statue that turns into a robotic enemy when you near it. When I first entered Gideon’s Rock, the statues had a red number–which meant they were waaaaay above me. I fought the first one right outside the hub for nearly an hour, and I didn’t manage to kill it once. I decided to run by it and continue on in the area.

I liked the new enemy type, Hunter, even if it frustrated me. They can go invisible, which they use to get next to you before trying to shank you. One thing I appreciate about The Surge 2 is that it has distinctive environments, which is so different than the drab industrial interiors of the original game. Gideon’s Rock is outdoors and very nature-based. I will say I had a chuckle at Metea Forest because it looked so much like a Souls‘ area, especially with the hunters, but that’s forgivable in my eyes.


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Hacking off more limbs in The Surge 2

 

party people!
If you like pina coladas….

I’m sick. Or rather, I have a ‘bug’ that is sapping my energy and my will to do anything. I’ve had to cut down my morning routine to the bare basics, and I’ve been dozy all day long. I have not played The Surge 2 for the last two days because it takes a lot to play that game. However, before I got sick, I managed to finally find the first boss. I don’t know why it was so difficult for me to get to him, but probably because when I play this kind of game, I wring out absolutely every inch of content I can. I will go on every side path, and I will do every fetch quest, er, side quest.

An aside: There is a bug in the game that if you don’t get your reward from a certain NPC the first time she asks, you don’t get to open the magnetic lift next to her. It probably doesn’t matter in the long run other than it makes it hard to get to her, but it’s annoying.

Aside II: There is an area right outside the first Medical Bay (not in the prison) that you unlock, kinda, but that is walled off by some bad-ass motherfuckers. Supercops, if you will. You can go in there, but you probably don’t want to. It’s the same with another area. It has two supercops walling it off, but I picked them off and went behind them. To my disappointment, there wasn’t anything I could do yet there. I understand that they’re trying to organically wall off areas, but if you can get there, there should be something there waiting for you.

In the second walled-off area, I decided to take a peek behind the three supercops. I did a stealth thing down the side road and picked off all the enemies along the way. I stealthed into the  plaza, then started running like hell because there were turrets and enemies and all kinds of bullshit.

Side Note to the Aside II: I really hate the turrets. Hate, hate, hate it. There is one enemy that has turrets and spider drones and rifle drones, and uses them all interchangeably. Yes, I have a turret drone and a rifle drone myself, but I don’t have unlimited ammo the way they do. Yes, Souls does the same thing with enemies having endless stamina/firebombs/whatever, so I know it’s not a novel idea, but it’s annoying and as frustrating as hell. Once again, I’d like to note that there is a really fine line between ‘difficult, but fair’ and ‘flat-out bullshit’. The Surge 2, unfortunately, crosses that line more than once.

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The good and the bad of The Surge 2

oh dear. it's coming.
What fresh hell is this?

The Surge (the original) was a surprise hit for me when I played it back in 2018. I even gave it an award and everything! I will never argue that it’s a great game, but I had a blast playing it. The RKG group (members of the group, not RKG themselves) hates it almost uniformly, and they got mad at me for saying I liked it better than Nioh. They argued that Nioh was a better game, and they seemed befuddled when I agreed. I know Nioh is a better game than The Surge. I mean, it’s more technically accomplished, it looks better (though there are some UGLY levels in Nioh–I’m looking at you, snow world–and the combat is more complex. Actually, that was part of my issue with Nioh, though I’d be curious to see if I felt the same way now that I’ve finished Sekiro. It’s more imaginative, and I like the demon/fantasy theme much better than the sci-fi world of The Surge. However, when it comes to which one I enjoyed more, indeed, which one I actually finished, it would be The Surge.

It was such a success that a sequel was inevitable. I was hyped about it, but also nervous. Why nervous? Because I was hyped about it. See, I wasn’t expecting anything from the first game. Why? Because Deck13 Interactive’s first game, Lords of the Fallen, was a hot mess. The reviews ranged from lukewarm to downright excoriating. Me, I hated the game. A lot. It was fantasy, and should have been right up my alley, but all they seemed to take from Dark Souls was ‘heavy’ combat. They were transparent about their love for Dark Souls, but they didn’t seem to understand what makes it such a transformative game*. It’s like looking at the Mona Lisa and thinking the smile was the only thing important about the painting. Yes, it’s an integral part, but it’s not the whole. I feel the same about Deck13 and Lords of the Fallen. Yes, the combat is weighty, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dark Souls. Also, the magicks is shite in LoF, at least in the first hour. Also also, just throwing a mob of enemies at the player isn’t a great way of making a game difficult. My biggest complaint about LoF was that they seemed to go into the game thinking, “We want a game that is hard” and built everything around that instead of having a vision that integrated elements of a challenging game.

When The Surge was announced, I wasn’t anything more than mildly interested. Nothing about it screamed, ‘come here!’ to me, and I let it go until it went on sale on Steam. Then, I tried the demo and had a reasonably good time, so I bought it for like ten bucks. I wasn’t expecting anything from it, and I was pleasantly surprised. There were several things I did not like about the game, but overall, I had a decent time with it. When the sequel was announced, I was stoked. But, as I said above, also nervous. Was I expecting too much?

Fast-forward to September 23rd when the game actually dropped. I bought it four hours before it released and pre-loaded it. I was excited and ready to roll by the time the game was installed. Graphics looked better than the last one, and the environments were more varied in the first few hours than they had been in all of the original game. I got to make my own character, and, yes, I made her an Asian woman. There wasn’t that much customization, but the fact that they allowed me to do any at all was a step up.

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