Di­rec­tor Jan Klose reveals why sec­ond time’s the charm

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTEN -

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Souls­borne sci-fi The Surge showed prom­ise but stum­bled at the fi­nal aug­mented hur­dle. Now the dev team are show­ing us how they’re mak­ing the se­quel a whole lot bet­ter. A more open world, more cus­tomi­sa­tion, and fluid com­bat are some of the changes…

OPM: How much work have you put into mak­ing com­bat smoother and faster? Jan Klose:

Ac­tu­ally, a lot! As we’re do­ing a game that’s so much about tac­ti­cal com­bat, we were keen to im­prove on that sub­ject as much as pos­si­ble. We tried to find a bal­ance be­tween keep­ing what’s fun in part one and of­fer­ing more, bet­ter, cooler stuff for the se­quel. We al­ways wanted to em­pha­sise the smooth, flu­ent parts of com­bat. In The Surge 2, we’re giv­ing the player more op­tions for quickly chang­ing at­tack pat­terns, de­fen­sive moves, and the com­bat flow in gen­eral. We want the player to be able to re­act faster and to feel even more in con­trol.

OPM: How deep is the cus­tomi­sa­tion? JK:

We’ve added more lay­ers to our sys­tem, start­ing with a char­ac­ter cre­ator where you can change the looks of your hero. There’s also a lot of game­play con­tent that’s new, for ex­am­ple how much you can cus­tomise your drone and how exactly you dis­trib­ute your pow­ers. All in all, we want to give you even more op­tions to build your very own rig.

OPM: Is it more free­ing from a de­sign per­spec­tive to have a larger world? JK:

It’s great to have more op­tions for the world de­sign and it also feels awe­some to of­fer more choice for the player. On the other hand it makes bal­anc­ing all these el­e­ments a bit more dif­fi­cult: when the player can de­cide more freely where to go and what to do, we need to take care Smarter en­e­mies and a larger world? Bring on the Surge, we say. that they can’t ruin their lev­el­ling and craft­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. There­fore we had to put a lot of ex­tra work in to of­fer spe­cial con­tent for those who tra­verse the world in a dif­fer­ent way than the stan­dard one, but in the end we hope that the game ben­e­fits greatly from this.

OPM: What kind of bosses can we ex­pect, and do you have a favourite? JK:

We have many more boss fights in The Surge 2. Some are the size of hu­mans, oth­ers are re­ally huge – we have much more va­ri­ety in the game this time around. My per­sonal favourite has a lot of flex­i­ble legs, a crazy amount of hit zones, and, most im­por­tantly, a rather dis­gust­ing fin­ish­ing an­i­ma­tion!

OPM: How does the drone work? JK:

The drone func­tions mainly as your ranged com­bat de­vice. You can take ranged weapons from your en­e­mies and at­tach them to your drone to have it be­come a sort of fly­ing gun. It adds a lot more cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions than in The Surge and also some pas­sive or non-com­bat skills that you can use your drone for. We hope that it feels even more like a com­pan­ion and also makes ranged com­bat more ver­sa­tile.

OPM: How does it feel to still be the only sci-fi Souls­borne game? JK:

Our grounded sci-fi take on this grow­ing genre has def­i­nitely got­ten some at­ten­tion, and from our per­spec­tive it’s a nat­u­ral fit. We en­joy play­ing around with ideas in the ‘in­dus­trial sci-fi’ theme, and it def­i­nitely gives us a ton of fuel to come up with bru­tal and unique weapon and ar­mour de­signs, dan­ger­ous en­e­mies, and in­ter­est­ing places to ex­plore.

OPM: Are you im­prov­ing the en­emy AI? JK:

Well, play­ing in a city where not ev­ery­thing is brain-dead, we needed a new ap­proach for en­emy AI. So we asked our­selves how small groups would re­act when they would ap­proach the player, and we fo­cused on com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween en­e­mies so that en­coun­ters get es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing if the player en­coun­ters more than one op­po­nent. But also, sin­gle en­e­mies are more clever now and they can tra­verse the level in a much smarter way than be­fore.

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