THE SURGE 2
Director Jan Klose reveals why second time’s the charm
Format PS4 ETA 2019 Pub Focus Home Interactive Dev Deck13
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.