The Surge 2 released on PS4 on 24 September 2019. You can check out my review here. The Kraken is purchasable as part of the Surge 2 season pass, which also comes with additional weapons and gear, for £19.99. You can also grab the mission on its own for £9.49.
The Kraken takes place aboard, well, The Kraken; a sea-faring vessel housing a retro-futurist town which has been designed to allow residents to escape the tumult of the mainland. You are lured to the ship by Sidney Turner, who is attempting to withstand an attack from a troupe of robotic pirates and a troublesome rogue AI. Expect rather shallow musings on what it means to be alive (with the “I think therefore I am” quote from Descartes shovelled in for good measure) and a couple of choices over the course of the narrative.
My first experience trying to access The Surge 2 DLC, unfortunately, wasn’t a positive one. Developers Deck13 has taken the Dark Souls route of resetting progress once the storyline has been completed, The ensuing new game + plus mode allows you to retain your gear while offering harder enemies rather than allowing the player to mooch around savouring the brave new world they have brought into being. Unfortunately for me, I finished the game back in September, and The Kraken can only be accessed once a late-game boss has been defeated. This meant I was required to fight through the lengthy campaign all over again to reach the access point.
The Kraken differs very little from the core game in terms of game-play mechanics. Combat still revolves around melee attacks and targeting limbs to acquire gear schematics and upgrade materials. The only real difference The Kraken offers is some light stealth elements which are scarcely developed. These essentially boil down to keeping out of the way of a searchlight to avoid an enemy pile-on.
All that being said the gameplay is still a lot of fun and weapons to continue to feel satisfying, even if kicking robot versions of Pirates of the Carribean’s Davy Jones doesn’t feel quite as righteous as taking on the human opponents which populate the main game.
There are a couple of challenging boss encounters which will potentially extend your playtime but enemy variety is limited, and some of the new additions are more irritating to fight than fun, especially the droids which spew poison and hide underground when you approach.
As with the core game, The Kraken is pretty easy on the eye. The ship offers a significant departure from Jericho City, with verdant lawns and white picket fences replacing the grim urban sprawl of the city. I went into the DLC expecting grey tunnels and ventilation shafts, so I was pleasantly surprised to initially find myself plonked in a picturesque garden, complete with whistling barbecue chef. Deck13 have once again shown a degree of visual flair which is missing from many third-person action games, even if there isn’t loads to see.
Sound effects and music are similar to those of the main game. The voice-acting is pretty good on the whole, with the new robotic enemies delivering some chilling sound bites.
Unfortunately, The Kraken is extremely short, offering little more than 2 hours of gameplay, even taking side quests into account. The side quests themselves are basic. Each of these revolves around collecting items which are somewhat inadequately hidden across the fairly small environment. If you have already completed the main game I can’t recommend starting again just to access the DLC, especially considering the price point.
The Kraken offers more Surge 2, and if you enjoyed the main game you’re likely to have a good time. It’s not essential but it represents a pleasing diversion from the main storyline (for those who haven’t completed it).
I give The Surge 2 The Kraken the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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