Right away you can tell Deck 13 have put a lot of time and care into The Surge. The game looks and feels very polished and fans of the Dark Souls games will feel right at home here. You’ll find yourself exploring the world around you, fighting in some pretty intense battles, and of course, dying...a lot.
The Surge takes place 200 years in the future within a research facility owned by the CREO corporation. The game opens with you, Warren, who decides to swap his wheelchair for a mechanical exoskeleton for the chance to walk again. Before too long, things seem to go wrong and this is where you start to take over. You’ll find yourself wandering around making your way through levels that have plenty of enemies from Industrial robots to other humans with mechanical suits similar to yours.
The Surge is heavily melee-focused in an action-RPG sci-fi setting and has a very steep learning curve. You’ve been warned. I’m not a huge fan of games that hold your hand too much anyway, so the challenge was welcomed. As you progress through the game, you’ll open up new doors and paths that will help you get back to those sections when you die. These shortcuts will help you out a lot, as there’s nothing worse than needing to backtrack through all those enemies again and again, each time you're killed.
The combat system is pretty straight forward with dodging, attacking or blocking, and all this is very important to learn, and you’re going to want to learn pretty quick. The combat revolves around targeting enemies limbs so that Warren can do extra damage with well-placed strikes. If you're able to land multiple hits, your energy meter will build up and eventually give you the opportunity to unleash a devastating execution move. These insta-kill attacks look brutal, but aren’t always the best option for you for prolonged survival.
Taking an enemy down by cutting off one of their limbs is where the crafting and upgrade mechanics of the game come into play. Attacking body armour is required in order to obtain the right bits and pieces of scrap so that you can upgrade your own gear. Sounds pretty easy right? Well not really. Trust me, it’s much easier to take down a bad gay via a blue marked limb, but if you want that sweet loot, you’re going to have to work for it, and that will probably end up with you severely injured or even dead. To make things ever harder, there are no quest markers or objectives arrows, hell there isn’t even an objectives list you can check on. It’s all up to you to explore and figure out what you need to do next.
As you play you’ll collect scrap or consumables from around the map, as well as earn it taking down enemies. These can be used to upgrade yourself, purchase and upgrade weapons. Though, if you die while you have heaps of scrap on you, then you will lose it all. You need to make it back to base alive and in one piece to be able to cash it all in.
As for bosses, just like in the Dark Souls games, The Surge's bosses can be tough and will require a lot of trial and error in order to defeat them. Most of the bosses are just robots that are much bigger and tougher than their regular counterparts and will require well timed attacks and a lot of patience.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with The Surge. Those that are a fan of the Dark Souls games will feel right at home here. The Surge’s combat feels and plays great that brings some challenging moments. Those that find Dark Souls type of games a little bit too hard, might struggle with this one.