The highly anticipated game by Deck 13 Interactive, The Surge has finally been released. It has been hyped up for quite a bit now in regards to it being ‘a bit different to anything else out there’. Of course this is the usual spiel from anybody trying to drum up a few sales but is it relevant in The Surge’s case? and does being different make it good? Let’s find out.
The Story of The Surge
The Surge takes place in kind of a familiar setting in terms of Sci-fi. It’s a dystopian future set for an apocalyptic catastrophe. The main character, Warren is wheelchair bound in the beginning. He is about to attend his first day working at CREO, who are a company trying to restore the world to how it was before the environmental disaster occurred. On his first day, Warren needs to be fit into his exoskeleton but something doesn’t go quite right. You wake up in a desolate scrapyard with a drone like robot tugging on your leg. This is where the game play truly starts. I won’t go into detail with regards to the rest of the story to avoid any spoilers but to be honest if you’ve played any sci-fi games with a similar apocalyptic feel, you can probably predict what’s going to happen.
A lot of people will compare The Surge to Dark Souls or Bloodborne purely for the game play feel. It’s very raw. Although The Surge is nowhere near as difficult as either of those games, there is a punishment for dying which many games now do not seem to have. If you die, you lose all inventory items that you haven’t cashed in. This is a great touch, lots of games don’t punish you for dying which just makes you not care about it. By adding a punishment to death, you play more strategically and with more focus which only immerses you further into the game.
Combat is completely melee based which does create an interesting feel to the game even if it goes about sacrificing some strategic decisions. The best part about the combat is that you don’t button bash, you more or less choose where you’re going to strike. This does introduce a new kind of strategy though, if I wanted a certain part to upgrade my exoskeleton, I found myself avoiding hits to the enemy where that part would be located. Your exoskeleton is also fully customizable. If you’re like me you will spend half of your overall play time on the customization screen.
My main issue with The Surge however was that I found that it became dry repetitive very quickly. The story isn’t exactly what I’d call gripping so most of your interest will be focused on the game play. This is great at first but it soon gets a little stale. The cyborgs are kind of dumb and the human enemies that you encounter, while more challenging, just get a little predictable after a while.
While The Surge is a solid video game it certainly doesn’t get anywhere near my top 10 list. Deck 13 would’ve benefited from putting a little more time into the story to break up the repetitiveness a little.