The Surge Review
Many companies are seeing the appeal of the “Dark Souls Formula” and are attempting to create difficult games in the same vein. While most of these games fall flat, The Surge gets pretty close, and yet still so far. However, unlike other games that attempt to make a stab at this type of game play, The Surge does stand on its own quite well, making it a worthwhile game for fans of the Dark Souls series.
The developers behind The Surge are also responsible for Lords of the Fallen, and while both games attempt to replicate the above mentioned formula, the company obviously learned from mistakes made on Lords of the Fallen when developing the Surge. Although not everything is perfect, the overall product is very enjoyable.
Gripping Setting, Lackluster Story
Although set in the future, The Surge definitely is commenting on problems of the present. While the discussions of Global Warming and humans interference with nature often dominate the political realms of Western Society, The Surge attempts to tackle these problems through the video game medium. The game is based on a company called CREO, who are attempting to establish the clean balance between humans and nature.
The entire game is a potential result of today’s actual human destruction of the environment, which makes the setting and story interesting and gripping. Unfortunately, the actual writing doesn’t deliver which is a huge letdown when you consider the source material, and the virtual discussions of a very real and current problem.
You begin the story as wheel chair bound Warren, who travels to CREO to get the mechanical ability to walk again. Through a series of events, CREO is overrun from within, and it is now up to Warren to determine where the problem is, and how to fix it.
Although the game is set within and around the CREO factory, you do get some varied environments that add a level of creepiness to the game that will be enjoyable for most players. Whether you are moving through the fun down factory buildings, or through the posh boardrooms, each area of the map provides a little something new to enjoy, which keeps the game feeling fresh.
Although the active menus is only for the beginning of the game, it is a game play mechanic that is not used enough. Instead of using menus to select which type character you will play – lean and quick, or brutish – you will wheel your chair through the menus, entering one room or another, while making your decisions. It’s an interesting mechanic that definitely set the game off on the right foot for myself, and I think it will resonate with others as well.
Difficult is an Understatement
Dying is something you will get used to The Surge, but rather than becoming frustrating, it ends up being very rewarding. When you finally conquer a section of the map, the moment of triumph is amazing! The reason for the frequent deaths is because of how the combat works.
Many have attributed frequent deaths to how the game positions enemies on the map. Often, enemies are hidden around corners that you can’t immediately see, or will be hiding behind a stack of boxes or destroyed factory parts. You’ll really never know where an enemy might attack from, which adds to the suspense this game often offers, even in the brightest of areas!
While you will have a gun at your disposal, the majority of the combat in The Surge will be melee, and this can take time to refine and fully understand. Fortunately, the learning curve is not that steep, so it shouldn’t take you long to understand the basics. When you do defeat enemies, you will receive currency to spend on upgrades, as well as get the necessary items to begin crafting. In many games, crafting can be the most daunting experience, but it is all laid out fairly plainly in The Surge; for someone who generally dislikes crafting in any game, I found this setup to be very user friendly.
Conclusion: A Pleasant Surprise
I really wasn’t sure what I was going to think of The Surge, and frankly, I didn’t have much hope for it. However, after many hours with the game, I can honestly say that I’m pleasantly surprised with how much fun I had with it. While it is pretty difficult, it is also fair, which is a hard balance to strike for these types of games.
If you are looking for something new to try, and enjoyed Lords of the Fallen, these developers are back at it again in a good way.