The Surge Review | PS4

As I stated earlier in my preview post a couple weeks back, I really enjoyed playing Deck 13’s, The Surge. This is an action RPG game that is very similar to games like Bloodborne and the Dark Souls franchise in many ways. Like those games, The Surge can be quite punishing for new players and if you don’t perfect and hone your fighting skills, you’ll find it very difficult to progress through the game. Not only that, there are tons of weapons and armor you can pick up and equip but knowing which ones use is also key to your success.

Story

Set in a heavily dystopian future as Earth nears the end of its life, those who remain in the overpopulated cities must work to survive as social programs become saturated by an ageing population and increasing environmental diseases.

As the intelligence of technology incrementally increased over the years, many jobs for the human race had been made redundant, forcing Earth’s citizens to head out into the suburbs seeking labor, aided by exoskeletons to improve their efficiency. The world of The Surge offers a very grim vision of the future, where the evolution of our technology, our society and our relation with the environment led to a decadent state of the Human civilization.

Presentation

The Surge is a very pretty game. I’ve never heard of developer Deck 13 before  this game and I’m honestly really impressed with what they’ve done here with The Surge. The art style looks really amazing and the animations are really smooth and fluid. There is a lot of detail to be seen with both the character designs and the environments and everything just looks really good.

There are however some area in the game that are really dark and it makes it difficult sometimes to tell what’s going on. You do have a flashlight on your chest armor that you can turn on and off, but you can only see so much sometimes with a tiny flashlight. I know its all part of the atmosphere and look of the game in certain areas, but for me, I had difficulty sometimes in these areas, Still an excellent looking game though, I just wasn’t fond of the really dark parts in the game.

In terms of audio, very, very good sound effects throughout the entire game with lots and lots of well done voice overs. The voice acting is really good here and the actors did a great job really selling their characters. The music in the game is also well done and I love how it can adds to the boss battles making it both exciting and tense at the same time.

Gameplay

The Surge is a 3rd person RPG that plays like a hack and slash game. Most of your movements will consist of both vertical and horizontal slash attacks coupled with jumps and evasive maneuvers. In this respect, if you’ve played games like Bloodborne, Dark Souls, or Witcher 3, the gameplay will come naturally to you. The controls might be a little different, but the overall concept of combat is the same. Do as much damage as you can and try not to get hit.

Like Bloodborne, you can collect credits that you use to upgrade your weapons and armor. Each enemy killed adds to your credit amount but if you die before returning back to a safe zone to bank those credits, you’ll lose them and they’ll drop where you last died. If it was just a little amount of credit, it really doesn’t matter if you go back and collect or not, but if it was an insanely large amount of credit, you’ll probably want to go back and get it. Make sure however that you don’t die again before getting it other wise its gone for good.

The action portions of teh game are pretty straight forward. For the most part, you want to lure individual enemies towards you and try to avoid combat with multiple enemies at once. you’ll find that it’s pretty difficult fighting more than one at a time, especially on the more difficult levels where the enemies can nearly one hit you to death.

As for the RPG portions of the game, much of this game relies on discovering new weapons, armor, attachments, and drones. You do so by defeating enemies, finding loot throughout the game, and discovering hidden areas. Gaining credit will allow you to increase you max energy and attachment slots as well as upgrading weapons and armor to higher levels. You will need to do this to progress through the more difficult portions of the game. Not only that, it’s up to you to discover which armor sets work best for you and which weapons are more effective against enemy types. You can also choose which attachments will give the best results. In my case, I used mainly health attachments in increase my health bar as well as ones that gave me more health injectables so I could heal when not near the safe rooms.

Pro-tip: Do not break down any of your attachments you find as you never know if and when they’ll become useful to you. I learned this early on in the game and actually started over once because of it. Also, make sure you explore every inch of the game. There are a lot of hidden areas that contain valuable items that will help you along the way.

One of the coolest elements in the game are the boss fights. These bosses are really tough and more likely than not, it’ll take you multiple tries to beat them. It’ll probably be really frustrating and you’ll want to give up, but don’t. Like Bloodborne or any of those other really difficult games, finally beating the boss is a rewarding and satisfying experience because of how challenging they are and when you finally do it, it just feels really good.

Final Thoughts

I loved The Surge and all it had to offer. It was challenging, tense, and had a pretty good storyline to boot. I found the game to be really well made and one that had me coming back for more each day. There isn’t much negative to say about the game other than the frustration level you may have if you don’t like games like this where you die more times then you can count. Also, the camera can get a little wonky at times, but it’s something you get used to.

Overall, I had a really enjoyable time playing The Surge.  It’s a really good action game with some RPG elements thrown in that make the game work well and give it an extra little layer of depth. Not only that, while the game can be difficult, it’s not quite as difficult as Blood Borne of the Dark Souls series so gamers who didn’t like those games might have an slightly easier time getting into this one. The futuristic theme is also pretty cool here if you’re into sci-fi.


Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.

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