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The Surge review
by markbass69

This is like the fifth Souls game I've played and they all boil down to the same uninteresting formula: leave Medbay (the equivalent of bonfires), poke at the edges of the map (or rather, find the breadcrumb trail of enemies you can actually beat) to find where you're supposed to go, get a little bit further, maybe upgrade once in a while, die, repeat. Branching off of that, the setting of this game is simultaneously its best part and its biggest downside. With the limb targeting, you can loot different parts of armor and weapons and upgrade in a more self-directed fashion. You have implants that give you different bonuses - additional healing potions, health upgrades based on your core power level, drone upgrades, health when you use finishers - but use the same pool of core energy that armor does, so you can't upgrade too quickly. It's a cool system that gives a lot of variety. And I just like the setting - on one hand it's a bit too Dead Space, on the other at least it's not yet another rehash of Dark Souls. But as quickly as the second area, you start facing enemy mobs that are less and less humanoid, and the limb thing goes out the window. You start facing trash mobs that can tank way too many hits. They're not difficult, they just take too fucking long. It's one thing when it's a big boss fight, it's another when you can't walk five feet without having to spar for another twenty minutes with a trash mob. Like the basic structure is still there, but it just reveals how repetitive and banal it is that much quicker. I don't have the patience to fight the same drawn out welder bot fights over and over just to plod along a Doom 3/Dead Space plot retread and I genuinely question anyone who does.

Like Lords of the Fallen, I at least appreciate that they seem to be trying a regular RPG formula with dialogue options and everything. That's a much needed improvement on the Souls franchise that's been sorely missing since the beginning.

Other reviews3

The Surge is a souls-like with a unique limb-targeting system, but everything else feels bland, slow, or unfair.

It's a shame that The Surge didn't play better, because its high tech industrial world was pretty cool looking, and by the end of the game I was genuinely interested in its intricacies and the story's resolution. The bulk of the gameplay, too, was genuinely good. The exploration was satisfying, the resource management felt good, and the build variety was enough to make me feel like I was doing my own thing.

The bosses, however, were awful. (Which, for this genre, is a deal-breaker.) The whole "target their limbs" stuff worked great, but someone responsible for balancing the game decided to make all bosses deal insane amounts of damage, even if you opt to go for the slow but supposedly sturdy armor. Add on the fact that there were very few actual bosses (maybe 5, if I'm remembering correctly), and it made for a disappointing rather than satisfying feeling every time I encountered and defeated one.
Combat could have been better, but I understand that it may have just been my playstyle (single-rigged weapons) that felt slow and clunky. I did very little experimentation beyond heavy weapons, as that's my preferred weapon type. I never got to max level and likely will never return to see what's behind the literally level-gated content.

Overall, it was worth the price I paid, but it wasn't worth the frustration I put into it.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
First off in front, "The Surge" is MegaGeil!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, not exactly very meaningful, so I try to explain it and do so without this constant and annoying comparison with Dark Souls. (Of course I too have to compare) Don't Get me wrong, I've played through Demons Souls, all three Dark Souls Parts and Bloodborne and spent a great many Hours in those Games and can only say I love those Games ungicularly. It is clear that The Surge is logically compared to Dark Souls, because it uses fundamentally the same Game Mechanics as Lords of the Fallen has already done (From the same Developer). By comparison you will always notice Points that you liked better in Dark Souls, but hey You forget one and at that-that's not Dark Souls, this is The Surge and so wants this Game to be understood as well. It's a great Homage to the Dark Souls role model and doesn't reinvent the genre, but just as The Surge does, with the grand post-apocalyptic Atmosphere, the intense and heavy Fights, the nested level architecture, the great graphics and the fresh Ideas in The Genre (Implants, Exoskeleton, finishing Moves, Drones companions) Makes it just feel Good and at least motivates me to Keep Playing. Maybe it's just down to me as well and I'm a bit old-fashioned, but this Game just makes me feel good. The Animations are not at all hairy, as some claim here, but very supple (motion capture). The Hit boxes are very accurate. The Fight is fast and dynamic (more like Bloodborne), even with heavy Weapons (E.g. Titan Hammer) and heavy Armor (E.g. Rhino), the Dodge is still quite brisk. The Fights are demanding and the Opponents do a Lot of Damage, but real Souls Veterans should actually know this. It is true that by one or two Hits by the Opponent you bless the Temporal, but that's how it has to be, this is a Hardcore game and for some it's too hard and even too easy for others, because as with Dark Souls you can defeat the Opponents relatively easily, If you know their Movement pattern. So it is with Souls, but with The Surge that's Suddenly unfair and a Minus Point. I don't understand....? Dear Souls Veterans. Have You forgotten how many times You have died at the Beginning of your first Soul Adventure, until You understood the Basic Mechanics and then mowed the Enemies around in rows. Have You forgotten how many times You have cursed and preferred to have thrown out this "unfair" game to the Window? But then came that moment when the Tide turned and you got better-and why? .... Well, because You stayed tuned, because You fought and didn't give up. So it is with The Surge, so give Yourself a twist and dive into the Game to compare a WITHOUT IT SOULS AND You will have a Lot of Fun with the Part as I have it. It has to be said, in fairness, that the Setting is not For everyone and I think this is where the Problem lies. Many Players have hoped for a Dark Souls in the Sci FI Setting without any Innovations. Then it would have poured in: "Öhhh, that's just Dark Souls in the Future, fully copied." Yes, it would have been the same, but The Surge is a standalone, great Game that exudes all its own Charm at all Corners and Edges and I think that's good;-) With me it took about 2-3 Hours of Play until I had filled myself in there, but now I like the Game Mega Very much. The Atmosphere in the gloomy Factory Halls or in the Outdoor Areas is really great and intense. The Fights provide a fulfilling Feeling when you really disassemble the Enemies and knock Off Body parts to get to the Armor. You can switch between all Weapons and change your Style of play so many times, which is very varied. You can line up combos, which can also change due to the targeted Part of the body. The Root is not overly massive, but rather useful. Scrap metal replaces souls. The MediBay Station is the Beacon and Shortcuts in the Level are also available. If you think of The Surge As a standalone game, you realize that Deck13 has improved and optimized a lot in Terms of its Predecessor (Lords of the Fallen). The Surge focuses its Game Pass formula on the Fights, Collecting scrap metal, Armor And weapons, and the great Areas with the nested Level architecture. All in all, all this seems very round and well thought out and for that you just have to give this Game a Thumbs up. Thank you Deck13 for this great Game and a lot of Success going forward. Think About whether The Surge Is also Something for You and give the Game a Chance:-)