Overall - 70%
I'm pretty mixed when it comes to The Surge. It does some things right while dropping the ball elsewhere. The high price point is also a downside. If you really need something to scratch that Dark Souls itch, The Surge should fill that need. Still, I'd recommend a sale or price drop.
Dark Souls has spawned a sub genre, and The Surge bravely enters the ring to compete there. Does it leave the arena victorious or does it fall like many before it? Check out our The Surge Review here and find out.
The Surge Honest Game Review
The world of The Surge is not a pleasant one. Technology has grown too fast, and society has drained the world of most of its natural resources. Enter CREO Corp, one of the corporations that is trying to help humanity get back on it’s feet – literally. You play as Warren, a man bound to a wheelchair at the start of the game. CREO offers you a way to regain the use of your legs and the price is that you have to work for them. You pick one of two suits, the Lynx or the Rhino, and after that surgery begins. These suits are basically Exo Skeletons of metal and screws that help people regain lost functions. Sadly, your operation doesn’t go well and you are discarded as trash and tossed into a dump. With the rig installed and your legs now working, you defy death to attempt escape and to find out what happened. That is, of course, assuming you can make it through this nightmarish world of disfigured mechanical ghouls and large killer robots.
A game like this is only as good as its combat. There are five different weapon types: One handed, single rigged, staves, dual rigged, and heavy duty. It won’t take you long to figure out which type is suited for you and your play style. Speedy guys will prefer the one handed or dual rigged setup, while heavy hitters will prefer the single rigged or heavy duty weapons. Each weapon has its own damage, impact, attack speed, proficiency gain, and energy gain that you also have to take into account. So when you switch to a new type of weapon, you lose the proficiency you had with the type before that, losing some speed and damage. This could be a turn off to some people who switch frequently, but the boost isn’t large enough to prevent players from switching weapon classes all together.
When it comes to actual combat, you have a lock on to a limb system. Enemies will have various spots you can attack such as legs, arms, and heads. Some of these parts will be armored, while others will be unarmored. Attacking the armored spot means it will take longer to kill, but you have a higher chance of getting crafting materials and blueprints if you rip those off. On the flip side, you can mash through an enemy quickly if you just target their unarmored part. What ended up happening is that’d I’d target one in their weak spot to build up my energy. From there, I’d attack another enemy with armor and use my finisher to rip off the part I was attacking. You build up energy through combos and attacks and when you reach a certain point, you can execute enemies with it. This is key, because without this you can’t get new rigs or get parts to upgrade existing rigs.
This is where the game shines. The ability to switch up your rigs and through that switch up you playstyle. There are stat points, but unlike a traditional RPG, you don’t upgrade those directly. Instead, you use implants and different rigs to change up your stats and bonuses. Implants are typically more direct stats, such as HP and stamina, while rigs add other stats like attack speed, stamina reduction, and impact. This is all calculated into energy, which you can upgrade with experience points. By upgrading your energy, you can equip more rig pieces and implants. If you equip a whole rig, you get a set bonus as well which can really help you out. Unfortunately, the implant part was not the best part of the game, as I prefer to have more direct control over my stats. It’s fine that I can upgrade my stats with the implants, but the thing is you have to find them first. If you want to upgrade your stamina and don’t have a stamina mod, players are out of luck. In a game like this where even minute stat buffs can mean the difference between death and survival, I found it really unenjoyable.
The dodge system in the game is unorthodox. You can jump over or duck under enemy attacks, and it will leave them open to a strong counter. I tried this a few times and it felt very clunky and not responsive enough to be that useful. Even after you jump or crouch you don’t go right back into that stance so you can’t do two in a row. While that didn’t work well, the normal dodging from side to side worked very well. There are no rolls so you don’t get your invincibility frames like Dark Souls, but dodging left, right, or back wards does more than enough to make up for it. On top of that, there is a dash that let’s you start off the battle with a strong attack and helps you close the gap quickly. I found this very useful for boss fights, because it covers so much distance. There is also a block for those of you who do that, but it was rarely used in my playthrough.
Something I didn’t enjoy was the fact that most of the areas only had one hub for upgrading. There are plenty of shortcuts that you can find that will lead back to the hub in each area, but more hubs is something the game really could have used. Like Dark Souls, if you die you lose your experience and have to go retrieve it. Unlike Dark Souls, you are timed, so if you don’t make it back quick enough, say bye bye to that XP. The game also has no multiplayer of any kind, so summoning allies or having a PVP match is off the table.
I’m pretty mixed when it comes to The Surge. It does some things right while dropping the ball elsewhere. The high price point is also a downside. If you really need something to scratch that Dark Souls itch, The Surge should fill that need. Still, I’d recommend a sale or price drop.