Recently, I was given the pleasure of reviewing The Surge from Deck 13 Interactive (Developer) and Focus Home Interactive (Publisher). The Surge is a game placed in a dystopian future to where Earth has been exhausted of its natural resources. Which in return has induced climate change, social dysfunction and environmental disease that has made CREO Industries step up to the plate to promise a functioning Utopia or “Promised Land” for the rest of surviving America.
Graphically, The Surge isn’t that impressive to look at due to the fact that you’re in this dark industrial setting. It doesn’t get a chance to take a proper color palette as you’re surrounded by black, brown and very minuscule bits of other colors. The character detailing on models are also underwhelming as well; the models lack detail on their faces and hairstyles. Also, the facial animations on your character and NPC’s are just the basic mouth movement while it doesn’t track the words with their actual mouths. However, The Surge does stay at a locked FPS as the eye test suggests. The regular PS4 remains at 30 Frames, and The PS4 Pro is confirmed (by Deck 13) to stay at 60 Frames from pro support.
The graphics get a 6.5
The story of The Surge would have a much more critical impact if it weren’t placed around in audio logs and randomly placed transmissions throughout the areas just to be purposely vague. The story (or what’s there currently) includes one of the gravest and pivotal decisions at the end of the game. However, it doesn’t capture the feeling it’s going for as there’s no real lead up to make that critical decision, which ends up deciding the fate of the world at the end of the final fight.
The Story gets a 5.
The audio of The Surge has to be one of the best things about the title. Industrial work surrounds you the majority of the game. The sound plays into a horror factor. You hear the workers who were affected by the Exo-suits taking control screaming through the empty hallways and the cheerful play of the CREO Industries audio still relayed on the televisions for no one to see. A certain creepiness is taken into account when it comes to The Surge as it nails the loneliness you feel as you play.
The sound gets a 8.
The gameplay of The Surge comes off as unique in one way but also taking one’s style in another way.
The unique part about the gameplay is the limb targeting during combat, Letting you aim towards weaker body parts on an enemy, the limb targeting is a beneficial gameplay mechanic that’ll guarantee you not only a kill, but indeed an execution to regain health or stamina back on the fly. Another feature in the game is the core upgrade system, in which you can upgrade your Exo-Suit levels. As you progress you can unlock perks for your suit as well.
Although the limb targeting is one very cool addition to the combat and the core upgrading system is another excellent feature, The Surge doesn’t stray away from wanting to be the next Dark Souls title or repeating the few mistakes that Deck 13 Interactive’s preceding game Lords of The Fallen made. It still bombards you with numerous amounts of enemies. The combat can still work against you from mechanics either not working properly or the fact that you can still be damaged in the middle of a combo. The idea of difficulty in this game isn’t punishing you if you may have messed up. It’s just hard for the sake of being hard.
The gameplay gets a 6.5
At first, The Surge caught my eye as I thought it was going to be a Sci-Fi take on the Dark Souls genre but improved with a better story, gameplay, and visuals. However, as I played through the game, my expectations were a bit underwhelmed by what was given to me. The Surge doesn’t particularly do anything to set itself apart in the Soulsborne or Souls-like genre. It makes the same mistakes that Lords of The Fallen first did while creating even more issues for itself. Deck 13 has exciting ideas in their hands with the Limb Targeting, horror-focused Audio, and Core upgrade systems. But that gets overshadowed by the vague story, bland graphics, bombarding sets of enemies, half-hearted combat, and the fact that it’s nothing but a mediocre souls clone that fails to meet its mark. Personally, I was disappointed with The Surge. However, you might find that enjoy the game. Might as well try it and find out.