The Surge is a Sci-fi action RPG game developed by Deck13 Interactive. This futuristic Dark Souls-esque title puts players into the shoes of Warren, a handicapped engineer fitted into a state of the art exosuit, otherwise known as a “rig”, designed to allow him to walk and work with enhanced strength and speed.
Soon after the beginning of the game is finished, you wake up outside of your factory, which is in ruins. With little to no direction, you grab a makeshift weapon and progress through the ruins of your facility, fighting drones and autonomous exosuits, complete with their deceased host still inside. You eventually come into contact with survivors that begin to paint the picture of what happened while you were out.
The game plays in a very linear fashion, with multiple areas to explore, as well as multiple paths to follow and link each section. You can also find secret doors to act as shortcuts, making travel much easier.
The game uses a crafting mechanic as your main means of outfitting yourself. Collect various scrap from dead enemies and return to one of the several med-bays to craft and upgrade your every changing rig. One thing is clear. This game is challenging. Not like it is a challenge, but more in the sense that the dev’s played way too much Dark Souls before creating this game. The enemies are brutal. If you don’t get your hits in fast enough or block in time, it only takes two or three hits to kill you. Dodging is key. And just like the souls in Dark Souls, once you die you drop all tech scrap you have collected. Unlike Dark Souls however, you only have two and a half minutes to retrieve it before they are gone. One thing is for certain, you will die… a lot!
The combat is also very similar to the Souls series, in needing to time your dodges and attacks with the enemies movement cycle, which can often be unexpected as they have jumped out of an unseen location killing me instantly. Two buttons serve as a means of attack. The right trigger is a vertical attack while the right bumper is a horizontal. Chain these moves together for some strong combos, ending with a finisher that cuts the enemy into pieces. You will be able to target individual parts of the enemy. Parts that glow blue are weak, while parts that glow gold are armored. If a limb is damaged enough, there is a chance that it will be cut off during the finisher and you can collect whatever part was on that limb, whether it be a weapon or armor.
Aside from the extensive crafting system, you can also collect implants to further upgrade your health, stamina, which drains as you run, dodge and attack, and energy, which is used for finishers.
I am a fan of the sheer customization of this game as well as the color and look, but the combat is the take away as it can be purely frustrating at times. It quickly becomes a farming game for tech scrap, until you can upgrade your rig and proceed to the next section.
The Surge is a new take on the action RPG genre that may prove difficult to some whilst others may jump at the challenge. With is extensive crafting mechanisms as well as its difficult combat, this game is perfect for anyone who is a glutton for punishment.