The Surge Review
I do love third-person shooter games. I really, really do. Shooters are probably my favourite game genre to play and over the years I`ve loved many first person and third-person games and we`ve seen some truly cracking ones down the line that for me revolutionised the genre. Games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, and Halo being the most successful third-person shooter under the Xbox umbrella, we`ve seen loads of varieties. This week a new addition to the shooter family was launched and that comes in the form of The Surge, developed by Deck13 interactive, the team behind Lords of the Fallen. From early indications, it was a game that looked incredible and one I was really looking forward to play. However, was it going to be a game that came across like that when it launched? Or would it falter? And I`m afraid to say, I fear it`s the latter.
The Surge is developed by Deck13 Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive, and is developed by the team that developed Lords of the Fallen, and places you in the character of the central protagonist, Warren, who has taken on a role with the company CREO, and after a failed attempt to enrol him into line-work, awakes in a dis-used junkyard where it is infested with robotic machinery and flying robots that are out to kill him. The task is then to find out what`s gone wrong and try to survive.
Straight from the off and from being thrown into combat, it`s very easy to see where the influences have come in the game, and most notably, you`re going to notice many similarities between this and Dark Souls in terms of the combat system. Perhaps not so much for its difficulty (As if you remember, Dark Souls was horrific in terms of its difficulty) but in terms of the combat and what at times feels like a load of button mashing throughout, you`re going to notice a lot of similar traits between the games. I`d be intrigued to hear from Deck13 who`s previous game, Lords of the Fallen was also likened to Dark Souls in terms of its style, took any influence from the franchise.
The Surge does take us to the Sci-Fi genre and the world of exo-suits (Yes, another game other than Call of Duty uses them!) and over the course of the game, you`re going to be able to upgrade your armour and weapons and upgrade skills that will make you more powerful as the game progresses. Be prepared however at the start and patience as you get into the hang of the game, and you are going to die a lot. It`s not perhaps the same in terms of its difficulty than what we`ve seen before, but there are times that it is going to feel very gruelling, but stick with it past the opening half hour, because trust me it does get easier.
The game is going to be one of exploration, and that’s something that you`re going to have to do and try to be patient with, as there`s no use of a HUD map in the game, meaning that you have no real direction of where you`re actually meant to be going. I understand with some games where it follows a bit of a more structured linear approach and in terms of missions it isn’t needed, but for something that is very open, it can be quite confusing, and something that perhaps should have been looked at. For example, I always find myself tracking back on myself unaware of where I was actually meant to go. Even following a route which should take you somewhere, I was finding myself at a witts end. That`s the problem from the off. I hope that this game doesn’t lose gamers after the first half hour of being something that may feel very difficult.
It`s going to become very frustrating early on in the game too when you are at your early stages, as everything is going to feel very powered to you. You`ll want to upgrade some of your skills and weapons early on, because trust me, if you use the default weapons that you start off with, you are going to be in for a very long ride because it`s going to be gruelling. Hitting an enemy 3 times before being smashed and killed with 1 shot is not something that I particular find that enjoyable. And the fact that the lack of respawn locations are also annoying, meaning that I can be very near the end of an area, dying after wiping out a load of enemies, and having to do the whole thing again. They also seem to respawn if you go back into a previous area, for example, disposing some mech tech into your bank (You earn this from killing the enemies) and then going back out to proceed and finding they`ve all spawned again. In terms of upgrades you may get their quicker, but in terms of story progress you are not going to get incredibly far.
The Surge is a game that on paper looked really good and from footage was something that I was looking forward to playing. However, it`s a game that I`m really not too keen on. If you loved the Dark Souls games then you`ll love this, as I have said there are loads of traits and similarities between the two, but I wonder how many people will stick at it after the first half hour. I hope that it`s not going to be something that gets ditched by gamers very early on, but I have a fear that it may well be.
A huge thank you to Bastion for providing us with a review copy of The Surge.