The Surge is a Bland Return to the Same Formula

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For those who don’t know, I utterly love the Dark Souls franchise. I love all of the Souls games and love to look at those that are inspired by them. The Surge is one of those games, which is a very “interesting” game. By that, I mean that it had me confused going in, and confused coming out. I had no idea how I felt about the game and it took me about 2 months of pondering to realize what I felt. 

Starting off with the story, it’s interesting on paper. There is a company that gives people cybernetic enhancements, and later down the line something causes these people to go crazy. So now the player character has to fight against cybernetically enhanced humans and robots, as well as try to find out what caused this to happen. In execution, the story is kind of bland. There are no real notable characters. There are a few side characters and pieces of lore scattered throughout the world, but they don’t really help. The side characters are one note and bland while the pieces of lore are either ok or dull. 

Next up is the gameplay. The game plays like Dark Souls, but worse. Instead of having a wide variety of play styles and weapons types, this game has around 5 weapon types (one-handed, staff, heavy-duty, single-rigged and twin-rigged). Even though there are multiple weapons in each typing, if you played with one, you played with them all. The only thing that makes certain weapons unique, are their stats and effects. There is a unique system in order to get these weapons, as well as new armors, where you have to fill up your energy gauge and then slice a limb off of your enemy. The issue is that this gets overly tedious and you end up going through areas multiple hours on end in order to either level up your gear or get the best possible gear. There is an upgrade system which you access via the safe rooms. This is honestly one of my favorite additions to the game. There are dozens of abilities that you can choose from, each with unique effects. You can only carry a certain amount, so you have to plan out what you’re going to use. 

The design is mediocre. The enemies for the most part are really cool. The armor pieces are really out there and cool to look at. Also, since the company that made the suits is a construction and manufacturing company, a lot of the weapons are made from tools so they look really cool and ‘macgyvered.’ The bosses are abstract and you can tell the designers had a field day coming up with them. The one major factor that brings down the games design is the level design. Everything looks the same, and even when there is some assemblance of change, the game decides to plunge the level into darkness so that you can’t appreciate the new level design. 

The Surge isn’t a terrible game but it also isn’t a great game. It’s really boring and not too interesting. There just isn’t much to the game. That’s why this review is shorter than most of my others. If I were to rate it, I’d give it a 6 out of 10. The ingredients for a good game are there, they just aren’t executed in the best possible way.