I know people hate when game reviewers describe any new action RPG that’s challenging as being “Dark Souls, but X”, but get ready for yet another games critic to do just that.
The Surge struck me as feeling in many ways like a slower paced, weightier, futuristic Dark Souls.
Okay, you can go comment below now about how we made the Dark Souls comparison and as such are clearly lazy critics.
It feels accurate though from my time playing The Surge.
The Dark Souls comparisons shouldn’t really be overly surprising. The Surge is developed by Deck 13, the studio responsible for the oft Dark Souls compared Lords of the Fallen. Where The Surge stands out from Lords of the Fallen most immediately however is that the entire game world feels harsh, blunt, heavy and rusted., From the environments, to the enemies, everything looks like it was cobbled together out of scrap metal with a limited variety of tools on hand.
Characters wear armour that seems impractically thick and heavy, powered exosuits fuelled by hydraulic pumps that allow for weighty punches, kicks, chainsaw slices and bashes. The unique angle for the game is that if you target specific tool-laiden body parts, you can collect them from enemies as loot. It’s often easier to just fight an enemy and defeat them, but unless you’re paying attention to how you specifically fight them then you’ll often miss out on valuable upgrades and materials.
While it certainly leans slower, clunkier and weightier than a lot Dark Souls character builds as its default, The Surge definitely keeps the design core of targetting an enemy, defending and dodging while watching for an enemy specific weakness or opening, attacking in that window and retreating safely that made Dark Souls popular. I would love to see some faster and more agile builds for players in the full game, but I definitely had a lot of fun playing The Surge last week. I was only able to play for twenty minutes, but I’m now itching to get my hands back on the game.
[Disclosure – LPVG’s hotel and travel costs were covered while attending the above press event. This included travel from London to Paris and one night in a Paris hotel].