The Surge is an action RPG developed by Deck13, released in May of 2017.
If you like Dark Souls, and/or are a Sadomasicist. Then you will enjoy The Surge, if not, you will probably have a terrible time.
The Surge is set in a dilapidated future with polution, over-population, and food shortages, or so it seems. The story in The Surge is very mysterious and it does not tell you much. It does story in a similar way to Dark Souls, which is, very subtly.
Anyway, Warren is a waist-down cripple, who goes to work for a promising mega-corporation CREO. Warren arrives and is suited into an exo-suit, shortly after surgery he wakes up, only to find something terrible has happended, where almost everybody and everything on company grounds has a burning desire to kill him. So the story of The Surge starts, Warren makes his way through the company areas and offices with the guidance of Sally, a mysterious woman who says she is trapped in the headquarters. Warren fights his way through humans, robots, and everthing in between. Where he then falls into a world of corporate plans and secrets, eventually finding out what treacherous doom is lurking around the corner.
The combat in The Surge is really great, it takes the Souls game formula of stamina management and low overall health, and makes it into an accelerated, fast-paced kill festival, when your reactions need to be faster than a fly's. And a fly is what you will feel like in this game, because you will get swatted, A LOT! The combat, however is not always great because sometimes it can feel unbalanced, especially later in the game. Some enemies can straight up one-shot you if you aren't careful. The attacks in this game are also super difficult to read, and can be hard to tell when and where to dodge. My favorite addition to the combat is the drone, about 20% into the game you go to a drone registry where you meet your best friend. The drone fills the gap in ranged combat that The Surge is missing. The drone can also be altered, letting you pick the right tool for the job. The drone can be very fun to use, and can help a lot too. It can save you, shoot your enemies or even shield you to help with some of the enemies absurd damage output. All of these drone attacks use energy, which is only gained and kept by attacking enemies. Energy is also a feature that I enjoyed, it creates the fast-paced momentem in combat that makes this game stand out. The awesome executions in this game are a welcome addition, sacrificing energy in order to gain a few seconds of immunity and you can regenerate health if you have certain augments. Augments are also a good feature, they let you fine-tune your class to make a unique and powerful build that works with your playstyle. Combined with weapon proficiency and weapon choice, you get a lot of options of playstyle in this game, but that being said, there are no significant differences between builds, they all require some degree of dodging and high damage output, tanking isn't an option in this game.
The level design in this game is on par with Dark Souls I. The levels all feel interconnected and you can open up so many pathways, and there are enough shortcuts to make the experience less frustraiting. The music and sound is good, the atmosphere is powerful and it can be a very immersive game at points.
This game is a fun action RPG but it doesnt have a whole lot of character development, and not many dialogue choices like most role playing games. The attributes are the most RPG like element in the game as they let you tune your powers and focus on different abilities. The closest thing you have to a base is the medical rooms, where you can heal, and a few characters can show up to talk to you. If you are looking for a storybased RPG, this is not the game.
While I think the story is pretty good, the characters hold this game back sometimes, there is not much dialogue, the game is short, and you may not even notice that there is one big choice in the game that you could miss if you are not careful. Warren, the main character's only notable unique trait is that he is a cripple. Other than that, you don't learn much about anybody, and sometimes there is a definite lack of motive behind killing bosses or progressing the game.
Speaking of bosses, The Surge sadly only has 5. The bosses are mostly good, but they don't really have a story importance. Aside from that, 4/5 of the bosses are good fun. There is one that is notably bad, and that is The Black Cerberus, he is the only human boss you fight, and it is not fun, it's hard. He hits like a truck and calls in help when he loses some health.(It should be noted that there are ways to make the bosses easier, by destorying certain things in the boss fight.) I would say that beside this fight all the bosses are pretty good and are the quality of something you could expect in a Dark Souls game. The bosses also all have a pretty good run to the boss area and the area's themselves are pretty nice to look at. There are also a few mini-bosses around the company grounds but they are all the same enemy so it's more like 1 other boss, the only special thing is that they don't respawn.
This game also suffers from being way too hard at times, some enemies can one-shot you and they trace you so they can be immpossible to dodge. There is some artificial difficulty in that enemies can start an attack facing away from you, then do a full 180 spin and hit you which can mean death if you do not have a lot of health. Some of the bosses have little telegraph on their attacks so it seems like it comes out of nowhere, and sometimes it does. In a game where one hit could mean life or death, a suprise attack can quickly end you. On top of all this, the dodging is wierd and hard to use, and sometimes the hitboxes would be a bit too much. All these problems are amplified at around the 75% mark after you fight the fourth boss, all the enemies get harder and have high potential to kill even a high level character in just about two hits. So if you are not in for a brutally hard experience, you probably don't want to play The Surge. I mean it when I say this game is hard, I died 201 times on my first playthrough, if that doesn't say it's challenging, then I don't know what would.
The game also doesn't really tell you where to go, and you can end up wandering around for a while. Also I would have liked to see a different system with the game's currency, tech scrap, which is what you get from killing enemies, its the exact same as Lords of the Fallen, where you can bank it, but if you die you have a limited time to get it back. It made the tech scrap predictable and sort of boring. The level up system is also pretty predictable, but still works, and sometimes, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
The Surge overall is a basic RPG, but a good action game, and the characters hold it back a little. However it's nice to see a next-gen game with short loading screens. It could of helped to see more unique elements in the gameplay, but it still is a fun experience for anyone willing to challenge themselves with the full force of the future.