Review: The Surge Complete Edition
The Surge takes a little bit to sink the hooks in you, but once it does, I had a very hard time putting it down.
Alright, it’s confession time: I started playing The Surge back in the summer when it released and simply never got around to finishing it due to both E3 happenings as well as the onslaught of games that have come out this year.
Last year at E3, I was super excited to see this game during Focus Home Interactive’s press briefing, as there’s something I seem to inherently enjoy about technological rebellion and man vs the machines. While it’s less about fighting off the machines and more about trying to figure out what’s caused all the employees to lose their minds, the secrets that CREO holds were undoubtedly waiting for me to uncover them. As I had sadly back-burnered The Surge, the release of the Walk in the Park DLC put it right back in the middle of my focus and started Warren’s journey completely anew just a few weeks ago.
The Surge is the latest adventure from the team at Deck 13, the guys who formerly brought us Lords of the Fallen. Much like Lords of the Fallen, The Surge takes a little bit to sink the hooks in you, but once it does, I had a very hard time putting it down.
As the game kicks off, you’re brought into the CREO facility on a shuttle and you’re greeted by a smiling man who gives a great hype speech about how you can be whatever you want with modern engineering, human advancement, and a bunch of other PR spins that you’ll quickly discover is complete bullshit. When you finally take control of Warren for the first time, you’re likely to be surprised that he’s in a wheelchair – something you don’t see too often in games. There have been plenty of characters who are wheelchair bound, but I can’t think of any other game where you actually control one. Big props to Deck 13 for this as I’m sure this wasn’t an easy decision to make, much like Warren’s sacrifices you find out about as you play.
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Not long after arriving, you’re given an exo-suit which is painfully and brutally administered to Warren, as he’s literally having steel screwed into his bones without any anesthetics. From this point on, Warren no longer needs his wheelchair to move around and you’re put into a small tutorial area where you learn to fight drones and understand how combat works. Shortly after that, you reach the first med-bay and that’s when you meet an AI who tells you that shit hit the fan and people started killing each other. As you progress you’ll fight new enemies, uncover what the hell happened to corrupt CREO’s employees, and figure out a way to banish the thing that caused all the problems in the first place.
Hint: It’s not aliens, but it might as well be.
The Surge itself is a pretty fun ride, in spite of some minor glitches and some places where you’ll die because physics apparently isn’t done right or you’ll just fall through the floor – but it’s easy to get your dropped Tech Scrap back usually unless you’re really in the belly of some fairly nasty corridors in which case you’re better off to sprint through and pray. But the cool thing is, The Surge’s DLC aptly titled A Walk in the Park allows you to briefly step away from the mostly grey and metal look of CREO’s facility and into a fantastic yet twisted amusement park where yet again everything has gone haywire. Carbon Cat, the villain of comic book hero Iron Mous, has rebelled against the staff of the park (corrupted by the same horrible fate as the CREO labs) and it’s up to you to save what’s left of the staff as well as learn more about Warren’s backstory that wasn’t already included in the base game.
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I’d argue that A Walk in the Park is one of the best examples of how to release a proper DLC I’ve seen in any Souls-esque game. Bloodborne’s The Old Hunters was great but felt like a separate entity. Same goes for Dark Souls 3’s Ashes of Andariel and The Ringed City.
A Walk in the Park is a theme park based around a comic book that is a collectible in The Surge’s base game – and there are only a few issues scattered around as it is so you could potentially complete the game without ever seeing said comic. There are smelters that you can fight in certain locations during The Surge and if you kill all five, you’re given the costume of Iron Mous – which will net you an achievement and the 2.0 version of Carbon Cat’s weapon if you fight him with the suit on. It’s both a nod to the game’s world as well as a cool little thank you to the completionists out there.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Surge and the DLC. It plays well, the story is fairly interesting, and it’s got some unexpected surprises. The DLC can be accessed as you play naturally as well, including a break when you hit a certain point so that you aren’t under-leveled for the stronger enemies you’ll encounter later. This is a nice touch as a lot of DLC comes geared for post-game assuming you’re already at max level and farmed out beyond overpowered.
If you’re looking for something to pick up that’s Souls-esque, this will definitely feed that hunger. The Surge’s Complete Edition is currently on sale for $30 on Steam. You should stop reading and get it cause it’s terrific.
The Surge Complete Edition was played on a PlayStation 4 Pro and was provided to us for review by Focus Home Interactive.