THE SURGE REVIEW

BY Chad Hojnacki | May 25, 2017

Is this the future of souls style games?

When the first trailer for this game hit I was a little bit unsure of how the Lords of the Fallen developers would handle another souls-like game. But, by the time I took down the first boss and saw the considerable improvements this team made I realized my worries would wash away… or so I thought.

The first boss gave a positive first impression, how about the rest of them?

Surprisingly the boss fights were varied, layered and extremely fun. Without giving away too many spoilers I will say that I sat on the edge of my seat for a few large spinning, fire tossing, robot bosses that took me down to my last heal injection. They get bigger and better without resorting to the easy way out formula of just giving them more health to make things tougher gimmick. Instead, each boss has a pattern that you need to figure out. For example, when fighting the second boss you can break things off of him to make him hurt you less or just go straight for his robot heart to take him down faster.

In this genre combat is everything, how did it hold up?

They took the combat you would expect from this genre and upped it a few notches in ways that I think future games will adapt. One of those ways is the ability to target and detach limbs using various factory tools/weapons. Some limbs are unprotected so you can do more damage but the parts that are covered offer resistance and give you the chance to pick up some gear or parts after it’s detached. It’s a shame that combat doesn’t last a little longer because it would have been cool to chop off limbs and still have to deal with the enemy, but the cool finishing move / limb detach feature is just as good.

Fighting one dude is fine, how is it when things get crazy?

When the action heats up and you're confronted with multiple enemies at the same time, because you either clumsily walked into an extra enemy on your way to a shiny collectible or one joins from afar, the action starts to get messy. Switching targets during battle to take out a normally easy looking enemy doesn’t feel fluid and can be difficult to pull off. The camera angles also get wild and out of control pretty often, so if you are not setting up your battles slowly you can be thrust into a situation that isn’t fun. Dying not because the enemy is better, but because something isn’t working the way it should is not cool. I guess the lesson here gang is that you don’t go running all willy-nilly through a crazy, robot filled factory!

Why fight when you can run?

This is an interesting question because they actually put a small aggro pull on the enemies that has them return to their spawn route and leave you be if you run a short distance from them. It’s not recommended however because you will most likely run into another cyborg or a couple of corrupted machines that will force you to fight more than one at a time, which as we already covered, is not fun at all.

How about the weapons?

As for weapons, each one has a distinct sense of weight and comes packed with several different combos you can use based on attacking vertically or horizontally, instead of the traditional heavy/light attacks. So no matter which weapon class you take you are provided with numerous different combos and finishers to play around with.

What about the loot?

Winning fights yields new schematics, gear parts and scrap to level up. You level up your power core to increase base stats, unlock slots for implants (gear slot pieces that increase abilities) and grant you access passageways you previously were locked out of. Also the tech scrap is used in making new armor sets and weapons, just remember if you die they force you to run back to where you died to pick up your lost scraps. That leads to another fault I had with the game, the poor choice to have an extremely short timer on your death pickup, that once expired, forces you to lose all your scrap. When I died deep into a level it felt almost impossible to retrieve them without running past several enemies with my hands clasped and whispering a little robo-prayer to myself.

What is the game world like?

As you begin the game and head through the tutorial the world looks and feels great. Once you down a few bosses and journey deeper into the old destroyed factory you begin to realize that the world is starting to blend together a little too much. Each new area offers subtle differences in pipe color or shipping crates but overall it’s just the inside or directly outside of the factory with little spectacle to be had. Don’t get me wrong, what they have done with some of the areas is awesome, but overall it never steps out of the comfort zone to offer something truly awe inspiring.

Without giving it all away how is the story?

The story begins on a great idea but it slowly wiggles it’s way into the back seat for a nap until coming back out right near the end of the game. As you progress through the story you find med bays where you meet with NPC’s who you would think might offer a deeper look into what’s happened, but even they don’t really provide much more than you already knew and often just send you on wild goose chases without much payoff. There is a great concept and story just waiting to be fleshed out on a grander scale, unfortunately it’s up to you to read random emails to learn about the body you use to shred men limb from limb.

Would you like to see a sequel?

What they did with this formula, and how this team has progressed from Lords of the Fallen, I would be insane to say I didn’t want more from this universe. I truly feel that this game will elevate future games in this genre. Seeing this team expand on what they created here would be so damn awesome.



4/5

"This game exceeds all expectations. The progression system for leveling up, the way you acquire new gear, gruesome spot on combat and all the intricate ways the levels intertwine ensure that fans of this genre will find plenty of joy here."

RELEASED: May 16 2017 | SYSTEM: PS4 | SINGLE PLAYER: 18:00 | MULTIPLAYER: N/A

OTHER POINTS
STORY - 3/5
CHARACTERS - 3/5
BATTLE SYSTEM - 5/5
VISUALS- 3/5
LIMB DETACHMENT - 5/5
FINAL THOUGHTS
- Rewarding combat and dismemberment feature
- Weapon set that feels heavy and varied
- Epic bosses, but sadly their are only 5
- Upgrade/Implant progression system is great
- Environments lack variety and inspiration