The first day at a new job usually entails watching dull safety videos about the dangers of heavy lifting and the risks of RSI. Maybe a lunchtime pint with your new work colleagues too if you’re lucky.
The Surge’s grizzled lead has a far less casual first day at work, arriving at an off-world research complex to find the entire workforce has gone insane. After receiving a shiny new exo-suit, no time is spared before blue-collar worker Warren sets about tearing his would-be workmates from limb to limb. Like the saying goes, one man’s HR nightmare is another man’s thrilling sci-fi adventure.
combat is crunchy and satisfying
The Surge comes from the minds behind 2014’s Lords of the Fallen, an (ironically) soulless Dark Souls clone heavily criticised due to failing to hide its influences. All is forgiven, however, as it’s clear Deck 13 has taken onboard the mistakes made in LotF. Most ideas borrowed from Dark Souls have had a novel twist applied, plus it has plenty of its own unique elements too. This puts it more in line with Nioh, which also managed to carve its own niche in the popular ‘Souls-like’ genre.
That said, even with taking the shlock sci-fi setting into consideration it’s still more than apparent that Dark Souls provides the bulk of inspiration. Medical bays act as bonfires, providing a place to heal, level up, and gain a new supply of health packs. Upon visiting a med bay all enemies duly respawn, appearing in the same – easily memorisable – locations every time. Medical bays also have crafting facilities, which is where tech scrap gained from each enemy is consumed; The Surge’s equivalent of souls. Here, however, there’s a panic-inducing time-limit to reach any tech scrap dropped after dying, often prompting a sense of urgency to return to where you last fell.
Tech scrap is also used to level up. Or in this case, boost the power capacity of Warren’s exo-suit. The higher the capacity, the more stat-improving implants you can use. Some of these can be hot swapped while others require a trip back to the med bay to install. It’s well worth reading their descriptions fully as there are different ways to keep the health bar topped up, including a small boost whenever a heavy-hitting finishing move is performed. As well as health, there are stamina and energy bars to keep an eye on, with energy required to perform said moves. When using light weapons the stamina bar doesn’t require a beady eye; the same can’t be said when wielding heavy weapons that take time to gain momentum when swinging.