The Surge Review (PC)

The Surge is a Sci-Fi game inspired by Dark Souls. Instead of killing undead and lighting bonfires we’re walking around in power armor, and fighting with giant wrenches. So, is it any good? Read on to find out what I think of The Surge!

The Great:

Gameplay:

You all know how a Dark Souls inspired game plays by now. You lock on to your enemy, wait for a opening, and then attack until they die. I know I made that sound really simple, but that’s because it really is. There’s a learning curve to it, but once you learn how to play you’ll breeze through the game. The Surge is like that, but different. This is the best combat from a Souls clone I’ve ever played. The lock on mechanic is great. I like how I can target individual body parts and attack them. If someone is really fast I can just target their legs, deliver a swift hit from my staff, and watch them stagger and fall down. Targeting body parts is a great way to find out which parts of their body is unarmored and vulnerable to attack, but if you attack the unarmored parts of their body you won’t get any loot from them after you execute them. I really enjoyed ripping the limbs from my foes and crafting my own armor out of their former rig parts. It’s a really neat mechanic that I would love to see expanded in a sequel.

The gameplay is really slow paced just like Lords of the Fallen was. It’s made by the same developers, but this game is so much better than Lords of the Fallen was. It introduced a original concept in this genre by allowing us to target individual body parts of our enemies, and relies heavily on it’s crafting mechanic. Having low quality gear is a good way to die a lot in this game. Dark Souls is more skilled based while The Surge is more gear based.

Sounds:

The overall sound quality here is great. The ambient noises made me slow my progress because I could hear someone banging their head against the wall. The moans, and screams that other people made while I fought them sent chills down my spine because they sounded like they were in real pain as they were trying to kill me. It was like they were being controlled against their will. The soundtrack doesn’t get in the way here. Some times some music will play, usually during boss fights, but most of the time it’s just ambient noises in the background bringing the factory to life.

Customization:

At first I was into the customization. The starting two rigs don’t look good at all, but as I unlocked new armor I fell in love with the majority of them. My favorite set is one you get pretty late in the game and it gives you health for every enemy you kill. If you pair that with a injection that does the same thing you’ll recover a quarter of your life for every kill/execution that you can perform.

Level Design:

This game is fun to explore. The way the developers added hidden paths, and connected everything together is brilliant. There’s only one med bay (bonfire) in every zone and the way some paths all led back to the med bays really impressed me. I haven’t had this much fun navigating a area in a long time.

The Good:

Boss Fights:

This would have made the great section if the last two bosses in the game weren’t so easy/poorly done. After I passed the third boss it was smooth sailing for me. The only challenges that I had was trying to get to the bosses and navigate my environments. Each boss fight is unique and if you want the 2.0 versions of their weapons you have to defeat them in a special way, but the game doesn’t tell you this at all. I accidentally unlocked some of the 2.0 weapons. I was incredibly disappointed when I found out that there was different variants of the boss weapons and the only way to acquire them, if you failed to do so previously, was by fighting them again in new game plus mode.

I really enjoyed the first 3 bosses and even the fourth boss, but he was just a regular enemy with a fixed version of the 1st boss of the game. The final boss was a complete joke and went down in a few minutes on my first try.

Graphics:

This is another section that I considered adding to my great section, but didn’t. The environments look really good, but the character models don’t. They don’t look as good as the rest of the game and some areas, like the chemical plant, don’t look good at all to me. The quality is here, but you can easily tell where the devs cut some corners.

The Bad:

Optimization:

I had no fps issues, graphical errors, or weird clipping issues in this game. The only problem I have with it is the constant crashing. I could be playing and then 5 minutes later I’ll be staring at my screen in disbelief because my the entire game would decide to freeze on me. It happened to me about 30 times during my playthrough and I don’t even have 30 hours of gameplay in The Surge yet. The issue did stop (for about 20 hours), but returned about 2 days ago when the last beta patch released. I managed to fix it, but I don’t know for how long before it decides to start crashing again. Fix this problem and I’ll happily move this up to the great section and add a point when I get to my verdict.

Final Boss:

The final boss of the game was so underwhelming. I was excited before I got to him because I thought it would be something special… it wasn’t. It’s just a two phase boss that’s a larger reskin of enemies that I’ve killed before. It also didn’t help that I had no warning before I went to the boss because I would’ve went back and upgraded my gear to tier 5 since you lose the crafting components that you collect when you start new game plus. That’s just a bad design decision…

Story:

I still don’t know what the fuck was going on in The Surge. Nothing is explained in the game at all. You find audio logs that does a decent job of filling in the gaps, but it doesn’t help that every npc in the game doesn’t know what’s going on. Who thought that would be a good idea? I get that this game is trying to mimic Dark Souls story, but at least I know what’s going on in those games. What’s your excuse?

The Verdict:

I really want to praise this game and tell everyone to buy it because I think it’s worth it. I really do, but I can’t because of all of the issues I had while playing the game. The Surge is worth visiting when it drops in price and few patches release, but for now I recommend waiting for a sale and using that $50 elsewhere.

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Author: Drakulus

I'm a hardcore gamer that enjoys every type of genre there is. I'm also a father of four kids, two girls and two boys, and love to write about whatever pops into my head.

6 thoughts on “The Surge Review (PC)”

  1. Really enjoying this so far. The 4th boss irritated me due to the additional enemies not behaving the way I expected them too (avoiding putting any spoilers here) based on previous encounters. None of the bosses have been difficult as such, but they have mostly been fun. Haven’t reached the last one yet, but I’m not far off.

    1. The fourth boss was definitely fun, but I think it was no near as creative as the previous three in my opinion. Game is a lot of fun when it works on PC. I think the consoles have the better version. I can easily go up a point when all of the issues are fixed.

      1. It’s certainly unpolished in places, I’ve found more than a few bugs and clipping issues. But I want more Souls, and this fits the bill well enough.

      2. I feel the same way. The gameplay in this game is really good and it definitely scratches that Souls itch that I’ve been having lately 🙂

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