The Surge – Welcome to Sci-fi Dark Souls

PREVIEW – Deck13 whose most notable game is Lords of the Fallen is back with another souls-esque game, and this time it takes place in the future. However rather than just being another cloned effort, it seems that Deck13 is adding some new interesting mechanics, and rather than being a fantasy story once more, it is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi body horror show. Rather than gods, and swords, we are thrust into the world where all our nightmares have become true, and Earth is in shambles. Only the player and his exosuit can save us.


Whether the Souls comparison is apt or not remains to be seen, as while there are parts that are reminiscent of it. Yet there are parts where they seem interesting and original, but even after seeing the game in motion I was left confused as to how good it will work in the final product.

More Human than Human

Earth is ravaged by ecological disasters, and resources are running low.  In this strife, only one company is trying to save Earth, and that is Creo. Our main character joins Creo to live a better life and also get some sweet cybernetic upgrades and an exosuit (just like Adam Jensen from Deus Ex). Sadly just like in Deus Ex the factory where we work is suddenly blown up, and while we miraculously survive, all of our coworkers go crazy, and most of the robots also become hostile. It is our job to figure out what happened, and also try to survive against the mech army of the old Creo base.

While the story does seem a bit worn out (post-apocalyptic earth, and rampaging AI), the presentation and the combat makes up for all the feelings of this being a cliché. The game is incredibly well detailed, and the graphics are top notch, and so are the sound effects for The Surge. While Lord of the Fallen looked incredibly cartoony in its presentation (and almost over the top like World of Warcraft), in The Surge the presentation is sleek and minimalistic.

There are no exaggerations for the armor, and everything feels like it could exist in the far away future if enhancements came to be for humanity. The design of the suits are a mix of the crane suit seen in Aliens, and the weapons are reminiscent of old mecha anime where the robots would have giant swords or buzzsaws as weapons. The first level shown is a claustrophobic factory, with crazy people in exosuits trying to kill us. While the explosion caused much devastation when viewing the land beyond this factory, it is evident that not much hope remains for humanity.

The combat system is a mix of Dark Souls and new ideas such as limb based combat. Basically, you can target an enemy’s body part to gain better loot and gear. Enemies drop loot and gear, but most of the time the player will have to craft its gear to create better armor and weapons. It is not simply enough to slash against the enemy but in order to get the best out of an encounter, unarmored sections, and desired parts will need to be considered. We also have a much more deeper RPG system compared to Lord of the Fallen, and we will be able to customize our character in every way that is imaginable. Although we still have the good old stamina system and the usual “You die and lose everything; but can pick it up from your corpse” mechanic. So it is a weird mix of old and new mechanics from the developers after learning their mistakes from Lords of the Fallen. While the graphics look polished, the animation is still ways off from being great, and some of the movement looks rather stiff.

A Bright New Future

The Surge looks to be a great evolution from Deck 13’s previous souls like effort, and while this time they dabble in the sci-fi rather than the Fantasy, the core gameplay mechanic is still almost the same. Let us hope that The Surge will have memorable boss fights, and great environments to fight in.

While the game seems promising on almost all fronts, some of the environments could end up looking rather bland based on the preview (if it ends up being one big factory landscape); the story might just be average, and the animation seems a bit clunky. Luckily we will soon see what the full game entails in May.


These might make it a success:

+ Interesting premise
+ Deep RPG mechanics, with customization
+ Story could become forgettable

These might make it a disappointment:

– Animation looks rather stiff
– Environments could end up looking bland
– Story could become forgettable

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive, Maximum Games

Developer: Deck 13

Genre: Action role-playing

Relase date: May 16, 2017

Spread the love
Avatar photo
Bence is a Senior Staff Writer for our site. He is an avid gamer, that enjoys all genres, from Indie to AAA games. He mostly plays on the PS4 or on the laptop (since some indies get a preview build there faster). Loves obscure Japanese games that no one else dares to review on this site.

No comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.