Deck13 is a developer quickly becoming known for its challenging and immersive role-playing experiences. Their previous RPG, Lords of the Fallen, showcased their ability to compete with games the likes of Dark Souls. The newest title from Deck13 has arrived and it is yet another challenging, rewarding experience. This is The Surge.

In a stark contrast from Lords of the FallenThe Surge takes gamers into the future. This future is a dystopian one in which Earth is creeping toward its bitter end. Remaining humans are part of social programs, which paint a grim picture of what’s to come. Technology has taken over, while the world around it is decaying.

The world of The Surge is filled with diverse settings, but ones that make you feel as if you’re truly in a wasteland or some of the darker crevasses of Earth. Deck13 does a fabulous job of making players aware of their surroundings. I mean this in the sense that you are taking a risk when heading into darker portions of the world without lighting gear.

Having a flashlight or some sort of lighting gear certainly makes darker sections easier to navigate and fight in. I frequently chose to push forward and endured some challenging battles as a result. That said, it isn’t impossible to progress through the dark, it’s just a lot harder. I enjoyed how deep levels went in The Surge, as it created an eerier feel.

The Surge’s darker pores contain some of your hardest enemies (Courtesy of Focus Home Interactive).

Let’s get right to one of the most crucial aspects of The Surge, combat. Combat is absolutely a challenging area, where you’ll have to pay close attention to enemies. Being able to identify which type of foe you’re going up against will help you defeat them. Mindless wandering and not paying attention to those you kill will result in some frustrating mistakes.

All enemies have attack and movement patterns. They are varied up throughout your encounters and they do not always begin with the same attacks. Some are more simple and have a few attack patterns, while others are more versatile and can not only attack but block as well.

The most challenging enemies you will face in The Surge are the massive, and I mean massive, bosses scattered throughout. Like many of the foes you fight, understanding their weak spot is a key to slaying them. Being able to target, say a leg, and getting into effective attack positions is essential. If you’re targeting a leg or head, trying to attack from the front may not always be your best bet.

Varying up your approach and movements will help you defeat higher level enemies. I love the variety of enemies in The Surge, as Deck13 did a great job of creating challengers with an excellent range of movements and attacks. Some possess very dynamic weapons, while others have quick and agile traits.

Combat in The Surge will force you to think and show your skills (Courtesy of Focus Home Interactive).

Another key aspect to combat is the its cutting system. Gamers are able to cut off parts of enemy limbs and take them for themselves. This is an excellent and very creative way of taking the traditional loot experience found in RPGs and injecting it as a vital part of the game’s combat system. It is quite an innovative feature and thought on the part of Deck13.

You’ll need to be aware of your inventory when it comes to cutting enemy parts. Sometimes you won’t need another blade, but the massive hammer an enemy is carrying would do quite well. Defeating enemies also means you are able to acquire tech scrap, which is the game’s form of currency.

While you do acquire XP for your overall level, tech scrap is how you can craft new parts as well as upgrade existing gear. This can be done through your base or main station. From here you can also equip new implants, which provide a number of different benefits. These can range from using energy to restore health, increasing maximum energy, reducing the cost of performing finishing move, increase maximum health and plenty more.

These implants help make the game personal to you, and add a nice layer of choice. Upgrading certain gear is important, particularly when it comes to areas where you need stronger attributes. If you play defense and offense, then making sure you have high defense attributes is key. Those who are always on the attack should focus on their damage attributes.

Some enemies you’ll encounter are absolutely massive. Best of luck (Courtesy of Focus Home Interactive).

Crafting and upgrading are incredibly key parts to the game, which makes dying all the more relevant. When you are killed in The Surge, whatever tech scrap you have is lost at your point of death. When you respawn, you have a set amount of time to get back to where your tech scrap was left and pick it up again. If you die before acquiring it, then the scrap from two deaths before is gone forever.

Dying is a very important part of The Surge. You must use tact and think about where you are in a map. Also considering how much scrap you are willing to lose is key. Dying can mean a missed opportunity to upgrade a part or toss in a new implant. For those who don’t want to lose progress they’ve made, you can deposit your tech scrap at your base at the Gear Assembly sector. It serves as a bank while you are out and about.

While it can be a very frustrating feature at times, I absolutely value the element of dying and losing everything you have. It makes the player think more strategically and adds greater importance to where you travel. This is, after all, a game for hardcore RPG fans and to have features that treat them any other way would be a disappointment.

The Surge is a deep, challenging and immersive RPG experience. Its world contains an ugly beauty with many secrets to discover. Combat is very rewarding and forces gamers to constantly be on their toes, while its progression systems keep you coming back for more. The Surge is an excellent RPG that core fans will love. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on The Surge. Focus Home Interactive provided We Write Things with a PS4 code of The Surge for the purposes of this review. 

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that. Contact me at [email protected]

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