The Surge is a mid-budget game from Focus Home Interactive and Deck13 Interactive. The third-person, hack-and-slash, body-horror sci-fi title sees a crippled man seeking to get augmented as part of the Creo Corporation’s initiative to improve quality of life for people using their exo-suits. Things go horribly wrong, though, and a tale of survival and mutilation ensues.
Some part of me feels as if The Surge would have made for a perfect cyberpunk thriller back in the late 1990s with David Cronenberg at the helm, but alas I’m not going to complain about a game lifting typical sci-fi horror tropes for use in an interactive storytelling narrative.
The launch trailer for the game is entirely cinematic, lifting parts and pieces from the game’s cinematic sequences and compiling them together while narrating about the surge in rampancy from the augments at the Creo Corporation’s manufacturing, research, assembly and construction facilities. You can check it out below.
The actual gameplay is very similar to Dark Souls. The major difference is that you can use the right analog stick to pinpoint certain parts of an enemy’s body and dismember it. This is how the upgrade and weapon acquisition meta-game works in The Surge. Players will attempt to dismantle and mutilate other augs by breaking off limbs and using the severed limbs to upgrade their own exo-suit. If it sounds like body-modification horror that’s because it is.
The game’s opening cinematic is also a gutsy piece of material that will have some people cringing and squirming in their seats, no doubt.
This is Deck13’s follow-up to their other Dark Souls clone, Lords of the Fallen. I actually really liked that game, and they appear to have taken what worked and refined it a bit more for The Surge.
The game is definitely a bit slow and plodding at the start and there’s a lot of backtracking to be done, so it’s not for everybody. Even still, if you enjoy sci-fi horror with some light role-playing and heavy emphasis on upgrades, you might want to keep an eye on The Surge when it drops on May 16th for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.