The Surge is a third person action/RPG and a follow up to 2014's Lords of the Fallen. Players take on the role of handicapped protagonist Warren, a man in a wheelchair who volunteers to undergo some futuristic body modifications that grant him the ability to walk again, along with enhanced physical capabilities. Unfortunately, Warren's modifications can be accurately described as "Fun Times With Lots of Drills," guest starring A Drill to the Head. However, the operation is a success and Warren is a mix-and-match cyborg of sorts with the ability to swap implants, which function as in-game equipment and grant Warren different abilities (which are going to come in handy).
The Surge has flatteringly been described as "Dark Souls with robots", but does it live up to the hype? Is it truly as difficult as its medieval counterpart or do the robotic upgrades and implants make the game too easy? What about the upgrades themselves? Are the upgrades easy to use or confusing to figure out? Well luckily, The Surge makes upgrade and implant navigation a snap. Once at an Ops Center (which functions as a sub-hub), players can use scrap metal dropped by enemies to make upgrades or switch around implants as they please, which is good, because different occasions call for different implants. There are all different kinds of implants, from mundane ones that allow players to regenerate health with attacks, immunity to poison gas, to more specialized ones like a radar that lets players know when special items are near or slow down time (although this costs health) and the player will be needing them.
Players will be loading and be reloading a lot as, surprise, The Surge is just as difficult as any Dark Souls game. Enemies hit hard, and are particularly unforgiving. Some even have hard to target weak spots that are the only way to deal significant damage to the enemy. On top of the enemy's durability, is their love of surprising the player at their weakest. Often enemies will pop out of the shadows when Warren is low on health, usually insta-killing him with a priority attack that comes out of nowhere. There's a small margin for error in The Surge and just about any mistake or lack of preparedness will be fatal. Luckily, the game only penalizes players for dying with what amounts to an easily recovered money/resource drop.
Graphics are on point, environments and characters look gorgeous. The Surge includes HDR support for Playstation 4, and Playstation 4 Pro which provides more colors and details at higher levels of contrast for a more realistic appearance. I happen to have a PS4 Pro myself and I can vouch for the higher level of quality of The Surge on mine. There are a lot of different environments for Warren to explore besides wastelands, from offices to scrapyards and the HDR support makes them look even better.
One of the few notable things I didn't enjoy about The Surge was the controls and the camera. The camera felt way too loose at times as if it were dunked in butter and then added to the game. Too much swiveling and overshooting where I wanted to aim the camera cost me a few lives. While the immediate in-game penalty wasn't too much, it gets frustrating not having control over Warren when I'm getting whaled on by evil automatons. Cameras aside, the only other thing I didn't like was the unnaturally high difficulty. I love a challenge, but I love a challenge that gets harder as it goes, not one that maintains a high level of difficulty throughout with little to no reprieve.
That said, The Surge is still a great game and a great way to test your skills as an action/RPG gamer. If you enjoy games like Dark Souls or you love a real challenging RPG, this is the game is for you! Out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving The Surge 3 stars.