The Surge is the most badass game I’ve played all year, and a must-play title for any masochistic gamer who enjoys getting their ass handed to them regularly. Although the presentation and enemy variety are somewhat lacking, and technical issues occur occasionally, none of these issues come even close to putting a hamper on this thoroughly enjoyable experience. Play. This. Game.
Still, the frustrating boss fights and the mediocre plot are blemishes on what is, by and large, a much better game than I ever would have expected. When I reviewed Lords of the Fallen in 2014, I said it was "a surprising show of skill and hopefully a sign of much brighter things to come." By building on its more obvious inspirations with a more unique vision, Deck13 has fulfilled even more of that initial promise with The Surge.
The Surge gives a lousy first impression with it bland sci-fi setting and grab bag of obvious influences. Given time, though, there’s an unrefined gem in here for those willing to put up with its quirks. If this is Deck 13’s next step to building something truly great, it’s solid, if flawed one.
Like Lords of the Fallen, The Surge is another rock-solid souls-a-like, losing a little of its predecessor’s strong storytelling and atmosphere, but gaining from the change from fantasy to sci-fi and the ingenious mech smashing and harvesting upgrade system. It’s not quite on the same level as the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne or Nioh, but that’s more down to the lore and art style than the brilliant gameplay. If you like the sound of a gritty dystopian take on Dark Souls, The Surge is an easy game to recommend.