The Surge Xbox One Review

The Surge excels thanks to fantastic combat, boss battles, and intense challenges

By Grayshadow, Posted 17 May 2017

The Surge is challenge action-adventure RPG that demands your best and punishes hubris. The developers at Deck13 have taken what they’ve learned from their previous game, Lords of the Fallen, and built an entire science-fiction adventure where success depends on dedication and skill. While the story stumbles and lack of direction can become vexing The Surge excels thanks to fantastic combat, excellent boss battles, and intense challenges.

The game takes place in a dystopian future where mankind has exhausted most of the world’s resources. Players take control of a new exo-technician named Warren. On his first day of employment for a research and development company called CREO Warren gains a new exo-skeleton but afterward is dumped into a world full of hostile cyborgs and deadly machines.

It isn’t until halfway through the game that the story becomes interesting and for the most part you’ll just be grinding from one area to the next hoping for some clarity on what’s going on. Warren himself isn’t impressive and seeing him go from a wheelchair to brutally killing other people without any issue seemed like a missed opportunity to add personality to an otherwise dull protagonist. The optional audio logs are far more interesting, offering an insightful first-hand experience of the people and the world around you. Listening to a woman’s 30-second description her exo-skeleton procedure was more exciting than anything I heard Warren say throughout the game.

The science-fiction setting of The Surge is wonderfully designed and looks beautiful. Each area has its only distinct layout full of treasures and optional objectives. The only major issue was navigation. During certain sections of the game, I was hopelessly lost wondering where to go only to realize I had to backtrack to a previously visited location.

The Surge,NoobFeed,Deck13,Focus Home Interactive,

Similar to Deck 13’s Lord of the Fallen players will explore and fend off hostile creatures while collecting items and equipment to further enhance their character. Combat is challenging but fair thanks to precise controls. Health is precious and survival depends on you playing smart both, offensively and defensively. Targeting limbs plays a massive role in The Surge as certain points offer exploitable weaknesses and yield unique items. Once you deal enough damage a prompt appears for a bloody execution move. Despite repeating the same animations throughout the game executions are constantly entertaining and offer breathable moments during intense battles.

Warren himself can dodge and attack, either heavy or light, depending on how much stamina he has. Similar to Lords of the Fallen and Dark Souls maintaining your stamina meter is just as essential as your health. Once drained you cannot attack or dodge, making you vulnerable to multiple attacks. 

Varied types of enemies exist in The Surge, each requiring unique tactics to defeat. This forced me to take things slow, even when fully equipped with powerful items, as enemies can leap from anywhere and lead to a quick death. This is where The Surge excels at, creating an unforgiving and challenging atmosphere that remains constant throughout the game.

The Surge,NoobFeed,Deck13,Focus Home Interactive,

Killing enemies will yield scrap and the more enemies you defeat without retreating to a safe room the more your multiplier increases. If killed you lose everything and have a time limit to retrieve your fallen loot. If killed before you retrieve it the loot disappears forever. This risk versus reward system keeps you fighting harder and longer. If you do retreat to a save room all the enemies within the area instantly respawn.

Each enemy type has different fighting styles and you must attack at the opportune moment to ensure victory. Enemies aren’t particularly smart and clever players can use this to their advantage to force them to run off ledges or burn themselves alive. Bosses are the best part of The Surge, with each offering thrilling battles that require your absolute dedication to defeat. While I was able to quickly plow through standard enemies once I understood their patterns bosses remain intimidating throughout the 30-hour journey. 

Other than fighting customization will take up a lot of your time. The developers have included a myriad of options for players with weapons and armor that yield special bonuses while sacrificing other abilities. Coupled with a healthy selection of implants and you can mold Warren into whatever fighter you want. Quick and nimble or heavy damage dealer, the choice is yours.

The Surge,NoobFeed,Deck13,Focus Home Interactive,

If you feel comfortable with a specific weapon or armor you can further upgrade specific items. Each weapon and armor can be improved using scrap and special material found in the game. This did other weapons I found obsolete but considering how much material I sacrificed putting into this specific weapon it was worth it.

The Surge is an excellent and challenging action-adventure RPG that will test even the most hardened gamer. The insanely fun combat system and deep customization system kept me dismembering enemies and collecting loot for hours. The story struggles during the first half but once it gets going The Surge is hard to put down.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

The Surge


Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Focus Home Interactive
Developer(s): Deck13
Genres: Action-Adventure RPG
Themes: Dystopian future
Release Date: 2016-05-15

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