The Surge (review Polygon): single biggest surprise of 2017 so far.
A follow-up to developer Deck13’s 2014 game Lords of the Fallen, The Surge builds on that game’s fairly successful cloning of the Dark Souls formula. Like FromSoftware’s popular series, The Surge is an extremely challenging third-person melee-focused action role-playing game.
Lords of the Fallen was happy aping both the general gameplay style and aesthetic of the Souls games, but The Surge devotes more energy toward establishing an identity of its own. Deck13 sets its new game apart by embracing a sci-fi setting and a horror-style tone — and some inspired design experiments make up for a few rough edges.
The Surge takes place in a future built on the anxieties of the present. The world has been wrecked by climate change, and a company called CREO has stepped up to fix things, working on projects to improve the atmosphere and meld humans with machines. The game’s protagonist, a wheelchair-using man named Warren, is recruited into the company, eager for the chance to walk once more.
In true video game fashion, Warren arrives just in time for things to go to hell. Following a painful operation that equips him with a “rig” — a mechanical device that gives him the ability to walk, and also boosts his speed and power — Warren wakes up in a facility under attack from the inside. Something has driven most of the other employees to murder and violence, and it’s up to Warren to figure out what happened — or at least survive long enough to escape CREO.
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