Robert Steinman
E3 2016: The Surge Preview
This game is so metal.
06.16.16 - 1:24 PM

Science fiction and Souls. Sci-Souls? Regardless of how you describe The Surge, it's pretty easy to see what they're going for. The latest from the guys and gals who brought you Lords of the Fallen is focused on a science fiction setting, measured and tactical combat, and the ability to rip the metal bits off your enemies to graft them onto your own enhanced body.

You play as Warren, a strapping young man wearing something like Matt Damon's power armor from Elysium. The world, though appearing broken and ruined, is surprisingly bright and colorful despite the incredibly macabre artwork we've had up until now. I wasn't expecting so much vibrancy to the world, which certainly sets it apart from most other post-apocalyptic environments.

The Surge seems to have a lot in common with From Software's Souls series at first sight (which makes sense given Deck 13's previous game). The dynamic duo of health bar and stamina bar remain, but the emphasis of the combat system is on dismembering your opponents to loot their corpses for precious resources. You use the right analog stick to target an enemy's limbs, though you still have to actually hit the target with a horizontal or vertical attack. It certainly seems like a unique and strategic system, but it's hard to tell how it works without getting my actual hands on a controller to test it out. I couldn't help but notice the targeting reticule constantly disappearing in the heat of combat, but maybe the system is far more responsive than initially previewed.

And it was a real treat to watch Warren take out another dude's kneecap in a wonderfully brutal animation. It adds an incredible cinematic quality that was sorely lacking in Lords of the Fallen, and gives The Surge a hell of a lot more personality than Harkyn's adventure. I only got to see the game for about fifteen minutes, but it has my attention and may just be different enough from all of the Souls clones to stand out in an admittedly saturated feel. The boss fight that ended the demo had an alert status that changed his attack pattern mid-fight, which will hopefully keep things from turning into a slog of attack, dodge, repeat. The Surge might be something special, and I'll be watching it with quiet anticipation until its 2017 release.