Deck13 made some splash with The Surge, often described as a sci-fi Dark Souls clone. Despite its flaws, it was pretty accurate to its description and ended up putting the developer on the spotlight. After the release of The Surge, the developers offered some free post-launch updates and patched in support for both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. They later released the first major expansion to the game called “A Walk in the Park.” This was a solid expansion that added several hours of new gameplay to the base game.
After announcing a sequel to The Surge was in development, they have recently revealed this brand-new DLC themed around the Western setting for The Surge. The DLC’s announcement came as a surprise for everyone because of the timing being so close to the sequel tease. Therefore, how does this current expansion fare against the earlier one and is the new Western setting worth trying at all? The answer to this question is negative because this feels like more like an experiment than a proper fleshed out expansion like A Walk in the Park.
The narrative is simply that as the lead character Warren is exploring the CREO facility, he stumbles on a laboratory made by the mad doctor Dr. Rischboter. It is similar in style to A Walk in the Park, where a part of the facility is now open to explore and brings in new features and additions to the game. The theme this time revolves around the Western setting. All the enemies and equipment design focuses on this theme. It also has hints of popular HBO show Westworld with a pinch of Cyberpunk thrown in for good measure.
The issue with the DLC is the lack of a story. It is practically non-existent aside from the initial prologue which sets up the expansion. The new content merely boils down to more combat and has plenty of repetitions instead of offering something fresh. This makes it hard to recommend this DLC to anyone who is seeking an excuse to get this expansion. There are no improvements made to the base game, and unless you are dying to play through the game’s Western-themed setting, it is hard to see the appeal here.
Another crucial issue with the DLC is the lack of a central character. The mad doctor provides an entertaining backstory, and his motivations are laid out in detail, but he never manages to feel like a true villain. Those who want to get this DLC for some extra challenge might enjoy it though since you will have to complete a set of challenges without dying. There are some boss fights to attempt here, but they are simply rehashed content with some minor variations made to them. The lack of adding some new epic bosses – like in the DLC for Souls series – is sorely missed here.
You play through episodes, which are essentially stages, and they can be attempted again with different modifiers, so it feels fresh the second time you experience them. There is a grand total of nine episodes here with each of them taking you at least 30 minutes. This whole expansion can last for 5 to 6 hours. As for the replay value, the main content is just not that good enough for you to see it all again unless you want to test your patience. The weapons feel like reskins of the main game equipment, and the stages are painfully dull.
This expansion doesn’t appear to justify its asking price. The content offered here doesn’t add anything interesting to the game in term of lore. There are no significant new additions to the enemy roster or interesting boss fights. You are merely receiving a custom set of challenges with a new type of equipment, yet the price is a bit steep at $9.99. Normally, it is not my job to judge what the developers decide to charge for their content, but in this case, it is something that is worth pointing out here.
The Surge: The Good, The Bad, and The Augmented Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Enter the bowels of the CREO facility and explore an old and abandoned Quality Assurance lab created to push CREO’s tech to the limit. Warren will face Dr. Rischboter’s deadly test chambers that, for some reason, feel like torn straight out of a twisted Wild West TV show!
Final Score - 5/105/10
More of an experiment that feels lacking next to the previous substantial expansion for The Surge. This new DLC doesn't feel like it is worth its asking price, especially when a sequel is already underway.