Like the general language, the terms that delimit the genres of videogames are a tool in constant evolution. There was a time when no one would have called metroidvanias the first installments of Metroid because it would not make sense: at that time Castlevania was a saga of action and linear plan, so the second half of the word would not marry the first. In a similar way, we do not
know how we will refer to the derivatives of the Dark Soulsfamily within a couple of decades, but we can already define them as a specific species, which is defined more precisely using the From saga. Software that with a label as generic as action RPG. The abandonment
of medieval fantasy by Bloodborne , Nioh or the present The Surge does nothing but reinforce the idea that knights and dragons are a circumstantial component. The dressing of a dish that can be prepared in many ways as long as a series of fundamental ingredients are maintained in its base.
Beyond his improvable things as a game, one of the drawbacks of Lords of the Fallen was trying to replicate the Dark Souls formula too closely. Something that is not necessarily bad, but that can leave the imitator in an uncomfortable position (create an image of substitute or white mark) if it is not able to reach or exceed the bar marked by its model. The positiv
e part here is that far from insisting on it, the German study Deck13has taken the opposite direction: The Surge is a selective distancing that has clear what elements should maintain without thereby limiting the experimentation, achieving in the process a much mo
re interesting game and that takes better advantage of the creativity of the team. Throughout the months it has been qualifying as a Dark Souls of science fiction, which has a good basis to justify itself, but that definition does not do more than to scratch the surface of a title that better outlines its identity the more we delve into it. .
Welcome to the future
Nor is it surprising that The Surge is a gradual discovery, since it is something that has been characterized by this kind of games from the
beginning. Both on a playable and plot level, part of the premise is to let the player digest and organize information whose structure is often broken deliberately. Deck13 is not usually as cryptic as From Software, and the game has video-messages and audio notes that would fit better in a BioShock than in a Dark Souls, as well as abundan
t tutorials (little intrusive) that explain each mechanics, but still doing We lack enough dedication to feel comfortable in the world of The Surge . When Warren, our predefined protagonist (as in Nioh we can not change his gender or appearance), a
wakens abruptly from the painful intervention in which they install an exoskeleton, everything has gone to hell around him. From there an adventure begins in which the important thing is to survive and then, if there is time, find out why things are as they are.
As it happened in the Souls, the construction of the environment and its different elements not only respond to a physical need (we need levels to explore and objects to interact with so that there is play), it is also used to give brushstrokes about a story that is not always it is narrated through sequences or dialogues . Painted, positioning of corpses and th
e destruction of parts of the scene create a contrast with the CREO announcements, a company dedicated to saving the planet’s resources. Enthusiastic public relations monologues echo in empty halls filled with debris or bloodstains, and even serve as a
soundtrack for the brutal fights between Warren and the other survivors who have lost their minds. Although there are many details to discover and complete the puzzle, the truth is that interactions with NPCs do no
t provide much and the argument is predictable, as it drinks from other science fiction works with which we are familiar. But in spite of this it works, because its main objective is to provide coherence to a game that takes the teachings of From to a dystopian future in which we fight using robot parts. And in this The Surge fully meets.
Mechanized souls: A new type of Souls
Souls and the like have never needed puzzles or mini-games to break the routine because they are built around a nucleus that, if well tuned, can give 20, 30 or more hours of play without falling prey to its repetition. In case any of those present had not playe
d any, in practice this means exploring hostile environments where almost everything can kill us in less than five seconds if we are not alert. The player must understand how to deal with these threats and improve both inside (strengthening weapons or armor) and outsideof the game world (learning the enemy routines to resp
ond accordingly). Only then is it ready to move to the next zone and restart the cycle. The problem, and it’s a problem that he likes to have, is that From has become so good from practice that it’s hard to think of anything that competes with beasts like Bloodbor
ne or Dark Souls III in his same terrain. That’s why The Surge takes the wise decision to step aside and rethink the systems of souls, combat and improvements to create their own space.