There are certain classics in the video game industry that are revered by both players and developers. Every now and then, a new game comes out that is heavily influenced by these mega-titles. The Surge is one such example. It draws it’s core RPG mechanics from the Dark Souls franchise, but unlike the Souls games, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic world crawling with machines and cyborgs.

One would think that Dark Souls fans should adore this new venture by Deck 13, but just like many didn’t quite like their previous IP, Lords of the Fallen, The Surge wasn’t that well received either. Before we move onto the specifics, let me make one thing clear, The Surge isn’t a bad game by any means, it’s just not recommended for anyone looking to quench their Dark Souls thirst. They may have the same skins, but underneath they are fairly different. The exact details are listed down below:

The Atmosphere

The core aspect of the Dark Souls games that makes them stand out is the atmosphere. There’s a sense of dread in the air, the eerie silence keeps you on edge and even the visuals speak of death and disease. The Surge on the other hand has a much more relaxed atmosphere.

The Surge and Dark SoulsIt’s almost impossible to get jumped on, and even if you do it’s not half as scary because lets face it they’re just fancy machines waiting to be scraped. On the Gothic front, The Surge falls short heavily and is one of the core reasons anyone used to Dark Souls won’t feel at home in it’s scrap filled world.

The Difficulty and Bosses

I personally didn’t have any issues with this, but many players have complained that The Surge is nowhere as difficult as Dark Souls. Take it from someone who used to suck horribly at From Software’s games, it took me just a few hours to ace the combat in The Surge. Granted the bosses do require a certain level of skill, but it’s nothing compared to the baddies of Dark Souls. On top of that, the minions in The Surge are quite easy to kill after you get used to the game, but you can’t say the same about the deathless ones.

The Surge and Dark Souls

Furthermore, the bosses in the Souls games are downright terrifying and the accompanying soundtrack further takes it up a notch. That is something I can’t say about The Surge. You don’t have a tech-bank where you can store all your loot. It’s all in or nothing.

Co-op and Backstabbing

Remember when you were buddies with that guy in Dark Souls for months and after numerous adventures and teaming up to kill tons of undead, they stabbed you in the back and took all your stuff? You do? Brilliant, then we’re on the same page. Things like these are what made the Souls franchise so popular. You don’t have any of that backstabbing, er…I mean camaraderie in The Surge. Let’s hope we get it in the sequel.

The Surge and Dark Souls
The Ringed City

Game-World

Another reason many gamers didn’t like The Surge is that the game world is monotonous. The Dark Souls games on the other hand have varied levels set in diverse environments. Some in forts, some in towns and some in the middle of nowhere. The Surge essentially takes place in a junk-yard throughout it’s entirety.

Lore

Lastly, let’s talk about lore. While many players will roll their eyes at this, all veterans should know that lore has always been an important part of the Souls games. The Surge does have a backstory of sorts, but it’s a cliche dystopian conspiracy theory. That just isn’t on the same level as the lore of Lords of Cinder and the Deathless Ones. I’ll agree this last part doesn’t really make an impact on the actual gameplay but it’s a nice touch.

The Surge and Dark SoulsSo, there you have it folks. Our take on why The Surge is so different from the Dark Souls saga and why the fans of the latter didn’t like the former. Be sure to voice your opinions if you feel like we missed something.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “The Surge essentially takes place in a junk-yard throughout it’s entirety”

    No, it doesn’t. The first area does. It then switches to a factory, bio-labs, cooling tower, R&D labs, executive suits and finally a launch pad…the final 6 areas don`t even come close to resembling a `Junk-yard`. As for the multiplayer, as someone who’s played every Souls game solo and never once played online I hated the fact that the Soulsborne games were designed around co-op in certain areas, especially late game DSIII and NG+ DSII. The Surge however, was designed around single player so it`s more accessible to players like myself and it`ll ultimately be more relevant decades from now when the Souls servers are down. The Surge is not only my 2017 GotY but also one of my top 10 games of all-time because, in my opinion, they learned from their mistakes from Lords of the Fallen and improved upon the Souls formula while making it unique enough.

    • While I agree with most of that, a lot of Dark Souls fans have complained that The Surge is not good enough. I was pointing out the reasons why they possibly didn’t. But as far as environments go, The Surge’s world looks too similar. It’s too closed, and there’s not a whole lot of variation.

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