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Playdate: The Surge

Sometimes you have to become a robot to find your humanity. <3

The crew of Giant Bomb invites you to join us for some fun times with video games.

May. 19 2017

Cast: Vinny, Alex

Posted by: Abby

In This Episode:

The Surge

80 Comments

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Szlifier

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Szlifier • 

Never heard of this game, but it doesn't look terrible.

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MonkeyKing1969

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Edited By MonkeyKing1969 • 

Life Is Strange Spoilers - you play as someone pushing a wheelchair...then she asked you to kill her.

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MonkeyKing1969

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The heavy job choice audio is like every Viagra commercial

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Humanity

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Humanity • 

Heck yes thanks for the fast upload I was looking forward to this!

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stanleynipple

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Edited By stanleynipple • 

Wait, where's the idiot guy? Shouldn't he be there?!!

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Efesell

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Efesell • 

This seems like such an improvement over Lords of the Fallen.

That game took a little while to really show its failings so maybe this does the same but I'm more interested in robot souls either way.

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Tennmuerti

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Edited By Tennmuerti • 
@efesell said:

This seems like such an improvement over Lords of the Fallen.

That game took a little while to really show its failings so maybe this does the same but I'm more interested in robot souls either way.

Having just finished it I'd say it's very much an improvement. Which also seems like the popular consensus too. Not perfect by any means.

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conmulligan

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Two weeks in and Abby has already mastered the deck.

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OtterChaos

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OtterChaos • 

Have yet to watch the stream but when the quick look dropped I decided to go back to Dark Souls 3 and try to finish it up (I'd prefer to do DS1 but getting it to run on my widescreen monitor seems a bit finicky and DS3 supports that mode right out of the box) as I wanted some of that style of game. I'm curious to see how The Surge plays out and may end up picking it up as well if it looks decent. Hope there a various environments as what little I've seen of the game takes place in similar venues.

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baddudes

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baddudes • 

Is this the Bioforge remake?

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Blitzrules240

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Edited By Blitzrules240 • 

I was hoping Vinny would get around to playing this. Personally, I'm loving the game myself. It's a real diamond in the rough for those who seek it out.

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pants_ghidorah

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I love Alex's quick little Judgement Night reference.

Also, even though Ben Weasel remains kind of a dink, Screeching Weasel is still one of my favourite Lookout era punk bands of all time. My Brain Hurts is a great record.

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bybeach

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bybeach • 

I'm watching this later, but from the intro I did see, I don't think this will be your daddy's B game.

I'm only guessing, but more a B+ Space Marine type of effort?

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Kadzork

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Kadzork • 

Quick save and quick load are being patched out soon.

Really enjoying this game though. Bit of a love/hate relationship with some of the design but I agree that it's a rough diamond.

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rkk667

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rkk667 • 

This was really fun. Great job everyone :)

Somehow this is slightly more 'interesting' than a fantasy souls game right now.

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Ozzie

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Ozzie • 

Sweet just got the tail end of this and was hoping it be up quick, thanks abby!

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NeoCalypso

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NeoCalypso • 

@baddudes said:

Is this the Bioforge remake?

I didn't see any flutes, forks, or even a SINGLE cyber-raptor. So I think it's more of a spiritual successor.

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dillon217

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Edited By dillon217 • 

Hell yeah! I've been playing this. I wasn't expecting them to do anything past the quick look.

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ripelivejam

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Maybe this feels OK to play. I'm generally burned out on souls formula anyway.

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Tikicobra

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Edited By Tikicobra • 

I definitely want to pick this up. I may wait for a sale, but sometimes the mood strikes me to play some Souls stuff and then there's no controlling my wallet. This honestly looks really rad.

I'm a little surprised to see Vinny making so many dumb decisions though. For example, when he's fighting enemies and he keeps backing up deeper into the level where he'll inevitably pull even more enemies.

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MobiusFun

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MobiusFun • 

They screw your clothes onto you? Do people who take these jobs never shower or bathe again?

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Edited By buzz_clik  Moderator • 
@baddudes said:

Is this the Bioforge remake?

No shit, as I'm playing through The Surge, that thought keeps popping into my head.

I just beat the second boss last night. I would've gotten to the fight faster, but there was a stairwell I wasn't seeing, tucked away on the side of a balcony. I felt like a real twit when I eventually saw it.

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ArtisanBreads

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@baddudes said:

Is this the Bioforge remake?

While the opening of this game is cool, nothing else in it is as cool as Bioforge.

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TanookiSuit

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Edited By TanookiSuit • 

I feel more compelled to play this more than any Dark Souls game. I did, however, play Demon Souls, which I enjoyed. I am going to pick this up.

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Paperplane

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Edited By Paperplane • 

After I was forced to hear that song at the start for the nth time and as soon as I reached the sewer level part I uninstalled this pos

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buzz_clik

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buzz_clik  Moderator • 

Alex with the hot Judgment Night OST reference. Love it.

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@tanookisuit said:

I feel more compelled to play this more than any Dark Souls game. I did, however, play Demon Souls, which I enjoyed. I am going to pick this up.

I'd highly recommend the first Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
Dark souls 2/3? ...eeeh, you might like em.

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LonelySpacePanda

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Inresurrection

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Only ten or fifteen minutes into this but man, GBE Playdates are the best. I was so happy when I saw the archive go up. And Abby, you are a treasure. Thanks for doing what you do, guys.

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anarchovelo

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Edited By anarchovelo • 

The way Vinny blew past some tutorial prompts makes me think that sort of thing shouldn't be relegated to environmental text.

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AlexPrime

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AlexPrime • 

Alway inverted. Vinny is right.

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Silver-Streak

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Edited By Silver-Streak • 

@andrack: I mean, you're screwed into a giant electrical suit. I'm going to assume that they have some way of staying clean that doesn't involve water....or they don't expect you to ever be clean again.

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HerrDoktorG

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Thank The Maker Vinny and Alex got a hold of this one. The QL with Ben and Brad was a bit lacking....

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cyberspacecat

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Funnily enough I find the playdate to be more illustrative of what the game actually is than the Quick Look, and there's decent environmental design here, where in the QL it was just dark warehouses, though granted I haven't played the game, and it might just devolve into that later on.

I'm not a fan of the fixed player character, and I'm hoping for more enemy variety eventually, but generally I'm kind of liking what I'm seeing, might be worth it on a sale down the line.

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vizard1301 • 

It looks very bland to me but im just a big fan of fantasy settings in these kinda games.

That said the new DS3 DLC was really really great if anyone is a fan of that.

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CasinoGhostt

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I am interested in this, because it looks like Starcraft 1 and you are playing the role of an SCV.

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xbob42 • 

This is gonna be excessively long. Sorry.

I really enjoyed Lords of the Fallen, but it was a deeply flawed game, the combat had a lot of little issues and overall just didn't feel as rock solid as Dark Souls. I did enjoy its chunky armor a lot more, though.

With The Surge, I thought I'd hate the environments, but I found myself getting excited as I began to learn the ins and outs of each map. It's definitely not as wild as Dark Souls, but I don't think it necessarily needs to be. Maybe a sequel could have some crazier stuff. Then again, I'm not done yet, so there could be a surprise or two in store.

Where it shines for me is the combat. I'm playing this and Dark Souls 3 at the same time. I think The Surge not only holds up just fine, but actually surpasses Souls in a couple ways. They have different priorities for sure, but The Surge has much enhanced utility, the dodge punch, the sliding attack, the fact that you can use your jump to actually jump UP instead of just ACROSS (as Vinny did in this video) and how responsive the jump in general feels. The fact that you get very different attacks based on the combination of attacks you use, it all feels great.

It also seems to focus every single area around a single Medbay, which even Dark Souls doesn't do anymore. You unlock shortcuts, double shortcuts, etc, rather than just having Medbays all over the place. In particularly long instances, they've got little heal-recharge stations that'll refresh all the heals you've used, but not give you any advanced features of a proper Medbay, and can only be used once per "visit."

Lords of the Fallen felt like a decent try at emulating Dark Souls with some neat twists, The Surge feels like it's no longer playing catch-up ("It's not perfect" is true... but neither is Dark Souls, y'know?) and is using that benefit to try out its own new ideas, like the scrap retrieval timer that goes up as you kill enemies, so you can blitz it to your scrap like in Souls, or you can use your increased knowledge about how to kill enemies to clear out a safe route and also get more scrap along the way.

All in all, there's still a lot of room for improvement, but it seems like they learned all the right lessons from both Lords and the last several Souls or Souls-style games. Their focus on shortcuts and learning the map as well as ambushes that are brutal but not cheap (you can always be careful and see it coming, just like Souls) makes the world feel dangerous, and like you're learning more than just how to fight. You've got to learn to navigate, ESPECIALLY to get your scrap back.

When I was done playing Lords of the Fallen, my biggest take-away was that I couldn't wait to see what their next game would be like. It seems to have paid off. And yet even now, as I'm still playing The Surge, I again cannot wait for their next title. I like that they're not beholden to every single thing about Souls, no terrible character creation (I personally consider it a waste of time, you're covered the entire game and all Souls characters including NPCs are hideous garbage-tier creations that only vaguely resemble humans) no silent protagonist (although Warren kind of sucks pretty hard as an actual character) and they let me pause the game! Look, I get why Souls doesn't, but this isn't Souls, and it's great to be able to pause and do shit and not have to tell people to hold on over and over as I finish a fight or find a bonfire. I can't always carve out enough 100%-people-free free time to play Souls comfortably.

On that note, though, I do miss online co-op. For me, Dark Souls PvP is a laggy affair where I swing at a guy who dodges half a second after I hit him and he doesn't take any damage, of people teleporting behind me for backstabs... from in front of me, of people using OP builds to interrupt my fun, and occasionally, of me having some exciting victories or close losses. But co-op is a ton of fun for me, I have no "Souls ego" and am happy to play through the games with a friend and laugh as we set up traps for invaders and wreck bosses. Or cheering my buddy on as I die at the start of a fight to something hilariously dumb and he solos it, or vice versa. That's sorely missing here. Messages are slightly missed, but became more irrelevant over time, and I don't even know the last time I purposely opted to look at someone dying via a blood stain.

I've loved the Souls games for years, but I'm glad there's finally serious competition that isn't just so far behind that it's disappointing. Obviously that'll vary between people, some won't like the setting, some consider no character creation a deal-breaker alone, or changing equipment during combat with the game paused (something I consider a positive, and clumsy in a bad way in Dark Souls, I don't think it makes the game more fun) or a bunch of other issues. But I also think Dark Souls is on too high of a pedestal, I don't think there's been a single Souls game that feels "complete" to me. Demon's Souls' nexus just wasn't fun for me, it felt weirdly segmented after how interconnected the actual stage felt. Dark Souls was great... for the first half, the second half after getting the Lordvessel was tedious and felt way less brilliant. Dark Souls 2 had what I considered improved combat in some areas, but overall a weaker game than the first, Dark Souls 3 felt a lot more balanced and responsive, but never seemed to hit the amazing highs of the first, but also avoided the lows. More homogenized I guess? Bloodborne was too short, and the low frame rate (I played all the other ones on PC@60FPS) combined with bad frametiming utterly killed my enjoyment of the game. Not to mention I utterly despised the gothic style setting everyone else seemed to adore. Kind of how I like this weird industrial future warehouse setting that others find bland.

What I'm trying to say is that the Souls series itself is deeply flawed. In every iteration you can find big black marks that can be improved. It's not so much to excuse the flaws in The Surge, but rather to say "Hey, I don't think the flaws are super major, and if we get some serious quality competition, it can only make this genre that much better."

I apologize for wasting your time if you read this lengthy, pointless essay.

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Rich666 • 

Holy crap this game looks generic as hell.

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mr_creeper • 

I've played through about as much as Vinny did, so far, and I'm finding it enjoyable. Hope to find some more time this weekend to get deeper in.

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Edited By Dr_Insane • 

I'm glad Abby at least gets to be the voice of god and chime in sometimes even when she's stuck in the control room, her mic sounds good in there too. She's great, the more Abby the better as far as I'm concerned. This game on the other hand, not my thing, decent stream though.

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Edited By Dr_Mel • 

They're playing an earlier build, they've patched the game so that country music doesn't play during the medbay and gear crafting menus which is a good thing because it's SUUUUPER repetitive!

Edit: As for my opinions on this game, I'm working my way through it and I think @xbob42 said it pretty well. This is a really nice surprise, as long as you know what you're in for. This is definitely a "Bring your B-Game" candidate.

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Edited By Flavbot • 

@dr_insane said:

I'm glad Abby gets to be the voice of god and chime in sometimes even when she's stuck in the control room, her mic sounds good in there too. She's great.

My first thought was "they should hire a production person so Abby get's freed up to...." and then I stopped and realized I'm stupid.

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OMGFather • 

I remember trying to escape a hospital in a wheelchair in It Came from the Desert