The Surge Interview — Deck13 on Customization, Gameplay, Combat, Character Progression and More
Deck13's Managing Director Jan Klose discusses upcoming hardcore action RPG The Surge, addressing PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio Support, the Nintendo Switch, and modding.
With Dark Souls III: The Ringed City having just been released, possibly ending the Souls series for good, hardcore RPG fans might be wondering what to play next. Fortunately, Deck13, creators of Lords of the Fallen, and Focus Home Interactive have teamed up to bring players The Surge. The title is a visceral sci-fi RPG that puts a unique spin on the Souls formula with its combat system that has players targeting specific limbs of their enemies in order to rip the exo-skeleton off of them and equip it to their own playable character, Warren.
DualShockers got the chance to discuss The Surge with Jan Klose, Managing Director at Deck13, and find out more about some of the games features alongside possible PS4 Pro, Xbox Scorpio, and Nintendo Switch support.
Tomas Franzese: For those who don’t know, could you give us an overview or “elevator pitch” for The Surge?
Jan Klose: The Surge is a hardcore Action RPG set in a grim near-future. It’s based around duel-focused combat, and crafting and looting play an important role. The release date is set on May 16th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
TF: One of The Surge’s most unique mechanics is attacking specific areas of enemy mech suits in order to get specific parts. Could you delve into this feature a bit more?
JK: Yes, this one might sound a bit cruel but luckily this mechanic fits the game’s plot rather well! Being trapped in a sector of a giant corporation, the player is attacked by those who have once been factory workers, equipped with a strong exo-skeleton that they need for their heavy duty operations. Now that they seem to have gone mad. and are attacking the player in large numbers, he needs to use what he can find as weapons and armor. As there are no shops around, he can chop parts off his enemies and use them for himself if he performs the appropriate finishing moves.
The player can do this in real-time, and even switch the targeted body part mid-combat. He can target unprotected body parts to defeat the enemy faster, which is sometimes the only way to survive, but that doesn’t give you loot. If you target an armored body part and finally chop it off, you can take that broken armor piece and craft a new one for yourself using a “crafting station.” which is basically the future-generation of a 3D printer. You will also need other materials to craft (or upgrade) the part, so there’s even more looting involved.
TF: You guys have talked about the major effects of the environment on the player. Could you go into more details about these, and what they specifically do to the player?
JK: The environment is rather hostile. For example, there is poisonous gas and puddles of acid in some some areas of the factory. Enemies that come from these working areas might be fitted with suits that are resistant against them, so, once again, it might be necessary to take their armor. Also, you can equip certain implants that have an effect on your body. and can neutralize poisonous gas.
TF: In the game, the player can don a variety of exo-skeletons that change their playstyle. Could you talk about a few of your favorites?
JK: Apart from the situations I just described, the player can choose heavy protective gear versus light and agile equipment. Besides getting a set bonus for a full armor set of one type, it also makes sense to mix and match different sets because of their individual abilities, like resistance against certain hazards or other built-in equipment like flashlights, that will help you in very dark areas.
TF: How much variety is there with the enemies in the game, and what makes these enemies unique?
JK: As we’re playing in a highly mechanized factory environment where almost everything wants you dead; we have human enemies, robots, and man-machine hybrids, so there’s a lot to choose from! The cool thing is that robotic or hybrid enemies can have almost any shape and very surprising attack moves.
While you will be able to learn some universal rules of engagement and develop your own playstyle, there are unique ways of defeating most of the enemies that you have to learn and master. Which every new enemy, your skills will improve and help you when you meet some giant mechanized bosses.
TF: Could you go into a little more detail about the main playable character? How customizable will they be?
JK: This time we’re not aiming for different character classes that you can choose from. Instead, you can freely develop your character as you play to suit your own playstyle. There’s a lot of different weapon types that you will encounter, from very fast and agile weapons to heavy two-handed monsters. Also, the armor you equip determines how much agility you have, or how much force there is behind your blows.
We also have a new system called Implants, these replace the traditional attribute or skill system. The exoskeleton you’re equipped with and the power level you have reached define how many implants you can equip. You can find those throughout the game, and the cool thing is that you can switch most of them out at any time. Health implants give you more maximum hit points, healing implants can restore your energy, and visual detection implants can tell you more about your enemies. When approaching a boss, it might be advisable to remove implants that help you with finishing moves or with general level guidance and put in some more health stuff – providing that you have some!
TF: Will The Surge feature mod support on PC or on consoles?
JK: While we’re fans of modding, there’s no explicit support as of yet. We’ll see what it is that the players like the most about the game, and what they wish for, and then we’ll try to support them as best we can.
TF: Will The Surge feature special support for PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio?
JK: There will definitely be special support but I can’t go into too much detail here. But we’re working on features for these consoles.
TF: Has Deck13 gotten to work with the Nintendo Switch yet, and would you consider porting The Surge to the console?
JK: We love the Switch, but right now our focus is on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. This might change in the future but there’s nothing on the horizon as of yet.
TF: Is there anything else you would like to tell players before they get their hands on The Surge?
JK: For those who would like to know more about the game.I suggest to check the videos that we already have online. We’re showing a lot of the gameplay and the atmosphere, and I think that’s definitely worth a look!
The Surge releases May 16 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.