One of the advantages of DLC is to correct problems and leave a second final impression. With The Surge suffering from a bland story, many users finding it hard to figure out how to progress and a lackluster world to explore, there was plenty to improve. Moving the story to an amusement park certainly offered an exciting new location, along with the chance to solve previous problems and even build on the existing story. With so many goals, does The Surge: A Walk in the Park stick to landing or is it biting off more than it can chew?
The Surge: A Walk in the Park takes place towards the middle of the game, focusing on CREO World’s problems following the helicopter crash. Sadly, not a whole lot is going on. While the amusement park is in ruins, with rogue mascots and other enemies lying in wait, the big threat is Carbon Cat. There isn’t much to Carbon Cat, outside of some lore about how deadly it is, with it mistaking our world with the one from Iron Maus, The Surge’s fictional comic book series.
What stands out isn’t Carbon Cat, an enemy that is made out to be a bigger threat than it actually is, but choice to give Warren some backstory. The new details make A Walk in the Park feel like cut content, as they explain why Warren joins CREO, the joy of being able to walk again and even explain the Iron Maus shirt he is wearing prior to things going awry was a good luck gift. In addition to these scenes, the expansion also elaborates on some some confusing things that happen at the end of the original story.
In many ways the expansions story takes some of the criticism directed at the base story and tries to fix it by adding information players want. It isn’t a bad idea, though it, again, makes the DLC feel less like a new experience and more like something they couldn’t implement at the time of release.
Even if the story could be better, the world itself is fun, but far from thrilling. Since it takes place somewhere in the middle of the story, none of the enemies are that challenging, nor are the weapons/armor terribly useful. After crafting all three of the new sets I figured my existing set was still better, with the new weapons offering enough to justify changing or using a different version of my beloved dual wield. For these reasons the ride feels hollow, especially if you have the materials needed to craft everything.
What stands out the most is how hard it’s to navigate forward. There is no denying the later sections are easier to figure out, if only due to their linear nature, but the previous sections require paying attention to dialogue, working backwards and connecting several dots. Sure, it isn’t as bad as previous sections, it just isn’t much of an improvement either.
In the end, The Surge: A Walk in the Park feels like it wants to correct the sins of the past, resulting in returning players getting an underwhelming experience. With lackluster armor, easy to defeat foes, a forgettable story and a setting that could’ve been far more exciting, we’re not left with much. Sure, fans will likely enjoy it and it offers a lot for newcomers, even a map for one of the most dreaded sections of the game, it just doesn’t do enough to stand out.
[Editor’s Note: A Walk in the Park expansion for The Surge was reviewed on the PS4 platform. The DLC was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]