The idea of making A Walk in the Park Warren’s last stand was an inspired choice. It was no secret he loved Ironmaus and Creo World filled in enough to close out his story. With development of The Surge 2 well on it’s way, the announcement of The Good, The Bad and The Augmented came as quite the surprise. With a new challenge, one that takes place in the west of all places, story and more for Warren to overcome, is it a must for fans or an unnecessary bonus?
The Good, The Bad and The Augmented starts with Warren being invited to join a weird game show called Frontier Riders. The Surge has done well with outlandish concepts that devolve into misery, which remains true for this adventure too. Much like the base game, there isn’t much story, with it all building up to a climatic end. Whether the journey is worth it is up to you but the end makes the adventure, if nothing else, satisfying.
If there is one flaw with this expansion, it’s how far they try to stretch a small amount of content. Every level is comprised of a couple stages, which comes from a pool of like five, with the only difference being what you fight. It doesn’t take long before it feels stale and you’re doing it for the story. Worst yet, it doesn’t add enough depth to really be a game changer.
Outside of the three new bosses and a couple mechanics, it’s basically just a new place to kill differently dressed enemies. The core idea and tactics that allow you to overcome the base game, hold true here. Deck13 realized this and implemented challenges for players to overcome for additional rewards.
Challenges sound a lot more complicated than they actually are. One causes you to gain energy randomly, another makes perfectly timed combos more rewarding, you can elect to deal with random explosions, with nine other challenges to overcome. Every challenge can easily be overcome on lower difficulties, with multiples being so easy I had no issue grinding with four of them active at a time.
Your reward for doing challenges is two different and distinct things. The challenge itself will give vanity armor/weapons, implants or if you already have the item, materials, with multiples increasing the chances of encountering new gear. This isn’t terribly important for the base set, but is a must if you want the slightly different boss set.
In total there are like six sets, 15 weapons and a bunch of vanity items. If this sounds like a lot, it really isn’t. Every piece of armor has a boss exclusive and normal version, so it’s really two sets that are colored and named differently, with weapons having a boss and gold exclusive version. With the exception of cost and perks, the boss/gold variations have better stats, making the basic versions irrelevant. Some of the gear set perks beat the boss variations, though none of them are terribly exciting. At most someone might use these sets because they like how they look, not what they do. But, on a high note, cosmetic armor does not count against having a gear set, so you can have some control over how you look and not lose perks.
That being said, the really sad thing is The Good, The Bad and The Augmented doesn’t do anything to change the status quo. Going from my twin-rigged v2.0 boss weapon to the new one is just a difference of four attack, higher energy gain, slightly more proficiency scaling and different damage type amounts. Enough to make me switch but not enough for me to do so if I didn’t already have the resources. The same holds true for armor. It looks cool and offers different benefits, though neither is enough to make me use it over my current set.
The Good, The Bad and The Augmented feels rushed and offers little for returning fans to do. Between levels being comprised of the same stages in a different order or altered enemies is reminiscent of the complaints about wondering through similar looking ducts. Despite there being a fair number of weapons and armor, a lot of them are reskins and none of them are different or good enough to justify changing for, unless you’re a newcomer. Add this with lackluster challenges and an underwhelming end and it just feels more like a rushed expansion than something fans or newcomers need to see.
[Editor’s Note: The Surge: The Good, The Bad and The Augmentedwas reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]