Deck13, the studio that brought us Lords of the Fallen, has a new game they want to show off: The Surge. This time they swap the fantasy setting for a dystopian sci-fi world. It feels awfully familiar, but with a nice shiny coat of paint.
In the future people make use of exoskeletons to carry out their jobs. Construction workers have forklifts on their arms, or massive welding arrays attached to them in a way that is easier to carry. It looks a lot like some of the exoskeleton prototypes that are being made right now to help shipwrights with the heavy lifting. Something went wrong though, and you wake up after surgery and the employees around you are rabid, mindless beings. They lurch towards you, using their industrial exoskeletons as weapons and armour. Luckily you have a nice axe to cut them down to size.
Combat is split into vertical and horizontal attacks but what makes things so interesting is that once you lock onto an enemy your right thumbstick stops controlling the camera and instead targets a limb or body part of your foe. Hitting a soft, unarmoured area does a lot of damage and can interrupt big attacks but if you work at a particular limb, long enough, say the fork-lift arm, you will eventually get a chance to dismember or decapitate your enemy. Doing so increases the chance that the blueprint for building that specific weapon will drop, which you can then go craft for your own use. See a nice helmet? Remove that head and get crafting! It is a cool approach, mixing up difficulty of the task with a better chance of reward.
According to the developers during the demo, the same applies for boss battles. Beating a boss with the easiest tactic will net you no gear rewards. But if you work out the tricky, dangerous way to kill them, you will get something nice for your trouble. Boss battles where risky play nets better loot? I like where this is going!
The Surge should be out next year sometime and I am hoping for a nice action-RPG about beating up robots and cyborgs.