After seeing the base game release back in 2017, Deck 13 have released more content for The Surge. Called The Good, the Bad and the Augmented, it is a series of Western themed rooms that are secreted deep in the bowels of the CREO facility and it has a real Spaghetti Western feel. Promising new outfits and weapons to be unlocked and crafted as you progress through the series of rooms, is this DLC too little, too late or the shot in the arm that The Surge needs? Strap on a stetson and let’s find out.
Access to The Good, the Bad and the Augmented is hidden away in the various levels, and the developers recommend that you access it in NG+, as the challenge is somewhat steep. Sadly, by the time this DLC came around, I had forgotten how to play the game, and was basically left to start again from the beginning, taking my chances in the process.
Having made my way through the first level to the Peril Chamber, I was greeted by a cheerful Western Sheriff type voice inviting me to take part in a series of tests designed to push my exo suit to the limits. Dr Rischboter, for it is he, has created a series of Quality Assurance rooms and scenarios, and for some reason, he has decided to put them in a Wild West scenario.
What this boils down to is a series of 13 increasingly difficult scenarios, where you have to first fight your way through a series of rooms packed with enemies, and then face a boss type character in an arena at the end. Each room has a series of run of the mill enemies to destroy, but with different win criteria. Some see you needing to kill everything to progress, while other rooms require you to stand on a panel for long enough to unlock a door while waves of enemies attempt to ruin your day. These rooms add a certain amount of variation into the routine killing. That can only be a good thing, right?
Obviously, the new enemies have new gear to collect, and targeting and slicing off various limbs can enable access to a new set of armour. However, the things that I unlocked, for my relatively low level character at least, didn’t offer any particular advantage over my Rhino gear set. The same can be said for the new weapons, again I kept finding myself going back to my PAX sword-thing as the new weapons seemed to just be tickling the opponents. However, it’s always nice to see new additions to the inventory, so maybe with some extra reinforcing I will find a use for them. In addition, new jumpsuits can be unlocked to add a personal touch to your character, and who doesn’t like a vanity item every now and then?
In order to mix things up a bit, there are 16 modifiers that can be applied to the rooms before you take them on. Up to four modifiers per level can be activated, and the more you switch on, the better the potential loot at the end of the run. These modifiers are a very mixed bunch, such as applying an old black and white filter over the action to make it more authentic, complete with honky tonk piano stylings. The modifiers greatly extend the life of this DLC, as with almost endless combinations the game can be different on each run through. This variety, in conjunction with the presentation and the whole sense of humour that is emitted, makes this a worthwhile addition to the The Surge.
If you are in the market for more of The Surge, I can recommend The Good, the Bad and the Augmented to you, and it should help tide you over until The Surge 2 is released. Lots of content, lots of fighting and a customisable challenge will let you keep playing to your heart’s content. Should you not have played The Surge since CREO World, then this may be a little too late to draw you back, but for the price it’s hard to argue with the value this expansion offers.