Wavy News of the Week: 2/4-2/10

What’s popping guys, NikePhelps here and, as with every Friday, I’m bringing you Wavy News of the Week. Before I get into what has caught my eye over the week, I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts the last few days. Finding time for everything I want to get going has taken a little time to plan out but starting Monday I will be back to regularly publishing on the site. Now let’s get into the Wavy News of the Week.

Ever since I was first exposed to Bloodborne, challenging, tactical combat-focused RPGs has quickly become my favorite genre. Any game that is Dark Souls inspired is sure to grab my attention. With so many Dark Souls “clones”, we’ll call them, being developed now it’s time for developers to begin to innovate on the genre and build upon the revered foundation that From Software has built.

Deck13 Interactive was the first studio to notice the type of impact the Souls series was having on the industry and decide to take a stab at the genre. Their game, Lords of the Fallen, was released on October 28, 2014. The game was obviously inspired by the Souls series and while it could be labeled as a simple “clone”, it showed that studio could put its own spin on the genre.

lords-of-the-fallen-screenshot-02
Very intimidating

The game was well-received by the industry and a pleasant surprise for the year. I played Lords of the Fallen when it came free with Xbox’s Games for Gold program one month. The game is more forgiving than a Souls game, but if you have never played that type of game before and want to get your feet wet, I would definitely suggest the game. The studio is back this year with another game that is looking to innovate the genre further differentiate themselves from From Software’s legendary series.

Deck13’s newest game, The Surge, is scheduled for release later this year and is being marketed as a Souls-style game with a sci-fi setting. The most extensive look at The Surge yet was released this week showing off more gameplay elements.

The game looks very interesting starting with the setting. As much as I love Souls-inspired games, many of them have stuck with the medieval, gothic fantasy vibe. Nioh has taken on a samurai aesthetic but itstill contains shades of black and gray like the Souls games. A sci-fi spin is much needed in my opinion.

Speaking with IGN, head of game design Adam Hetenyi highlighted two ways in which their upcoming title is separating itself from its contemporaries.

The first unique gameplay element is the player’s ability to target specific body parts that make dismemberment easier.

22_minutes_of_the_surge_gameplay

This serves an important purpose in the game as this is an essential way to gain new gear for your player to use. Targeting specific body parts exposes weak points on your enemy and also creates great looting opportunities, If an enemy is using a weapon that you think will look better in your hands or gear that you think will be more suited for you, then you can specifically target the body part it’s on and increase the chance of that enemy dropping the loot for you to grab.

Another unique gameplay element is a bit of a tweak on the genre. When your character dies in a Souls type of game, you usually respawn at the last place you rested at losing everything you have gained. In order to regain everything you lost before your death, you must return to where you died where it will be waiting for you in some form depending on the game. If you happen to die before you can reach your lost loot, then it is gone forever. In The Surge, a time limit is placed on how long you have to regain your lost loot.

22_minutes_of_the_surge_gameplay-2
Aright-handsee on the upper right hand side a timer and your loot location is shown.

I don’t know how to feel about this certain mechanic because on the one hand, I can see how incorporating a time limit can add tension to the already pressure-packed nature of the game. On the other hand, if I have to rush through the game just to get my loot back, that will cause recklessness and in this genre, that type of play is severely punished.

I’m happy with what I have been seeing from the game so far but I do have some more questions. Though this latest video has shown the most gameplay mechanics we’ve seen yet, it is still confined to an area that they have shown off pretty much every time the game has been shown. My question is what does the rest of the game look like? How much imagination has been put into the world?

Another big question I have is regarding the enemy types. Is the whole game just filled with robotic characters or will there also be organics enemies like aliens? A huge draw of games in this genre are the big boss battles. Last year we were treated to a boss battle that saw the protagonist fighting a giant mech. The battle was exciting but are the bosses all variations of different robots? Will the battles be inventive and exciting like fans of the genre have come to expect? We will see.

What are your thoughts about The Surge? Do you play games in this genre? If so what are your favorites? If not, what’s holding you back? Let me know in the comments.

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