Try The Surge for free before the sequel lands next month

(Image credit: Focus Home Interactive)

The Surge, Deck13's sci-fi Souls-like, is free to take for a stompy mechanical test drive until Thursday, August 29th. If you decide you want to stick around in its cyber-hellscape, it's 75% off until August 30th. A good opportunity to see if its limb-lopping combat works for you before The Surge 2 lands on September 24th.

Essentially a futuristic, industrial take on the Dark Souls formula, The Surge tells the story of possibly the worst first day at a new job since Leon Kennedy joined the Raccoon City Police Department. Bolted surgically into a modular, upgradeable suit of armour called an Exo-Rig, you pass out only to wake up in the middle of a robot uprising, with most of your prospective co-workers reduced to little more than cyber-zombies.

As well as being a purely single-player experience, what sets The Surge apart from other Souls-adjacent hack n' slashers is its locational damage system. In melee combat, you can target individual limbs on most enemies and finishing them off with a targeted slash gives you a chance of salvaging whatever rig component you just sliced off. It's a compelling system, if a bit grisly.

It's by no means a bad game (and a significant step up over Deck13's earlier Lords Of The Fallen), The Surge always felt more like a proof-of-concept to me, and Jody Macgregor wasn't much more impressed in his review. Limited environment and enemy variety topped off with a scant handful of boss fights means this isn't going toe-to-toe with any of the Dark Souls series, but it should give you a taste for how its mechanised combat works before the more impressive-looking sequel arrives soon.

The Surge is free to try on Steam until August 29th, and 75% off (reducing it to £6.24/$7.49) until August 30th. 

Dominic Tarason
Contributing Writer

The product of a wasted youth, wasted prime and getting into wasted middle age, Dominic Tarason is a freelance writer, occasional indie PR guy and professional techno-hermit seen in many strange corners of the internet and seldom in reality. Based deep in the Welsh hinterlands where no food delivery dares to go, videogames provide a gritty, realistic escape from the idyllic views and fresh country air. If you're looking for something new and potentially very weird to play, feel free to poke him on Twitter. He's almost sociable, most of the time.