Watch 15 minutes of sci-fi Souls-like The Surge

When Dan Griliopoulos got to grips with an early build of Deck13’s action role-player The Surge earlier this year, he said: “Given it’s a sci-fi game from the developers of Lords of the Fallen, it’s not surprising that the ethos is entirely Dark Souls meets System Shock.” The latest pre-alpha trailer appears to further this outline by showcasing some distinctly Souls-like melee fisticuffs. 

“Melee combat in The Surge is stamina-based,” explains Adam Hetaney, Deck13’s head of game design, in the following demo. “That means that while you’re in combat you’re gonna need to manage your stamina resource or you might find yourself unable to complete a combo that you want to finish or unable to dodge away from a counter attack—it’s just something you need to pay attention to while you fight.”

A stamina-focused approach to close-quarters combat might echo that of the Souls series, however The Surge deviates from its example by way of “body part targeting”. Hetaney continues: “In The Surge, attacks are not light or heavy attacks, but rather horizontal and vertical attacks. That’s because the swing direction of your attacks actually matters. 

“You can target specific body parts so directing attacks towards unarmoured or vulnerable areas deals increased damage, it’s more likely to stagger your opponent. It really pays to observe your enemies, pick out their weak points when you’re going in for the kill.”

Here’s all of that in full-swing:

While the latter half of the demo explores The Surge’s crafting options, how body targeting is tied to looting and pulling blueprints from dropped enemy equipment sounds interesting.

The Surge is due sometime in 2017. Dan's take from March can be read in full here