Surprises are nice, and so when Deck13’s The Surge turned out to be a bloody good Souls-like, I was very happy indeed. Just don’t mention those crystal-like enemies though. They were a royal pain in the ass.
Just in time for Christmas, the folks over at Deck13 have decided to grace us with a serving of additional content for the game too. Though while A Walk in the Park is certainly a worthy addition to The Surge, it’s not the meatiest of expansions.
Rather than being a standalone experience that’s accessible from the game’s main menu, A Walk in the Park is seamlessly woven into the overall experience. If you’ve not yet played The Surge and you’re on your first playthrough, chances are you’ll tackle it in two parts. But if you’re already past a certain part of the game, or if you’re tackling New Game+, you can play it through in one go.
All things considered, a new playthrough is almost certainly the best way to enjoy A Walk in the Park. I jumped in with a pre-existing save made right before the final boss fight, and at level 85 it was, quite literally, a walk in the park. Playing through the whole of the expansion in one go, enemies in the first half pretty much died after just a few hits, while those in the second half put up more of a challenge but still didn’t really pose any threat. It perhaps would have been prudent to have the enemies scale to your level for this particular excursion.
As for the content of the expansion, it’s pretty good stuff. After a quick train ride you find yourself in CREO World – a theme park built for the employees of CREO to enjoy with their families. Of course, you’re not going to get much chance to kick back and enjoy the rides though; things have gone horribly wrong, and it’s up to you to try and regain some order. Linking up with an engineer in an operations room that teeters on the edge of a chasm, it’s left to you to locate the missing members of his crew, and hopefully get the power and the network back online.
While the gameplay that’s found in A Walk in the Park isn’t any different from that offered in the main campaign, the scenery more than makes up for it. The Surge’s environments, while nicely realised, were rather samey and eventually became quite boring. This expansion solves that. Being a theme park, it’s less claustrophobic and there’s a lot of colour of display. With all the rides and stalls it looks like it would really be a fun place to be — if it wasn’t for all the destruction and hostile robots. of course. All the distinct areas of the park link up in surprising ways too, granting you helpful shortcuts to make getting around a doddle.
As you make your way around the park – eradicating comical mascots and doing what needs to be done – you at least get to experience one fun ride, and there are a couple of bosses for you to defeat as well. Neither of them are particular exciting, however, but at least one of them does put up a good fight. After about three hours altogether, your trip to the park will be over. For some players it probably won’t feel like A Walk in the Park was worth the cost of admission (£12.99/$14.99), but those who love The Surge will have probably had enough enjoyment to keep on smiling.
Those who do venture into CREO World will pick up plenty of souvenirs to take away with them, though. Among the ample amount of new equipment to collect are four amusing helmets, each ripped from the park’s mascots, a handful of new implants, 16 weapons and at least a couple of armour sets. There’s perhaps nothing that’s going to make you dump your existing gear, but if it’s your first time through The Surge you may find a good use for it.
If you’re a fan of The Surge and you’re fine with the idea of A Walk in the Park only taking up a few hours of your time, I’d say jump into it. It may be quite short but it’s enjoyable every step of the way, and there’s plenty of goodies to carry through to the rest of the game. For those expecting a longer running time, however, you may want to wait until A Walk in the Park becomes a little cheaper. Though do make sure you pick it up.