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The Surge goes west in cowboy expansion

For a few DLCs more

It’s nice to see difficult robot slicer The Surge get dafter with each expansion. The sci-fi Soulslike previously went for a Walk in the Park to chop robot limbs off animatronic bunnies in a malfunctioning theme park. Now, its next expansion, The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented, is visiting the basement laboratory of a mad doctor who has themed his entire facility after the Wild West. But why would he do this? “For some reason,” say developers Deck13. For some reason.

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The new DLC is due out October 2. It seems to mostly be a stomping ground to find new weapons and armour, as well as an excuse to get crushed to death by new cyborg pals. You have to fight through a number of “training rooms”, and at the end of your run you face “Challengers”. These are nasty boyos with shiny equipment attached. If you don’t remember, you slice off enemy arms and legs to get new bits of kit, so these cowboys will need to leave their boots on the floor, pardner. Is that a cowboy phrase? Let's say yes.

To spice up the training rooms, you can modify them with up to 4 of 16 conditions. We aren’t told what those modifiers do, but they will probably make things harder. Maybe one of them will cause a sandstorm, and the sand will get in your eye, and you’ll say: “Wait wait wait, time out Mr Cyborg, I’ve got dust in my eye.” But he will not time out. He will murder you. Or maybe it’ll just be: “Plus 10 enemies”. But yes, it basically sounds like a dungeon where you’ll get to edit the difficulty. Fight with the modifiers on and you’ll get “increased rewards”, say Deck13.

I did our review of The Surge and found it to be a jolly Soulser, full of shortcuts and nippy level design. It’s got a bit of jank. Combat has some daft quirks and one boss fight in particular takes control of the camera, which is AWFUL. Souls wannabes: please don't do that. However, it is a solid “pick-it-up-in-a-sale” time waster. The Surge 2 was also announced this year, so hopefully that'll tighten a few bolts.

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