The Surge’s second DLC The Good, The Bad, and The Augmented throws Warren into a testing chamber that simulates the Wild West, and although that sounds like an epic environment to decapitate CREO employees in it’s actually a laborious slog that has fallen so far from what you would expect from The Surge you could mistake it for a cheap cash-in on WestWorld and Red Dead Redemption 2, and for a game with robots AND cowboys it’s embarrassing how The Good, The Bad, and The Augmented can’t even land those punches right.
Unlike A Walk In The Park this DLC is an episodic gladiatorial rogue-like that pits Warren against a Challenger. Kill and loot the Challenger to finish the episode. Unlike other episodic games though, this isn’t story-driven; it’s greed-driven. Your reward is Scrap, new weapons and new armour. So what’s wrong with that? Well if you’re a seasoned veteran who has a solid armour set and a high proficiency in a particular weapon type there’s no reason to play The Good, The Bad, and The Augmented. Unless you’re a completionist who must collect every armour set The Surge throws at you, you’re only going to get bored grinding for loot that you’ll never, ever use.
The Good, The Bad, and The Augmented doesn’t even play like The Surge or A Walk In The Park. Long gone are the large open spaces packed with contextual story-telling; No more sharp corners or narrow passageways that test your skill; Wave goodbye to the true-and-tested method of pegging it past the cannon-fodder to reach the boss that has killed you several times. In the new DLC Warren is forced through small rooms and long corridors and must kill everything before progressing into the next room. Moving from room-to-room involves a loading screen too, which feels so alien in the world of The Surge because Souls-likes are supposed to be open worlds with multiple shortcuts that loop and bend on top of themselves. It’s not supposed to be this claustrophobic guff!
The new DLC can be a challenging experience and there is a cool-but-confusing mechanic that allows you to increase the difficulty with buffers, which in turn rewards you with more Scrap and more loot, but as you already know that only makes the DLC more pointless and superficial. There’s nothing here to sink your teeth in to. It’s just a grindy loot generator. I wish I had more to say but unfortunately, I don’t.
As a huge fan of The Surge I am extremely disappointed with The Good, The Bad, and The Augmented as it’s an unsatisfying and unsavoury addition to a Souls-like that has been able to stand on its own two feet. The DLC is a hollow, soulless attempt to stretch out the game before The Surge 2 comes out and I can only hope this terrible omen isn’t a sign of things to come.
Should you play it? No
Why… The Good, The Bad, and The Augmented is an unimaginative expansion that relies on limited assets, a wafer-thin storyline and a strange episodic structure. The premise has potential to be something great but the final product simply isn’t that. You could easily skip the DLC and you wouldn’t feel like you’ve missed something relevant.
But… If you are a completionist, or you have always wanted to see Warren in a cowboy hat, pick up the DLC. Alternatively, if you haven’t completed the campaign or you’re simply not ready to put The Surge to bed this new package will help prolong Warren’s story. Also, if you’re a glutton for punishment there is the option to activate perks that make the game extra difficult, which is the only original idea to be found.
Reviewed on PlayStation 4. Review code supplied by Focus Home Interactive.