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The Surge: A Walk in the Park DLC Review

From IGN - December 4, 2017
By Jon Ryan

I mostly enjoyed my time with The Surge (read the full review) when it came out back in May, and Im glad to have an excuse to jump back into its bleak-yet-bright sci-fi world. While the A Walk in the Park DLC might not add much to or dramatically change up the gameplay, it offers more of the same solid combat and exploration in a colorfully creepy new setting.

A Walk in the Park retroactively inserts its new area early into the existing storyline (near the beginning, so if you start a new campaign or New Game + you dont have to go far to see it), essentially adding an optional six- to eight-hour side mission. Building on The Surges tale of robots run amok, it takes some cues from Westworld, The Simpsons, and Jurassic Park and sends you into Creo World, an oh-so-cleverly-named amusement park that serves as a fun zone for Creos employees.

After the mysterious energy spike that caused all of Creos tech to go haywire, though, its now less corporate funland and more everything-is-terrible-and-also-wanting-to-murder-you-land. It includes all the staples of the Amusement Park From Hell, from crashed (or crashing) roller coasters to robotic cartoon mascots hellbent on your destruction. Although these mascots arent especially funny parodies of lame corporate mascots (it didnt feel like The Surge took the gag far enough) these big-headed doofuses provide some much-needed levity, which lightens the mood of an otherwise grim and straight-faced game. As was the case in the main campaign, the environmental design is particularly strong - even though I love them, the grisly renderings of how bad an amusement park accident can get had me wondering how willing I am to get onto a real-life roller coaster again.

Your objectives arent all that creative - its the usual turn on the power, locate survivors, etc - but there are some clever funny yet creepy moments during the second half of the expansion, such as when some of the AI-controlled attractions get a little too smart for their CPUs. The storytelling is easier to follow here because A Walk in the Park takes some time out of combat to relay it instead of trying to shout it over intense fighting like in the main campaign.

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