I admire the classical design of Dark Souls. The way in which it feels almost completely old school in how punishingly difficult it can be, and how disinterested it is in utilising modern gameplay mechanics -- whilst retaining a sense that it has all been planned methodically in advance. And isn’t cheap.
There are plenty of cheap deaths in The Surge though. Which although annoying, become predictable when you realise that every blind corner will basically feature an enemy that will lunge at you. And proceed to kill you in a couple of hits. Where The Surge makes a name for itself is in the combat, and progression that revolves around targeting enemy limbs. With the idea being, if you want that cool weapon then you better target that exo-suit dude’s arms. It’s a great setup that also plays into the crafting and upgrade mechanics, as well as the difficulty of each encounter.
Balancing risk and reward is key during The Surge’s combat, as the unique loot system gives you greater control over what you claim from defeated enemies. In visceral combat, individually target specific body parts, damaging them with a combination of vertical and horizontal attacks before slicing the part off entirely - and what you dismember directly determines what piece of equipment you loot. When approaching an enemy, you face a difficult decision: do you target an unarmored body part for a shorter fight, or risk a lengthier, damaging battle for a chance at slicing off a shiny new piece of equipment?