Deck 13 Interactive’s newest entry, The Surge, is a massive departure from their more famous game Lords of the Fallen. With the more risks Deck 13 are taking, they are hoping for more reward. With the ability to make the game they want with less regulations, it was time to figure out just how much talent their team really contained. And from the looks of E3’s The Surge hands-off demo, it looks to be mighty impressive.
GamingBolt recently had a sit down with Deck 13 Interactive’s CEO Jan Klose for some more details on this ever intriguing game:
"We were really thinking to make it a little bit more fast-paced, and also to become more tactical. It will not turn into a slasher or something, but you will need to be way more precise."
What is the story behind The Surge and what inspired it?
It’s inspired by today’s world and today’s trends. What’s going to happen in the future. We think not so cool things might happen. For the future we do not pay attention. The Surge is what happens if we don’t pay attention. So the backstory is that you an average guy trying to get a job in a world where it’s not so easy anymore to get a job at all. And he’s working for a company designated to repair the atmosphere of the world with huge fundings. At the beginning he’s getting the super cool expo rig that will help him do heavy duty work. But when he’s getting it fitted he’s blacking out, he doesn’t know what’s going on. Then everything seems to have changed. He’s outside and the company junkyard is attacked by robots, and by people who might have been his former co-workers – he doesn’t know it. Not the best first working day for sure.
Why move to a new property in The Surge rather than pursuing a sequel to Lords of the Fallen?
We were talking with the publisher about a sequel to Lords of the Fallen, but we were not immediately on the same page as we wanted to do. At the same time Focus [Home Interactive] came along and we were talking with them and being able to do this great opportunity with a new brand where we can go very, very free with our ideas. We said, “okay, this sounds really, really good and we can be very creative.” And we really appreciate it.
The Surge is looking to be more fast paced than Lords of the Fallen with its combat. How does this flow affect battles, especially compared to Dark Souls?
We were really thinking to make it a little bit more fast-paced, and also to become more tactical. It will not turn into a slasher or something, but you will need to be way more precise. It adds to the difficulty of the game, because at the same time we have the new system where you can target individual body parts in real time with your analog stick, which gives you a lot of more fighting options there. So it’s more faster, it’s more versatile, and it’s something different.
Will combat in The Surge be as punishing as Dark Souls or will there be varying difficulties of sorts to appeal to a wider variety of players?
We don’t really want to appeal to a certain type of player. We just want to make a really cool and really tough game. So we will not make anything easier or harder, but we want to make it richer. So if you’re really good player there will be more in for you, there will be more ways to figure out to me, more cool loot that you get, more rewards. If you’re not such a good player you’ll need to train a lot.
What kinds of upgrades can players pursue for different combat styles?
Of course there are weapon upgrades, there are a lot of different weapons in the game; ranging from makeshift weapons, to stuff in the factory that you kind of repurpose for fighting. Also security and military weapons that you have in the game. And also the gear you can upgrade your individual armor pieces, you can mix-and-match whatever you like.
And the other thing is that you have what we call implants, which adds a little bit the traditional attributes into game such as skills. You can pick them up, you can also craft them, you can get them from enemies, or loot; and they can really change your perception, they can change your stats and everything. They can even give you health information for your enemies.
"Well the crafting system is really at the core of the whole thing because there are no shops or stuff where you can just buy stuff. You need to craft everything that you want to use on the game."
What are some of the futuristic weapons that players can use in The Surge? Are there a variety of projectile weapons that can be utilized?
It’s not so much about ranged combat, there is stuff that you can use that’s also very exciting. But it’s mostly focused on close combat where you have a lot of different stuff so it can be military weapons, it can be electrical shock weapons, it can be anti-hazard/bio weapons and so on. There’s also some other very nice and very cool stuff that you can use.
The Surge is said to support limb targeting in combat. How does this further increase the tactical options for players?
You can go for a weak undefended parts to have an easier fight with the enemy, but that you don’t get any cool loot. If you target a very well protected part, it’s harder to fight but you get cool loot.
How will the crafting system encourage players to further experiment with different upgrades and abilities?
Well the crafting system is really at the core of the whole thing because there are no shops or stuff where you can just buy stuff. You need to craft everything that you want to use on the game. And so the crafting system will really be at the core of things. You’ll look for the parts and items that you need to craft something. Crafting is all focused around a crafting station, which is more or less like a super modern 3-D printer that will get the stuff that you use.
What kinds of worlds will players explore in their journey throughout The Surge?
They will see a lot of this huge, huge factory complex. But they will be out outside like we saw in this demo; they’ll be inside; they’ll be high up in the sky; they’ll be deep underground; so there’s a lot of variety not only in terms of vistas but also the level set up: is it more horizontal? Is it more vertical? Is it more like small? Is it more big? There’s a lot of different levels in there.
"So we are in pre-Alpha right now and we’re going to release in 2017, and we’ve got it all laid out, we know what we want to do, we need to finish this, and we hope we’re good at it to be there on time."
When can we expect The Surge to release? How far off is it with regards to development time?
So we are in pre-Alpha right now and we’re going to release in 2017, and we’ve got it all laid out, we know what we want to do, we need to finish this, and we hope we’re good at it to be there on time.
Okay this is a big one. I am kind of confident that the game will run at 1080p on the PS4. But what about the Xbox One? Can Xbox One players expect native 1080p resolution?
We try to get as high as possible, and were using the same engine that we were using for Lords of the Fallen. So we have a lot of time to approve it, to optimize it. So hopefully we get a really, really good performance. Whether we can hit 1080p we cannot say yet because this will be more in the polishing state of the game.
There has been a lot of talk regarding Xbox One’s eSRAM as the major culprit behind the lack of 1080p resolution. Do you think things are stable and developers have been able to overcome it now?
I think it really depends on the way you put the assets in your game. More than really the fine-tuning on the tech side. So if you need a lot of frames, yeah, you need to be pretty tricky. We hope we are.
The most recent Xbox One and PS4 SDK update allowed developers to use extra CPU processing power. How has that impacted performance?
I think we try to have a very high frame rate because this game is so much about timing, so this is our first and foremost focus. But on the other hand we also really want to have really cool visuals.. We have our own particle system and there we can really benefit from all the processing power we get. We are a bit scalable.
Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox One Scorpio will launch next year. From a developer and a technical perspective what kind of gaming experiences will be possible with that hardware?
Well you could just wrap things up if you’d like, and you can go in different directions: you can go for frame rate, you can go for resolution, or you can go for content. We don’t want to do two versions of the game for different consoles so we’re not likely going for content. We don’t know yet.
The Scorpio will feature 6 TFLOPs of GPU. Do you think it will be faster than most modern gaming PCs out there?
I’m not so much the expert there, but I think teraflops are most likely superseded by high-speed PCs. And if not today then tomorrow. They are very fast.
Microsoft is touting the Scorpio as the most powerful console every created. Do you think there is a worry that it may cost too much and may appeal only to the hardcore Xbox fans?
I think every new console generation where the greatest and fastest consoles ever created, they all drop down to a reasonable price. So I hope the same will happen here.
So any interest in launching The Surge on the Scorpio next year?
For Scorpio we don’t know yet, we have to see. The announcement is pretty new.