The Surge seemed to delight in throwing the player into a bunch of dark, claustrophobic hallways and vents, so setting the expansion in what appears to be a sunny theme park gone horribly awry comes across as a bit of a strange decision. That’s what appealed to me about it, though, because I’m all about the strange decisions; A Walk in the Park doesn’t appear to go as far as, say, Far Cry 3 did with its Blood Dragon expansion, but fighting a bunch of malfunctioning theme park mascots who happen to shoot lasers out of their eyes is simply a brilliant bit of subversion unlike anything else in the Soulsy genre, and it’ll be interesting to see whether it commits to such weirdness or settles back into its old vent habits.
There’s actually a train near Irina now
It used to be that the stairs where you first meet Irina led to train tracks that weren’t used for anything, but the expansion adds a train that you can take to begin the first part of A Walk in the Park. There’s a second part that only becomes available once you get to Research and Development (or so I’ve read), but I had a save in NG+ near the train, and both parts of the expansion are supposedly available when you’re in NG+ without the need to continue making progress in the base game.
Feeling like someone’s helping is kind of nice
Things go sideways the second the expansion begins, naturally, but what caught me off guard more than anything was when someone started talking to me as I made my way to him. Granted, there were several people who were friendly enough in the base game, but they didn’t really help Warren so much as occasionally pop up in a cameo-type capacity. I haven’t made much progress yet, but this Largo guy kept in communication when I pushed forward, and I really hope that keeps up as the game continues. Sadly, nice people tend to end up horribly murdered in apocalyptic situations, but there’s no reason why we can’t keep in contact before he bites it.
These eye beams that several enemies have are incredibly tricky to dodge. Then again, I haven’t really settled back into the controls yet, and the timing of it all is also going to take some getting used to. Instead of running ahead and trying to learn on the fly, I spent a few hours grinding the early areas to become more comfortable with the mechanics and pick up enough Tech Scrap to unlock some new implant slots.
There’s already a lot of new stuff
At one point, I took too much time wandering around and a parade of enemies playing steel drum music started coming after me. I wasn’t in any state to fight so many of them, so I ran past them back to Ops. When I poked my head out of the door to make sure they were gone, though, one of them hit me with its lasers. I eventually got my revenge (in the video above, obviously), but I definitely wasn’t expecting this “Popcorn Parade”—which is what the achievement calls them—to wander through like that. Another new feature can be seen at the very end of the video when a normal human enemy in an exoskeleton drops a green power core. These things can be shot with your drone or attacked directly, at which point they become proximity mines capable of damaging both you and enemies. Neat.
If you’re not going to play music, then I will
While I was grinding and relearning all of the different combos, it got a little depressing that there wasn’t any music playing, so I took advantage of the PS4’s ability to play music from a USB stick and decided to grind while listening to something wholly at odds with the base game’s seriousness. I already had the Gravity Rush 2 soundtrack on my USB stick, so I decided to massacre a bunch of theme park mascots to its weirdly uplifting themes. Personally, I think it fits.