As it turns out, I was farther into A Walk in the Park than I had thought and managed to finish it off fairly quickly. Not that it’s obvious when it ends; since the expansion is incorporated into the base game, the story can’t have a Throne of Bhaal-type conclusion, instead ending after its second boss fight when things are only slightly less bad than they were at the beginning. Then you’re given a map to the Executive Forum, which I took as a hint that it was time to go back to the base game. Still, the fact that I found myself more interested in running around looking for things that I missed speaks to how solid A Walk in the Park is despite one or two minor issues.
And let’s talk about those minor issues
All throughout the game, you’re taught that green power cores become orange and start beeping when attacked, at which point they become proximity mines that can do huge amounts of damage. When I came into a room full of orange power cores, then, I naturally assumed that they were set up to keep me from saving a nearby NPC by simply walking up and helping him. It seemed obvious that walking within range of one would set off a huge chain explosion. Because of that, you can see me exercising caution in the video above while looking for another way to deal with them. There isn’t one; you have to figure out that their lack of beeping indicates that they’re safe despite their color. Inconsistency like this drives me crazy.
I assumed that the new enemy type with the long attack range would be restricted to larger areas, but there’s one point where it notices Warren and runs up to engage him on a bridge. You can lead it to a slightly larger area, but it’s still small, and this fight goes about as clumsily as you’d imagine because of that. Thankfully, there’s a shortcut you can activate after getting past it to ensure that this is a one-time occurrence, but I nevertheless have to question the enemy placement here.
A Walk in the Park’s second and final boss is great. It feels like a lot like the base game’s final boss with the phases inverted, and the area you engage it in is large enough that its eventual size doesn’t become an issue. That having been said, I have no idea what happened in the video above. I wasn’t doing wonderfully to have so little health, of course, but it’s not obvious what killed me. At first I thought this was the camera’s fault for not following Warren, but it seems that I got hit by something before that point when I leaped back despite nothing actually making contact. Even weirder, Warren zips back impossibly fast as his life bar empties.
But the good outweighs the bad
The Surge was a really enjoyable game for the most part, and A Walk in the Park takes everything that made it good and focuses on it. It even spends a little time humanizing Warren by including audio logs between him and his (ex?) girlfriend that can be found littered about, which is ultimately one of those small touches that adds a lot. The two evidently visited Creo World at some point before an accident put him in a wheelchair (or possibly after; her phrasing isn’t as revealing as it could be on this point), and since Creo appears to have the same dedication to user privacy that Facebook does, these conversations are left lying around in plain sight. In fairness, there’s a bit early on where the park recognizes Warren and syncs “private media” to his “CREO work account,” but it’s difficult to derive any specific meaning from that kind of vague technobabble. I’m still not a fan of The Surge’s lack of clarity.
When I finally had my fill of wandering around and slaughtering theme park mascots and used the train to return to the base game, though, I was sad that it was over, and that’s always a good sign. If Deck13 ever makes The Surge 2, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for them to embrace the humor and strangeness that they tapped into for A Walk in the Park. There’s a lot of promise here begging to be expanded upon.