One of the surprise games to come out in May was Deck13 Interactive’s The Surge, a hardcore, body-horror sci-fi game for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The story unfolds in an almost non-linear way, given that players have to seek out the small details to understand what happened. For gamers curious about the story and the ending, this article will attempt to explain it for you.
The game starts with a disabled man named Warren who visits the Creo Corporation as part of his new work there. Warren has no use of his legs from the waist down, but thanks to Creo’s biomechanical augmentations through their exo-suits, Warren is able to walk again. However, during the procedure to install the exo-suit, things go horribly wrong, and the anesthetics fail to administer while the automated surgical process begins to drill holes into and cut up Warren’s body.
Warren screams in agonizing pain as his body goes through an irreversible process of both evolution and mutilation.
The trauma from the surgery forces Warren to black out, and when he finally comes to – a long while later – he’s being dragged toward a refuse pile by a maintenance droid. From here, Warren begins a desperate attempt to survive through the homicidal robots, exo-suits and androids run amok throughout the Creo Corporation’s compound.
Warren begins the seemingly impossible task of struggling through Creo, fending himself off from psychotic augs and droids. Along the way Warren is guided through the Creo facility by Sally, who uses the comms to communicate with available survivors while trapped in the Executive Forum. Sally and Warren keep each other updated about what’s happening throughout Creo, as Warren undergoes massive upgrades in order to survive against the rampant augs and droids.
Warren ends up encountering other survivors along the way, including a drug-dependent Davey, and the feisty Irina Beckett, the latter of which is an engineer who begins to lose her mind and adapts the personality of a security personnel.
Despite his best efforts, Warren seems to be in a losing struggle to save people from the psychotic security personnel, the killer constructor bots, the deadly maintenance droids, and the other manic augs in the exo-suits.
Eventually Warren makes his way through the greenhouse facilities at Creo and meets biochemist Dr. Melissa Chavez, where he finally discovers more about one of the company’s big projects to restore the Earth and save humanity: Project Resolve.
Dr. Melissa Chavez was originally at the forefront of project Resolve, which was supposed to be a revolutionary way to move humanity forward and save the world by rebuilding the atmosphere. Unfortunately, Chavez was upended by another executive, Dr. Gene Barrett, after Resolve had some deadly, toxic side-effects. Dr. Barrett promised the Creo board that he could produce a cheaper alternative in less time known as Project Utopia.
As Warren makes his way through the Creo production labs, he discovers the Proteus biomechanical androids, whch are the result of Project Utopia. Dr. Gene Barrett’s Project Utopia is known as Homo Machinalis, an attempt to integrate bio-nanite machines into the human anatomy from the inside out, stripping away the organic matter of the human body while reconstituting the body into an android.
Barrett’s Utopia division had been pulling in people off the streets, as well as recruiting a number of other dropouts and social refuse, using them as test subjects for Project Utopia. Audio logs revealed that the test subjects went through painful, horrible body mutations as the nanites slowly imbued necrosis over their living tissue and began growing mechanical pieces through their body by feeding and transforming the organic tissue from the inside out, turning it into a new kind of mechanical bio-organism.
According to Dr. Barrett, the human species would have never survived on its current path and Project Utopia would be a way to preserve humans through the bonding of mechanical bio-evolution.
Nevertheless, Warren leaves Dr. Barrett and continues to make his way to the Executive Forum, where he ends up facing off against Echelon 9’s elite Black Cerberus security.
Through the audio logs it’s revealed that the CEO of Creo, Jonah Guttenberg, eventually came to terms with the fact that Creo failed; failed in their mission to save Earth; failed humanity. He admits that his hubris blinded him to what Project Utopia was really about, and how horrific it actually was.
The PR spokesman for Creo, Don Hackett, gives Warren insights throughout his journey with various promotional vignettes that play throughout the facility. However, when Warren finally gets to Hackett, he discovers a video suicide note from Hackett who apologizes to his wife and reminisces about his lack of support as a father to his child. Following the video, Hackett hangs and kills himself in the broadcasting studio for Creo.
By the time Warren reaches the executive board room, he discovers that all the executive board members are dead from when the surge initially jolted through the Creo facility.
Sally had attempted to save the board members but failed, and it turns out she was an AI attempting to carry out basic Creo functions, but eventually stopped working by the time Warren reaches the executive board room.
By the time Warren reaches Creo’s Nucleus fracility, he finally encounters the advanced stages of the nanite growth; mutant, hardened mechanisms that have turned into protuberant growth spreading through the Creo facility. The final form of organisms turning into Utopia are shapeless, abstract monsters, with no voice, no body, and no will of their own.
Dr. Chavez, alternatively, had a plan to stop Project Utopia – especially since Creo was planning on launching a nanite rocket into the atmosphere to spread it around. Chavez designed a virus to infect and stop Utopia so long as the virus is uploaded into the core of Utopia. Warren manages to recover the virus and inject it into the server that Utopia is attached to.
Eventually Warren fights his way into the nest hive of Utopia, where he discovers that fragments of human consciousness still reside inside the core of Utopia, known as a Rogue Process. He defeats the consciousness while the rocket with the virus on it takes off.
Unfortunately, Warren’s efforts are rendered somewhat moot, as additional rogue processes from Utopia still roam the Creo facility, attacking a separate security team that was dispatched to sweep the facility.
Before the credits roll, a cinematic plays showing Warren crawling on the ground, his legs as useless as they were when he first entered Creo; his exo-suit powers down and fails. He reaches out desperately to a wheelchair just beyond his grasp… as the screen fades to black.
TL; DR: Two scientists working at Creo Corporation develop methods to save humanity. Both methods fail. However, the one method, known as Project Utopia, is a parasitic nanite designed to eat away at human flesh and reproduce bio-mechanisms from the inside out, theoretically making the human immortal. However, Utopia begins to mutant and grow, and eventually there’s a surge in throughout the Creo facility, rendering everyone with neural implants hooked up to the network susceptible to the Utopia nanites. A paralyzed man named Warren receives a neural implant and upgrades and fights his way through the facility, eventually getting a hold of a virus that can stop Utopia, but he only manages to stop it from spreading outside of Creo. The rogue consciousness of Utopia continued to haunt Creo even after Warren’s attempt to shut it down.