Ever since its release last year, Surgeon Simulator has gained a cult following from the Steam crowd. I’ve played it in short (and usually drunken) bursts, so assumed the unintuitive controls was due to my failings. But that’s not the case, Surgeon Simulator in general controls like a wet fart and yet for some reason it works.
The premise of the game is simple, it’s pretty much summed up in the games title. However take the term Simulator with a pinch of salt. Most if not all of the surgery’s you perform are pretty life threatening to your patients whether you succeed or fail, I’m sure someone wouldn’t survive after you held (and probably dropped) a patient’s brain in your hand. The end result is the key to progressing and nothing else really matters, need to replace a heart? Just smash open the patients rib cage, remove any organs in the way and put in the heart and the operation is deemed a success. With all the bodily carnage you still need to monitor the patient’s blood level however, if you go too far and the blood level reaches 0, then you fail.
One major criticism of the title has always been its lack of content. The Anniversary Edition attempts to resolve this with the addition of new eye and teeth operations, additional environments, stat tracking, PSN trophies and boasts “fully functioning cups”. Even with these additions the package can seem quite bare and you can whizz through the content in a few hours. Of course the completionists among us will be able to squeeze a few more hours from the content. An upcoming patch will also add a two-player co-op feature, this will allow a second player to either assist or hinder an operation, it will no doubt add to the already random nature of the game.
As mentioned before, the game handles in quite unintuitive manner. You control the surgeons hand and have to pick up items/tools and utilise them correctly to complete the operation. It sounds simple on paper, in reality it’s quite tough to control. It will take hours of your time to master the controls and the difficulty at times can lead to real frustration. This frustration is instantly removed of course once you somehow successfully complete an operation, also some the randomness and cleverly hidden easter eggs remind you this a game that shouldn’t at all be taken seriously.
The blood and gore is handled comically, but at times you can find yourself feeling quite squeamish. It doesn’t go out of its way too much to gross you out, however the nature of the content is a bit gross out at moments. I personally don’t like blood, so found myself screaming “Ewwwwwwwwww” at moments. The sound effects especially are quite yucky (in a good way).
Surgeon Simulator was a success on PC and it’s now a success on PS4. It’s a simple port which doesn’t really push its new hardware, but in the end it doesn’t matter. This is certainly something unique and is a game meant to be played in the knowledge that you’re pretty much here to mess about. The welcome addition of more content certainly adds to the package and you’ll get back as much as you want to put in. The game certainly won’t turn you in a leading surgeon as the title may suggest, but if you’ve always wanted to put syringes in a patients eyes and laugh at the hilarity, you won’t find a better place to do it than here.