Since August 27th, people have been injecting, amputating and digging around in their intestines again. The new part of the Surgeon Simulator series attracts like its predecessor with bloody macabre scenarios far removed from medical ethics. You don't have to swing the scalpel by yourself this time. In addition to a thick content infusion, the game has a multiplayer mode and community maps. In this test, we will clarify for you whether this community concept for the chaotic simulator will work.
Little simulation for the money?
Anyone expecting a whole blood simulation in the second part of the Surgeon Simulator series should look deep into the tube. Surgery is still a core feature of surgeon simulation, but the spotlight in the operating room has to be shared with aspects from other genres. The focus on the many small puzzles that play a major role in the game's campaign is particularly striking.
The campaign consists of many individual levels, which tell a story piece by piece, which is almost too dark and intriguing for the happy, macabre style of the simulator. The structure of the individual levels is basically all the same. In a chaotic hospital, which even our mentor, Dr. Pamela Preston, apologized to us, we have to puzzle our way into the respective operating room. The electronic doors that separate us from our favorite victim, Bob, are locked on principle and have to be opened by closing electrical circuits. Various obstacles await us even in the operating theater, such as blocked access to the surgical tool. In some cases, we were therefore occupied with the preparation longer than with the actual procedure.
Source: PC Games
A certain out-of-the-box thinking is required on the winding paths through the hospital labyrinth. Of course, your gray cells are only used to a limited extent, because you still need them to carry out an amputation or organ transplant. The puzzle and simulation parts are roughly in balance. We think the approach of pairing the simulation with other genre elements is not that bad. Instead of a remake of the Surgeon Simulator, a completely new game has been created that clearly stands out from the first part and at the same time offers more and more varied content.
Source: PC Games
As in the first part, the control of the operating hand is not for gross motor skills or the chronically impatient. We often hold tools with anatomically absolutely unhealthy postures. Using the tools and body parts feels very unnatural, especially because we only grasp with the whole hand and can no longer control each finger individually as in the predecessor. Also unusual and incredibly impractical in surgery is handling with only one arm – and then also the left one. Our right hand seems to prefer to knead relaxation balls in the smock pocket while working. Overall, moving your own limbs takes getting used to and looks incredibly awkward even after a few hours of surgery. Playing with our patients' lives always remains a motor challenge.
As if that weren't clumsy enough, our hand gets caught on Bob's organs with every slight touch. If we then pull our hand out of the salad in panic, we are horrified to find that the lungs that we actually wanted to let go are still stuck to our hand. To make matters worse, Bob loses a lot of blood, a valuable resource on which success and failure in the operating room largely depends. A display screen reliably tells us how much of the red liquid is still bubbling around in Bob's body. We also receive auditory feedback as soon as the blood level drops due to clumsy amputation attempts or inept organ removal. In a short but helpful tutorial, we are introduced to all of the displays and the manageable number of surgical tools. Unfortunately, a bob bug creeps into it every now and then, because our human guinea pig does not spawn as intended by the game after every botched trial operation. Unfortunately, our only way out of this predicament is to restart the entire tutorial.
Source: PC Games
Due to the extremely gross motor control, funny situations occur again and again in the operating room. After a successful amputation, for example, we wanted to give the heavily bleeding Bob a new arm. However, this landed on the ground without further ado and rolled away as we tried to pick it up again. By the time Bob is finally fully limbed again, we have already exceeded the three-second rule by far and almost lost him due to the enormous loss of blood. If you want to give your creativity more leeway in the operating room, you can even start your own Frankenstein project. Have you always wanted to put heads on freshly sawn off leg stumps? As long as you find the right ingredients for your new creation, you can anatomically let off steam. However, we doubt whether you will make it to the level.
Source: PC Games
With a realistic look, Surgeon Simulator 2 would have become a horror trip for the faint-hearted player. With wise foresight, Bossa Studio has therefore opted for a style suitable for the masses that looks like an animation series for primary school students. This visual children's birthday party knows how to play down the absolutely bloody macabre scenarios and clearly raise the comedy aspect of the game through its ridiculousness. So it happens that the awkward boggling with a scalpel into Bob's innards reminded us of poking around in a colorful pasta salad. To match the crazy humor of the title, there are some cosmetic sillies available to you. Especially with the burned and perforated "Crazy Scientist" outfit, we could identify ourselves particularly well, with all the nonsense we dumped in the operating room.
Community bowel fumbling
Source: PC Games
We have especially grown fond of the simulator's co-op mode. During the campaign you can grab up to three friends and slip into your white smock as one of the four playable characters. The adage "Many cooks spoil the broth" can be transferred wonderfully to the multiplayer mode, because the coordination in the operating room often suffers from the wild bustle of confused amateur surgeons. The art in co-op consists in planning the upcoming steps together, distributing tasks sensibly and minimizing chaos. If the players are motivated and focused on the matter, your work on the operating table is usually very successful. However, if you have a surgeon with troll intentions in the group, the surgical experience together can be either very fun or incredibly frustrating.
Source: PC Games
If you are slowly getting sick of being a surgeon, you can alternatively put your skills as an interior designer to the test. With the same level creator that Bossa Studios used to implement the campaign levels, you can create your own maps and then publish them. The Builder is logically structured and offers tons of possibilities to incorporate your own puzzles and to adapt the mood to the self-conceived setting through the interior and lighting design. Despite the understandable structure, the Creator is initially overwhelming and the many options turn the level building into a time-consuming boss. However, there are limits to your very personal dream surgery, because you can only use a certain number of items from each category in the item catalog. So if you want to build a particularly large or full map, you have to expect a few compromises.
Since you can only integrate puzzles into your level by linking electrical circuits, a certain basic knowledge of physical logic is required to build it up. But those who successfully incorporate this knowledge can create incredibly complex puzzles and light games with input, output and current. The clear YouTube tutorial from Bossa Studios, which can be selected in the game, is at your side, provided you can speak English, with understandable explanations and tips.
One for all, all for one!
Source: PC Games
The Surgeon Simulator community apparently knows how to deal with all the technical and creative possibilities, because the level of the amateur surgeon is full of humor and ingenuity. In addition to the obligatory rebuild of the first Surgeon Simulator, we were able to prepare bloody meals in a cannibal restaurant and fight our way through an escape room with macabre puzzles in Saw style. A rating system helps to keep you away from creative failures and to filter the crème de la crème of the community maps out of the huge crowd.
So the community concept seems to be working for the crazy surgeon simulation. Together or alone, new maps are being built diligently and the existing levels are rummaged through and tried out. This creates completely new approaches that add a lot of (cooperative) operational gameplay to the simulator. It will only be seen in the future whether this initial motivation of the community can hold up in the long term. If you also want to be part of the community of virtual bone breakers and organ wasters, you can purchase Surgeon Simulator 2 exclusively through the Epic Games Store.
Operate with the precision of a Dr. Shiver
"Oops, I accidentally ripped off the patient's arm," no surgeon ever said. Fortunately, Surgeon Simulator 2 doesn't claim to be a particularly realistic game. With the motor skills of a toddler and the accuracy of a shotgun, we have to tinker with the pitiable bob. Together with the simply designed puzzles, the operation levels rarely keep us busy for more than half an hour. At this point, therefore, a little shoutout to all surgeons who carry out far more time-consuming and complex operations and don't get a second bob if they screw it up. I really liked the genre mix of Surgeon Simulator 2, as it brings a lot more variation to the hospital setting. I was always able to find new challenges in the super creative community level. Since every player inevitably comes to a point in time when they have already seen everything in some form or another, the virtual OR may lose its appeal in the long run. The game, on the other hand, is particularly suitable for co-op use and as video or streaming content. The many macabre and funny situations literally scream to be shared with the virtual world!
Surgeon Simulator 2: Four organ salad with a blood cocktail to take away, please! (4) (Source: Bossa Studios)
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