Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition
Top Critic Average
The PS4 port of the hilariously macabre PC game could do with a few operations of its own.
Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition is a one trick pony, and once you've played through the first operation enough times to complete it you'll have stopped laughing. The controls err on frustrating far too often, and while deliberately clumsy, the entire system is too inconsistent to provide much fun.
The novelty and humour soon wears off, but local co-op play is a great addition and perfectionists may get a kick out of the tough challenge of gaining perfect 'A' grades. Too frustrating to be considered fun, though it does get easier with practice.
I'm not saying Surgeon Simulator is a bad game. I mean, it is, but it's supposed to be. The game is interesting in multiple ways, but in the end, I found myself enjoying about three hours of it and then deciding I didn't have the time or the patience to do some of the later surgeries. Still, it is a decently fun time running through it for the first time. Just keep in mind, the novelty wears off faster than the anesthesia.
Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition's concept will almost certainly be lost on a few, but if you play with a combination of patience and trial and error, then you'll often yield positive results. The clunky controls are unforgivable, but its humorous attitude towards surgery is endearing, creating an experience that's as weird as it is funny. This isn't a game for perfectionists looking for a true simulation of a busy A&E department: it's more like a training ground for psychopaths looking to learn the ropes, shave a few eyebrows, and play with lasers.
Although Surgeon Simulator isn't a game for everyone, due to its occasionally frustrating controls and its buckets of spilled blood, it's still a fascinating effort for those looking to have a goofy time with a video game. Plus, it beats playing a game with rather good surgeon controls because, really, what's the fun in that? Bob should have known better than to visit a surgeon advertising via a Groupon, and now he's going to pay.
Surgeon Simulator Anniversary Edition finds fun in frustration by laying out vague goals that can only be completed by mastering awkward controls.
I enjoyed the idea of Surgeon Simulator, but the difficulty made the game futile more than entertaining. Flinging internal organs about was fun (and quite disgusting), but I personally can't think of anyone I know who would enjoy trying so hard to score decently on a game like this for all of the many levels– except maybe my crazy husband. Even with its frustrations, I'm glad I own it, played it, and can refer to it as a "hilarious, crazy video game" in conversation.
Make no mistake, Surgeon Simulator Anniversary Edition is a joke of a game. But that's the whole point. It's meant to confuse players, it's meant to make you wonder if you should leave a power drill inside a lung cavity. But for folks who have already played the game on PC, it might be an old joke already. For newcomers, I'd highly recommend the madcap game, which is packed to the gills with extras and insane details resulting in grisly deaths on the operating table. For returning fans, it might be time to move on and leave poor Bob alone on the operating table.
Surgeon Simulator Anniversary Edition is still giant dripping bucket of stupid fun - and most of the new content is great - but absent is the howling laughter and pure novelty from its debut. Playing it all again, it's more of a tedious game and less of a pristine collection of interactive nonsense. If it's your first time, however, managing Surgeon Simulator's commitment to inane detail alongside its savage construction is a great ride.