Surgeon Simulator received a lot of buzz when it initially released on PC, not because it was an authentic surgeon simulation game, but because of how absurd it is. After watching videos, I was intrigued and tried out the game. I saw the humor in it, but wasn’t a fan because the controls were horrible (by design to a degree) for me. When I heard it was coming to PS4, I knew I wanted it because a controller would be better for me.
Note that the game still controls horribly, again by design. That’s part of its, and maybe its only, charm. You only have one hand, and on PS4 your thumb and index finger are controlled by one button and your other three fingers are controlled by another button. This, for me, is a lot better than each finger having a separate control like with a keyboard.
Despite trying, and trying, I could never complete the first surgery on the PC version. On the PS4 version, I’ve been able to do all of them (on the operating table) but the teeth (which from what I can gather is suppose to be the easiest, go figure). So in that regard, I can “understand” the controls and work with them. You have the option of rotating your hand with either the built in motion control of the DS4, or with the right stick. I use the right stick, because I find it easier for me. There’s also something you can do with the PlayStation Eye, but as I don’t have one, I didn’t get to try that method.
The “simulator” in the title of this game is a joke. You aren’t simulating surgery here, and that’s a good thing. Instead, you’re tasked with one mission per operation. The operations are heart transplant, double kidney transplant, brain transplant, eyes transplant, and teeth transplant. Completing all of these open up more difficult versions, like on an alien or in a moving ambulance, and so on. I haven’t gotten that far yet.
Nothing else matters in the game though. If Bob needs two kidneys, you’re going to have to pull out the intestines, rip out the liver, and remove the stomach. Finally, you’re going to have to cut the kidney’s lose, try to pull them out (was actually the hardest part for me), and then put the two new kidney’s in their place. You can throw away all the other stuff… who needs intestines, stomach, liver, lungs, or whatever else?
Of course if you do too much damage (like say start sawing into the patient), they’ll begin losing blood. If it drops to zero, then congratulations you have committed brutal murder. You can stop the blood lose though by giving them an injection from the green syringe. Just be careful you don’t poke yourself with it, because if you the operation is going to get a lot harder because you’re going to be drug induced trip filled with bright colors and swaying.
Surgeon Simulator cost $13 on PS4, and it’s hard to say that it’s worth it. It’s not going to appeal to a lot of people. Some won’t see the humor in the absurdity of it. Others, who aren’t familiar with the game and expect more of an actual simulator (and I don’t know why anyone would expect such a thing from a game with Simulator in the title) are going to be hugely disappointed.
But, if you can find the humor in cutting goggles off a patient, stabbing his eyes with a scalpel and then pulling, beating him the head until his eyes pop out of the socket, cutting the cord to get his eyes completely out of his head, and then just popping new ones, then your $13 is going to provide a lot laughs. It’s also going to give quite a challenge and some frustration as well; but all in good fun.
The controls are horrible (though better/easier than PC), but this is one game where that’s not a complaint. Surgeon Simulator isn’t for everyone, but if you’re familiar with it and know what to expect, the PS4 version is the best version and will provide ample fun.
Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition gets a three out of five: GOOD.
* A PSN code was provided by the publisher for review.