Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition Review

It says a lot about Sony’s recent attitude when it comes to what it allows on its consoles. Not a week seems to go by where there isn’t a new Indie title coming out on their system. Many of them have still been what you would consider traditional game types. However, the simulator genre is something that only a few small months ago would only have been found on the PC.

So seeing Surgeon Simulator on the PS4 really highlights that anything can find a home on PSN. It isn’t at a stage yet where there is zero quality control, but the fact that games that don’t exactly have mass appeal are appearing shows what a great range of choice we as gamers now have, no matter what system we own.

Surgeon Simulator isn’t exactly something that has an end game as such and it is better suited for purely mucking around and having a laugh with, because despite being a ‘simulator’ it is as serious as a David Zucker written film.

The idea is you control a single arm of a surgeon and must perform a series of operations using the various tools on hand. It starts off ‘easy’ as you perform a simple heart transplant, using a hammer to crack open the patients ribs, before pulling out the lungs to reach the heart, before eventually replacing it.

Unlike a game such as the excellent Trauma Center, precision control isn’t exactly the order of the day. You move the arm around using the left stick, control the angle of the hand using either motion controls or the right stick, a trigger for the height of the arm and R1/R2 for gripping.

The controls themselves are in essence horrible to use, as the first few times you play it is difficult to even pick up a tool correctly, let alone use said tool. You’ll find yourself flinging a hammer across the patience exposed rib-cage, maybe even losing the hammer completely, before moving to a drill and causing your patient to lose a hell of a lot of blood.

There is a game over state, as humans, as a rule have a finite amount of blood, lose too much and we die and the same is true here. Once your patient starts to lose blood you’ll be shown how much they are losing per second and how much they have left before they die. Once this happens panic starts to set in and more and more mistakes happen.

But little do you actually care. It doesn’t matter if you suck at this game, because it is designed to be somewhere to have some fun and just muck around. Which is why the awkward controls just add to the experience and why the game is designed to make life a difficult as possible. If this was serious and had precise controls, then it simply wouldn’t be fun.

As it stands, Surgeon Simulator is fun but is single player only, but there is a a patch coming that allows a second player to control a second arm. This alone sounds like a great addition and can only ramp up the enjoyment when played locally with a friend or family member.

Right now though, you have to make do with taking turns, but in all honesty it is fine, as you fumble around yourself before handing the controls over and mocking the next person as they try to do better than you. It is a great family game, but is even better again with a few friends and a few drinks.

Surgeon Simulator is far from being a must own, it isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but for those who fancy something that doesn’t take itself seriously and just wants you to have a laugh, then this is an ideal pick up.