Surgeon Simulator Anniversary Edition is a small add-on to the cult hit, Surgeon Simulator. Adding new environments, features and surgeries, it looks to address some of the short comings of the original version. But is it a real improvement, or just more of the same?
Two new surgical procedures have been added, bringing the total up to 5. Added in the Anniversary Edition are teeth-pulling and eye surgery. This is something that the base game badly needed, as repeating the same 3 operations in different environments felt a bit repetitive. Fitting with the calamitous theme of the game, the new surgeries are still fiendishly difficult and tragically humorous to watch - although I did become concerned with how blasé I became toward unfortunate accidents concerning my patient’s eyeball and face - I just wanted to pass the objective!
The teeth-pulling surgery is the stuff of pre-dental appointment nightmares. I actually believe - given how my own dentist tends to work - that ‘Surgeon Simulator’ becomes a much more accurate title than it had before! For those that enjoyed the original surgeries, there’s more of the same fun to be had here. They’ve done a good job in creating additional surgeries that complement the base game and don’t feel out of place. They feel like a natural progression and retain all of the same character, player choice and potential for disaster as the originals.
Release Date: 14/08/2014
Available on: Linux, Mac, PS4, Windows, PC Download
Play the Game
New Operating Environment
The good news - the Anniversary Edition added new environments as well, bringing some much needed extra content to what was otherwise a repetitive slog through levels. The bad news - there’s only one and it comes in the form of another operation that’s based in a moving environment, in this case running down a hospital corridor, bringing with it the frustrations of the ambulance missions from the base game. There isn’t enough of a mechanical difference here for the new environment to be a positive addition – it is just a re-skin, more than anything else.
As a small quality of life improvement, Bossa Studios have also added a stat tracking feature, allowing you to monitor your performance over your previous nine operations. It’s a very minor improvement, and again one that doesn’t really add a great deal of value to the gameplay experience. I’m not sure why this had to be part of a paid expansion rather than a free update.
For those that loved the base game, the Anniversary Edition basically adds more of what they loved. Slightly different surgeries and a slightly different environment are added, along with a bunch of new achievements for those that enjoy full completion play throughs. The new content is more fun to have with friends - perhaps a good party game is to find the most inventive way to mess up eye surgery - and the graphical upgrade (platform dependent) is a generous touch that the developers didn’t need to work on.
Does it really improve the game that much? I don’t think it does. There’s nothing addressed here for people who found the original to be frustrating or lacklustre. They haven’t tweaked the physics engine or how well your arm, hand and fingers respond to controller input. You still only have one arm that for some reason juts out of your abdomen and obscures everything underneath it. The addition of another moving environment is not going to attract people who didn’t find their to be enough content in the first game, or became board with the repetitive nature of the surgeries - they’ve added more of the same, but nothing that really changes the game in any meaningful way.
While it is a cheap piece of DLC, there isn’t a great deal of content included - indeed they’ve added more content through free updates than is included here - and I think some people will be reluctant to pay for such minor additions.
Should You Get It?
If you loved Surgeon Simulator 2013, then picking up the Anniversary Edition content is sure to bring you more enjoyment. It gives you some new challenges and new potential for malpractice shenanigans. The new surgeries are by far the best addition and something that veterans should find at least as enjoyable as the originals, if not more so.
However, if you didn’t particularly enjoy the base game, then this add-on isn’t going to do anything for you. Nothing has been fixed, mechanics haven’t been tweaked and there’s no change here that drastically alters how the game plays. The controls are still clunky and the missions within moving environments are still as frustrating as ever.
I think overall that Bossa Studios have done enough to secure an audience for a sequel and this expansion can be seen as icing on the cake for people who enjoyed the initial release – but the evolution required to ensure the success of a sequel won’t be easy.
Play the Game
Surgeon Simulator Anniversary Edition Content is developed by Bossa Studios.