I get that this video game genre is meant to be challenging, but I don't see how a manual save option for consoles would hurt especially when those playing The Surge on Steam are using quick saves to reload without losing map progress. Those who want to play hardcore with automatic overwrite saves could still do so. PS4 USB saves aren't practical for a game of this nature.
There are many OGs (original gamers) now in their 50s, as well as younger gamers with disabilities (like Wounded Warriors), who no longer have the hand/eye coordination of a teenager and would really enjoy The Surge, but as it is now would never buy it or abandon it in frustration.
I had a blast with the demo, and found the difficulty in the starting area just right which resulted in my purchase of The Complete Edition. When I got to Act II the difficulty increased tenfold. It's so easy to be one-shotted by any enemy or to die a cheap death like falling through a floor title; when you combine that with the respawning of all enemies and no way to save map progression, it becomes extremely frustrating.
All the gear I use is upgraded to Mark II, but it doesn't seem to be making a difference. The lack of regular weapon & armor upgrades is another reason I find The Surge more difficult than other SoulsBorne games. Nioh this is not.
Right now, I am in the area with the Iron Maus armor vending machine and doing my best to keep progressing without throwing in the towel. With the exception of the lack of a manual save system, I really like everything about this game and will be pre-ordering The Surge 2.
From a business standpoint, it would be better to make The Surge accessible to a wider playerbase, and that can be easily done without alienating your amateur, average, or pro gamers. Easy, Normal, and Hard used to be a video game standard and should remain so.