A Rumour Renewed: Syndicate Resyndicated?

By Alec Meer on March 31st, 2009 at 2:43 pm.

More than renewed, in fact – Gamesindustry.biz reckons it’s had cast-iron confirmation from a source that EA and Starbreeze (Chronicles of Riddick, The Darkness) are, as speculated last year, working on a brand-new Syndicate game.

Which is happy-hands-in-the-air time for long-term PC gamers. As long as they don’t mind that (most probably) no-one from the original Syndicate team will be involved. And that the odds of it being a zoomed-out strategy kinda thing rather than over-the-shoulder mega-death fun are practically zero. But it’s a highly respected developer with a history of morally-ambiguous protagonists, tackling an ever-beloved theme of semi-malevolent corporations treating humanity with near-total disdain – it’s very unlikely to be Syndicate as we know it, but it certainly seems like a smart pairing.

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79 Comments »

  1. Buckermann says:

    I remember that map.
    Am I old now?

  2. Kompi says:

    I’d quite liked the original Syndicate myself (even if it flew a tad over my head at the time, seeing how this was during my less enlightened youth) but on the other hand never could get into Syndicate Wars. The turnover wasn’t seamless enough for me and I never spent enough time to actually get into it afterwards. That said, I didn’t consider it ruined either, just less.. well.. too much like what X-Com: Apocalypse was to UFO: Enemy Unknown, I suppose.

    Somehow, the idea of a third Syndicate game actually makes me giddy; if anything, seeing former titles I’d expect Starbreeze to be able to handle the setting. What they make of it.. I’m not sure, but I expect them to “get it” on a thematic level atleast. Of course, being rather easy to please (I rather liked Fallout 3, for one), so long they get the persuadertron right I could imagine myself potentially squeal with glee if they so announce they’re turning it into Pongsuadertron or Sim Syndicate.

  3. Arathain says:

    I think Syndicate is a bit like XCOM. The first did its thing so well why would you even want a sequel? Since you have such a great world why not give a slightly different perspective on it?

    That said, I did love Syndicate Wars. The first time I saw Satellite Rain is one of my Great Lifetime Gaming Moments.

    *boo-deep*
    I wonder what that odd noise wa…
    *WHOOOSH-KABLAAAM….WHOOOSH_KABLAAM*
    Aieee!

  4. Panther says:

    I think bhlaab summed up my sentiments exactly.

  5. leeder_krenon says:

    BRING ME THE GOOSE GUN

  6. Bobby says:

    WHY make a [Shadowrun/Fallout/Deus Ex/Syndicate] game that isn’t even close to what [said franchises] actually IS?

    While there may be varying reasons like trying to surf on an old title’s popularity but an important one for publishers is that trademarks become vulnerable if you don’t use them. Bringing Syndicate back from the dead allows EA to reassert their rights to Syndicate. They’re sitting on a bunch of old trademarks for fear of others exploiting them if they let go so they may as well make use of them.

  7. Pidesco says:

    It might turn out a good game, but it won’t be Syndicate.

  8. Tony says:

    COOPER TEAM

  9. BourbonStreetHotel says:

    pleeeeese don’t frak it!

  10. Alec Meer says:

    Listen up, grumpies – if you’ve some argument as to why you think this game’ll fail then please make it, but mindless poison-spitting gets (and has been, in ‘orrible droves) deleted.

  11. PC Monster says:

    Starbreeze can do no wrong, in my eyes, all due to to Escape from Butcher Bay. But when I read the word ‘syndicate’ my mind fetched up a vision of that old Atari ST FPS, Corporation (Core Design, 1990). How cool would a remake of that be, given the FPS pedigree this company has?

  12. Nallen says:

    Couldn’t be happier – Unlike the Deux Ex and Fallout…people…I can see that making a sequel is infinitely more likey to produce something worthy of the name than doing NOTHING AT ALL.

    And if it fails, so what, my appreciation of Syndicate is not some rolling mean average that gets dragged down by poor sequels. See Another World :) / Flashback :) / Fade to Black :(

  13. Nallen says:

    Deus* :|

  14. RogB says:

    @PC Monster

    I often dream of a modern ‘Corporation’ remake. Not many people remember that one. Pant-shittingly terrifying, if I remember righly…. great intro too!

  15. Hmm-hmm. says:

    *drones* Syndicate. Syndicate. … Syndicate. Syndicate. */drones*

    Also, colour me interested.

  16. Sinnerman says:

    I get the impression that a lot of these “retro” re-imaginings are being done for the morale of the game developers. Letting them work on well loved franchises is good for their souls or something but sadly us gamers who enjoy the gameplay of classic games can be left out in the cold as it isn’t about us at all. We just get hated on for having temerity enough to harsh everybody’s vibe.

  17. SuperNashwan says:

    My discontent with Starbreeze’s lack of experience with online multiplayer appears to have been purged. Personally I consider it relevant to what a ‘next-gen’ Syndicate sequel would turn out like so here it is again without sweary disappointment.

  18. Levictus says:

    I am pretty sure the new version will suck. It will be designed to appeal to casual players, it will have 50 Cent as a playable characters and a “Halo mode”. They are not going to make it good!

  19. yhancik says:

    Being pretty sure that the rumoured adaptation of a great game by a reliable studio will suck sounds pretty unreasonable to me.
    And what the heck in a “Halo mode” ?

    Oh I hope your comment was brilliant satire :p

  20. bhlaab says:

    I get the impression that a lot of these “retro” re-imaginings are being done for the morale of the game developers. Letting them work on well loved franchises is good for their souls or something but sadly us gamers who enjoy the gameplay of classic games can be left out in the cold as it isn’t about us at all. We just get hated on for having temerity enough to harsh everybody’s vibe.

    That’s what annoys me, mostly. Things like ChaosSmurf’s comment at the top there as though fans of these old games have no right to complain.

    Meanwhile, I’m thinking what right does Bethesda have to take a look at Fallout and say “Hmmm, you know what, Black Isle did it wrong.”

    You’re absoloutely right, these remakes aren’t for the fans of the originals at all. But I don’t agree that it’s chicken soup for the developer’s soul either.
    It’s for the publishers to make bank on the goodwill someone else cultivated ten years ago. And then dumb it down and simplify it because focus groups gave off the impression that every human being is an idiot.

  21. Sinnerman says:

    @bhlaab, if they have a market of people who are happy with the quality of their games and they enjoy making them then they are doing better than many people. As long as I don’t have to live with some game industry central committee diktat that I have to buy and cherish all games that are produced by approved games production facilities then it doesn’t really affect me. I would have been happier if EA gave Syndicate to Introversion but nothing is making me follow or buy a game that I don’t want.

  22. D says:

    @Nallen: You’re wrong in that you think other people consider their enjoyment of a series, as an average or mean.

    The simple problem with continuations like Fallout 3 is that they take away something aswell – the potential for a better re-imagining. It’s the same as with the SW episodes 1 2 3, while they didn’t ruin the originals, they made sure we’ll never get anything better.

    In the case of Synd and Deus Ex, I don’t really see the problem. We don’t know that much about either, so theres no cause to concern yet.

  23. OJ287 says:

    What bhlaab said.

    As far as I can see all they are doing is using an existing IP to paste onto their product. It could have come from books, films, comics, wherever. It just happens that it came from another game. I’ll wait til Ive played it but I dont expect it to have anything in common with Syndicate beyond the superficial.

    Its Just Another Game. Not a sequel.

  24. J. Edgar Hoover says:

    Isn’t that screenshot from “Jungle Strike”?

  25. Paul Emil says:

    Hooray! I was fearing that Micro$oft would get Lionhead to churn out a 360-tarded version (Eye candy! No strategic depth! Stupid f*cking Molyhype!) of Syndicate. Given that EA is no longer evil and that Starbreeze has been proven to be a good studio, I’d say that this should turn out to be a good game.

  26. JP says:

    Just curious, where did you RPS guys get that image? I pieced together exactly that screenshot map a few years ago (in DOSBox) and was wondering if it had found its way out into the world somehow… or if someone else had done exactly the same.

    Really tempted now to look at the FreeSynd source code and write a script to dump all the mission maps like that.

  27. terry says:

    JP: I think that’s been doing the rounds as a wallpaper for some time. I got it in 2006 but I’m buggered if I can remember where.

    And woo! More Syndicate cannot be a bad thing – assuming persaudertron and gauss guns are intact, natch.

  28. Dark Father says:

    You are so damn right. It’s coming closer.

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