By John Walker on September 12th, 2011 at 9:01 am.
After the rumours spilled out, EA and Starbreeze’s well known secret is finally official. Syndicate (the official site isn’t yet working, but should be there) has been announced, and yes, it’s an FPS. And yes, it offers four-player co-op. And it’s only called “Syndicate” so far. Surprisingly, it’s due out early next year. They’re describing it as a “revival”. Because when you think Syndicate, you think “a unique and brutal sci-fi first-person shooter experience”. Right?
S’funny. S’funny being a hypocrite. When XCOM was announced as an FPS my thoughts were, “Oh, get over it. You’ve already got XCOM, you’ve got all the XCOM sequels, and this new one isn’t going to make them go away. They won’t turn into an FPS just because the new one is. And hey, it might be good!”
And yet this time I’m thinking, “WHAT?! Syndicate? SYNDICATE? But it’s a top-down action-strategy! It’s… But… It’s…” and so on.
Set in 2069, it is at least set in the Syndicate universe. Three megacorps, Eurocorp Cayman Global and Aspari – are fighting to control America in a world without governments. And players have a DART 6 bio-chip in their brains, which allows them to slow down time, and essentially hack the real world. Or as they’re calling it, “chip breach gameplay”.
Jeff Gamon, Exec Prod of EA Partners, attempts to put Syndicate fans’ minds at rest:
“Our goal with Syndicate is to provide a challenging action shooter for today’s gamers as well as fans of the original. I’m sure they will enjoy and recognize the legacy that made it such a classic. Fans of the franchise will recognize many weapons and environments in the game, but in a whole new way. The game also provides a separate and deep 4-player co-op mode featuring missions from the original cult classic, which adds another layer of depth to the overall experience.”
So yes: the same thoughts as XCOM. No – it’s not Syndicate as anyone who ever thought, “I wish they’d make another Syndicate” would want it. But on the other more practical hand, it’s a new game made by the team who created The Chronicles Of Riddick, Starbreeze, who are really good at what they do. And if they carry on the spirit of the Bullfrog classic, then who knows, maybe it will be enough to see Kieron re-donning his flowing leather jacket? We can’t possibly know for now. But remember: it doesn’t make the original Syndicates go away. You’ve only ‘lost’ imagined potential. No harm has been done.