Syndicate ‘Revival’ Is Official, Officially FPS

By John Walker on September 12th, 2011 at 9:01 am.

Hopefully we'll see some proper pictures soon.

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.

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165 Comments »

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  1. jellydonut says:

    It is Syndicate as I would want it. I frankly think the FPS format could work better in the Syndicate universe than the original isometric format ever did.

    /unpopularopinion

    I think it looks promising so far. I am looking forward to it. And no, I’m not some CoD child. I still have the Syndicate game manual and the Syndicate Plus CD-ROM.

    • John Connor says:

      You’re not alone. I wasn’t very old when I played it, so I mostly remember its atmosphere and storyline over how it was played. This interpretation of the franchise is like the one that I was playing in my imagination while my troops fought it out, so I’m pretty excited.

    • Premium User Badge

      Biscuitry says:

      I agree entirely with this. I think Syndicate could work really well as a first-person shooter. Of course, it remains to be seen whether they’ll do more than a half-arsed job with it. The original is well-known for being a triumph of good game design – this reboot is going to have an awful lot to live up to.

    • randomnine says:

      Yeah, Syndicate as an FPS seems like a perfectly fine idea. I don’t remember anything really strategic in Syndicate, just upgrading agents, grabbing weapons, wandering around and opening fire… so honestly a Mass Effect, Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six style squad control FPS with a thin veneer of taking-over-the-world could make for a really good modern Syndicate game.

      X-Com was about detailed, turn-based control of large squads and managing a complex economy (bases, research, squad hiring and firing, even manufacturing ammo clips…). There’s no way the new game can really maintain the core values of the franchise as an FPS, even if it does look fun in its own right. This Syndicate game, though, I’m totally cool with.

      Provided you can still Persuadertron a few dozen civilians and hand out pistols.

    • Balerion says:

      I also agree! The positive energy here makes me want to hug a tree!

      But seriously, this thing (unlike the X-Com… thing… *frowns in its general direction*) might end up being actually really good.

    • bill says:

      I disagree (but not in a ranty angry internet man way).

      The main reason being that it’s BORING. Because syndicate as an FPS is just like every other FPS. It’s a sci-fi shooter with special powers and machine guns.

      The XCOM reboot might be just as sacriligious to some, but at least it looks different from everything else on the market. It has a unique setting and art style.

      I might argue about other points, but the overriding thing is that it’s dull.

    • niasyn says:

      The way I’m picturing this is co-op DX:HR.

      Which is awesome.

  2. Switch625 says:

    The way I see it, there are two sets of potential buyers:
    – people who have never played Syndicate, and won’t care that it’s a Syndicate game
    – people who have played Syndicate, and will be enraged that they’ve made it a FPS

    I really don’t understand why they do this with these franchises.
    If they wanted to make a 4-player, co-op FPS why not do it with a brand new IP?

    Edit: okay, seems there’s a third category which jellydonut above me belongs to. Surely he/she is in the smaller category of the three though?

    • Nallen says:

      They’re too scared. New IP is dangerous.

      Anyway I’m a fan of the first game and I rather like the idea of this. I like the idea of anything where I can walk around in something a bit Bladerunnery. I spend all my time in DXHR grumbling to myself that it’s not raining.

    • Gormongous says:

      I think — and this is just a theory — but I think these companies really and truly believe in the power of franchise, even if it’s illusory. Putting “THE LONG-AWAITED REVIVAL OF THE BELOVED GAMING CLASSIC” probably turns more heads than any new IP ever could, at least in the depths of a corporation’s reptilian brain.

    • wearedevo says:

      I agree partly with Gormongous. But I think it might be even more diabolical than that. I think they know they can rely on the fans of a beloved franchise to thrash and wail and kick up exposure and PR for a new game, even though they’ll ultimately hate it themselves.

    • JackShandy says:

      I’ve heard 90% of new IP dies, but I can’t find the statistics via google.

    • empyrion says:

      Here’s why I don’t like this molding of old IPs into other genres.

      When the new game fails, there probably won’t be a proper revival of the IP in the foreseeable future. When it does do well, the developers/publishers will want to start pumping out a series, which also means the original gameplay will likely never return.

      In either case, the IP will have gotten another meaning for the general public.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      100% of old IP begins as new IP.

    • satsui says:

      I was a huge fan of Syndicate. Making it a FPS pisses me off because FPS games are all the same to me. I don’t find ANY of them fun.

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      Yeah, for chrissake take the name “Syndicate” off of it and I’d almost certainly buy it. It sounds like my kind of game.
      But as stands it’s far too irritating. We play these games for enjoyment. Why would I buy something that’s going to have that constant niggle of irritation attached to it?

  3. Seboss says:

    It’s not really the team behind Riddick since they all pretty much left the company since then.
    But still, a FPS? sigh…

    • Stitched says:

      What the hell are you talking about? The MachineGames guys were 5 people, who happened to have worked on Riddick. You do know it took more than 5 people to make Riddick, yeah?

    • Seboss says:

      Of course, but when the heads of a company leave, the direction of said company tends to change, not always for the best. Just what I’m saying is that maybe we should not expect Riddick’s level of quality as a given.

      And since we’re talking about a FPS Syndicate game, there’s nothing worth arguing about anyway.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      As someone pointed out in the previous Syndicate article comments: http://www.1up.com/features/starbreeze-secret-history

      I really liked TCOR:EFBB, but I wish otherwise well informed games journalists would stop perpetuating the myth that Starbreeze is still the same old dream team that made Riddick and Enclave.

    • kyrieee says:

      “…stop perpetuating the myth that Starbreeze is still the same old dream team that made Riddick and Enclave.”
      That just sounds like something you made up in your own head. They’re not credited for the games they made any more than other studios are. The people who made Diablo 1&2 aren’t making Diablo 3 and not many people really care all that much.

    • Amun says:

      @kyrieee:
      The people make the game, not the studio. Diablo 3 is not being made by Blizzard North, and the difference could not be more clear. If starbreeze made a decent game in the past, but all the people who worked on it are gone, we can’t rely on their track record.

  4. coldvvvave says:

    For christsakes FPS does not equals CoD, there is no need to overreact until first vid is shown. THEN you rage all you want. Just remember that Syndicate was pretty much an action game with top-dpwn perspective, not a complicated turn-based strategy game with a Geoscape like you-know-what.

    • Sian says:

      In the original, you controlled four agents. I don’t see that happen in an FPS and that makes for one HUGE difference.

    • godgoo says:

      I second this opinion, when I first played Deus Ex I actually remember saying to someone how cool it would be if they made a syndicate game in that vein. That was in 2000 though when I was young and less grouchy and protective about my childhood memories. Also bashing things on the internet wasn’t yet regarded as the highest form of intellectual debate.

    • Nick says:

      it had a world map ¬_¬

    • Optimaximal says:

      In the original, you controlled four agents. I don’t see that happen in an FPS and that makes for one HUGE difference.

      SWAT 3/4, Brothers in Arms, Republic Commando. Three FPSs, each with a different way of properly implementing a full squad dynamic.

      Squad-based games *can* work in a first-person format. It just needs to be built around it.

    • coldvvvave says:

      @Sian

      No, you controlled a guy in a blimp who controlled from one to four faceless cyborg agents. In the new game we are going to control a guy who is probably going to figh those teams of remote-controlled cyborgs. I don’t see anything wrong with it since the setting is the same and it’s not like original was Jagged Alliance, there were no dedicated tools to control four agents so most people just selected them all and used them as one unit. Theere was no point to separate them.

    • psyk says:

      H&D

  5. Maxheadroom says:

    Anyone else just thinking Left 4 Dead with cyborgs?

    I’ll try to remain open but i’m more than a little dissapointed.

  6. Milky1985 says:

    “And players have a DART 6 bio-chip in their brains, which allows them to slow down time, and essentially hack the real world.”

    So rather than the action game it was before its now a FPS with…… slow down.

    3 cheers for the dumbing down of games, god forbid they release a game that requires you to use your head

    • Dominic White says:

      As opposed to the original, which allowed you to hop your agents up on… reflex boosters, and have them do the shooting for you.

      But sure, dumbing down, yeah. Let’s not forget that the original Syndicate was about as strategic as noughts and crosses – it was a cyberpunk Cannon Fodder where you basically minigunned or rocket-spammed your way through 90% of missions.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      I agree with the above post. Still, I don’t want a Cannon Fodder FPS.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Or gauss gunned your way through!

  7. FalseMyrmidon says:

    “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.”

    Your tears are delicious John Walker. Nomnomnom.

  8. Mollusc Infestation says:

    I only care whether there’s a Persuadatron.

    • bill says:

      THIS.

      I don’t see how a persuadatron could work in an FPS game, and for me the game was 90% persuadatron. I don’t really remember any of the other weapons at all.

      The other thing that’ll be important is the level design. Syndicate was all about open levels with lots of NPCs that you could scout out and approach as you felt like.

      IF this game manages to have wide open city blocks for you to explore, mulitple possible approaches, and lots of NPCS. It might be ok.

      AND A PERSUADATRON!

    • Cunzy1 1 says:

      Persuadatron and spending hours and hours making razor wire gauntlets.

  9. konrad_ha says:

    We’ve made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!

    • Askeladd says:

      We shall know no fear!

    • Optimaximal says:

      Jean Luc, BLOW UP THE DAMN SHIP!

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      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      @konrad_ha: Probably not the best choice of quote given that that little speech is supposed to illustrate just how far into derangement Picard has been pushed by his desire for revenge. Iirc he concedes the point right after the speech and activates the self-destruct.

    • LionsPhil says:

      So…cyanide pills for all X-Com and Syndicate fans?

      Gonna be a lot quieter ’round these parts.

    • Grygus says:

      @Man Raised: Right, but doesn’t that make it the perfect quote? “This sucks, I am tired of them raiding old franchises, I will put up with it NO MORE FOREVER!”

      Then you buy the new game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      @Grygus: Ah, yes. When you put it that way, it does indeed seem rather apt.

    • konrad_ha says:

      @Grygus and @Man Raised: I just pictured the feelings of every old-timey Syndicate fan (including myself) for a moment there. The quote seemed oddly fitting.

  10. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I dislike the idea of a Syndicate fps not because it doesn’t stand a chance of being a good game, but rather because FPS seems like the safe go-to genre these days and because (like with X-COM) games which play similarly to the original aren’t exactly flooding the market.

    It’s truly a shame that they say (but then again, don’t they always?) they recognise the legacy of the original and then proceed to pour it down into a slightly flavoured generic fps mould.

    • Subject 706 says:

      True. They’re hardly making an FPS of it because they have any sort of creative vision, they’re doing it because they think it is the safe thing to do. Which is strange reasoning, considering how crowded the FPS genre is nowadays.

    • Optimaximal says:

      One good thing to come of this might be the previous games being released through Good Old Games.

      Their current deal doesn’t include Syndicate, pretty much for this very reason.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I suppose it is possible they just had an inspired idea to make a fresh spin on the old Syndicate. I find that unlikely to be the case, though. As always, there’s little we can do but wait and see.

      Alternatively, I suppose we could rage like men on the internet have never raged before. :oP

  11. Stitched says:

    So we have a new thread to rage about the new Syndicate, then. Nice!

  12. Bob_Bobson says:

    Wait… “the original cult classic”. The original wasn’t a niche game with hardcore followers, it was a massive blockbuster in it’s day, one of the compelling reasons to move from a Spectrum or Amstrad to an Amiga or PC. I hate this insiduous attempt to make stuff from the past look like it was less significant than it’s modern equivalents, although I understand why someone employed to sell new things would promote that view.

    But yeah, the XCOM thing saddens me far far more than this. Syndicate was an action game and will continue to be an action game, if they nail the style of Syndicate then that’ll do.

  13. Shadow Aspect says:

    The 1up article that was linked several times in the neogaf thread is quite interesting:
    http://www.1up.com/features/starbreeze-secret-history
    Shows how Starbreeze has changed since the earlier games – including having an EA rep there to get Syndicate back on track.
    Also an interesting snippet about Zenimax (parent company of Bethesda) snapping up the company fomed by a lot of Starbreeze core guys. What with also having id, they’re really stockpiling some great talent.

  14. the_r says:

    A bit off-topic. Are there any decent tactical rpg’s nowadays? Like UFO:EU, X-COM:TFD, Laser Squad. The only ones that comes to my mind are in medival-ish setting, and are for potrables: FFTactics A2 (DS), Tactics Ogre (PSP), and some older ones like Fire Emblem (not the DS one, that was crap), Ogre Battle, FFT. UFO games from a couple years back bere not THAT bad, but not so great either.
    Anything anyone can recommend?

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      Fallout Tactics? Silent Storm? There are also the Shining Force games and Wesnoth.

    • Nick says:

      Well, I liked Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor on the DS, which is sort of a tactics rpg. You didn’t mention Jagged Alliance 2 there so just in case, that old game is a classic in the genre.

      Generally though, no. You named all of the more recent ones =/

    • the_r says:

      Fallout Tactics I finished, but it wasn’t really that fun. Silent Storm I will check out – I konw it, but never actually played it. Wesnoth I did play and enjoy it. Shining Force I don’t know. Is it any good? (i misspelled “good” and wrote “dood”, which reminded me of Disgaea series. PSP editions were fun)
      SMT:DS was great, the second one not so much (don’t remember the name) Jagged Alliance I did play but never liked the series. Don’t know why. Something about it was offputting for me. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate my opinion? BTW Isn’t there a new JA coming out? Still TRPG of FPS? :D

      I think I’ll try to dig out my all time favourite – X-Com: Terror from the Deep. Why favourite? I guess that was my first game of the genre (i guess it’s like FF7 vs FF8 battle, you like the best the one you played first (FF8 for me)).

    • FCA says:

      I found Dawn of War 2 to be an interesting take on the genre. Thought at first it was a standard RTS, but turned out to play more like a tactical RPG, in the vein of X-Com and the like.

    • the_r says:

      I think I played the demo, but it was on my rig before upgrade, so it was running like… well slow. Didn’t really give it a chance. I’ll try it again.

      Thanks for all the suggestions :).

    • cabrapreta says:

      Jeanne D’Arc (PSP) is quite decent, though a bit short.

    • K. says:

      Try the original FF Tactics, it’s still good. For more hardcore japanese stuff I can recommend the Disgaea series, though it can get pretty intimidating.

      On PC, your options seem limited on first sight. It’s either realtime (DoW, DotA) or grid-less actionpoints (JA, Silent Storm).
      You could also have a look into the Strategy-Puzzlers like HoMM or King’s Bounty.

      Or try some free to play games… there are actually a bunch of passable tactics games available: Pox Nora, Bang! Howdy or MTG: Tactics to name some.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      If you’ve got access to a PS3 or PSP the Valkyria Chronicles games are well worth playing. Neat mix of turn-based strategy with individual units being controlled in third person. There’s a demo up on PSN, as I recall. Frozen Synapse hasn’t been mentioned yet, either, and the single player mode is pretty hefty if you’re not one for playing online.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Valkyria Chronicles is an ok game, but it has it’s share of problems like retarded AI, questionable mission design( I just completed the objective and game spawned a giant boss-tank in the middle of the map! And an unkillable unit that kills everyone! Cool!) and unbalanced classes( Scouts were damn overpowered).

    • the_r says:

      @cabrapreta – Oh. Yeah. Forgot about Jeanne D’Arc. Nice game. I liked the graphics very much.
      @K. – FFT I actually mentioned in the first post, and Disgaea in the last one :). FFT is pure ownage. I love it. A2 is my favourite DS game.
      I love HoMM series (King’s Bounty not so much), but it is a completely different genre.
      I’ll give Down of War II and Jagged Alliance 2 a second shot.
      @HermitUK, coldvvvave – Valkyrie Chronicles. When I saw an ad for a PS3 version I got really excited. Thought it was going to be great. When I played it on PSP – well to put it delicately – it annoyed me a great deal. Lots of problems, poor UI, annoying characters. Didn’t like it.
      I was meaning to chech Frozen Synapse. Added to the “will play” list.

      Oh and one from me – Advance Wars series. Fire Emblem set in modern (or future) times.

    • JimFixIt says:

      I thought ufo afterlight was reasonable, I remember it being quite hard at the begining but once you get some decent research becomes a blast.

      Also UFO: Alien invasion, is an open source remake of Xcom that isn’t too bad. Worth a shot for free, it’s been a while since I’ve played it so they may have updated it even more.

    • Reivles says:

      Frozen Synapse is a masterpiece of the ‘tactical’ aspect… but lacks the RPG part, alas.

      Still, if there ever were a new tactical RPG out, they’d do well to take notes from it!

    • the_r says:

      Most definitely UFO Afterlight was the best out of the three new UFOs, but ro me all of these games were only pretenders. I didn’t really like the graphical style, mechanics were a bit off, all of the games lacked polish. But the truth is Afterlight was pretty decent. I bought the 3-pack mainly for the Afterlight.

      A game like UFO is extremely hard to make. When you make an FPS, all you have to make is an FPS: guns, levels, enemies. When you make XCom game (classic one), you have to make a turn based strategy, micro and macro management game with r&d, set in a rich world (ufopedia). There are countless little details in terms of mechanics that have to work together seamlessly. And, boy, they sure did.

      @Reivles – is it “tactical” in a way that old Rainbow Six games could be? I used to play Rainbow Six by only placing the right paths for my teams, and setting checkpoints for breaching rooms for example. My character never moved an inch :).

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      Oh, and while it’s not out yet, http://www.xenonauts.com/ trundles ever closer to release. Pre-order folks get access to a new playable build once a month or so.

    • Reivles says:

      @the_r: Very much so – in fact all you do is provide movement waypoints, facings, and orders to squads of mooks who then act them out in five second segments. The key is to make sure that when your mooks meet their mooks, yours are in a better position – pre-aimed, behind cover, or winning the Rifle Sniper Shotgun competition by having the right gun.. at the right range.

      Oh, you get to do ‘breaching charges’ with the rocket launchers, too. That’s always fun. :)

  15. Heliocentric says:

    It’s my IP and I’ll milk if I want to, milk if I want to. You would milk too if it happened to you.

  16. Vexing Vision says:

    Right, I forgot. This makes sense, as strategy games are dead!

  17. Optimaximal says:

    As long as they keep the ‘exponential growth’ Persuadatron mechanic, the pantomime conflagration of the Gauss Rifle and the electronic soundtrack, I’m sure I can extract some entertainment out of it.

    • juv3nal says:

      The persaudatron was easily my favorite part of the original, it’s hard to see how this could be as satisfying in first person view as your restricted fov won’t let you see your entire zombie horde at once.

    • John P says:

      blurgh, this got put in the wrong post

  18. JackShandy says:

    Yes, the game industry has teamed up to ruin your day.

    Edit: Oh dear! What happened?

  19. John Connor says:

    Are you joking or are you serious? Fallout 3 was fantastic, and Human Revolution was pretty much as Deus Ex-y as a game could be without being a quantum superposition of the first Deus Ex.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Edit: Replying to agressive troll who has now been deleted.

  21. John Connor says:

    If you got through DXHR in 15 hours you are a speedrun champion.

    Or you’re just trolling.

    I think number 2 sounds about right.

  22. Lewie Procter says:

    I beat it in 18.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    I’m a pragmatist. The worst that could come out of this is a bad game.
    The first Conan movie is one of my alltime favourites and this year a remake came out. It got disastrous reviews so I didn’t watch it. I probably never will. No “childhood getting raped”. I just don’t care. It doesn’t diminish the first Conan at all.
    Taking the decisions of multi-million dollar companies personally is a terrible thing to do.

    • Grygus says:

      If by “terrible” you mean “entertaining” then I agree with every word.

  24. Kaira- says:

    “DXHR is a 15-hour joke made by weeaboos, for weeaboos”
    >weeaboo
    I don’t think that means what you think it means.

  25. Mechorpheus says:

    First off, I HAVE played Syndicate wars, and had a good time with it. That said, I really think this could work. If they do something rather akin to Hidden and Dangerous, or some of the older Rainbow Six games, where you control all members of your squad and move between them with a button push, it could still play rather like the older Syndicate games, just with a ‘different’ viewpoint.

    I don’t really understand the rage this and the XCOM remake have brought out of some corners of the PC gaming crowd. I’ve been a stoic PC gamer since…. well forever, and all I can say is I’m LOOKING FORWARD to the new XCOM, as it looks like a fun time. This new Syndicate goes with that. People moan about ‘console focus’ and all that, but consoles are unfortunately where things are, and it doesn’t mean the game can’t be great fun. As John says, Starbreeze really know their stuff, so there’s hope.

  26. Dominic White says:

    Yeah, if Fallout 3/New Vegas and DX:HR are examples of the games industry ruining everything forever, then all I can ask for is a second helping of terrible ruination.

    Yeah, Fallout 3 and New Vegas had their rough spots, but it was more than made up for by having an absurdly flexible mod framework, allowing the community (who had been screaming for the past decade about how they could make a better Fallout game) to make a better fallout game.

    They still haven’t, but a lot of smaller mods can be combined to enhance what’s there.

  27. ninjapirate says:

    Is it Paradox who’s also working on a Syndicate(-ish) game without turning it into an FPS?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      They’ve expressed a serious interest in making one, I’m guessing this announcement will make it more likely to be green lit

  28. coldvvvave says:

    nope

  29. Spacewalk says:

    Press “X” to set on fire.

  30. metalangel says:

    Guys, I had a thought…

    RTS-type games ‘aren’t popular’, are they?

    Why the hell not market a new Syndicate game as being ‘just like League of Legends!’ or ‘just like DoTA!’?

    • Erd says:

      Mindnumbing and repeditive?

    • metalangel says:

      Perhaps, but those all-important demographics love that shit.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yea, it does seem like they could get away with a sort of 4-person squad RTS given the existence of MOBAs, or Alien Swarm, etc.

  31. MuscleHorse says:

    Fallout 3 suffers from the Bethesda curse in that it needs a number of mods three times the filesize of the base game to be enjoyable. New Vegas is much better but still needs a good few mods.
    I’m currently playing through Human Revolution and it’s… ok. John, it could be a lot more Deus Exy – the hub areas are static and devoid of things to do beyond the quests, the plot is amongst the most predictable I’ve encountered for a twist based story and the augmentation system is broken. I’m about two thirds through and I’ve already got more than what I need for my augs, so upgrade time takes a while as I simply can’t decide which useless power to get next..

    I must say, this reboot hurts. This was amongst my most treasured games growing up. I don’t want to see it as an fps, though I’ve often thought it could work as a third person gta-a-like, so long as you kept the expendable squad element. I’m also fairly annoyed it’s set solely in America, considering the original was by a British team, the game started off in Britain and Eurocorp, as the name suggests, are European. Why not just call it Sci-Fi Squad Game #4?

  32. MuscleHorse says:

    Strategy games can’t make money. Just look at Starcraft, or that thing that small company Valve are coming out with.

  33. Dammokles says:

    I hate how wrong they’ve gotten the whole concept. An essential part of the Syndicate games was the fact that you played some soulless Executive who was remote controlling people that had been turned into operatives and were effectively DISPOSABLE PROPERTY (albeit very expensive disposable property). You weren’t supposed to care about your cyborgs. Hell, you never even saw their faces. There was always that distance, that detachment. You were free to be cold, calculating and ruthless.

    It appears that Starbreeze is now giving operatives faces and having us empathize with them. I am dissapointed. I would have through that EA would have been very well placed to show Starbreeze how soulless mega-corps actually treat their underlings.

    Bottom line: it’s not Syndicate if you’re not playing some corporate prick that is pulling puppet strings. Maybe they should rename it “Syndicate Goons.”

    • ninjapirate says:

      I absolutely agree with you!

    • Lipwig says:

      The beauty of Syndicate was that it was an emotionless game. Everything was set up through the eyes of a soulless corporation. The player was always at a distance from the carnage and never formed a bond with any game characters – as you would expect from a megacorporation.

      When an agent dies, you see the loss in terms of spent upgrades, not that generic agent who did everything without question.

      There was never a consequence when civvies got caught in the crossfire. We didn’t have to deal with that sort of carnage first hand. Civilians were a resource that could be harvested if so desired.

      Going first person will kill the lack of emotional detachment that the Syndicate games fostered. It will give Syndicate a touch of humanity, something that should be opposed.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Let’s give them a chance and see what the storyline actually is before condemning them – for all we know it might be something along the lines of Caprica, yes most of them are faceless machines, but this one, the one you control is special for some reason.

    • Dammokles says:

      I respectfully disagree. Even with the scenario that you propose, they would be missing the point. The point is simply that by adopting a first person perspective of an agent, you’re playing somebody that is working for the Man. In the Syndicate that we know and love, you got to play AS the Man.

  34. Robin says:

    “Set in 2069, it is at least set in the Syndicate universe.” – except the Syndicate universe had abandoned the Gregorian calendar, but, y’know. This way it’s 42 years more futuristick than DXHR!

    I’ve posted my thoughts on this already here.

    TL;DR version: Syndicate was not the product of an adult mind or industry, and trying to revisit the ‘IP’ now involves too many compromises.

    And since writing that have heard lots about how Starbreeze have been essentially gutted since the Riddick days and that Syndicate has had a painful gestation, so not hugely optimistic.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I enjoyed reading your article, but I do think we should wait before condemning this game as a CoD clone. I don’t see how you can interpret that from a few screenshots and a PR piece written by a Swedish journalist and had been translated by someone who is not quite fluent in English.

      For all we know, this might be the defining game of our generation, virtually single handedly killing off the consoles and redefining how games are made due to it’s emergent gameplay, clever player generated story telling and sublime atmosphere.

      I obviously hope it will be, but I admit it’s highly unlikely. I just think we should judge them on the actual product, not what we imagine it may be in our worst fears.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I concur. It might not be the game we want, but it might still be good, and more good games are never ever a bad thing.

    • Balerion says:

      Why does it have to be a COD clone? Why not a Left 4 Dead clone? Or SWAT clone?

    • CMaster says:

      @Balerion
      Because CoD sold more than SWAT or L4D, therefore all gamers prefer CoD to anything else.

      You laugh, but this seems to be the logic a lot of publishers work on.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      TO be honest, I think most gamers – as in people who play games, no matter how casually, do prefer CoD to SWAT or L4D.

    • CMaster says:

      @Sheng-ji

      I think to an extent a lot of people haven’t tried anything else, and if their first exposure, backed up by a marketing budget of several hundred million dollars was to a different game, then you’d see different numbers for all said games. However, I agree with you. CoD provides a lot of fun to an awful lot of people and sells well as a result. My point and issue is that the marketing department now appears to make decisions for entire games companies, and hence they only develop things that can be sold to the maximum number of people. Because CoD sells more than any other game, all other games must be like CoD, goes their logic. I think that’s stupid and depressing. Would a “faithful” remake of XCOM sell the same numbers as MW3 will? Of course not. But neither would an exact clone of MW3 called XCOM. (See Medal of Honour, etc).

      Edit: ( I realise that the new XCOM in fact bares little resemblance to CoD – the marketing team there is apparently convinced that Mass Effect brings in enough money. My point stands though, especially when people sit there and insist that you can’t make game type X or Y for console gamers – when nobody has ever even tried)

    • Balerion says:

      @CMaster: I understand that perfectly, but what I don’t get is that since this is supposed to be a 4 player co-op game, why do people have to immediately jump the gun and whine that it’s going to be another COD clone… it boggles my mind…
      It’s understandable when it comes to the new X-Com since that’s looking like just another FPS, but when I read the news about Syndicate, the first thing that came to my mind was: ‘What?’ and right after that ‘L4D and Deus Ex together!’

    • psyk says:

      They like jumping on bandwagons and all the cool kids hate on cod, it’s not like cod is a clone of anything ;)

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Oh I completely get what you’re saying and I agree too. Fortunately there are companies which cater to us rather than general gamers, and it is to them we should look for the games we want. When a giant like EA let’s one of it’s IP’s be worked on, we just have to understand it will be a mainstream game. I don’t mean mainstream as an insult, I have enjoyed many mainstream games myself and will continue to do so, doesn’t mean I have to somehow stop enjoying other, better (and often worse) games which try something outside of the mainstream.

    • CMaster says:

      @Sheng-ji.
      See, this is where I don’t think it is reasonable. Why shouldn’t we expect a mainstream publisher to produce a variety of games, offering something different. They did as little as five years ago. Warner Bros is a mainstream film studio, but that doesn’t mean they solely produce action movies. Instead, last year they put out Inception, The Green Lantern, Due Date, Yogi Bear, Valentine’s Day, The Hang Over, Findal Destination 5, Sex and the City 2. A lot of that stuff is pretty bad, but they didn’t feel the need to make Yogi Bear into some “gritty and realistic” detective story, or Sex and the City into a superhero story. Just because a market isn’t the biggest market, doesn’t mean it isn’t a market worth chasing. (Although games publishers are far from the only companies guilty of falling into that trap)

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Basically because they have investors. They need to justify every decision, in financial terms and your typical investor wants to maximise his investment. If they produced a game which was amazing, loved by us but didn’t return an acceptable profit, at best the investors would take their money elsewhere and at worst they could enforce staff changes in the company. That’s not to say people in the company don’t try – I think the majority of people in publishing are gamers and love gaming and dislike many decisions they are forced to take. And once in a while, a good game gets through.

    • CMaster says:

      My argument is that what they are doing is bad business though. Rather than trying to create a good product and sell it (with yes, something of an eye towards the market it is destined for), they instead try again and again to recreate what is already being sold, selling it to the same people who already have three better products and don’t need any more. All the while a bunch of people for who there isn’t anything that gives them what they want, money in hand, stand there unfulfilled.

    • Calabi says:

      This is why a decline in at least the mainstream gaming is almost guaranteed.

      I’m pessimistic about this Syndicate game. Why not? If it does turn out to be good somehow then I’ll be suprised and happy. But if it doesnt then I will laugh and say I told you so.

      Just from there words though it does not look promising. It doesnt look like they even understand what a game is and what the original syndicate was(but again thats par for the course with developers these days).

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @CMaster – I still completely agree with you. I am an EA investor, amongst other companies and over the years I have gradually built up a significant investment. I try my hardest to make that exact point, in fact I go further – I believe that to assume casual gamers wouldn’t enjoy a game like x-com is wrong, but it is worth remembering that sci-fi and fantasy will put most gamers off before they’ve given a game a chance.

      I don’t think we need to be as pessimistic about the future of gaming as Calabi seems to be, there are plenty of companies out there who are not for sale and producing blinding games, also there is a current crop of indie developers with talent. When they have secured themselves a budget I think we will have a mini golden age in gaming.

      @Calabi – Well, if it’s a good game, can we laugh at you? In fairness, no-one is shouting about how great it is going to be, we are saying “Let’s hope it will be good”. You can’t tell from what’s been released anything about it’s quality but many people seem to be making massive assumptions. It’s a shame that people are being so pessimistic about it, but I will be the first one to write that it is bad if it is. Until it’s proven itself one way or the other, I will allow myself to be excited about a new Syndicate game even if it doesn’t sound to be exactly what I want.

    • Robin says:

      @sheng-ji: Indeed, I don’t assume it’s a CoD clone, just point out that it has so far at least been presented as one.

      The info that came out at the weekend was from EA’s Origin product page by the way, first-hand as it gets.

      And yes, I too hope it’s good regardless of how it fits in with the Syndicate name. I’ve suffered enough marketing-spawned EA action boreathons (Dante’s Inferno, Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge) to lower my expectations though.

  35. Kefren says:

    This is great timing. Only this morning I thought to myself: “Begad, there just aren’t enough first person shooters out there! We need more, darn it! More guns, more persons, more firsts!” I am so pleased that another publisher’s thoughts chime so well with mine, and they have realised that there is a dearth of these type of games.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Publishers will stop making them when people stop buying them.

      I honestly don’t understand why EA haven’t dusted off the System Shock IP. It’s *already* a shooter.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh god, don’t encourage them.

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      They already have. It was called Dead Space.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Publishers will stop making them when people stop buying them.

      But people don’t buy every single FPS game. Quite a few lose money.

  36. Erd says:

    The real shame is that it would be nice to have a top-down action/tactics/rpg game set outside of the fantasy setting with the latest technology. Beyond that Jagged Alliance remake, I can’t really think of any waiting in the wings.

    Pity it’s not a controller friendly genre.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      In all fairness, FPS isn’t exactly a controller friendly genre either, hence auto-aim and no cross platform leagues.

    • Archonsod says:

      It would, but then that would be as large a departure from the original Syndicate as making it an FPS …

  37. Burky says:

    New Vegas could have been a true great if it wasn’t limited to the massively flawed foundational mechanics of Fallout 3.

    Though I’m not sure I would lump Fallout 3 into the same batch as DXHR, XCOM and this… thing.

    I mean, Bethesda were trying to make a Fallout game, and they were obvious fans, they just kinda boned it up mechanically and aesthetically.

    DXHR is the result of a studio wanting to make a MGS game and so they made a MGS game with the Deus Ex license.

    Then they threw in some Mass Effect elements too Mass Effect is totally the pinnacle of action based role playing games and totally not essentially a choose your own adventure FMV title with terrible cover based shooting in between.

  38. John P says:

    DXHR being considered a ‘great game’ and an example of franchise revival Done Right shows how low our standards have fallen. Even if you don’t care that they turned Deus Ex into an offensive blend of Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect 2, it’s still not very good even judged on its own merits.

    Either HR will end up like Oblivion, where it took a few months for people to realise that uh hey this actually kinda sucks doesn’t it?

    Or it will be like Mass Effect 2, where people still delude themselves into thinking this is A Great Action RPG For Modern Gaming Audiences.

    Just wait until the Deus Ex 1 reboot.

    Just wait.

    • Grygus says:

      Something is wrong with the reply system. My post cannot survive on its own, and so is self-termina

  39. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    I hope it’s a good game and they use the license well.

  40. coldvvvave says:

    Ok, not really.

  41. Dominic White says:

    “DXHR being considered a ‘great game’ and an example of franchise revival Done Right shows how low our standards have fallen. Even if you don’t care that they turned Deus Ex into an offensive blend of Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect 2, it’s still not very good even judged on its own merits.”

    Well, that’s the best worst comment I’ve read on RPS in ages. It’s like it’s being beamed directly from Bizarro World. You heard it here, folks – DX:HR was actually terrible, and even OFFENSIVE, and if you enjoyed it, it’s a sign that your standards have fallen so low that you’ve fallen into the corporate mind-trap.

    I remember not long ago being yelled at by Deus Ex ‘fans’ for having the nerve to enjoy The Nameless Mod – you know, that mod for Deus Ex? The original? Lovely bunch of folks, them.

    • noobule says:

      “DX:HR was actually terrible, and even OFFENSIVE, and if you enjoyed it, it’s a sign that your standards have fallen so low that you’ve fallen into the corporate mind-trap.”

      Well thankyou for summing the argument up so succinctly.

    • John P says:

      That says it better than I did, cheers.

    • dxmt says:

      “You heard it here, folks – DX:HR was actually terrible, and even OFFENSIVE, and if you enjoyed it, it’s a sign that your standards have fallen so low that you’ve fallen into the corporate mind-trap.”

      pretty much

  42. Cinnamon says:

    We should just start looking at the things the major publishers do as wacky and barbaric things that happen in some far off country that don’t really affect us directly. So much easier. Naturally we should make statements now and again about how we don’t approve of their corrupt backwards ways but there is little we can do short of extreme violence to change their ways. It’s tiresome for us and we risk making ourselves seem boring and preachy but the alternative is simply to be passive and do nothing. And before we know it the next generation thinks that we are condoning their practices with our silence.

  43. Burky says:

    Wow, where did 40% of the comments go?

  44. LionsPhil says:

    The most baffling thing in this thread is Wizardry being called a troll too.

    Liking old games is apparently trolling now. I guess that makes GOG the Something Awful of gaming.

    Edit: Well if this isn’t just the most broken reply fail I’ve seen. How on Earth did I end up in the middle?

  45. Angryinternetman says:

    Now I hope they dont remake Theme Hospital. How would that even work? Shoot the disease away?

    • metalangel says:

      That exists… it’s called ‘Trauma Center’ on the Wii.

  46. Yor Fizzlebeef says:

    Argh, goddamn it! This would have worked so PERFECTLy in a third person perspecive á la Grand Theft Auto (with you possibly controlling 1-4 individuals in a formation like in the original).
    Imagine it! You could control your squad which is perfectly synced as one man, make it fire as one, split off individuals from your group,
    steal cars, offing civillians, operating in an open world cyber city…

    A reboot of this franchise (IMHO) literally screams “GTA CLONE!” from the metaphysical rooftop!
    Oh this makes me mad!

  47. Laurentius says:

    The question is: will this new game allow set fire to people and then watch them run, scream and die (and to trees too)?

  48. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Starbreeze imploded, it’s now a shadow of its former self apparently.

  49. Premium User Badge

    Acosta says:

    Welcome to the dark side John (and no, I don’t consider you a hypocrite, every gamer has his sensible weakpoints.)

    I wish more people made the effort to understand that a name it’s not just a name, it has a meaning and a power, especially when it summons something beloved from your past.

  50. MadTinkerer says:

    Omigosh, omigosh, I just realized this is GREAT news.

    GoG.com will totally have to prioritize reviving the original Syndicate games now! I’ll finally be able to play them again on my current OS! I won’t have to track down pirated versions because I lost the original disks ages ago!

    Oh EA, I love you guys for doing this. Don’t give a crap about the new game, but I’ll finally have the old games again! Squee!