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 »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    Heh. I guess a trollish post was deleted. Good job! However it seems to have scattered a lot of other comments. It’s like there was an explosion and now there are just words all over the place. I find that highly amusing.

    As for the topic. I’m not touching it with a ten feet barge pole. Too pissed to be coherent.

  2. sluttyYutty says:

    am I the alone when i say it would work better as a 3rd person city sandbox type of game? those screen shots indicate the level designs are going the office building route which i’ve seen plenty of in DxHr instead of the city level design of the first 2.

  3. deadly.by.design says:

    I would really prefer it to be in a GTA sandbox world. (in terms of an open city, crowds, traffic, the feeling of it all being alive) That was one of the first things I thought of after playing GTA III for the first time. The crowds, the open streets, etc. That would be perfect.

  4. tossrStu says:

    They can do what they like with Syndicate, but if they dare remake Sinister Theme Park as an FPS then MOTHERFUCKING HEADS WILL ROLL

  5. Premium User Badge

    shoptroll says:

    It’s not how I would want a new Syndicate, but I think it’s probably the best they can do given market conditions. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now while continuing to wish that someone in the indie scene can give us something more akin to a Syndicate spiritual successor on the PC or iOS.

    EDIT: Also, is it just me or does this sound a bit like the Dystopia mod for HL2?

  6. sinister agent says:

    Fans of the franchise will recognize many weapons and environments in the game,

    Gosh, you mean there’ll be shotguns, miniguns and rocket launchers in it? And it’ll be set in a city at night? How novel. That’s definitely what people liked most about Syndicate, and no mistake.

    Also, a bit disappointing that the game’s gone from world domination, which enhances they lovely evil theme, and er… taking over america. Which is like 2 per cent of the world’s population and therefore market, and nowhere near as pleasingly diabolical. I’m honestly quite surprised by that part. You’d think setting each mission in a different country would have given them loads more room to make a visual impact.

    • Archonsod says:

      Wasn’t the fact the environments identical whether the mission was in Pittsburgh or Pakistan somewhat core to the premise of the original?

  7. zoombapup says:

    Just want to point out that actually, this syndicate game, would actually do pretty well if it used something similar to the new XCOM control system.

    I mean basically that the new XCOM fps, has squad based control. althought it is a bit turn-basey. But the fundamental control is taken from brothers in arms and to a certain extent full spectrum warrior. I’ve been playing with this type of squad control for my own game Damzel and it works pretty well. It means you can have immersion ala FPS, but squad tactics ala syndicate.

    What theys guys are likely to get wrong, is to make it more linear and less sandbox. Which is where most console games are heading. for the worse.

  8. Jason Moyer says:

    I don’t really get the butthurt trolling. DXHR is about as close to being a love letter to the original game as you can get, and New Vegas is Fallout 2 in first person. I think the hardest thing about being a PC gamer is balancing my hate for crappy ports, DRM, and games that play themselves (Assassin’s Creed, Call Of Duty, etc) with my hate for the vocal minority of PC gamers who flip out everytime a developer decides to make a game based on/inspired by something they’re nostalgic for. Also, the folks who treated the song at the end of Portal as some sort of life-changing experience while complaining about how superficial all games are now.

  9. d32 says:

    Whatever. I resigned after Fallout 3. (Strange, I don’t see this primal genre rape example reminded often enough)