Syndicoop: Four Men vs All The Other Men

By Alec Meer on November 1st, 2011 at 2:19 pm.

yeah, whatever, bang bang

A reasonable number of folk around these parts are, I think it’s safe to sweepingly generalise, a little nonplussed that Starbreeze’s Syndicate remake is going down the mostly linear manshooter path. All along, though, we’ve been told the game’s four-player co-op mode would entail a more direct nod to the strategicish Bullfrog original. Is that, could that be, true? Time to find out.

Well, I guess the answer’s ‘no’ then. I’m not seeing much strategy in that particular hail of gunfire. Though squads of agents certainly err slightly more towards The Sacred Source than the lone adventures KILO MILOTON or whatever he’s called.

All looks sort of noisy and brainless, but could well be so in the right ways – and despite the sort of deathmatch appearance of that video, remember this is co-op, which tends to significantly increase the odds of funtimes in and of itself.

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87 Comments »

  1. TechRogue says:

    What a shame.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      A bomb!

    • elvis says:

      Shame indeed.
      Also, what’s with the irritating music? I would press dislike on facebook, just to not hear THAT again.

    • Commisar says:

      I know, all I want to do is play with 16 bit graphs and do turn based strategy, SHAME ON EA for attempting to use a defunct license

    • zeroskill says:

      ^ EA target audience.

    • Ostymandias says:

      I never asked for this.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I wouldn’t be so quick with shaming the game. It’s just a trailer and pumped music and fast editing doesn’t mean there isn’t good gameplay when it’s real time.

      *sigh*

      One deus ex a year is not enough for me, I hope for the best.

    • Thants says:

      Shame on EA for trying to cash in on our nostalgia by calling the game Syndicate when it has nothing to do with the original.

  2. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Can someone ask those game designers if they actually PLAYED the original series or did they simply saw one of those “mass civilian massacre” youtube videos (there ought to be some) and took it as THE inspiration?

    • DarkFenix says:

      Why would asking be necessary? It’d be a rhetorical question.

  3. Dominic White says:

    This is clearly a vast departure from the original Syndicate.

    They’re using weapons other than the minigun, and occasionally doing more than walking forward and shooting people.

    • Cinnamon says:

      You could walk in more directions than forward in Syndicate, it was quite crazy compared modern shooters.

      But anyway, I’m not comparing this game directly to something from so long ago. I’m playing Atom Zombie Smasher and Bayonetta right now and don’t see how this game is so interesting.

    • salgado18 says:

      In all seriousness:

      The game looks very nice;
      It seems to play nice;
      Co-op looks very fun;
      Music taste is very personal, I personaly like it;

      Really, if EA would just stop calling it Syndicate everything would just be fine. Old people won’t play it because it’s not Syndicate, new people don’t know Syndicate so the name won’t mean anything.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      That’s true. I’m sadly one of those who played the original SYNDICATE on megadrive. The span, upgrades, the story and the setting – that was why it’s the SACRED SOURCE today. The gameplay itself…. walking and shooting. Out of big guns.

    • plugmonkey says:

      You only had the Megadrive version of Syndicate? God, that’s practically child abuse.

  4. haowan says:

    Ugh. “Extracting chip!” to rhyme with “I’m going in!”, “Fire in the hole!” and “Cover me!”. Piss off.

  5. Sp4rkR4t says:

    I think the lead designer has already admitted he has never played Syndicate.

    • Commisar says:

      So, the original is a 15+ year old isometric turn based strategy game, NO ONE PLAYS THAT ANYMORE

    • Binary77 says:

      The original is NOT turn-based. Although, i don’t think it was half as complex as some seem to remember. It would be nice to have some form of management options in the new one somewhere.

    • something says:

      Why do you keep calling it turn based strategy? It was played in real time and was really a point-and-click shooter with a light tactical element.

      What made it special was the persuadatron and the setting, notably the cars. I briefly saw a car in this trailer. They should form a key part of gameplay but I haven’t seen one being driven yet. I also haven’t seen a hoard of brainwashed civilians carrying looted Uzis being used as cannon fodder. Either of those elements would be enough to set it apart from the current crop of shooters.

      With the cars, the civilians and the cityscapes, it was really a precursor to GTA, which is why it’s disappointing to see it remade as a Doom clone.

      They’re using the name to get coverage they wouldn’t otherwise have got. That’s the only reason for reviving old titles. It’s only fair then, that this is balanced by an increased expectation of quality. I could write a crappy novel called “A Tale of Two Cities Reloaded” but I would expect to get slammed by fans and critics alike in a way that wouldn’t happen if I hadn’t artificially raised my profile.

    • oceanclub says:

      “Why do you keep calling it turn based strategy? It was played in real time and was really a point-and-click shooter with a light tactical element.”

      This. I played the game recently using DOS Box, and it was fun for a while. But there’s probably less strategy in it than in the average FPS. There’s sometime a little micromanagement involved, but most choice is around the research and purchases screens.

      P.

  6. ShineDog says:

    True Syndicate or not, what is with the douchiest haircuts in history. Do any of you want to play as these people?

    • Revisor says:

      Frankly the haircuts and the wild trailers are the only things attracting me to the game.
      But I’m afraid that’s only enough to convince me to buy it for $5 a year in.

  7. Kdansky says:

    Looks like Brink with a texture swap. I also adore how static console shooters always look. Movement kills your aim if you don’t have a mouse, so everyone just stands there and hopes the RNG is in their favour and the bullets don’t spread too much in the wrong direction.

    This is not syndicate, but rather a generic FPS with a license tacked on. It does not deserve the publicity it gets.

  8. felisc says:

    indeed this is … deathmatch. mh.

  9. coldvvvave says:

    - strategicish Bullfrog original

    It was also turn based and with hexes!

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlatantLies

  10. ShadyGuy says:

    That looks like a nice co-op manshooter. But it bares little resemblance to Syndicate.

  11. Kefren says:

    How can you ‘assemble your syndicate’? It’s like saying ‘assemble your multi-national corporation’. It’s nonsense. It should be ‘assemble your squad of silly gun people who work for a syndicate’ or something. Even if the grammar wasn’t wrong, it would involve also assembling all the accountants, marketers, managers, researchers etc. It would just be a mess. And very silly. People would get in the way of each other and the lawyers would shoot themselves in the feet.

  12. Njordsk says:

    I laughed at the “INFILTRATE” moment.

    There were like 10 guys with guns all out…

    Other than that it looks awefuly bad

  13. Vexing Vision says:

    I love how they’re using exactly the same scene for “Eliminate” and “Infilitrate”.

    I always thought both words had less to do with flamethrowers and more with stealth and precision and the occasional sniper rifle, but apparently in the future, business is war!

    • sneetch says:

      Stealth is not required as such. Infiltration tactics generally just require bypassing the front lines and attacking the enemy rear areas rather than the front lines or enemy strongpoints.

      In this game infiltrating apparently means landing on the roof and mowing down Eurocorp goons. I suppose the ground floor must be the front line.

  14. deadly.by.design says:

    I would much prefer multiplayer to be a scenario with two teams, one objective asset and only one team can win. Or a defend/attack scenario in a modest cyberpunk city filled with cops and civilians, allow you to conceal your weapons, etc.

    Pretty please?

    • dontnormally says:

      ^ too awesome to happen

    • Nemrod says:

      +1

    • DoctorBrain says:

      Team-based, objective-oriented cyberpunk game? Yeah, I’d buy that.

      Four punky-lookin’ dudes in trenchcoats running-and-gunning through hordes of mindless enemies? Nope. Gonna pass.

  15. DanPryce says:

    It is killing me that they haven’t gone with ‘BUSINESS. IS. BOOMING’ as their tagline.

  16. TillEulenspiegel says:

    Click here and “like” Syndicate on Facebook to download [something something music]

    Oh lord. These faddish, ham-handed attempts at social media marketing can’t end soon enough.

    • merc-ai says:

      Yeah, also the trend of like-unlockable promotion material. “come on guys, just 45453 more likes until next concept art/game music sample gets unlocked”. What the hell?

  17. Arcalane says:

    The only nod I see so far is the coats.

    • coldvvvave says:

      1. Four cybernetic agents.
      2. In a futuristic megapolis
      3. Shoot up things
      4. With miniguns
      5. Also, flying cars

      Yep, it’s Syndicate.

    • DrSlek says:

      Much like how X-Com: Enforcer was a worthy addition to the X-com franchise….

  18. Mechanicus_ says:

    So you are playing as the bosses from DXHR?

    I would like to be excited for this game, but all the stuff they have shown so far looks like the value-added modes from other games; like getting the singleplayer from Battlefield 3 bundled with the multiplayer from Bioshock 2 and paying full price for it.

    I suppose it would be simpler to say the stuff they have shown so far just doesn’t look very good.

    • MrUnimport says:

      FOUR HYPER-INDIVIDUALISTIC PUNK DUDES VERSUS HORDES OF FACELESS INEPT GOONS HOOOOOO

      I’d like to see more along the lines of, say, NeoTokyo, where YOU, THE PLAYER are the faceless goons, fighting other faceless goons, instead of the one really flashy untouchable guy mowing them down.

  19. jack4cc says:

    So, why would I want to play “random shooter x without a number” when there is “call of modern warfare duty 34″ around the corner ? What is it that makes this game special ? Just the fact that someone already used the name 15 or so years ago ?

    • Iain_1986 says:

      Likewise if it didn’t have the name Syndicate on it people might actually have a bit more interest in it for not being another “call of modern warfare duty” game.

      A name is at the end of the day….only a name.

  20. cheeba says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really looking forward to this. Even though on the surface there doesn’t seem to be much to set it apart, it’s the only mainstream shooter recently that’s caught my interest. I’m really liking the style and the music, sure it’s not the syndicate we used to know but it was never going to be. I just really wish they went a little more tactical, something simple even like the R6 Vegas games would’ve been just the ticket. Ah well. Starbreeze have some great stuff under their belts, so I’ve got high hopes regardless.

    • sana says:

      That’s a good outlook to have, because a bunch of people (who probably didn’t even play Syndicate, but simply love to jump on bandwagons) screaming “OMG ITS NOT LIKE THE ORIGINAL” don’t necessarily make it a bad game.

    • Keymonk says:

      It looks like it might be a good time.

  21. Roshin says:

    Why is this a problem, when removing the turn-based combat from Xcom was okay..?

    • Strange_guy says:

      Has anyone been saying removing the turn based combat from XCom was OK (other than the developers, 2K fanboys, and people who are big fans of Mass Effect but also 1950s America)? In fact it has been getting even more consistent complaining, there are lots of people saying this isn’t all that different, except for the perspective change.

  22. Dawngreeter says:

    As far as I’m concerned, if it calls itself Syndicate it needs to ship with half the features missing and an incredibly watered-down game play experience.

    BAM!

  23. GT3000 says:

    Actually…This looks precisely how Syndicate is in the old days if it were reimagined as a shooter. This mode seems truer to the original concept. Could use more miniguns.

  24. buzzmong says:

    Does the presence of flamethrowers, my one fiery gaming weakness, override the fact it’s obviously got sod all to do with the original games?

    No, sorry.

    Come on Paradox, release some more Cartel information already.

  25. Aspongeinmauve says:

    I’m pretty bored of FPS, but I’m a sucker for cyberpunk, so I’m actually looking forward to this. They probably should have give it a different name though.

  26. Milky1985 says:

    Why does it bring up “Infiltration” on the screen when you are clearly walking in the front door guns blazing, thats not Infiltration thats an invasion, (unless your from a certain other country who changes words about and so would class it as a “liberation”).

  27. Silphatos says:

    Hive Club at Shanghai?!

  28. MrUnimport says:

    Looks more than a little chaotic, which makes the elegant shooty approach the SP is going for a little bit hard to see. Hopefully they’ll be able to give it a bit more focus than “four guys shoot everything while in the same general vicinity”.

    Also, Jesus, those coats. Like JC Denton threw up all over APB. There’s one aspect of the cyberpunk shooter I was hoping to dodge this time around.

    Not sure why people are all put out by the music, from what I can tell the original was leaning in that direction to begin with.

  29. Wulf says:

    I believe I’ve said this before, but…

    In the polygonal future, there are only HEXAGONS.

    Hexagons everywhere! Srsly. Can’t we have something else for a change?

  30. Hoaxfish says:

    wtf was that trailer? I know what it was for, but cutting every second caused me to completely lose track of what I was suppose to be “getting” from it… lots of shooting offscreen is the best I could manage.

    • Strangineer says:

      Yeah, definitely worse than the first one. Jumpy cuts can be an indicator that the editor is afraid to let the player actually see the game. Also, the animations were fairly terrible.

  31. JackDandy says:

    How embarrassing. I feel bad for the original Syndicate’s fans.

  32. Stellar Duck says:

    Assemble your syndicate?! Really?

    Alright, I’ll just go assemble my huge multinational company. No problem!

    Oh, you mean for people with obnoxious haircuts? That’s… not a syndicate.

    Seriously, do these guys have access to a dictionary?

    • Wubbles says:

      A syndicate is just a group of people who work toward the goals of a a corporation.

  33. RakeShark says:

    I somewhat dream that the multiplayer character visual templates are like this:

    How many buckles do you want?
    - BUCKLES!
    - MORE BUCKLES!
    - I SAID MORE BUCKLES!

    What kind of coat do you want?
    - TRENCH COAT!
    - TRENCHIER COAT!
    - TRENCHIEST COAT!

  34. Eclipse says:

    I just hope for the game to not have that awful music

  35. Bfox says:

    What I remember about Syndicate aka Xcom meets Bladerunner:

    - Being able to choose my fights, hiding weapons to stay out of trouble
    - Getting everyone to ride in freaking HOVERCARS and doing drive bys with all sorts of crazy weapons
    - Most satisfying Lazer / Rocket launcher in a game I can think of (Minigun was awesome in Syn Wars.)
    - Gather a horde of mind controlled civilians/guards/enemy agents and act as a deadly militia horde which will inevitably get taken out by some type of explosive accident
    - slowly building up the abilities of your agents through research until you get those ultimate upgrades that allow them to move at super human speeds, regen health and have amazing accuracy.
    - Playing with friends, pausing the game to look around the map and come up with a plan of action. (I mainly played the Snes version)
    - Awesome Music that really set the tone and atmosphere, remember the terror when you heard the enemy agents music kick in?
    - Getting attached to your agents but losing them in a mission and they can never come back. (NOO!! the cool one diiiied!) The Snes version gave them faces and names so I always had favourites.
    - Destructible buildings (Syn wars.), what an awesome feature in the day, heck you could even mess up the ground and create massive holes!!
    - The game was just cool.

    EA you get 10% for each one of those checkpoints and that’ll be my review score.

  36. Navagon says:

    Looks exactly like that Shadowrun game.

  37. DoctorBrain says:

    This looks incredibly uninspired.

  38. Ruffian says:

    It’s Deus Ex minus the amazing story!!!! wooohoooo!
    I can’t wait! I remember at the end of Deus Ex thinking to myself, how much better it would have been without all the choices and plot twists! Yes!

  39. Ruffian says:

    (delete)

  40. Ruffian says:

    ehh double comment I think. Sorry readers, if the impact of my superior wit is lost due to repetition.

  41. liquid07 says:

    Wait!
    After watching the youtube video of original that I never played(from poster link) then watching the trailer here that I was not even gona watch because of the comments it looks like a sequel. I dont get it.

    The only thing I did notice was a lack of menus in the new trailer but how do we know its not just as deep as the original? (If it was even deep). Im pretty sure there will be menus, gun selection most likley, and they say ‘Assemble your syndicate’ implaying some sort of squad assembly like original I assume.

    Main difference is the original is top down but I thought most games were back then?

  42. Judas says:

    EA cannot see past a FPS mentality.

    Making an isometric game is obviously an engine that has never been developed to current generation standards Could be they fear sales numbers by not having a FPS. which is a shame, as some of the classic games are best played as a top down view of an environment and a turn based situational conflict.

    Leave it to a smaller developer to garner the praise for thinking outside the box. EA appears to have franchises that were classics, but has reduced their value considerably with their lack of foresight and use of 3rd party companies weak interpretations.

  43. MeestaNob says:

    Their nod to the originals is to put 4 players in long coats?

    *WHOOSH*