Syndicate: Eurocorp Old & New

Rilo Kiley?

This is one for the young people, perhaps – as part of another trailer for the upcoming Syndicate enshooterising, we get a potted history of Bullfrog’s original game. “A cyberpunk wonderland,” apparently. Then it segues into a pic’n’mix of previous and new Syndishoot footage, and I guess we’re supposed to think “gosh, the reticule-based adventures of MILES KILO sure are highly thematically similar to an isometric tactical game.” Still, it’s nice to see the original Syndicate (“quite a unique experience”, claims robo-lady in the video) given a proper nod – never thought we’d see that as part of a bombastic, noisy trailer like this.

Action! Violence! Strategy!

Our John is currently at an EA event where he’ll hopefully get to direct his optical organs at nu-Syndicate, by the way, so expect more on it soon.


  1. Jim Rossignol says:

    It’s best when games are quite unique.

    • Jams O'Donnell says:

      First they butchered the game, now they’re butchering the language!

      /angry Internet man

    • Maktaka says:

      They butchered the original game? You mean they altered it to take away everything you liked in it, uploaded the original to the internets, and propagated a virus that infected the machines of everyone with the original to include their changes?

      Oh wait, no, they didn’t do that.

    • bill says:

      actually they did that.

    • Kadayi says:

      “actually they did that”

      *checks copy of original game*

      Nope, it’s still there, very much unbutchered in fact.

    • Kenseu says:

      Yes, they did. Then they just hacked the chip in your brain to make you think they didn’t. It’s all an illusion!

    • LionsPhil says:

      I believe the new parlance is that they breached the chip in his brain.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Well done LionsPhil.

  2. aircool says:

    Ha! If they can think they can try to sweeten us with mention of the original Syndicate, they might be wrong, or right.. I dunno.

    • Dragatus says:

      The only thing the trailer achieved is to make me want to replay the original. I don’t give a pickled oyster about the new shooter.

    • Iskariot says:

      I loved the original and I am very much looking forward to the new Syndicate. To be honest I think this game looks like what Deus Ex HR should have been.

    • battles_atlas says:

      I think this game looks like Deus Ex was. Except without the imaginative art direction.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      Their attempt to confuse the tug of nostalgia with images of their new game imploded when they engaged the pedant sector of my brain by calling the new syndicate the successor to the first syndicate. Not, you know, syndicate wars? Breach failed

  3. AndrewC says:

    Old games are rubbish.

    • jti says:

      Yeah, but the thing is, modern games are even more so…

    • julianbenson says:

      Yeah, isn’t it annoying how as time goes by games get worse and worse. I imagine that’s why they’re so unpopular.

    • Harlander says:

      Quality’s stored in an unsigned variable though right?

      So eventually games’ll get so rubbish they’ll wrap around to transcendently amazing.

      Or the universe will crash.

    • Nick says:

      How many years have to pass before good games suddenly become rubbish?

  4. MrMud says:

    It is pretty hillarious that they are making a video to detail just how unique and interesting the first syndicate was and then present generic shooter from generic town.

    • thepaleking says:

      Seriously, after they jumped from the old Syndicate, I was expecting a bunch of new footage that would show off the tactical side of the game…instead the first thing they show is a giant chain gun mowing dudes down. I think they got Doom and Syndicate mixed up.

    • AndrewC says:

      The first footage we see of the Old Syndicate is people shooting people. Also: cut scenes.

      And all isometric games look the same.

    • Andrigaar says:

      Pretty sure all of that footage was scripted sequences and animations that play out with zero user input. Still wish this title had a different name so it could be judged without the IP’s baggage.

      Oh, and a few bits of pre-rendered footage too. Probably from an intro movie.

    • f1x says:

      Indeed, I think old syndicate still looks cool,
      well done old 2D games stand good against time in my opinion, first 3D super low poly incursions… thats another story

    • thepaleking says:


      Syndicate has nothing to prove, we, or at least I and any one else who has played it, knows that it is a deeply tactical game. New Syndicate however has yet to show itself as anything but a more mindless version of DXHR, with a blue and grey color scheme rather than gold.

      As for the “And all isometric games look the same.” comment, well, I would have to smash my head against a wall a number of times before I would be able to make a response that would be understood on your wave length of dipshitery.

    • AndrewC says:

      @Thepaleking so in the absence of knowledge of how this game will play you’ll just assume all your fears are correct. That is an approach.

    • MrMud says:


      As much as I want to be dissapointed about the new Syndicate, lets be fair, old syndicate was largely about running around with miniguns blowing everything up.

    • Laurentius says:

      So true, what’s more it shows how strategic fighting in open sanbox city turned into inside-corridor shooter.

    • thepaleking says:

      Actually it’s the opposite of absence. I am using every bit of information on the game currently available to me to make that judgement. So until the developers provide some evidence that proves otherwise, my statement is quite objective.

    • c-Row says:

      Oh boy, I really wish my old copy of Syndicate came with some of those highly tactical missions I keep reading about. All I got was a bunch of Cannonfodder wearing trenchcoats. Finding a vehicle and taking the only possible route into a poorly guarded area doesn’t count as tactical in my book.

    • AndrewC says:

      @thepaleking you’re comparing a game you’ve played dozens of hours of with a game you’ve seen a video of and find the latter lacking in depth? You may think what you will about the final game, but calling your opinions objective doesn’t help you.

    • Dominic White says:

      I replayed Syndicate just a couple years back. (hail Dosbox!), and… yeah, it’s Cannon Fodder. Some missions are dressed up to make it seem like there’s some illusion of choice or tactics, but you’re mostly clicking on dudes to make them be minigunned to death or rocketed to death.

      It was neither strategic, nor particularly tactical, nor deep. It was a cool cyberpunk isometric shooter with a mouse control system. if it was directly updated to modern standards, it would be a twin-stick shooter, and almost nothing else would have to change.

    • Unaco says:


      The original Syndicate was a great game… unique, atmospheric, violent. But it was not a rich tactical experience, as quite a few people have pointed out here. Tactics consisted of getting bigger guns, getting more guns, shooting the enemy first with large amounts of big guns, perhaps playing the level once or twice to learn the ‘trick’ or ‘conceit’ for the level. The AI was terrible though, the persuadetron was far too exploitable, missions where limited to shoot everything, persuade everyone, or find the ‘trick’… there wasn’t really any scope for intricate plans and tactics.

    • Hanban says:

      I honestly had no idea that Syndicate involved tactics. I always saw it as Cannon Fodder lacking the ‘humorous’ approach.

      I was around seven when the game was released, and I managed to finish it. I’m not sure how tactics wiz I was at the time, but probably the game was playable about as ‘balls to the wall shooty’ as Cannon Fodder. Which is not to say you couldn’t make it into a tactical experience.

    • Laurentius says:

      Orginal Syndicate being a shooter you say, have it your way, but shooter placed in a as open,sandboxworld as 1993 could show, you could set fire to all civilians and police and cars and even trees, don’t kid yourself Saints Row 3 will have more in common with original Syndicate then this coridor shooter.

    • Leonard Hatred says:

      @hanban. I don’t believe for one second you completed syndicate aged 7. I know you don’t care, I don’t want to hear about the time you completed golden axe from within your mother’s womb, I just felt strongly enough about it to register my disbelief.

    • Hanban says:

      @Leonard Hatred

      Register your disbelief all you want. Syndicate was not an impossible game. Not even for a seven year old.

    • Chris D says:

      I find it harder to believe someone would let their seven-year-old play Sydicate. Won’t someone think of the children?

    • Hanban says:

      Well, my parents are characterized by their laissez-faire attitude towards child raising. They let me play doom as well. I didn’t end up murdering anyone in real life, I swear it!

  5. thepaleking says:

    Was any of that new Syndicate footage actual gameplay? It all looked like scripted sequences, and few of those elbow-blade style, locked in melee kills.

  6. razzafazza says:

    they could have still made Syndicate a FPS but remain more true to the original …. nothing stops an FPS from having a metamap with research etc. between missions. nothing stops an FPS from having open levels with tons of civilians. nothing stops an FPS from enabling you to play nameless, replacable agents through non-scripted environment …. (and i m hoping at least the coop might be somewhat like this), nothing stops an FPS from having squadmates…

    ….but i guess making a CINEMATIC, STORYFOCUSED Call of Syndicate (sorry but thats what the gameplay looks like thus far…) was more tempting than bringing syndicate gameplay into first person.

    but hey i m dying to know on what epic blockbuster cinematic story of betrayal and revenge this Miles Kilo will embark … was his father perhaps backstabbed ? are mega-corporations truly evil ?!?

    • Snidesworth says:

      I’m guessing agent upgrading will come into the multiplayer. Hopefully it’ll also allow you and three fellow drones to engage in glorious, sociopathic amorality in the pursuit of profit. You know, as opposed to just shooting at other agents as you try to capture the chip.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      They were winning me over until those words those fucking words “…betrayal and revenge…” were uttered in the trailer. I called that as soon as this was announced all the while hoping to be proven wrong. But nope, let’s go with the stock plot for a shooter. This also means that the game can have you being immoral for a wee while to begin with but then soon enough have you turn on your masters – maybe even join some sort of hippie resistance group – to bring everything down.

    • Inigo says:

      maybe even join some sort of hippie resistance group

      Actually, it’s an urban/hip-hop resistance group.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      we’re trenchcoat-wearing soldiers in the army of the syndicate
      every single indicator showing that we’re in da shit
      our tactical attacks ain’t gonna make that fucker abdicate
      and so we will eliminate inimicable reprobate


    • hosndosn says:

      This is the most important point for me: It’s not just them turning it into an FPS, that I would be fine with. That trend already was foreshadowed in the late 90ies and people actually were excited about it back then because, naively, we thought that we’d just get a more interesting perspective on top of the strategy/management part. But turning to FPS was a genre switch instead of a “re-imagining” of the original gameplay. Strategy -> action. Everything that doesn’t fit into the constraints of the latter becomes lost in translation. The uniqueness of the franchise vanishes.

      Game franchises to me are gameplay franchises. The story background is nice and all, but it’s just decoration. You can’t turn SimCity into an FPS and claim “the core essence” is still intact because the FPS still takes place in a city.

    • Sabre_Justice says:

      Hell, it’s easy to argue that Saint’s Row 3 will be closer to the original Syndicate. It already has the near-cyberpunk aesthetic (full cyberpunk in some places), mind control gun, and lots of civilians.

    • buzzmong says:


      Your first paragraph is now in my game ideas/design folder. Thanks :)

  7. Dyst says:

    I think this looks really cool. Doesn’t look particularly tactical or complex or deep but it looks like a decent shooter and that’s what really matters to me. Not fussed about the Syndicate name.

  8. KingCathcart says:

    So the 4 player co-op is separate from the main game and a re-imagining of the original?

    That is what has caught my interest and not so much the single player campaign. Look forward to finding out more about co-op.

    Oh, and I see they’re pretending Syndicate Wars didn’t happen.

    • danly says:

      Which is a shame, since it still stands up fairly well today.

      I know, I know, some folks don’t like it. But damn if I don’t enjoy wanton destruction in the Magic Carpet engine.

    • shoptroll says:

      Co-op campaign piqued my interest as well.

  9. CyberBrent says:

    Christ… That name… MILES is the name of the dog that belongs to the weird old lady that lives across my street. Although she also calls him CHUCK from time to time. It’s a shame really…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Miles is also Tails the Fox’s first name from Sonic…

      And that’s before we even get into the whole combo of “Miles Kilo”

    • CyberBrent says:

      Sheesh… I’m no game designer, but it seems like it would have been much cooler if you were a nameless/faceless agent with a wiped past and life. Although that probably wouldn’t really jive with their vengeance tale. Unless it went a Robocop route and you gain memories back or whatever.
      Just seems like that would be better than being a gel-haired bro-bag named MILES KILO.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      From the script leaked earlier today:

      !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! EuroCorp’s classified prototype chip, codenamed “Seek Rat”, has been stolen by the competing Ei’Jan Conglomerate. Agents Miles Kilo and O’Nitts Merit are sent in undercover to return the stolen tech. However, they must first discover the meaning of love before they can defeat the scheming CEO Master Bates and his best lawyer Manfred von Karma… Oh, snap! Wrong game!

      To be fair, I think the game looks fine. I like cyberpunk and this is cyberpunk. They really didn’t have to call it Syndicate though.

    • CyberBrent says:

      Yeah, I probably wouldn’t have felt the need to log in and speak ill of this game if it wasn’t called Syndicate. Who knows… maaybe it’ll be ok?

  10. Kefren says:

    This looks amazing! I love what they’ve done with the revamp.

    I pretty much stopped watching at 00:59 when it showed what I assume is the crappy original, since – as gamers – we have moved on past gratuitous headshooting mankillings now, haven’t we?

    But I loved the character in the little people and vehicles, and the design of the little cities at the start. I must keep an eye on this game.

  11. akumen says:

    Such an ironic trailer … the old Syndicate was original, new and interesting. It was a strategy game. The new one is just a DX:HR carbon copy with a different colour scheme.

    • Harlander says:

      It was a strategy game.


      not…. really.

    • sinister agent says:

      It would regularly come under “action strategy” at the time.

    • Harlander says:

      Yeah, well, I can call myself HRH Edward Windsor, it don’t make me the Duke of Kent.

      (Not a very good retort, I know, but after all the effort I put into it I’ll be damned if I’m not going to use it!)

  12. Phinor says:

    I’m looking at my own “games to play in 2012” list and this is what I see right now: 7x fps games, 1x 3rd person shooter, 1x 3rd person action-rpg and one racing game. Mind you, I’m not an fps junkie or anything, I play most quality games regardless of their genre.

    I’m not sure if going fps is the right answer right now but at least Syndicate is out first before any of the other highly anticipated fps games.

    • Emeraude says:

      Personally it’s not even the going FP(S) that really bothers me (thought it does a bit), but the apparent change to heavily scripted corridor structure.

      Had we be given a FPS set in a sandbox with all-destructible elements and the liberty to fuck around about how to reach your goals (need to kill the guy at the top of the tower ? Blow the tower ! Or kill everyone in it ! Or steal a plane and aim it straight at the top ! Mind-jack an employee and do the job from afar !) I’d have no problem with the change really.

      As mentioned above, Syndicate wasn’t really a strategic game, if anything it was a sandbox game with strategic elements.

  13. Schadenfreude says:

    Aerie’s been recruited by Eurocorp. Uncle Quayle would be so disappointed.

  14. danimalkingdom says:

    Looks like Starbreeze only got to level two…

  15. thessalian_pine says:

    “Portions For Foxes” really is a great song!

  16. BreadBitten says:

    From CEO of EuroCorp to an agent of EuroCorp…

    Am I supposed to be excited for this?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, it’s some sort of recession, so you should be glad you even have a job… er, in the future or something.

    • sinister agent says:

      Just wait for the DLC, where you play as a job applicant for the Eurocorp mail room.

  17. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Friend & mentor = traitor.

    • danly says:

      Of course, it’s EA.

      They have a canned story arc they work into each game.

      Not to mention the level progression of bland hallway into scripted action environment with the Assault, Sneaky, and Charisma options of success.

  18. Schadenfreude says:

    The Agent’s having any kind of personality doesn’t appeal to me. I loved that conceit in the old game, that you were actually playing as the CEO directly controlling your Agents from a blimp.

    A first person shooter was inevitable but I wish they’d taken a different approach e.g. you’re still an executive but you directly control the Agents through some kind of VR console thing (If you die, bounce into another Agent). I mean, Starbreeze have used that exact same mechanic already in Riddick: Dark Athena and it worked well. Just fits with the fiction better IMO.

    Could still turn out okay of course, but as it stands it just doesn’t grab me.

    • ninjapirate says:

      That’s what bothers me the most as well.
      The game has gone from controlling four mind-wiped drones to following the story of a protagonist with a social life and a personal agenda. Aside from the genre switch, this – to me – is the biggest change, and the most off-putting.
      Having a name, a personality, your own thoughts, and being best friends with your mentor is just not Syndicate at all.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I find it incomprehensible that the game isn’t going to be about controlling a meat puppet, but: is it not plausible that MILES KILO’s friend and mentor is in fact an electronic figment designed to exert control through more psychologically acceptable/useful means than simple direct orders?

      If not, I put money on him not living more than a third of the way into the game. He’s no traitor, he’s like the support character who tells the protagonist about his big plans for the future, minutes before getting gunned down and providing a revenge motive.

      This game could be fantastic, and could be a massive dissappointment. I remain cautiously optimistic (an approach that worked for DXHR).

    • Turkey says:

      Damn. I want to play your version.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      @YourMessageHere – that’s brilliant. I doubt very much the writing is going to be of that caliber but thanks for that.

      @Schadenfreude – much agreed. It should be that you’re told what to do with minimal human interaction (unless slaughter is considered a human interaction of course). I’m still in mourning over the lameness of the new gauss gun. You could devastate the better part of a building with that. Flamethrowering has still not been shown either.

      I’m hoping at least being able to call in airstrikes and whatnot will be part of the new universe.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      It would be a great excuse for dying/reloading.

  19. Igor Hardy says:

    Kinda embarrassing that the old Syndicate has still better graphics than the new one.

  20. Tams80 says:

    Well screw you lot. I’m going to enjoy the new Syndicate. =D

    • Unaco says:

      As shall I. And I’ll probably enjoy the new Paradox game based on Syndicate.

  21. Unaco says:

    I mentioned this in the comments of the last Syndicate article here. This vid was released at the same time as the last trailer. I think they’re making a thing of the original, because the co-op campaign for the new game is 4 player, with the missions being recreations of the original game’s levels.

  22. MeestaNob says:

    Claiming a machine is ‘next gen’ loses all meaning when the machines in question are over 5 years old.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Seriously. They stopped being next-generation at their respective releases.

  23. Unaco says:

    I mentioned this on the last article (and on this article, but that comment seems to have been eaten) about the game. This trailer was released at the same time as the last gameplay trailer. They’re talking about the original, because the Co-Op campaign is 4 players, with the levels from the original game recreated.

  24. Prime says:

    This lady speaks in the voice my own computer does in my head. :)

    And I am looking forward to this game; generic or not it’s Cyberpunk, and Cyberpunk done all shiny like this is A Good Thing.

    I must go back and play the original at some point, though…

  25. Iskariot says:

    I do not understand all this bitching.
    Yeah I know the new Syndicate isn’t isometric 16 bit :), but I think it looks awesome in its own right. If it lets me upgrade my character, mod my weapons and use all kinds of gadgets in a semi open world, then I feel it might beat Deus Ex HR with a comfortable margin. This game could easily become a franchise that rivals the scope and grandeur of Mass Effect’s storyline.
    I am looking forward to this.
    I just hope they don’t taint their game with ridiculous pre-order offers or game immersion destroying overpriced DLC.

    • Prime says:

      I think maybe somebody has seen Deus Ex, realised they have a very similar IP gathering dust and decided to maybe beat them at their own game. It’s an interesting move and I love that I now have two options for Cyberpunk manshoot. I hope this does very well because I, like you, want to see what would come out of it next.

      And hey, who’s to say the next game won’t come with an isometric homage partner game, a la Bionic Commando Rearmed…

    • D says:

      I don’t understand why you think this game will rival either Deus Ex HR or Mass Effect in terms of story. Those games had dialogue trees. All they’ve showed of this game so far is shooting guys, watching cutscenes and using magic spells. In corridors.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      They already have done that. There’s an ‘Executive Edition’ which has gold-skinned co-op weapons and other gold-related rubbish, detailed on the game’s official site. If it means I’ll avoid gold guns, that’s a positive incentive to take the ‘wait and see’ approach, at least for me.

    • TLGAthena says:

      They used skrillex to make the theme tune.

      Syndicate + Brostep.

      No. I am already sounding the air raid siren on this one. As someone who enjoyed the more thinky elements of Syndicate and indeed Syndicate wars, this has a long way to go to convince me that it’s not going to curl a turd on the original concept from a great height. Paradox best hurry up.

    • Unaco says:

      The “more thinky elements of the original Syndicate” being trying to remember the IRQ for your SoundBlaster during install?

    • TLGAthena says:

      I remember having to research techs, decide what bit of the map I was going to tackle next, actually having to be semi sensible with my agents and not throw them about like expendable candy. After all, the game over condition was you running out of funds to do nefarious things with.

      It might not be Sengoku or Europa Universalis or even UFO enemy unknown, but it did require a LITTLE bit of thinking.

    • DrSlek says:

      I don’t understand how anyone can claim the story of this game could rival Deus Ex. Nothing of the story has been revealed other than it’s about violent corporate espionage and that you have a mentor/boss in the macho-badass archetype.

      All we’ve really seen for far are scripted dequences, linear corridors and shooting galleries.

    • Iskariot says:

      “I don’t understand how anyone can claim the story of this game could rival Deus Ex. ”

      ‘Could’ is the buzz word.

      And one can claim anything if expressed cautiously, as I did.
      I did not state that the game’s story does rival… etc, did I?

      I was trying to counter balance all the bullshit negativity about this great looking game only because it has a name that reminds us of a 16 bit isometric game. I think that kind of criticism is totally unjustified and rather irrational.
      I understand that some of us would have liked to see a 32 bit isometric remake of the original (which I myself own and played).

      Well, this game is not that!
      We know that now.
      So, stop the childish and endless petty droning, whining tantrums and judge this game on its own merits for god’s sake. This might very well turn out to be a great cyberpunk action game. We will just have to wait and see.
      And what I have seen so far looks mighty good. Better than Deus Ex HR in my opinion.
      Just compare the quality of the modeling and animation for example.

    • DrSlek says:

      You’re actually surprised that the new game in the franchise is being judged against the quality of the previous installments? Amazingly, when publishers apply a beloved franchise name to a new game, fans actually expect said game to bear a resemblance to previous installments.

      People hated Splinter Cell: Conviction because it was an action game rather than a stealth game. People will hate Syndicate because its even further from what the previous installments were. It’s a linear corridor shooter. The agents are actual people instead of robots controlled by the Eurocorp CEO in a blimp (but if they weren’t actual people, I suppose they wouldn’t be able to have their hamfisted “action-adventure story of corruption and revenge”).

      Also; Richard Morgan is writing the story for Syndicate…..he wrote the story for Crysis 2. Sure, the story COULD be good. It’s severely unlikely, but there’s maybe a 5% chance of that. It COULD happen.

    • Iskariot says:

      “You’re actually surprised that the new game in the franchise is being judged against the quality of the previous installments? Amazingly, when publishers apply a beloved franchise name to a new game, fans actually expect said game to bear a resemblance to previous installments.”

      No I am not surprised at all…. and of course initially ‘fans actually expect said game to bear a resemblance to previous installments’. I liked the original games too. I still have them in my collection. And it would perhaps have been a good idea if they had chosen a somewhat different and more distinguishing name for this game… perhaps… perhaps not.

      But as I said… we know now that this game is quite different from the 16 bit isometric antique and the never ending incessant childish whining about that is starting to get old and on my nerves. It is time to judge this game on its own merits. What we have seen so far is promising I think and I am very eager to see were this is going. I like more cyberpunk titles in gaming and this looks like it is going to deliver.

      And as far a Crysis 2 is concerned, I had a blast with that game. I felt more like an augmented cyborg than I ever did in Deus Ex HR and the levels were beautifully crafted and the visuals and audio spectacular. I would have liked to see more open levels, but in general I think Crysis 2 is a wonderful game. I had more exhilarating fun sneaking and shooting in it than I had in the hiped Deus Ex HR, although I liked that game too.

  26. sinister agent says:

    I like how Syndicate Wars apparently doesn’t exist. Bit of a slap in the face for the people who made it.

    • Inigo says:

      The leaked scripts did mention a preacher from the Church of the New Epoch, I think.

    • Prime says:

      That’s probably because it’s a bitch to get running on a Window 7 PC. Been trying all day. :(

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  28. Emeraude says:

    More and more of those spambots posts around, or is it me ?.

  29. Turkey says:

    The Persuadatron looks a bit boring. Why not take advantage of the perspective and give you first person control over someone? You could use it to remove obstacles in the way of your agent as well as just wreaking havoc.

  30. Aristarchus says:

    Miles Kilo…and Kate?

  31. jugro says:

    What is Yelena Fedorova doing next to the box art???