Darting Around: Syndicate Coop

The video is 84% headshots or attempted headshots

There has already been a short trailer showing the chip-fipping, face-slamming action of the Syndicate reboot, this being the boot that may stamp on the face of your gaming past forever. This longer video shows an actual play session on the same map, jumping between agents’ viewpoints to confuse me but otherwise giving a fairly good idea of how things will play out. There will be lots of violence, death and use of cover. Strategy? Well, you’ll have to wait for team-mates before opening certain doors and really tough men will absorb thousands of bullets so you’ll need to heal one another during those fights. Oh, just look at it.

Persuadatronned? Probably not. I might start referring to new footage from the game as Persuadatrailers though.

Did the cuts from agent to agent confuse anyone else or am I just unable to follow because I haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning? Possibly. Almost definitely actually. But no amount of coffee will convince me that I was watching anything more than shooty people shooting one another. Yes, that’s always been what the series boiled down to, but if I didn’t know this was Syndicate, there’s not a lot there to suggest to me that it is. Except when it says the name at the end. I’ve had enough coffee to twig by that point.

It’s often the case with this sort of video but the people playing don’t seem hugely proficient. Maybe because they’re trying to show that it’s possible to miss headshots and shoot at the floor, which are important player choices. There is bullet time and some sort of heat vision, powered by artificial brain-wiring no less, but they are aids to the near-constant shooting rather than to planning or choice of approach.

In such a small map, it’s hard to see tactical potential beyond basic role assignment and the final fight does seem to lend itself to MMO style allocation of medics and tanks. All that said, I’m rarely unhappy to have a coop option in my games and it could be a welcome addition to Kilomiles RobotFace’s story. We’ll see.


  1. c-Row says:

    And here we go again…

  2. Network Crayon says:

    The actual HUD, looks awsome!

    reminds me of wip3out, which is never a bad thing.

    Particularly in an FPS, as for everything else. im completely impartial.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      My thoughts exactly. The stark blue and reds prove really refreshing.

      Ever since COD hud’s seem to have taken a down turn in games.

      I really like Skyrim’s hud though perhaps not the actual interface it covers!

  3. Magga says:

    HUD looks cool, especially the ammo counter. Otherwise boring.

  4. Valvarexart says:

    Good grief, that has to be on console, right? The lack of skills I see in those players is very worrying, indeed. Well, I’m not very skilled myself but they just seem to be plain awful (or equipped with controllers rather than mouse and keyboard). Here’s for hoping that higher difficulty levels will have higher difficulty and that the AI will be a bit less retarded. Other than that I must say that it does look quite fun. I can imagine playing it with some of my chums and having a bloody good time!

    • Danny252 says:

      2:30 was possibly my favourite – half a dozen enemies pile out the door, and the player just shoots at their shoes.

    • vatara says:

      He was going for the dreaded Achilles heel shot.

  5. Premium User Badge

    selkcip says:

    Dat thumbstick sniping. It looks like it could be fun, storming the castle with friends always is so long as you can actually storm WITH friends. The fact that this is being played on a console however makes me think it’ll be a shit port.

  6. HisMastersVoice says:

    HUD looks bloody awful. Cramped, overloaded and you can barely see what’s going on on the screen. I know it’s console footage, but I doubt they’ll make a PC specific one. The animations aren’t that good either, especially the wavy cloaks looks darn stupid.

  7. Vexing Vision says:

    I love the HUD!

  8. Caddrel says:

    Sound design, graphics, gameplay all look second-rate. How is this planning to measure up to games like Deus Ex and Battlefield 3?

    It also bears absolutely no resemblance to the original Syndicate.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Correct about the gameplay, wrong about everything else.

  9. Zulthar says:

    I can’t believe people actually like the HUD. It covers about half the screen. Looks like clusterfudge to me.

    Also watching bad players play FPS with controllers makes my brain hurt.

    • John P says:

      Yeah whatever happened to the school of thought that a HUD should be as small and minimalistic and unobtrusive as possible? Now it’s like developers are taking pride in their huge HUD design, and, worse, people are getting wowed by the pretty colours. Hard to believe.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      And worse, it moves around as the player move, so it will constantly catch your peripheral vision. A HUD should not draw attention to itself!

  10. BoZo says:

    It would’ve been awesome if the game was played SP in that 4 viewpoints mode you saw in the beginning. It would kind of like a action Lost Vikings, in first person…

  11. Vandelay says:

    Please consoles, move to motion controls for shooters! I understand that mouse and keyboard isn’t really practical for coach playing, but motion controls are infinitely better than a pad.

    Besides the atrocious players, looks like an okay shooter, but nothing special.

  12. Hoaxfish says:

    Right, so this is 4 players?

    So splitscreen is not actually playable, just their way of editting the video to show 4 different viewpoints?
    And they editted out all the “boring” bits by switching to a different player’s view?

    I would’ve preferred each of the 4 views to each be an individual video.

  13. Someblokius says:

    To me those trenchcoats seem to have insufficient length and bulk for a Syndicate agent. Admittedly a 3/4 length is more practical for running about in than the full-length jobs seen in both proper Syndicate games but it just looks wrong here. The things they’re wearing hang like capes with delusions of grandeur. No way you’d hide a minigun under there.

    I’ll admit this complaint is fairly esoteric. :)

    • Hematite says:

      Both proper Syndicate games? Hah, I remember when Syndicate Wars was released, and decried as spitting on the memory of a Bullfrog classic. Get off my lawn, kid!

      Ok, I’m done.

    • SiHy_ says:

      Yeah I remember that but I was never sure why Syndicate Wars got such a bum rap. Anyone feel like elaborating?

  14. YanDaik says:

    why all games these days have x-ray vision…?

    • mouton says:

      Because modern gamers get lost and frustrated when an enemy hides.

  15. Toberoth says:

    Call of Syndicate: Modern Wars

    I’m trying really hard to get excited about this game, I really am.

    Syndicate Wars (I didn’t play much of the first Syndicate) was one of my most favouritest games in the entire world. The mood of it, the overwhelming, dystopian feel of a completely immoral universe, the kidnapping and forced augmentation of the agents under my command, combined with the sheer silliness of it (“let’s persuade 100 people to follow me, pack them all into this tiny Bullfrog van and then blow it up!”) combined to make it one of the games that made me (as it were).

    If the generic shooter on offer here didn’t share the name, I would have no idea it was meant to be set in the Syndicate universe. It’s so… bright… there are no wacky explosives that can level whole buildings. There’s no atmosphere of being in a dark, dystopian universe. The agents… talk to each other, what? Aren’t they meant to be controlled by a hive mind? Why would they need to shout about reloading and whatnot? Why do they need iron sights? Shouldn’t they have augmented arms that make shooting from the hip not only feasible, but actually the quicker and more practical option? It’s the little things like that that get my goat.

    (My poor goat is getting got a lot of late.)

    I’m not going to make one of those outrageous claims about this game raping my childhood or something stupid like that. But… having seen quite a few promotional videos of this game so far, I wonder: did the developers actually play Syndicate or Syndicate Wars at any point? I’ve seen this question leveled on RPS and other gaming sites quite a few times. But it’s only just clicked why, and now I find myself asking the same question.

    I’m going to keep trying to like this, and be excited about it. I’m going to try really, really hard. But this is the first video I’ve seen of it that has really caused me to doubt.

    • MajorManiac says:

      To me, it looks like they were making an FPS and at a late stage in the development decided to use the Syndicate licence.

  16. airtekh says:

    It doesn’t look like they’re breaking much new ground with this co-op.

    The remote healing looks useful though.

  17. fuggles says:

    Looks like they had a spare set of Mirrors Edge levels and needed to do something with them. I guess I’m largely thinking of syndicate wars, where it was never sunny. I find it hilarious that when you take too many bullets you need ‘rebooting’. Right you are then.

  18. mouton says:

    I try not to hate this game, but damn, the gameplay is so boooooring. I mean, come on, Doom is more engaging, it has demons and stuff.

  19. WatchGeek says:

    I find the way the HUD moves in and out when you start and stop moving to be very distracting. Would this really happen if you were actually having this info “displayed” in your brain?

    Also, does this seem to be a re-skinned Brink?

    I’m trying to like this game. I played the original Syndicate and, while the memories are very faded, I do recall spending many hours playing the game. Same went for my buddies. The concept is awesome, but I’m not sure that a FPS “re-imagining” is the way to go. It’s what sells. The only problem is that Modern Warfare is such a juggernaut that anything else, even id games, are completely overshadowed.

    I’m sure it’ll be on sale not too long after launch…

    • Brun says:

      Apparently the developers of shooters always forget that your eyes can move independently of your head. Next time you get a chance, try running while staring at a fixed object. You’ll notice that there is not actually a “head-bob” effect because your eyes move in your skull to adjust for the motion. It’s always included to make games feel more “real,” but as it’s an unrealistic effect the real purpose of it is to make games feel cinematic, since the “head-bob” effect really comes from cameras.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      But if you pay attention to your peripheral vision while still staring at that object, you’ll see the effect of your head movement.

      What we need is eye tracking, so the computer knows what object at what depth you’re looking at, and bobs the camera around while keeping it pointed at that object, just like your eyes do.

  20. Burky says:

    This looks pretty damn bad from a videogame perspective, regardless of the franchise attached.

  21. pilouuuu says:

    If they wanted to make a shooting game it should at least have been a third person one and include some system like VATS on Fallout 3. This is just a mindless FPS!

  22. MajorManiac says:

    It just goes to show how well made games like Killing Floor and Left 4 Dead are.

  23. Groove says:

    How has no-one commented on the character’s ability to soak bullets?

    At 1:53-2:10, the guy is surrounded by enemies, so he casually walks up some stairs, stopping half way to shoot in the opposite direction. At the top he’s faced by two guys with sub-machine guns, so he strolls forward, nicely waiting for them to start firing at point blank range before trying to kill them. He’s then attacked by two more guys while meandering towards cover.

    This looked ridiculous! Surely this guy isn’t a cyborg any more, he’s just a man with cybernetic implants? Unless his implants include kevlar skin then any part of this should have just about killed him.

    • Highstorm says:

      I was bothered by this as well. Particularly the sniper getting shot from every direction while he casually lines up a headshot.

  24. ChiefOfBeef says:

    I’m having trouble believing Stardock made this. I’m guessing EA are heavily interfering and making it terribad. Wishful thinking maybe, but it should have been obvious to any developer that even if you’re going to change Syndicate to first-person then you should:

    1. Make the levels open.

    2. All agents act casual. No one does the ‘Tom Clancy stance’ in Syndicate unless they’re going to die.

    3. Stealth. I remember being able to go quite a lot of places in Syndicate without raising an alarm until I pulled a gun and even then if no one saw it, it didn’t happen. Hell they knew that in 1993.

    4. Agents are armed with ridiculously powerful weapons. I have yet to see one in any of the videos for this, they seem to be equipped with the same Assault Rifle/SMG bollocks as the mall cops guarding everywhere. Rapid fire weapons are mini-guns with hundreds of rounds of ammo, not Scar imitations with 30-50. Against single targets or small groups, a pistol that blows a hole the size of a dinner plate in people is what an agent would use. Against a lot of them, it’s a mini-gun or a gauss gun(a REAL gauss gun that covers the place in flames).

    The most powerful weapon we’ve seen so far is a shotgun. An agent would only use a shotgun he just picked up on one person and then throw it away when it emptied. I’m expecting there will be explosive projective weapons in the game, to be used against some manner of annoying helicopter shooting at you through windows in some heavily contrived set piece, but that isn’t what an agent would use it for. They’d use it on people or for breaching walls and doors and then take out a helicopter with a pistol whilst standing still, not strafing.

    Where is the inspiration in the game we’re being showed? Remember, these are the pictures of the game that marketing WANT us to see, they are the best they have to offer. I dread to think what the game is like in between those bits.

  25. sinister agent says:

    Looks competent and everything, but I honestly can’t see anything to distinguish it from every other shooter ever. Even the guns look exactly the same as in every other shooter.

  26. Turkey says:

    They could have at least added some cannon fodder civilians and cowering scientist to make it feel a smidgen like Syndicate. I thought they said this mode was inspired by the original or something in the previous abortion of a trailer.

  27. SiHy_ says:

    So why such a massive influx of FPSs in the last few years? Is it because there are quite a few engines built for it? Is it because it’s the genre with the most mass appeal?
    I have no problem with a well made FPS but why so goddamn many?
    Dammit, I need answers!

  28. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    I started the video up ready to be seduced into liking it despite my objections to it being FPSed but I was very pleased to find (now, that is, because the watching of was not a pleasing thing) no internal conflict. Whole being is united in Do Not Want.

    tldw Yuck. Consolitius.

  29. EtsSpets says:

    It looks like a “Mirrors Edge” mod…Syndicate needs to be way darker and more techy…

  30. MeestaNob says:

    Corporations of Duty: Future Hackers.


  31. Kadayi says:

    Are they using the Frostbyte 2 engine for this?