Have You Syn Da Satellite Reign Footage Yet?

Want first proper in-game, in-mission footage of spiritual Syndicate remake Satellite Reign? With agents and cars and civilians and cities and miniguns and all? Step right this way.

I think you’re going to like what you see.

This is pre-alpha, so nothing is final and everything is subject to change. ‘The UI, audio, weapons and effects are 100% placeholder’ too. Even so…

Yes please. Please, yes.

Apparently this reveal was supposed to be far slighter than we ultimately got, so it’s a nice surprise on both sides of the fence. “The video was actually meant to demonstrate the agents coats reacting to wind from the cars zooming by,” say devs 5 Lives Studios, “but before we knew it we were showing crowds of civilians, CCTV cameras, cover usage, x ray camera mode and even a couple of enemies.”

The cyberpunk style is dialled up a little – the colours and UI evokee fellow Kickstartee Shadowrun Returns to some degree – but movement, pace and gunplay seem highly Syndicatesque.

Man, I hope they pull this off.

Thanks for the tip, Kieron.


  1. zain3000 says:

    Mmmm… looking very tasty.

    On another note, I think you synd against the pun gods with that one, Alec.

    • wraithgr says:

      They should put a weapon in the game that causes a satellite to crash on the target and call it satellite rain. Then it would be an eye for an eye. Also could be worse, could be “have you syn da categorically amazing video”…

      • Zekiel says:

        Rather randomly that kind of actually does happen in Alan Wake’s American Nightmare!

  2. Optimaximal says:

    I’m happy, but the next trailer needs more nuclear grenades and/or satellite uplink. :)

  3. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Love it. For me it’s a toss up between this and Elite 4 for who’s winning the Kickstarters.

    • Syra says:

      This. So this. The only kickstarter that has ever made me “squeeeeeeeeee” with excitement. This is my dream game. I want all games to look like this. All the games I design in my head look like this.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Who’s this Kieron?


    • Premium User Badge

      Earl-Grey says:

      Also, on a more relevant note, I hope they speed up the bullets/lasers a little.

      Needs more bullets wot go fast!

      • Mungrul says:

        Aye, and in a weird flashback to the original Quake 3 Tests, I hope they change the color of the bullets from pink.
        Ironically, I didn’t mind the pink plasma shots in Q3Test, but here they look somewhat out of place.

        Edit: Just realised that this is an overly moany comment that doesn’t represent the fact that I sat here watching that video with a massive grin on my face. I also felt an overwhelming urge to call my workmates over and go “LOOK! They done made a new, proper Syndicate! Isn’t that AWESOME?!”, but I’m afraid none of them know what the original game is.
        Working in an IT-centric job where my colleagues aren’t as interested in games as me weirds me out sometimes.

        • Premium User Badge

          Earl-Grey says:

          Well, if it makes you feel better, I read it simply as a polite comment on the state of the game.
          -I think the phrasing “I hope” and “somewhat” without any following vitriol helped ;)

          Christ, if I’d called my coworkers over to my desk to show them this, I’d have spontaneously combusted from the sheer intensity of their apathy.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Reminds me of that Vlambeer presentation where they argue that making bullets fast, loud, bassy, explodey are better than toning it down in terms of feel, and that even adding more bass to a gun’s sound can make the difference between a weapon that’s no fun to a weapon that feels powerful.

  5. Alien426 says:

    Yes. Yes, I have.

    And am happy that I backed. Next trailer: Gauss gun!

    On another note, I am disgusted that Syndicate Wiki is only about the rebooted game. #GiveGamesUniqueNames

  6. Jonfon says:

    The colour scheme is very Shadowrun, isn’t it? I thought the article was about that until I started reading.

    Now that I think of it back when I was playing Syndicate the CRT monitor I was using was wonky and all the red used to disappear. So as far as I’m concerned the ‘correct’ colour palette for Syndicate is greeny-blue. Reds and Yellows are the work of the devil!!

    • Lemming says:

      Methinks you and the author haven’t played Shadowrun for a while. Shadowrun is about 5 f-stops brighter than this.

  7. Kollega says:

    You know, I usually hate cyberpunk for being too cliche and too amoral… but art-wise, this trailer actually looks reasonable (huge guns notwithstanding), and I did hear that you can actually *gasp* attempt to improve things rather than just perpetuating everyone’s misery like you did in Syndicate. So this is somewhat interesting to me. The soundtrack is pretty bad, though. :P

    • mouton says:

      Amorality was one of the best things of the original Syndicate. You have 100000 other games where you can play out fantasies of saving the kingdom and bringing peace to the world, kk

  8. rustybroomhandle says:

    Can I have female agents named Cindy & Kate?

  9. Ultra Superior says:

    I hate to sit like elite n rain on their parade there, but it looks so very cheap, the effects so flat, and the world so blank… very pre-alpha. Much unity. Disappoint.

    • Harlander says:

      It kind of is a pre-alpha isn’t it?

      (Wait, you were doing a doge meme? Ehhhhhhhh…)

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Wow. So doge. Much coincidence.

        I know it’s pre-alpha but some things just… stay. It doesn’t look great. I am a backer and I’ll be getting this… though not sharing the excitement with everyone else here.

        This video doesn’t show anything exciting and the things it shows seem half-assed – mediocre at best.

    • wodin says:

      I think people tend to forget that alot of these KS games are Indie games developed on a small budget. As they forget I think their expectations go out of whack with whats really possible with an Indie development team and their money..

  10. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Agonising pun, as a backer though I’m pretty excited about this.

  11. Maxheadroom says:

    I’m glad of these updates cos this is one of those games that I backed and then keep forgetting that I baked (just like that road rash remake).

  12. SominiTheCommenter says:

    > The video was actually meant to demonstrate the agents coats reacting to wind from the cars zooming by
    GOTY right there.

  13. wodin says:

    Looks good. As long as it isn’t a click fest and you can easily manage your men..I usually prefer turn based or WEGO than realtime but I shall keep my eye on it.

  14. karthink says:

    Huh. Of all the projects I’ve backed, this was one I’d considered the poorest bet; as severely underestimating the amount of cash required. I’d like nothing better than to be proved wrong.

  15. Sacarathe says:

    It looks very like GTA2 – not a bad thing.

  16. dazman76 says:

    Really promising stuff at this stage – it’s still early, and already there’s a fair bit of meat on those bones. It looks like the on-the-cheap mocap has paid off already, the cover system is more functional than I expected at this point, and they even have some basic combat systems in there. Good stuff from 5Lives, and I’m very glad that I backed this one – especially since Mike Diskett is heading the team :)

  17. Bull0 says:

    Ohhhhh the way the camera rotates ever so slightly when it’s idle gives it a wonderful authenticity – from such a simple touch! Very encouraging.

    • Bobtree says:

      I too found the camera drift quite interesting. It could be a bit smoother and more continuous, perhaps not changing rotation direction so frequently, but there’s definitely something intriguing about it. Maybe they should model it as a drone camera platform that follows the player’s view movements and tries to line up its shots, rather than just being a bunch of arbitrary angular drifting.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      It is a lovely little touch that gives it a bit of “I’m in a COMMAND BLIMP” authenticity.

  18. Shadow says:

    To be honest, I never played the original Syndicate much. It felt rather chaotic and ultimately Cannon Fodder-y because of that. Like a squad-based game that needed a slower pace for the proper application of tactics. And this one, for better or worse, looks the same.

    Maybe it just needs to allow you to give orders while the game is paused? Was that ever possible? Did the complexity ever need it? I don’t know.

    • dazman76 says:

      There’s a good chance that it’ll get there over time – there’s still a good way to go in terms of development time. If you’re genuinely interested, I’d suggest heading to the site and posting in the forums. Things are quiet at the moment as the guys have clearly been working their arses off and making good progress too – but I’m sure we’ll soon reach a stage where feedback is being regularly picked up.

      I agree that Syndicate (especially the original) could feel fast-paced at times – and I’m also hoping that changes for SR. This really IS early code though – and although I agree with another poster that “some things just stay” after players have been promised otherwise, I do believe that 5Lives will listen to feedback. Obviously that’s just my feeling, but these are a good bunch of talented guys :) They want to remake Syndicate, but they also want a game that sells beyond their existing backers.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Yeah biggest risk is the devs listening to the hardcore Syndicate crowd and keeping it way too fast paced. It needs to be strategic and tactical and that means either pausing or slow mo so you can actually give orders. The cover system is already a huge leap in the right direction, because very effective cover means you have time to figure out how to flank or break the stalemate.

      • dazman76 says:

        My fingers are crossed :) We seem to have a good number of “new players” amongst the KS backers, at least based on reading messages/comments while the funding was still going on. Quite a few of them came from RPS too. I guess we just have to hope, that enough of these guys voice their opinions – either that, or 5Lives instinctively go for a slower pace and everyone just likes it and sees that it fits with the new game.

      • Lacero says:

        The backer forum has dev comment on this. I agree it needs to be slower and less chaotic than syndicate and it seems to be the overwhelming opinion on the forum, and I think the devs are getting the message. I won’t repeat it here.

        There’s a lot wrong with this video too, but basically it evokes exactly the right feeling so it makes me feel good about the project. If the feeling is right you can add better cover animations and car physics, and make the background less grey, but if the feeling is wrong none of that stuff being better would matter.

  19. tomimt says:

    This does look very promising. Original Syndicate was so much fun, I hope they can capture at least a fraction of that fun here. I never did care for Syndicate Wars tough.

  20. jonahcutter says:

    Phew. That looks pretty damn good for being pre-alpha. I’m officially excited and currently happy I backed.

    And interactivity with the world! Excellent. Barrels getting knocked around is small, but it’s a start. These guys tote around powerful weaponry. And nothing saps that immersion more than a cardboard box that is unscathed by a rocket blast. From Shadowrun to Titanfall, it always bothers me when I see immensely powerful weapons not leave a scratch on the surrounding environment.

    Here’s hoping they devote considerable resources towards the environmental interactivity.

  21. SuicideKing says:

    Looks good, will want to play but what the fuck is a pre-alpha? Either use build or version numbers or call it an Alpha.

    I mean, Alpha is meant to imply that the core engine is in place, Beta is that it’s core engine + most assets, just not fully stable, and Release is the final fully working and stable thing, with all intended content.

    And Alpha/Beta aren’t any one particular version, anyway, but a range. This looks like an Alpha build to me.

    • dazman76 says:

      Fairly simple, and not an attempt to confuse – Alpha is the first level of release to either dedicated testers, or the wider public in this new age of “early access”. Nobody is getting their hands on the code at this level – hence the term pre-Alpha. It’s a glimpse, and nothing more – it probably requires the devs to be pulling strings and tweaking Unity values on-the-fly to even be presentable at this stage, which we don’t see in the video.

    • Smegheid says:

      What makes it worse is that “alpha” and “beta” are not terms that are set in stone. That said, by other studios’ definitions, “pre-alpha” might be appropriate.

      Stainless released a pre-alpha of Carmageddon yesterday. Their rational for “pre-alpha” is that it’s not een feature complete yet; they haven’t finished coding everything they planned to, nor are all the art assets in place already. They haven’t even started optimisation or anything like that yet because it’s not even close to complete.

      For example, yesterday’s release contains a single unfinished map. Most of the ground textures are missing, as well as a lot of other bits and bobs. There’s one playable mode, and most of the menu entries are struck out like so, denoting they’re in the works but not yet available.

      From their blurb that they sent out to backers yesterday:

      Q: What does “Pre-Alpha” mean?

      A: Pre-Alpha means that the game still has a scheduled list of code and assets to be written and created. The game is buggy, it lacks features, it’s prone to crashing and performance issues. There will be issues with the frame-rate of the game, and things that work in one release being a bit broken in the next. Pre-Alpha means that the game has not yet reached the stage of completion where it can be described as “Alpha”.

      It looks like 5 Lives might have a similar outlook. What they have certainly looks playable (and quite delicious, actually), but as they say, there’s a lot of placeholder sound effects, etc. in there. This may very well be the only map that’s currently available, but we can’t tell from a 1-minute video.

      • Lacero says:

        I kinda expect you can run off the edge of the map and fall forever into big rigs space

  22. Smegheid says:

    2014 is shaping up to be rather painful. In a good way.

    Stainless just let us have a playable pre-alpha of Carmageddon yesterday, Elite is looking better and better, and now this. Even if Star Citizen completely tanks, it’s looking like the kickstarter dice I’ve rolled are going to pay off big time.

    I have no idea how I’m going to find time to play all this…

  23. Al82 says:

    Have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the video. It looks like the developers have managed to achieve quite a decent amount in a fairly short period.

    It really does capture the feel of Syndicate Wars and I also liked the music playing in the background.

    The only disappointing thing was that massive gun one of the agents was carrying. That thing should have been shooting mega-destructo-death rays, not weedy little plink bolts!! Maybe in the next release…