Really Simple Syndicate: Satellite Reign Video Playthrough

Satellite Reign comfortably cleared its £350,000 Kickstarter target in July of last year, but that this Syndicate-inspired tactical cyberpunk game didn’t extend its tally into the millions was perhaps the first sign that i) the crowdfunding service isn’t a magic well full of money and ii) that we don’t live in the best of all possible universes.

One of the signs that our universe is still very good however is the first pre-alpha playthough of the game, embedded below. It’s dark, stealthy, cyberpunk, tactical, Syndicate Syndicate Syndicate. I like it.

I was pretty young when I first played Syndicate – too young – and mainly I remember it for the transgressive act of killing pedestrians. There’s nothing like that in this video, but I like the look of its stealth, its action, and its hacking overlays which provide routes of neon wiring to show how the items in the environment connect. I also love the mood; I’m bored of orcs, but I’m not sure I’ll ever tire of long coats and city streets at night.

The video was made in part because alpha backers should be getting a build of the game to play “very soon”, according to a post on the Satellite Reign blog. I’m just thrilled that it exists and it looks solid, even if, as the post notes, there are still “more simulation systems to make, more characters to build, more environments to design and fill with art, more animations to make, and lots of balancing to do.”


  1. Heliocentric says:

    Sometimes massively overshooting has lead to rushed redesigns, redesigns away from what made the game interesting. And the pointless chase of big money production values.

    Maybe earning less than one sack of pirates gold will result in the smarter project.

  2. noom says:

    No-buy if I can’t get myself an army of useless persuadatronned civilians.

    (this is not true; I shall most likely be buying this)

    • Guvornator says:

      Ah, the persuadatron. Many a happy time was spent shooting cops so the previously peaceful Smith family could pick it shotguns to blow my enemies away. I hope it makes an appearance, although I’m not sure if it would be a good fit for the more tactical nature of the reboot.

      • klops says:

        You could also persuade the police to join you if family Smith was big enough (4? 8?). Which was nice.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          I think eventually even enemy agents were fair game if your crowd got big enough…

          • jellydonut says:

            The worst was when you’d go on a persuadertron spree, accidentally persuade everyone in the city including your assassination targets, and then have to fire indiscriminately with miniguns into the crowd trying to find the yellow/white blip on your radar indicating the target… eventually putting you under the threshold for persuaded civilians, making the agents hostile again. Sigh.

  3. Guvornator says:

    It does look good. I’m especially pleased they managed to fit the Syndicate music in it, and the hacking view looks pretty special. I’m interested in hiding mechanic and hoping it’s not just a case of running away, but rather actually hiding in something

  4. Robslap says:

    Needs more Tanhauser gates.

    (also: ohmgodohmygodohmygod!)

  5. Harlander says:

    I’m pretty quietly hyped about this. I too love the long-coats-and-neon aesthetic.

    I just hope people don’t get into the habit of thinking of this as a “Syndicate remake”, or the kvetching will be deafening as development proceeds.

    • Anthile says:

      Wasteland 2 could never escape the Fallout comparisons either.

      • Baboonanza says:

        From what I’ve played of Wasteland 2 so far it does ‘feel’ like fallout though. It’s the closest thing to the 2D Fallouts that has ever been made.

        Anybody who has played the original Syndicate game should be able to tell that this is a very different game quite quickly I think. Weirdly I think it’s closer to what people wish or falsley remember Syndicate as than the reality.

        • Emeraude says:

          From what I’ve played so far (around 60-70 hours, just landed on the second map), it feels more like Fallout than FO3 for sure, but it also definitely is its own thing, and going into it thinking you’re getting a Fallout game is probably a recipe for disappointment.

          Not that it’s a bad game, far from it, most fun I’ve had with a game in along time, frustration be damned, but it’s build around some fairly different assumptions.

          • jellydonut says:

            It reminds me more of Fallout Tactics than Fallout.

          • Emeraude says:


            That’s a fair comparison, though I’d say to me it feels more like a hybrid of FO Tactics and another game.

    • Guvornator says:

      ‘I just hope people don’t get into the habit of thinking of this as a “Syndicate remake”’

      Possibly a bad idea to have the music from Syndicate as the background music, then…

      • eggy toast says:

        Wasteland 2 kept comparing itself to Fallout, since so many more people like the Fallout brand, and so many more people played Fallout 1 or 2 vs Wasteland 1.

      • socrate says:

        yeah this is kind of stupid you want to make your own thing but you use music related to the very game you’re trying to be different from….from what i see syndicate was a bit more fun then this…this is just i dunno not that interesting to me…it looks like its trying to be too much and failing at everything its trying to be.

    • Gessen says:

      I think that’s their specific purpose for making the game though, which they’ve stated on various videos; The Syndicate sequel they always wanted. I’m perfectly happy to let the game stand on its own, but I don’t think you can fault people for the comparison.

    • Shadow says:

      Now, I never really played the original Syndicate that much, but my limited experience tells me Satellite Reign might actually provide better gameplay. It feels more… deliberate, so to speak, and slower-paced. I always got the feeling Syndicate shot itself in the foot with the pace, given how it sort of became Cannon Fodder once the bullets started flying. With things like cover, a more measured rhythm and being able to issue orders when paused, SR could very well provide a superior experience.

      • Emeraude says:

        That’s a quality that’s going to be both a blessing and a curse when compared with Syndicate. Satellite Reign from what little we’ve seen so far feels more deliberate, more designed, which brings as much good as bad, depending on what you expect of the game.

        One of the things I love about Syndicate is that, on top of the systemic nature of it, it often, if not always, feels as if missions were not designed as puzzles to be solved, but just as interesting situations. Resolvability be damned, that’s the player’s problem, not the designer’s. Players got the tools, if it can be done they’ll find a way.

        Anyway, this does look promising indeed.

  6. xcession says:

    Hoping I can “pooslice” to get that ridiculous gun where even the exhaust gasses annihilated everyone within 200 yards.

    Ultimately this won’t quite be the game we want it to be without insane guns and destruction.

    • Harlander says:

      The hand-grenade explosion effects alone are crazy already.

      (A little too crazy, perhaps. The ‘nade lands, there’s that boom and shockwave like the Universe was ending, and the guy it blew up next to is still standing…)

      • slerbal says:

        That also caused me cognitive dissonance. The guy should have been vapourised, I think. Looks/sounds really lovely though and an almost certain purchase. I hope they make the enemy less bullet-spongey though and the shooting seemed to lack impact.

        • JFS says:

          Unmet expectations aren’t really what cognitive dissonance means. That said, I’m all for CogDiss (TM) grenades blowing opponents’ brains out!

  7. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Not sold on the fixed team structure, if I want to steam into a mission I should be able to have 4 soldier dudes simply carve a path to the objective, likewise for ninja stealth murdering.

  8. Orix says:

    My word, all the patchy neon. Everything clashes with everything else.

    Anyone else reminded of the “coloured lighting” in Mysteries of the Sith?

  9. fenriz says:

    it looks great, gameplay and everything else, but if it leans too much on the sneaking it’s more like commandos, so less “alarms” and more shooting tactics will make it syndicatey.

    Mix is good, but i’d like it with more honest shooting.

    • Guvornator says:

      My interpretation of the noises coming out of the studio is you can just shoot everything in sight, reload and shoot it all again if that’s how you want to pursue your goals. You should be free to fulfil your mission however subtly you want. He’s just going the sneaky route at the start as he’s a man light and also wants to show off some of the new systems that the game has – after that he brings out the big guns.

    • jellydonut says:

      The idea is that you have the choice to sneak in the backdoor, or shoot in the front door. Makes the game last longer.

  10. voorsk says:


    I kept expecting the entire group to be mowed down by traffic. Cars were my nemesis in Syndicate. :|

    • Kaben says:

      Good god that has just given me a huge nostalgic throwback. Until this moment i had completely forgotten about how unforgivingly brutal the traffic in syndicate was. So many times i got killed by issuing a move order only to be run down by a car that i swear was lurking off screen hunting my team.. I ended up just destroying cars out of principle.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Really? I remember them having the best brakes in the world ever.

  11. Harlander says:

    I forgot to ask the most important question about this video:

    Does anywhere sell coats like the ones the agents are wearing in real life?

  12. Flavour Beans says:

    “I’m bored of orcs, but I’m not sure I’ll ever tire of long coats and city streets at night.”

    Quick, someone sneak a Shadowrun corebook onto Graham’s desk, watch his mind pull itself apart.

  13. jellydonut says:

    This game looks so god-damn amazing. The lighting, rain effects and reflections are killing me.

    It doesn’t hurt that it looks fun, too.

    More polish on the UI and it’s essentially feature-complete!

  14. Radiant says:

    Looks nice but why am I trying to infiltrate into a building to steal something?
    Level the building and pluck the information from the dead peoples DNA.

    Sneaking around rescuing captured agents and stealing money from atms = Activate agents nuclear self destruct and get the [hugely subsidised] city clean up and rebuild contract for your corporation via targeted assassination.

    I dunno, I think these guys are missing the more subtle points of supreme overkill.

  15. Hunchback says:

    It’s dark, it has neons and it seems to rain forever.

    I hope the gameplay follows up and is good, otherwise it would be such a waste of a perfect environment…

  16. Nero says:

    Looking good as a backer. I used to play Syndicate Wars just to hear the voice when switching weapons. Minigun.. Uzi!

  17. Hex says:

    Is it just me or should maybe the police get interested whenever they see a cluster of 3-4 trench-coat wearing burlymen suspiciously moving around together in lock-step.

    A mechanic requiring your group not clump together like that, or they might draw unwanted attention, would add a lot (for me).

    It’s just hard to get into the “I’m being sneaky” mindset when I can stomp around like a conga line in front of secure facilities, and nobody bats an eye.

  18. rabbit says:

    “that this Syndicate-inspired tactical cyberpunk game didn’t extend its tally into the millions was perhaps the first sign that i) the crowdfunding service isn’t a magic well full of money and ii) that we don’t live in the best of all possible universes.” I dunno, I just … hadn’t ever heard of it til this year. definitely woulda backed it if I had. will instead almost definitely be buying this on release.

  19. manny says:

    It’s still early days, but it seems very PG-Rated, the best thing about Syndicate was the brutality of it’s future.

    Where as a corporate thug cyborg, you could mind control groups of people use them as meat shields and destroy entire city blocks with your firepower. With the police largely helpless to stop you.
    Indeed the only thing stopping you was that it was bad publicity and a more peaceful option was preferred.

    • Ravey says:

      Afaik there were no repercussions for anything you did in the original Syndicate (except for raising taxes).