Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Syndicate Reboot: Release Date and Trailer

The original Syndicate released back in 1993 and garnered quite a following; it is still known today as a cult classic of the early PC era.  Developed by Bullfrog Productions and Electronic Arts and rendered in isometric view, the original game illustrated a corrupt corporate world where you controlled four genetically enhanced cyborgs that carried out mission tasks including assassinations, infiltrations, and kidnappings.  The goal of the game was to be the top syndicate throughout the world at any cost.

In the original Syndicate, you enhanced your cyborgs with money gained from missions to upgrade their abilities and weapons, which in turn helped you progress through each level.  Taking out targets, evacuating specific people, taking out everyone on screen, etc., you definitely ran the gambit of mission objectives as you progressed through the game.  But I'm not here to talk about the previous title, mainly because I didn't get a chance to play it. If you want, check out the game's wiki and the thousands of YouTube videos showing off the gameplay.  Sadly, I was not into much computer gaming back then; however, a remake has been announced recently and is currently on schedule to be released on February 21st, 2012, which isn't too far off.

The latest press release and trailer for the game are as follows...


From satellite tracking to GPS to geocaching, the world is hooked on technology. It’s not impossible to imagine a time when we slip one step further and move from external devices to internal…literally implanting chips inside people. Prosthetic limbs already prove that the relationship between organic and manufactured can yield incredibly positive results. So, why not CHIP technology? Maybe it really could happen. And if it did, would it be used for the greater social good or for corporate profit? These are the types of ethical and moral questions asked by EA’s cult classic game, Syndicate back in 1993. Now, on February 21, 2012, gamers will again contemplate these same questions as they play through an action packed, epic sci-fi shooter adventure in EA and Starbreeze’s remake of the game.

Set in 2069, Syndicate takes players into a dark, Machiavellian world where corporations are vying for market dominance with no government oversight. The people become the causality of this war as these corporations have the technology and power to influence the public via bio-chips installed in their heads. Syndicate blends fast paced action and futuristic settings with innovative chip breach gameplay to provide a unique and brutal sci-fi first person shooter experience.

In the game, players take on the role of Miles Kilo, Eurocorp’s latest prototype agent. Through DART 6 bio-chip technology implanted in their heads, gamers can dilate down time, see through walls, breach the digital world and enemies around them using a variety of upgradable hacking mechanics. Gamers that reserve Syndicate will receive The Executive Package at no extra charge, which includes unique perks for the game’s deep 4-player co-op campaign. Like every good executive, players with The Executive Package will be able to stand out amongst their friends as they flaunt their solid gold versions of all loadout guns, utilize golden dart vision, and showcase the executive gold Syndicate logos during co-op missions.

Syndicate will be available on February 21, 2012 in North America and February 24, 2012 in Europe for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system,Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC.

[Editor's note: trailer contains violent imagery]

Initial thoughts?  Well, it sounds great.  After watching the debut trailer, it appears to be a mix of the latest Deus Ex game mixed in with a little bit of F.E.A.R gunplay, and if that mixture is protrayed correctly, it'll be a dynamite combination.  It definitely appears to be more colorful in overall scenery than Deus Ex and provide more nonstealth-based gameplay, which could speed up the overall experience, turning out a great ride from beginning to end.  It also appears that the developers have taken some good ideas and concepts from the previous title and filtered them through and molded them to today's gaming experience, even going so far as to add a separate 4-player co-op mode with its own missions.   One very positive component of this release is the fact that Starbreeze is the developer.  These are the same guys who brought you the Riddick titles in the past few years, so judging from their track record, this could turn out to be a really enjoyable game.

I will say that a lot of the time, in the gaming industry, you need to come out with a solid trailer.  I believe Starbreeze and EA have hit the mark this time around, showing off good looking gameplay accompanied by superb music.  Kudos to Skrillex for bringing the future of Syndicate to the next generation of gamers with this explosive track.  I look forward to this next iteration of the Syndicate series as it takes itself from the isometric past of 1993 to the first person shooter of 2012.  It appears to have a lot of promise with a triple A developer behind the project.