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Classic Games (Games) Games

Syndicate Reboot Coming Next Year 184

Electronic Arts has announced that the popular 1993 cyberpunk game Syndicate is getting a remake. This time, instead of being a tactical action game, it'll be a first-person shooter, and co-op play is planned. The Guardian's games blog sums up what the new Syndicate will need in order to succeed: "The biggest challenge will to replicate Bullfrog's brilliant story-telling and its keen eye for cyberpunk details. The original titles were also fascinating for their amorality – players were neither rewarded nor penalized for gunning down civilians or destroying vast areas of real estate, reflecting the wider themes of urban nihilism and social breakdown. Fans certainly won't be appeased by a vaguely near-future shoot-'em-up with some hackneyed hacking mini-games tossed in for cyber-credentials."
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Syndicate Reboot Coming Next Year

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  • by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @05:32AM (#37384554) Homepage Journal

    Actually, in the original, the city areas were varied, and some were very tidy and pretty, with neatly trimmed grass, perfect lines of trees and nicely angled hills. To this day I get "Syndicate vibes" from certain gardens, squares, parks that are all too regularly trimmed.

  • Syndicate (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @06:27AM (#37384826) Homepage

    First, "brilliant storytelling"? I don't remember much of that in Syndicate at all. The intro consisted of someone getting run over, turned into a cyborg and then shooting the "viewer". The rest of the cutscenes were a guy in a blimp throwing his lamp, and a party underneath the blimp, to my knowledge. The in-game text consisted mostly of "kill this guy for this reason" or similar.

    That's part of what made Syndicate great - no junk, nothing getting in your way (every cutscene was skippable with any keypress), just you, a target, and a city to hunt them down in. Syndicate was simplicity and atmosphere - I can remember my brother crowing about the Blade-Runner-ness of it all, from the cutscenes to the pre-game interface to the cities. And who can forget that voice that confirmed your commands - "Ser-lected"?

    Syndicate was simple, fun gaming. You didn't need a million keys on your keyboard to play (1, 2, 3, 4 and space if I remember rightly - and everything else on mouse), you weren't forced down any one avenue and the dynamics of "hyping" your agents, controlling four separate agents, loading weapons, the persuadertron, and controllable vehicles were relatively new and interesting (First ever game to feature car-jackings?).

    It ran on everything (386 with 2MB if I remember), didn't need a ton of power, worked virtually intuitively, had decent saves, and the only downside was an impossibly unbalanced last mission (which was weird because all the others were pitched just fine).

    But it sold because it was simple to play. Start New Game, take the default load-out, click to move, right-click to shoot, both-click (a vastly underused input mechanic) to hype temporarily. To enter car, click. To leave car, click. To change weapon, click. To separate your agents, click between them. It was a grown-up Cannon Fodder, with a bit of resource management thrown in (persuade everyone you can, then sell their weapons for upgrades). Hell, it even had radar so you could never get lost.

    Syndicate Wars itself was a bit of blasphemy to the Syndicate fan because it lost a great amount of the simplicity. Full-3D FPS? Why? What's wrong with a 3D-esque layout that players can change if they want? It's C&C:Generals all over again - let's take an estabished isometric Dune-like game franchise and turn it into an FPS. Would you do the same the other way around?

    Personally, it can stay in development for ever. But the second the original comes up on GOG.com, (they've already done a few Bullfrog titles this year) I'll be buying it.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"