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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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  • I loved this game. Group of four guys with mini guns mowing down everyone in their path. Good times. Still only a pale shadow next to Stacontrol 2.

    • by F34nor ( 321515 )

      On another note why does EA remake shit like this? They could have just called it Cyberpocolypse or Billy Menumonic or some other title and it would have been exactly the same. This looks about as cyber punk as any other Castel Wolfenstien remake. Where is the sky the color of a TV tuned to a dead channel? Where is the deliverator? Where is the ketamine? Where is Reason? Where are the prostitutes who use roofies until they wake up covered in blood? If you want a non stop shoot em up with a few side games ju

      • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
        In EA's version the city is clean.That is an indication of failure when it comes to atmosphere.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        they're convinced that strategy games are demodè and that fps are the rage, and call of duty / battlefield seems to give them reason.

        still, what they fail to realize, is that this syndicate fps aint no call of duty nor battlefield, and will be presto forgotten and never accepted into the top fps competition.

        • To me, it's a matter of personal preference, rather than fashion. I've always preferred FPSes. I'd much rather just be the main character, than order around a bunch of guys.

          • Strange I prefer strategy than FPS for the same reason. I prefer not to be stuck on a rail and actually have to make some decisions of conquence.
            • You're not stuck on a rail when you're playing multiplayer - you have an essentially infinite variety of possibilities.

              RTSes are just as "stuck on a rail" in their single player games, probably even more so. Looking at this list of games with multiple endings [] there are a lot more FPSes than strategy games with multiple possible endings.

              I enjoyed the original Civilisation. Turn based strategy games are a lot more fun to me than RTSes as they tend to have more variety and culture. I actually enjoyed the first

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Consoles are crap at RTS games and EA only cares about console numbers. Since the original wasn't a sports game or racing game they have to turn it to a FPS or 3rd person shooter, otherwise the console players can't play it.

          • Interestingly enough, the original Syndicate came out for SNES and Genesis/Megadrive and the sequel, Syndicate Wars was available on the Playstation. (I think the original trailer for it mentioned a Saturn version, but I don't know if one exists)

        • Who said it has to be anything like Call of Duty or Battlefield? The exact same complaints and bitching were made when it was announced that Metroid and Fallout were being made into FPS games.
          • True, and Fallout turned out pretty well. Warcraft is too is an example of a franchise that successfully shifted to another genre. Syndicate is a game I fondly remember. I hope EA don't end up churning out a Deus Ex knock-off

    • The moment you realise why there's all those mining probes gone awry is the moment you realise that the quality of writing and humour in StarCon2 may never be surpassed by another video-game. It's sad, but true :(
  • by spagthorpe ( 111133 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @03:28AM (#37384094)

    I probably won't be the first to say this, but seriously, fucking lame.

    • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) * on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @03:40AM (#37384132)

      Absolutely. This is not a reboot, it is just game that uses the same name as an old classic from a different genre.

      What is next? A flight simulator named Tetris?

      • What is next? A flight simulator named Tetris?

        X-COM as a cover-based shooter where you are fighting invading polygons from outer space.

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      No, it'll be great. It's a remake of Syndicate... except it's an FPS, and you won't control a team. As an added bonus, EA will send a member of the original Bullfrog team over to your house to punch you in the balls and urinate on your old copy of Syndicate.
  • by Amarantine ( 1100187 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @03:45AM (#37384146)
    ...if the remake is a different genre than the original? Syndicate was no fps...
    • Yes, what's next? A first-person perspective Fallout sequel?
      • Horace goes skiing : The nuclear holocaust years.....
    • by Jamu ( 852752 )

      I think it I could live with that if it has a 4-player cooperative mode.


    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      In all fairness, I was thinking just the other day that what we really need is another FPS. It's such an underrepresented game genre in this generation.

    • Yeah, it's more like "EA Plans to Release a New FPS Under the Previously Used Title of 'Syndicate'"

    • Microsoft did the same thing with Shadowrun a few years ago...

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @03:51AM (#37384178)

    It's going to be a really really shit version of Deus Ex.

    Seriously what the fuck is the aversion to the classic genres nowadays? Where are modern day games like Cannon Fodder, Syndicate, Desert Strike, Magic Carpet. Hell it's hard to even find RTS games like the original Command and Conquer now, they're all just a bit too futuristic. The original C&C was at least set reasonably in near future but the latest in the series are all about fucking UFOs and aliens and mega-robots.

    There's so many genres out there that have basically just died off and are begging for modern day remakes done properly. By done properly I mean not turned into some shitty FPS that'll probably flop.

    • I'm not sure I understand. It sounds like you're mixing the genre of the setting with the genre of the gameplay? They seem like orthogonal issues to me that just happen to share the word "genre" in different contexts.

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        I'm complaining about the fact that there was a fuck load of good ideas in the past which seem to have been completely and utterly forgotten, and yes, this means both in terms of gameplay genres, and setting genres.

        My point is that a lot of gameplay genres have outright vanished altogether, and that of the remaining gameplay genres that are still covered, the setting genres now are much more limited than they used to be.

        My complaint is that choice for gamers has become severely limited, that much of what wa

        • by Fjandr ( 66656 )

          This is why I no longer purchase games. It's the same repackaged crap, with very few new ideas.

          They're not losing sales to piracy, they're losing sales to mediocrity.

    • If hardware back in those days had the same capabilities as today, the developers would have been a lot less likely to do isometric games. I'm not saying those games weren't fun at the time, but the viewing/control limitations were still annoying. I much preferred fully 3D helicopter games once they came out.

      Cannon Fodder and Syndicate would work pretty nicely on a phone/tablet though, as would almost any old point and click type game. There should be a lot more point and click adventures being released for

      • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @05:30AM (#37384546)

        But you can replace the old 2D isometric engines with a nice 3D engine and get some fantastic effects- that is after all basically how the RTS genre has evolved, but the genre hasn't died off. I see little reason you couldn't redo a game like Syndicate or Desert Strike with a modern RTS type 3D engine.

        When you say full 3D helicopter games, do you mean full blown flight sims? To me that's a separate genre and not really the arcadish top down blastfest type of feel I'm looking for - effectively it's a different genre, although I do like them too.

        Not sure what tablet you have but ScummVM works on Android. I'll admit I'm amazed we've not seen a resurgence of those type of games quite yet on tablets, they're absolutely ripe for that type of adventure game. Still at least I can replay DOTT on ScummVM on my phone ;)

      • by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @05:45AM (#37384638) Homepage Journal

        Syndicate would play out pretty great in 3D as RTS where you control disembodied camera to drive the guys, with option to switch to FPS controlling one of them.

        But if you do away with "control a tactical team" and change it into "control one guy" you lose the main point of the game. It's not isometric graphics that defined Syndicate, it was the tactical aspect of splitting the team.

        Sacrifice half the team to draw enemies away from the target, then assault it with the remaining agent. Send one by one each of the 4 agents to tear further through lethal defenses. Split the team and ambush the enemy. Send away one team member for a vehicle, then drive it like a tank. Send one agent on a suicide mission, self-destruct at the target. Complete the mission using remaining agents. Split the team to kill four hits at four locations before the enemy can react. Set one agent with a flamethrower behind a corner creating unpassable wall of fire while others perform the mission tasks.

        And of course "Persuade" half the town, arm them and run the mob at the target.

        • by RESPAWN ( 153636 )

          And of course "Persuade" half the town, arm them and run the mob at the target.

          And don't forget, packing them all into one car like it's some kind of clown car. The mob approach was really one of my favorite ways to complete a mission. I can remember being extremely anal retentive on a couple of missions and persuading the entire town since you got money for each citizen you persuaded.

          But you're definitely right. The game did provide numerous ways to complete a mission, and on more than one occasion I would split my team up to accomplish multiple objectives at once.

      • Uhm what about SC2? Imagine that as an FPS.
    • It's going to be a really really shit version of Deus Ex.

      Except it is being made by Starbreeze studio who did the brilliant Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butchers Bay game. In fact playing DXHR I was struck by how much it owed to Riddick, but really didn't live up to the physicality of the "take downs" and melee combat in that game. I was against this Syndicate FPS until I saw that it was by Starbreeze, now I can't wait to play it.

      And people need to realise that this is the announcement that the game is almost finished. NOT THAT DEVELOPMENT IS STARTING NOW.

  • by MimeticLie ( 1866406 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @03:56AM (#37384198)
    First XCOM, now this. What I don't get is why. It's not like the typical FPS gamer today was playing strategy games in the 90s, so why all the old properties? What's the point in recycling IPs if your target audience has never heard of them?
    • Whatever, I played Syndicate demos as a kid, but I prefer FPSes, so this sounds interesting to me. Of course, if it's an awful game, I'm not going to buy it.

      I loved the original Deus Ex, and the latest one is meant to be pretty good, but I'm still going to wait a while for the price to come down before getting it. I only pre-order games when I know they're going to be good. Duke Nukem Forever though.. oh gods.. the horror :(

      • So you are the one to blame for 99% of games being fps'es. That means if we kill you, the world will finally get something new and original.

        Now is it worth killing a human being, even if it isn't a particularly good example, for the sake of gaming. That is a though call...

        I will have to think about this...

        Don't start any long books.

        • Actually, I hardly buy any FPSes these days. I bought DNF and Portal 2 this year, but they were obviously pretty big exceptions to all the other stuff being pumped out. I'd like to see more GTA style sandbox games than FPSes.

          I tried Battlefield Bad Company 1 & 2 and MW2 to see if modern FPSes were any good. BC1 had a fun single player, but BC2 and MW2 had pretty awful story modes. They're all good fun in multiplayer though, aside from the retarded RPG style levelling up. If anything, these games should

          • by RESPAWN ( 153636 )

            It's yet another artificial means of extending the gameplay of a game. Kind of like the "find this stuff" types of missions in a lot of modern games. Sure, I'd like to get 100% on a game, but am I going to bore myself to tears to do it? No.

            But, that's modern multi-player FPS games for you...

    • What's the point in recycling IPs if your target audience has never heard of them?

      Easy, new ideas are hard to come up with. It is far easier to steal someone else's idea and re-implement them. Hollywood makes plenty of re-makes of movies that would have little relevance to modern audiences, but the ideas behind them are still good (and the average studio executive has a hard time deciding what to have for lunch).

      FPS is probably my favourite genre, but even I am annoyed that we seem to only have three major genres any more: FPS, RTS, and RPG/"Adventure". I love a good turn based strategy

      • I'd like to see them at least test the water by releasing the originals as XBLA games. If they shift enough units that's all the justification they'd need to do a proper remake that does the series justice. Besides, Deus Ex is kind of already the FPS version of Syndicate (corporate global domination, augmented super soldiers, advanced tech, near future setting) albeit with some RPG overtones thrown in - this just strikes me as EA wanting to cash in on the success of DXHR.
        • Except this game was in development before DXHR was released. The summary makes it sound like the announcement that they are starting development but the actual article is that they are announcing it is almost ready. Modern games take 3-4 years to make unless you are just re-heating the same old stuff (aka Call of Duty). As I have already said it is more about the current major settings for FPS being tired out. WWII and Modern day FPS have been done to death.

    • by grumbel ( 592662 )

      It's free advertisement, you wouldn't have this Slashdot article when it wouldn't be for recycling an old games name and you wouldn't have many other gaming news articles either.

      • Generally the point of advertising is to generate positive, rather than overwhelmingly negative, reaction to your product (although they do say there's no such thing as bad publicity, we've patently seen several high profile instances since the internet arrived where that's just not the case - publicity you have no control over certainly can be bad).
    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      My brother plays almost nothing but shooters today, but in the 90s he was playing Syndicate, X-Com, and Lucasarts adventure games.
      Shooters are easy to make, pitch, and market. Projected sales are taken from similar games; if the most similar game was a flop from 15 years ago (Syndicate Wars) then it won't get funded. Say it's "like Bioshock" or something and it'll get approved.
      Syndicate wouldn't work very well with a controller, either. Try dragging a window around a group of moving targets using an analog

      • by dave562 ( 969951 )

        How can you say that Syndicate Wars was a flop? You could rob banks. They had flying cars. They did away with the stupid ammunition counters so you didn't spent the second half of the mission searching for guns. The sniper rifle was bad ass. I wouldn't say that it was better than the original, but it was pretty damn good.

    • I know I stand utterly alone in this but Bioshock fucking sucked. This was supposed to be the spiritual successor to System Shock? Yeah right. It was a barely acceptable shooter but System Shock was never just a plain shooter.

      And now Xcom to be turned into a shooter... oh yes, straying from the strategy part by simply slapping xcom on another genre worked so well before hasn't it.

      Oh wait, it hasn't. Xcom in space basically butchered the franchise. But this time is SURE to be different because what the world

      • I know I stand utterly alone in this but Bioshock fucking sucked.

        Rest assured you are not alone, though I wouldn't have put it quite so strongly. But then again, I never saw what the big deal was with the original DX either.

    • Why not? Developers are people too, and they look back on their favorite games fondly. I have a feeling that a lot of these remakes start off as, "Hey, remember how cool this game was? If we could get the rights to it, imagine what we could do with it today!"

      Of course, I really regret that frequently they want to do is remove a bunch of the stuff that made the game memorable and instead turn it into a first person shooter. But hey, if it's a really _good_ first person shooter, I'll live.

  • Ok, I'll admit that like everyone else commenting so far, I'm pretty pissed off at this "reboot". It sounds, to me, that they've just ripped off Deus Ex, maybe put a small tweak to that formula here and there, but ripped it off none the less.

    I have no problem with this.

    I like Deus Ex and the game that they're proposing actually sounds like it could be good (The developers are decent, too). There aren't enough games out there like Deus Ex, so why not?

    My problem is that I still want a new Syndicate game. This

  • I absolutely loved the original syndicate. It was one of the first games that I ever bought on my Amiga 1200. I remember saving up for it and everything! This sounds erm.... nothing like the original however. So what's the point of it?
  • While I loved the original Syndicate I'm plain sick and tired of all those reboots. Rebooted comic books, rebooted movies, rebooted games and it seems like 90% of music is either covers or uses samples from old hits that they're hard to distinguish from the original. Why not try something original for a change? Is imagination and creativity in such short supply or is it that the accountants who run all those industries have no imagination at all? oh, and get offa my lawn!
    • Imagination isn't dead - it just isn't found at the likes of EA, Activision, etc. Plenty of innovation in the indie community. For example, I just started playing Bastion and it kicks ass - and that's just one of the hundereds of cheap/awesome/original games out there.
  • Am I seriously the only person left alive on this globe who absolutely can't stand FPS games? It seems as if that's all they make these days :(
    • No I hate them and hated them for years. Saves a lot of cash if you dont like FPS, nowadays.

    • by Fjandr ( 66656 )

      Nope, I avoid them too. There are only a handful that were ever worth playing for more than mindless pvp deathmatches.

  • So you're telling me this will be an FPS based in the near-future with morally ambivalent scientifically enhanced soldiers treking around an urban environment?

    Gee, I wonder which recent successful game release could have spurred you into entering that market segment.
    • I doubt the success of Deus Ex: Human Revolution played much of a role in the decision because it will be 3-4 years before this Syndicate game hits the market (DX:HR started development in 2007). The games industry isn't like Hollywood where you can churn out a movie in 6-months to a year to ride the coat tails of a blockbuster.

      Rather I think the games industry has entered a nostalgic era where the 20 and 30 somethings are pining for the games of their youth (and instead getting FPS re-makes in the same set

      • It talks 3-4 years to do a good original game. It takes far less then 6-months to copy-past a cheep knockoff with no originality or balance. The announcement makes it clear this is going to be released early next year. So I wonder which EA is planning?

        • They announced in 2008 that they were making a reboot of a classic game, but refused to say what game. Work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution started in 2007 and it just came out. 2007-2011, 2008-2012. Looks like this is taking exactly the same amount of time.
  • 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, (they've already done a few Bullfrog titles this year) I'll be buying it.

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      Come on, the storytelling was awesome. Remember when you took over Alaska and they put up that big blimp that said, "Welcome to the dawning of a new era!" Or that time you took over the Atlantic Accelerator and there was that big blimp that said, "Welcome to the dawning of a new era!" Or that level where you had to kill all those guys? Or that level where you had to persuade someone to join your side? Mind-blowing storytelling!
  • Duke Nukem: Mahjong Edition

  • That is typical for the whole entertainment industry. Don't take any risks in any form.

    Syndicate was so good because it was a new idea, a strategy game with cyber-agents, with mixed some RPG elements, like equipment, where you had the freedom to do anything you like. Syndicate didn't had any story, it was just a very good game play and a novel idea. Either you are good guys and pick your targets with snipers/lasers or you are the bad guy who just kills everything, it's up to you. In addition there were some

  • by decora ( 1710862 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @07:36AM (#37385144) Journal

    on the face of the computer industry.

    next up 'lets remake kings quest as a first person shooter'

    EA represents everything that is soulless and wrong.

    every creative, visionary company of the 90s that came within 10 feet of EA corporate has withered and died, like they were infected by some kind of black plague of the soul.

  • I understand that EA has hired a ton of the Bullfrog team that worked on the originals, but no Peter Molyneux means this is doomed to failure (aside from the fact they took a four player squad based RTS style game, and turned it into what will likely be a massively generic FPS).
  • All game franchises eventually turn into first-person shooters with light RPG elements. It seems to be a type of thermodynamics for games.
  • What the hell is the point of reviving the Syndicate name if all they're going to do with it is produce yet another uninspired first-person shooter? Young gamers won't recognize the name, and anyone who does wants something more akin to the original. I guess EA is banking on the gaming press to remind us all of the connection, that it will somehow legitimize the remake. And inevitably few older gamers will be suckered into getting this.

    The promotional poster, with it's contrived machismo is evidence that th

  • Coming soon from EA; the FPS of Populous.

  • The horse has already been beat to death, but I have to jump in anyway. I have been waiting for a new Syndicate game forever. I actually liked Syndicate Wars because it introduced some new dynamics to the game. Being able to rob banks was pretty cool, especially with the enhanced police response that came along with it. It was a nice change to the "persuade the whole city" for money route of raising cash. They also adjusted the squad dynamics. In Syndicate, you could arm everyone with miniguns and be

  • Any one else getting sick of all these "reboots" ? Reboot this, Reboot that, etc. Enough with the freaking reboots already.

    Translation: reboot = Redoing the original game, but a marketing money grab hoping to win fans based on nostalgia but completely misses the atmosphere of what made the original great in the first place!

    • by jgrahn ( 181062 )

      Any one else getting sick of all these "reboots" ? Reboot this, Reboot that, etc. Enough with the freaking reboots already.

      Meanwhile, Nethack has an excellent uptime ...

The absent ones are always at fault.