EA has today officially confirmed a Syndicate ‘revival’, to be developed by Starbreeze.
Inevitably, it will be a first-person shooter (albeit one with up to four player co-op, providing a nice nod to the four man squads of the original title). At this point, I imagine some of the fans of the first two games have thrown up their hands and given up on life, but let’s explore a little more.
The loss of a top-down, strategic approach is a bitter blow, but EA does at least seem to have grasped the premise; “a dark, Machiavellian world run without government oversight with many syndicates vying for total dominance of their local market place.” One of the screenshots (below) also appears to show the infamous Atlantic Accelerator.
Things look a little more dubious at this point in the press release though: “Players take on the role of Miles Kilo, Eurocorp’s latest prototype agent, and embark on an epic action adventure full of corruption and revenge.” First, the word ‘epic’ has been so devalued as to be essentially meaningless, and second … well, the agents aren’t supposed to have any personalities.
In the original game, agents were drones, controlled by a man in a blimp (explaining the top-down view) who was manipulating a computer chip in their brains. The title had an extraordinarily bleak outlook on life, where your actions were just as reprehensible as those performed by the rival corporations. Hopefully Starbreeze will resist the temptation to make ‘Miles’ any kind of hero.
Meanwhile, this bit – “Through DART 6 bio-chip technology implanted in their head, players can slow down time and breach the digital world around them to take down their foes using a variety of upgradable hacking mechanics.” – just sounds like Deus Ex. Which can’t be all bad.
Syndicate will be released in 2012, for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Back in 2009 about the original game, and he had this to say about the prototypes EA had shown him: “I don’t think they really understand what the original game was.”