Remember Syndicate, the PC-based neo-noir cyberpunk-strategy game from long-ago developer Bullfrog, the game studio captained by Peter “Fable” Molyneux? To paraphrase Stephen King, sometimes this stuff comes back…as a first-person shooter. It’s practically a truism for contemporary remakes. Take 2K Marin’s XCOM, for instance.
Syndicate’s about to get the first-person treatment as well, courtesy publisher Electronic Arts and developer Starbreeze Studios. Who’s Starbreeze? Think The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, or the half-remake, half-sequel The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. If you’ve never played Butcher Bay, put it this way: Starbreeze is probably the only game studio in history that managed to somehow turn out a triple-A game based on a movie (what’s more, a triple-A game based on a pretty bad movie).
We don’t know much about the remake at this point. It’s been rumored for some time, check. It’ll be “a brutal sci-fi first-person shooter,” check. It’ll take place in the near future (specifically 2069) “where business is war” and maintain the series’ cyberpunk flavor, check and check. And you’ll play as Miles Kilo, one of the syndicates’ agents, “[embarking] on an epic action adventure full of corruption and revenge.”
Sounds like most edgy dystopian setups…until you read the part about slowing down time in the press release, in which case it starts sounding a bit like Deux Ex meets Max Payne.
…Syndicate takes players into a dark, Machiavellian world run without government oversight with many syndicates vying for total dominance of their local market place. With no one to question their intentions or actions, three mega corporations – Eurocorp, Cayman Global, and Aspari – are at the forefront of this brutal war for control of the pivotal American market. In the world of Syndicate, everything is digitally connected, including the people. Players aren’t limited to the weapons in their hands. 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. Syndicate’s blend of fast-paced, futuristic, action shooter settings and story combined with innovative chip breach gameplay instantly immerses players in a unique digital world.
EA says fans of the original games will be familiar with many of the new one’s weapons and environments, “but in a whole new way,” referring of course to pulling the camera down out of the sky (the original’s was up-in-the-sky, isometric-wise) and putting your finger on each weapon’s trigger. You’ll also have access to a separate four-player cooperative mode that, get this, includes missions from the original (alright, that’s kind of cool).
When? Early 2012. And if you want to know more, here’s the official website. Let the sniping, speculating and series-devotee kvetching begin.