Back in 1993 PC gaming was booming. Doom had just been released, and UK developer Bullfrog Productions was fast becoming a leading player in the space.
The studio, which had previously produced the hit Populous strategy titles, also developed Syndicate for EA that year. It would later go on to build smash hits like Theme Park and Dungeon Keeper.
Syndicate had a big part to play in its prior successes. The futuristic war-focused tactical strategy game was heavily acclaimed at release and stood apart for its cyberpunk styling and mature themes.
Fast forward to the present day and EA is still at the top of its game, but instead of strategy titles, it’s shooters that are one of the most popular genres. So it’s no surprise to see EA bring back a well-respected franchise and transform it into an FPS for the modern-day gamer.
The new Syndicate holds onto the sci-fi themes of its predecessor. It’s set in 2069, where corporations literally fight for market dominance, and human guards with computer chips implanted into their heads are the norm.
Players take control of a prototype agent called Miles Kilo, who wields all manner of enhanced abilities, such as slowing down time, seeing through walls, shielding, knocking enemies back and hacking devices.
The gameplay and styling is comparable to that of Crysis 2. Plus, on top of the single-player mode, Syndicate includes a four-player co-operative campaign, where users will have to watch each other’s backs and heal themselves when the going gets tough. Those who pre-order the game will receive ‘The Executive Package’, which includes unique perks, golden guns and special in-game logos for use in this multiplayer mode.
Syndicate is a good example of how publishers can use an older IP to their advantage by tweaking it for the masses. It’s the first big first-person shooter of the year for EA and one that will appeal to fans of shooters like Crysis and Call of Duty, while also turning the heads of classic Syndicate PC gamers.
The demo for Syndicate went live recently, allowing players to get to grips with its futuristic styling and tactical gameplay. It contains the four-player co-op mode as players team up to take down rival syndicate Cayman Global.
Developer Starbreeze is no stranger to the FPS genre. It has produced a few well-received shooters including 2K’s The Darkness and Atari’s The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. The Sweden-based studio has been working on Syndicate for the past few years.