8 Oct 2012

Monday Media Fun - Syndicate

Before the rush of games I picked up on the cheep the new version of Syndicate for my 360. I've been playing through the game on the Hard setting right off the bat. The objective is to see if they ruined my childhood. The game is a first person shooter, written by an favorite author of mine Richard Morgan.

Looking back its 1995 and I'm sitting in the base of my parents house next to my mate 'Lex. He's a half Mexican-French Canadian bloke who lived three houses up from me. I've not seem him in years, but back in the day we hung out all the time.

Syndicate - 1993
You see I had rented the Playstaion and Syndicate. We were playing the game on co-op, taking only one 'Agent' each instead of the four man teams the game is designed for. He used the Gauss Gun - A rocket launcher pistol, while I used the Sniper Rifle and Laser Rifle in later stages.

With the release of XCOM due tomorrow, I'm reminding the few readers I have that I did not play much of XCOM. I played Syndicate.

I've not yet finished the game but I'm starting up the 3rd Act or completing the 2nd Act. I'm not going to spoil the game for myself but I feel the chorus start to fade for the final denouement.

The visual aesthetic is nice and far more clean then Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Where the golden glow from heads up displays and consoles would bleed onto the environment or in the menus. The white glow highlights and accents the environment. I'm glad Starbreeze and EA developed an visual style that was different from DE:HR. The level layouts are so far at par and unimpressive. The variety is nice so far, but it's no doing much for me since the environments are out of touch.

Out of touch environments are one of the most important things to me in some games. What I mean by out of touch is their is very little interaction with the environment. You bump or push into things and they stay solid as stone. Shots ring off the environment and nothing shows. It's disappointing and really creates the uncanny in these hyper visualized worlds. When so much detail is made to create these environments and then they fall short at the end it shows the illusion and you feel pulled out of the game.

You're presence in the world is naught but a shade.

The action is ok, the levels have nothing to explore and are linear. If one was better the other wouldn't matter but when the games broken pacing with nothing to fill the in between ruins any feeling of suspense of tension to the situation. Each gun battle is, 'meh, let's get this done' rather then 'lets rock this'. For a shooter that's sad and not good.

Switching the game from isometric to first person was a risk when they worked Fallout 3. They made a brilliant game that enhanced the IP rather then rely on it to float the game. Sadly Syndicate did not meet the same standard of its past iterations.

It's not a bad game it's just not a great game.

For a shooter is has some of the best guns I've had to play with. I really do like the weapons. They get even better with the multiplayer. They get add ons and unlocks, the pacing is so much smoother in each fight as the team works together... it makes me wonder.

Why was the game not made as a co-op, multiplayer game from the start?

Originally you lead a team of four agents over a SAT link and control their actions as to complete your corporate objective. The one player campaign had none of that. I think without Richard Morgan's help it would have gotten worse.

Syndicate is a 3. The multiplayer is the best part and the single player campaign is vanilla. I hope they keep the IP running and sort out their shit and work the IP with some great gameplay rather then let it die for another dozen years.

To think the guy who came up with Fable put the original games together... and the one that come out without his help is the overhyped lie. Makes ya wonder. 

Next week it's Dishonored or XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I have a feeling XCOM was treated better then Syndicate was and Dishonored has the campaign and level design that I wanted in Syndicate.