A full 11 minute gameplay demo was released for the upcoming reboot of Syndicate by Starbeeze Studios and EA. The new video contains a complete level walkthrough for one of the stages in the game, featuring the weapons, breaching and hacking that players can execute.
Before we breakdown the elements of the game and make a few comparisons to what the original Syndicate was and what was improved and changed in this version, you might want to take a look at the gameplay trailer first.
All right, finished? What’s the first thing you noticed? That he never put his gun away, right. That’s something any gamer can ignore but what’s the next thing you noticed? That it looks and feels a lot like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That’s sort of a good thing. What else? It shares a lot of the BioShock hacking and manipulation properties? Yeah, and what else? If you guessed that it’s another one-vs-hundred shooter then you guessed correct.
I don’t know if it was a poor selection in a level to be demoed but the biggest difference between the new Syndicate and the old Syndicate or even Deus Ex, is the linearity, or rather, the lack of linearity in the case of the latter. Again, it could have been the level that was chosen to be put on display, but from the looks of it Syndicate has a lot of arbitrary gameplay choices. Maybe this will change later on, but if you were a fan of the open-ended approach from the original games it’s not really something present here. All the civilians seem like optional cannon fodder as opposed to being an integral part of being stealthy and avoiding bloodshed, and the hacking kind of comes across as an afterthought. Although, there was the option to do the box jumping “puzzle”, which didn’t seem very much like a puzzle at all.
Now I don’t mean to be a Debbie-downer, but who doesn’t see Agent Merit becoming one of the lead bosses at the end of the game as he turns on you either to work with the main bad guy or to become the main bad guy? That’s a plot twist you can smell a mile away. I would actually be shocked if he stayed your partner to the end. And I guess I should have warned you about a spoiler alert if that turns out to be true.
Anyway, the highlights of the game are the visuals and the weapon mechanics. I especially liked the depth of field for the assault rifles, it reminds me a little bit of the cockpit DOF in NFS: Shift, which was one of the few highlights of the game.
If you’re an old-school Syndicate fan then you’re probably already disappointed, especially coming off the very impressive release of Deus Ex or similar titles like BioShock, which kind of gave us hope that maybe the FPS genre would steer in a different direction from the worn-out corridor shooter approach. However, if you haven’t played any of the Syndicate games before, then the new game will probably look like a more action-packed version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
The game is set for release early next year on February 21st for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Need more info? Feel free to visit the Official Website.