Published on March 7th, 2012 | by Gerald Chan0
Syndicate – Past & Present
Nostalgia is a bitch. But thankfully games like the above mentioned will always stay fresh as there is void of such games to be found after this era. By the time I’ve posted this article up, Syndicate should already by available on GOG.com.
Like Alpha Centauri, I’m expecting this game to play as well as it did back in the 90s.
The first time I had laid my eyes on Syndicate I honestly had no idea what it was really about. Only much later in my life was I able to appreciate it. By then the game had already come in a CD form and it was one of my most played games on my Mac (don’t laugh).
Syndicate was the defining game that thought me to be patient and bide my time. It also thought me the most important rule in my career in gaming, the AI cannot shoot without line-of-sight, exploit it well!
Will it stand up to the games of the current era? I highly doubt it but it will be a blast the command an army of civilians as a mobile meat shield.
The remake of Syndicate earns no similar praise. The 2012 release of Syndicate is an absolute waste of such a fine IP from the yesteryear.
Having spent a good part of my weekend playing the single player has never left me more angry at a game before. The new Syndicate is a poor spend of your cold hard cash at the full retail value.
Notice that I refrained from using the words remake, rebook, reinterpretation. The only thing that this game shares with the original would be the setting and the name of the weapons.
While I’ve yet to complete the entire game, starting out is bloody painful. Syndicate 2012 is not your regular run of the mill FPS game, running and gunning will get you cut down fast but its other elements fail to shine as well.
A redeeming quality is that the AI in the game is pretty good. The bots do really actively seek cover and will AGGRESSIVELY close in on your position. While other game’s AI does perform this to a certain degree, they are usually contented at hiding behind cover and taking their time at being irritating. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve been pincered in.
Looking through the eyes of an agent, players get the option to use abilities to take out enemies or via the traditional way of putting one round through the skull. I strongly feel that the agent ability mechanic looks really good on paper but its implementation is rather poor. I do like how the game encourages players to mix up their offense. Using abilities depletes an adrenaline bar which can be restored faster by, say, taking out multiple enemies in quick succession. I like games where rewards are given out based on efficiency. But it is darn hard to use the abilities on the fly.
Your agent abilities level the playing field against the intelligent AI but executing the commands is clunky. Why do I have to play a mini game when I’m in the heat of the action?
So far, all the good bits are in the trailer and that’s pretty much all there is.
I’m going back to the original. Looking back, I think I should have done that in the first place.