More than a shooter
What has us excited: Although the hacking element of Syndicate’s combat seems limited on our first impression, the developers have devised plenty of other ways for your brain chip to alter the game world: environmental puzzles. Nothing on the level of Portal or anything, but small change-of-pace moments when you reach a dead end and must inspect and interact with your surroundings to proceed. During the demo, we had to hack an air conditioning system to freeze and shatter a bulletproof window because the door in front of us was locked. At a different point, a tough room of enemies was made much easier by hacking cryogenic pods to slide into the middle of the floor, where we could then use them for cover. And near the end, while racing to escape a research facility, we hacked away the armor of the flying drones attempting to stop us.
What has us worried: Everything described above was accomplished by simply locating the correct part of the environment and then holding down the hack button for a few seconds. Finding that part isn’t always easy, of course, but we’d still welcome more complex obstacles… ones that require the player to choose where, how and which power is needed. If time dilation is in the game, for example, take a cue from Singularity’s puzzles.
Release date: February 2012
What has us excited: So soon! How often is a major, high-profile game announced and released in the span of five months? No long years of anticipation and unbearable waiting – by the time you’re done with all of 2011’s heavy hitters, Syndicate will be mere weeks away.
What has us worried: So soon! How often is a major, high-profile game announced and released in the span of five months… unless the publisher doesn’t have enough faith in the product? Rumors have circulated for a while that Syndicate was in the works, but also that it was close to cancellation on multiple occasions.
Thus far, however, we legitimately like what we’ve played, and the fact that Syndicate is developed by Starbreeze Studios – responsible for the excellent Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness – is reason enough to continue to be excited. Check back for more coverage soon, including impressions of the game’s four-player co-op.
Sep 29, 2011