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Info, screens on Syndicate reboot leak from Origin

Sunday, 11th September 2011 01:50 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Boom. Details on the still to be officially announced Project Redlime from Starbreeze have leaked from EA Origin, showing it is just as we thought it was: a reboot to old Bullfrog IP Syndicate.

The game, which will be published via EA Partners, will be an action shooter, unlike the Molyneux-made real-time tactical original from 1993. “Business is war” is the new motto for the title, it seems.

You’ll play as Miles Kilo – Eurocorp’s newest prototype agent – in the year 2069, where the world is now governed by Syndicates, who have “revolutionized how the consumer interacts with the digital world.”

The story’s being written by Richard Morgan, who penned the story to Crysis 2 for Crytek.

Syndicate’s gameplay will be affected by a “neural DART6 chip implant that allows you to interface directly with the Dataverse,” meaning you’ll be able to look through walls, slow down time and “breach your enemy and everything digital in the world.”

Four-player online co-op will also be included, with nine missions from the original Syndicate being reimagined for the reboot.

There’s screens and a cover art on NeoGAF and Gematsu.

The forum thread on GAF also shows a magazine cover from GameReactor Sweden for its next issue. Earlier this week, Starbreeze employee Rickard Johansson tweeted a web page from the magazine. The tweet has since been deleted.

GR Sweden had promised it was “first in the world the story of a not yet announced big game.”

No platforms are mentioned, but you can probably guess PS3, 360 and PC.

It’s about time

A Syndicate reboot has long been rumoured since early 2008, when Starbreeze signed a deal with EA Partners that would see it work on bringing back a classic EA IP, codenamed Project Redlime, as well as a title on the Jason Bourne IP.

Work on the latter, apparently known as The Bourne Ascendancy was canned back in early 2010, but Redlime continued onwards.

Since then, a road trail of trademark filings, classification listings, leaks from the game and nudges & hints from EA execs have been all that’s come from it.

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48 Comments

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  1. Ireland Michael

    “The game, which will be published via EA Partners, will be an action shooter, unlike the Molyneux-made real-time tactical original from 1993.”

    All interest lost.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. revolting

    Indeed. It’s X-Com all over again. Same massive misinterpretation, and just as disappointing.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Johnny Cullen

    I’ve never really played the originals, so I’m definitely going to give this a chance.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Metal Gear

    a FPS?
    LOL.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. KingCharMing

    WHAT! FPS! I was looking forward to this ever since I heard of the rumoured reboots and now this… *sigh* Ive lost faith in game developers

    #5 3 years ago
  6. LOLshock94

    this is Starbreeze were talking about, they are the kings of FPS

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Ireland Michael

    @6 Starbreeze are great, but this has nothing to do with Syndicate.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. IL DUCE

    Can’t live in the past and expect the game to be a replica of a 20 year old franchise…things change, I mean I was 7 years old when the original released but the rest of you who were able to play it really need to stop living in the past…they also never said it’s an FPS, could be a TPS…it just says an action shooter…things are never what they used to be

    All I’m saying is wait to see what they have then make your judgements…the definition of a reboot is not doing the same thing that was done 20 years ago…it’s using IP to create something new based off the old in the same universe…

    #8 3 years ago
  9. nofear360

    I’m surprised some of you actually thought (and hoped) that it would be like the original, considering the recent new takes on old franchises (X-Com, Fallout) and the popularity of shooters. Also, this is EA we’re talking about – selling games to as many people as possible, not satisfying 6 die hard fans of the original.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Metal Gear

    @8
    Visceral FPS Experience

    http://gematsu.com/2011/09/syndicate-reboot-leaked-first-screenshots

    #10 3 years ago
  11. triggerhappy

    Fuck it. I like it. Bring it on.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Moonwalker1982

    Wait, wasn’t this also said to be a Xbox 360 exclusive? I guess not anymore then.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    There’s a big difference between “expecting it to be exactly like the original” and “realising it has next to nothing to do with the original”. The art-style isn’t barely even recognisable from the classics.

    I’m all for growth and evolution in this industry. This is neither. This is taking a famous name and slapping it on something just to wring some money out of nostalgia.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Ekona

    Is it me, or does this whole concept and story sound amazingly familiar to the current Deus Ex release?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. IL DUCE

    @13 Dude, the art style was still from 1993…so no reason for you to expect it would be the same, I don’t even see how you would make that point…it was 18 years ago!

    @10 Yes, I apologize, hadn’t read that one yet…it is indeed an FPS but that cover and those screens look dope to me…welcome to the new school people and the world of AAA games…looks good to me, and I’m not some video game elitist that is not a fan of EA or shooter so I dig it…

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Munty

    @14 I think its just Deus Ex: Not Yellow edition

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Ireland Michael

    @13 Then if nothing is even remotely similar to the original, why even bother calling it Syndicate?

    Good art design is timeless.

    This isn’t about elitistism. I like EA, and I like FPS games… but this is not Syndicate. This is a first person shooter using the name Syndicate.

    It would be like making a game about swords and magic and just randomly calling it “Ultima”. I swear, if EA ever does that…

    And yeah, this basically looks like Syndicate: Human Revolution. Is “cyberpunk” the new “space marine” or something?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. GrimRita

    Great, yet ANOTHER ‘action shooter’. How ORIGINal

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Freek

    Fallout from a first person perspective worked great, they’re excelent takes on the franchise.
    Maybe this’ll work too if they can understand what made the original games great to begin with.
    The customizable main character, the open nature of the levels, the meta game of taking over territories for money and managing them.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. OrbitMonkey

    Hmm I bet Richard Morgan must be wondering why they don’t buy the game rights to Altered Carbon. A great game concept imo.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. KrazyKraut

    the same asshole-treatment like X-Com got

    #21 3 years ago
  22. revolting

    There’s a massive difference between updating an aged IP for the current generation and turning into something that bears absolutely no resemblance to the source material and only snags the name for the auto-sales. This is like makeing the next Gran Turismo a puzzle platformer, or Elite IV (if it ever happens) a dating sim. I’m not annoyed because of nostalgia, living in the past, rose tinted glasses or uber-hipster “if you didn’t play the original you have no right to an opinion” elitism. I’m annoyed because it isn’t Syndicate in any way, shape or form.

    Fallout is different. Fallout may have gone from isometric to FPS presentation, just like this, but at its core it is still very much an RPG with many of the same (or reasonably similar) systems going on as the classics. That is not at all how this Syndicate reimagining reads. Similarly, I enjoyed DXHR immensely, and that was a great example of updating an old IP with modern sensibilities while remaining reasonably faithful to the source material, whereas this is not at all.

    It does read remarkably like DXHR, which is odd. Neither a good thing nor a bad thing, just odd. That’s partly why I find this so unsatisfying, I think; I loved the new Deus Ex, but I want a new Syndicate game to be a new Syndicate game, not another Deus Ex.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. AHA-Lambda

    “The story’s being written by Richard Morgan, who penned the story to Crysis 2 for Crytek.”

    oh shit….

    #23 3 years ago
  24. endgame

    it is looking good though. can’t wait for more screenies and videos. :)

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Lahanas

    XCOM and Syndicate coming back in their old forms would make no business sense. Strategy/tactical games dont sell anymore. This is the age of shooters whether we like it or not.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. SplatteredHouse

    action shooter… Looks like another one to skip, then.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Lewis247

    I would just be happy if I was a syndicate fan that something new is being release. Looks amazing so I’m totally in.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. partchimp

    Move on, it’s not 1993.

    It looks great!

    #28 3 years ago
  29. daytripper

    in one of the screenshots the guy looks very much like the man who played magneto in x-men first class.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Fin

    Games are about business. They want Syndicate to sell. If it’ll sell more as an FPS, then they’ll make it an FPS. If it’s really the end of your world that it’s changing genre A) you need to re-evaluate your life B) don’t fucking buy it and C) go back and play the original.

    Some of the comments here are like the conversation between a crying child and a parent.
    “I WANT IT THE OLD WAY!!”
    “But you haven’t tried the new way, maybe you’ll li-”
    “I WANT IT THE OLD WAY!!!”
    “Why do you want it the old way? Maybe the new way is bet-”
    “JUST BECAUSE!!!!”

    Grow the fuck up. You’re the kind of people that would argue against GTA’s move into 3D.
    “BUT I WANT IT IN 2D!!!!”
    “Why, it’s so much nicer look-”
    “JUST BECAUSE”

    @17

    SUP BRO
    http://www.lordofultima.com/en/welcome

    @22

    Those analogies are stupid. It’s like making Gran Turismo an open-world driving game, or making it more arcade. It’s not like making it a puzzle game. It’s like remaking Elite like Homeworld or Mass Effect. Not a fucking dating sim.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Ireland Michael

    @25 Funny, it doesn’t seem to have ever stopped Starcraft, Dawn of War, Sins of a Solar Empire, Total War or Civilisation from selling like hot cakes…

    I’m aware of Lords of Ultima. It’s so completely removed from the franchise that it’s almost completely unnoticeable. I’m talking a proper addition to the franchise, either on PC or console.

    @30 Nobody is claiming its the end of the world. Nobody is screaming and shouting like lunatics about the change. The vast majority of us are sitting here perfectly calmly. We just think the idea of making a strategy game into a first person shooter is a shit one.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Fin

    Well I was comparing people saying “All interest lost”, “a[sic] FPS? LOL.”, and “WHAT! FPS!” to a child raving about wanting something to return to the old way, without ever knowing what the new way is. Not an unfair comparison I think.

    When I say “end of the world”, I mean “very unhappy, and unreasonably so”. A thought a comment like “I swear, if EA ever does that…” might evoke.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Blerk

    Aw, this isn’t what I wanted at all. I’d imagined this as sort of an open-world 4-player co-op ‘take over the city’ thing. Do missions to take over areas, push onwards to get more of the city, defend the bits that you already have, etc. etc. Seems a shame to just make a boggo-standard shooter, a bit of a waste of the license. :-|

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Ireland Michael

    @32 I have a personal attachment to the Ultima series more than any other franchise that’s every been created in this medium.

    I remember when a new Ultima game coming out was the equivalent of a new Call of Duty release.

    I remember playing Ultima IV and realising that RPGs weren’t all about killing stuff. I remember playing Ultima VII and being completely blown away by the size and scope of the world, which existed on a scale that even many modern games have trouble matching. I even remember playing Ultima Underworld, and seeing rooms and location in glorious 16-bit 3D, which had colourful textures and actually looked like something, instead of being flat, untextured blocks that approximated walls and structures.

    This isn’t just about nostalgia. These games grew the industry and pioneered lots of new technology and ideas alongside huge, epic storylines and a deep, original lore.

    Lords of Ultima is an insignificant, barely related online “game” with absolutely no relation to the core franchise. Syndicate here is being released as a mainstream, triple A title that will be in the faces of consumers, fans and newcomers alike. Any relation to the originals is strenuous at best.

    If Electronic Arts ever chooses to bring back Ultima (and there are numerous rumours circulating around the media that this is already in the works) I’m hoping that it will still be an RPG that puts its characters, lore and depth of interaction with the game-world at the forefront of its design.

    If this turns out not to be the case, if it ends up being reimagined as something completely unrecognisable from the originals (for instance, as a hack and slash RPG), I’m not going to kick and scream and whine about E.A. being evil, corporate charlatans – I like a lot of E.A.’s stuff, to be completely honest, and I understand there’s a lot of business behind these sort of decision.

    I’ll just walk away from the game. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Like I’m doing with this new “Syndicate” game. I have absolutely no reason to believe that this is going to be anything more than another lazy, focus-tested shooter with the name of a popular old franchise slapped on the top for good measure.

    Edit: Even as a first person shooter, this game could easily connect itself to the the previous games far better than it appears to be doing with the information provided to us so far. Blerk’s post gives just above me gives a perfect example of how that could be achieved.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. StolenGlory

    @34

    You have gained an eighth for this post.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Fin

    I think the problem is I think it’s unfair to condemn a game/franchise/developer/publisher before you’ve actually played the game, regardless of any information you read or see beforehand.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Gadzooks!

    What a shame. This isnt what I wanted from a new Syndicate game. Like XCom this is firmly off my radar.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. revolting

    @Fin, re: “Some of the comments here are like the conversation between a crying child and a parent.” and all the stuff about crying kids.

    That’s a nice twisting and exaggeration of people’s statements, but nobody here is actually saying that updating games for modern sensibilities is a bad thing. Quite the opposite; most people who enjoyed Sydicate, X-Com or whatever would love to see an up to date version of them. That isn’t what’s on offer here in either case, though. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being disappointed in that.

    So if anyone needs to “Grow the fuck up” as you so eloquently and self-righteously put it, possibly it’s you? You’re trying awfully hard to prove yourself somehow better to other people who’ve done nothing more offensive than have the audacity to enjoy a couple of games once upon a time. Maybe we’re not the ones who need to get over ourselves?

    All people are saying is “This isn’t true to the spirit of the original, so I’m not interested.” Since you insist on making assumptions about those of us who have somehow offended you by doing little more than have prior experience with the license, to set the record straight, I for one most certainly did not argue that 3D would kill GTA. The 3D games were incredibly faithful to the source material, and more so, they built on it, developed it and improved it for modern times. GTA is the perfect example of an update done right. As is Fallout, although granted that one did split the fanbase somewhat. Similarly Deus Ex; some loved it, some didn’t, but for my money, it brought everything I loved from the original bang up to date for 2011.

    There are plenty of examples of relaunches done well, of old concepts tweaked and renewed and made more appropriate for current gaming ideals conventions. And if that was what they’d done with this title, I’d love it. But that isn’t what is on display here. This is a completely different game with the franchise slapped over it like a strip-o-gram dressed in a nurse costume.

    Which obviously isn’t to say it’s a bad game. Has anyone here actually said it will be bad? It might be great. But that’s irrelevant; the quality of the end result has absolutely no impact on people’s right to be disappointed that it doesn’t offer the kind of experience they want from a Syndicate game. It might be the most amazing sci-fi FPS we’ve ever seen, only time will tell, but it’s still not the game the franchise’s followers want.

    Of course people here know games are ultimately about business, and that following current profitable trends will always outweigh what a few fans might like. We all know and accept that. Is it the end of the world? No. Is anyone going to lose sleep over it? No. Do potential new fans of the franchise care what old fans think? No, and the reverse is also true. Or maybe Yes and the reverse is also true. It works both ways. Ultimately though, we all know that it all boils down to a commercial business producing a product that they want to sell well and will do whatever it takes to make it appeal to the largest audience. Nobody is really so deluded that they to doubt that for a second. It’s all about the sales figures, and nothing else matters.

    But that doesn’t change anyone’s right to be a grumpy old man if they so desire. And I don’t really care if you approve of that or not.

    @Blerk. Now that’s the game I want to play. And it could even be done as an FPS, too… the actual viewpoint is irrelivant; Sydicate (for me, everyone else obviously has their own experiences) was all about the atmosphere and the element of gradually increasing control; control of your your team, of the population, and ultimately the world/city/whatever environment. I’d so love to see a new take on that, whatever the viewpoint.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. YoungZer0

    If you really thought Starbreeze would’ve made it anything other than a FPS, you were fooling yourself.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Fin

    | But that doesn’t change anyone’s right to be a grumpy old man if they so desire.

    Damn right, so when people complain and moan about how a franchise isn’t true to its roots, or the game has “the franchise slapped over it like a strip-o-gram dressed in a nurse costume..”, without ever having played the game (and in this case, based off a fucking spec sheet) I’m going to moan and bitch and complain about their cynicism.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. Killerbee

    I like FPS games and I like the art style and the universe, so this may still be worth playing… but I am quite disappointed that this isn’t a genuine attempt at a Syndicate reboot. RTS games are obviously not big enough money makers (unless they’re made by Blizzard perhaps).

    Oh, hang on…

    “The story’s being written by Richard Morgan, who penned the story to Crysis 2 for Crytek.”

    …it’s going to be shit, isn’t it.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. absolutezero

    I think most of the people in this particular comments section can be pretty easily split down the middle between those that are old enough to have played XCOM and Sindicate when they came out and those that have only ever heard of them as some mythic things from the past.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Hunam

    I just find it funny that people are going “WHAT THE DEVIL!? AN FPS! NOOOOO!” despite the fact we all knew it was an FPS game over a year ago.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. IL DUCE

    At the end of the day all this complaining is being done for the sake of complaining and will fall on deaf ears…you’ve all know for a while now that it was a reboot and reimagining of the franchise as it was always planned to be so this shouldn’t be a surprise…

    #44 3 years ago
  45. Ireland Michael

    “At the end of the day all this complaining is being done for the sake of complaining…”

    People who dismiss *all* criticism as “complaining” with no desire (or ability) to actually engage with other people’s critical opinions are just as bad as the people who get all red faced, bitter and angry at every tiny little change they ever see been doing to anything anything.

    Change is good. As has already been pointed out by a half dozen people here, none of us are denying that fact. But nothing about this – not the art style, not the list of features, nothing, bears any noticeable resemblance to the original franchise, which begs the simple question… what’s the point?

    The whole point of reboots or resurrecting old franchises is to not only tap into a new audience, but to draw back the old who was interested in the originals as well. As critical as I am personally about the overall quality of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, this is entirely the reason that the game succeeded so well. If nobody who was a fan cares, what’s the point in even using the name?

    X-Com received such a strong backlash for this reason. It’s not only a different genre, but it’s identity has been changed so much that it is almost completely indistinguishable from the previous games.

    The devs of that game have at least taken criticism on board since, and gone out of their way to inject a little more of what distinguished X-Com as X-Com into that title. Based on the fact sheet and those photos alone, it has none of it.

    We’ve all said there would be ways to transplant Syndicate’s original gameplay to a first person environment – just read Blerk’s post. If it’s nothing more than a linear corridor shooter though… they can keep it.

    #45 3 years ago
  46. YoungZer0

    @41: I wouldn’t blame Morgan for that. If you cut down the story, it was actually pretty good. Just the presentation was miserable. Fast-Cut-Cutscenes, with huge chucks of important story pieces delivered in seconds, destroying the impact it should have.

    #46 3 years ago
  47. viralshag

    It’s a pretty sad day for gaming when “turn it into an FPS!” is considered as innovating and changing things to be more modern. I think we all know there is more than enough FPS games out there to fill that need to shoot things for every gamer.

    #47 3 years ago
  48. Zana

    @47 Amen to that. Where has the adventure genre gone?

    #48 3 years ago