Syndicate Interview

Syndicate Interview

Written by Charles Husemann on 10/25/2011 for 360   PC   PS3  

Syndicate is one of those games that reverberates with a lot of old school PC gamers. The game was unique for its time as it allowed you to control four cybernetic agents and complete missions in a variety of different and violent ways. Now EA is bringing the game back and changing it from a third person isometric game to a first person shooter. Rather than ask the obvious question (which we know others will do)  we decided to dive a little deeper into what others can expect to see from the game. Luckily EA was able to hook us up with Executive Producer Jeff Gamon who answered all of our queries.

For those who haven’t played the original game, could you give us the lowdown on the world of Syndicate? Have you made any changes to the universe at all or not?
The new game is based in the Syndicate universe, so the brutal, corrupt and machiavellian future world of the original is all retained. The new game is set at the start of the rise of the Syndicates and being in first person now, the game has a more personal perspective on that world. We've done a lot to retain the spirit of the original game not just in the world and story but also in our interpretation of technology and game mechanics.


The game was just announced and you have a February, 2012 release date, which seems pretty short for a modern FPS...how long has the game been in development and how have you been able to keep it a secret for so long?
Well, this game has probably been one of the worst kept secrets! Sure we've never officially announced the title, but this reflects EA's commitment to it. Syndicate is a much loved, classic franchise and we wanted to get it right. We've been lucky enough to be given the time we needed to get the level of quality and scope we were striving for. It's going to be a short campaign which means we can reveal something about the product more frequently. Personally I like the idea of the short campaign, as a consumer I sometimes get a little tired of waiting.


What kind of missions can we expect to see in the game? Will there be one path through the missions or are there multiple ways to approach a mission?
The single player game is linear in nature, but what makes this game dynamic is the addition of breaching to the traditional rhythm of shooter games. Breaching gives players different strategies in dealing with challenging situations. The AI is best of breed, the game is very 'light' on scripting meaning that encounters play out differently depending on your approach.


Will the new game have the overarching meta game where the missions pay you money and you use the space between missions to upgrade your agent or not?
Yes there is progression as you play through the single player campaign. This is not tied to money though but ripping chip technology from the heads of some enemies. Co-op progression on the other hand is much more akin to the original, with missions fans will recognize.


With the big aspect of Syndicate being controlling four agents to coordinate the mission, are there going to be some visual or audio indicators that can help coordinate with the three others that can be on your team in co-op play? Can one person be assigned to direct the others in sort of a commander role? Will there be any other kind of competitive multiplayer modes?
I can't reveal too much about co-op right now but I think the players will find a leader by default. That aside, the individuals will have the ability to fall into roles for sure.



We saw a lot of cool weapons and gadgets in the trailer. What can you tell us about the arsenal of weapons? Anything outside the usual array of machine guns, pistols, and shotguns? What other fun toys will agents have at their disposal?
There is a huge array of weaponry in the new Syndicate. Many weapons are conventionally ballistic but we've also brought back to life many weapons from the original as well as creating some new future weapons. Syndicate is set in a believable near future and it was always our goal to make even the fictional weapons feel like they will exist shortly. Many of the weapons have an alternate fire mode as well which gives players yet more choice and strategy. Combine the weaponry with the chip breaching and we add yet another layer to the tricks the player do.


Given the history of the game, how important was it to have a PC version at launch? Will the  game be available?
Yes, we'll be shipping on PC as well as Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on February 21, 2012.

We'd like to thank Jeff for taking the time to talk to as as well as Jino for coordinating the interview.
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About Author

Hi, my name is Charles Husemann and I've been gaming for longer than I care to admit. For me it's always been about competing and a burning off stress. It started off simply enough with Choplifter and Lode Runner on the Apple //e, then it was the curse of Tank and Yars Revenge on the 2600. The addiction subsided somewhat until I went to college where dramatic decreases in my GPA could be traced to the release of X:Com and Doom.   I have been a Microsoft Xbox MVP since 2009.
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