Feeds
60%
Syndicate

Syndicate

Bullfrog classic revived

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Review Cyberpunk's lasting appeal is often attributed to its familiar tropes: dystopian near-future settings, rapid technological advancements, massive societal upheaval and, of course, alienated loners living off-the-grid. But it's not the conventions that sustain the genre, but its allegories.

Syndicate

Rooftop rampage

They warn of societies in thrall to technology and divided into strict classes of haves and have nots. They warn of an insidious erosion to democracy by the preponderance of financial markets and mega-corporations. And, most of all, they warn of the diminishing relevance of the individual.

Depressingly resonant of the real world, they also serve as metaphors for Syndicate, Starbreeze's FPS reboot of Bullfrog's seminal RTS. The decision to shoehorn the classic squad-based tactical shooter into gaming's de rigeur format may have serviced the bean-counters, but the result is a lesson in fan disservice, a confused and middling game stripped of the original's individuality.

Syndicate

X-ray spray

Take the story, for example. The original's rich fiction may have been delivered largely through a manual, but it was vastly more evocative and engaging than Starbreeze's. What little narrative there is arrives in sporadic cut-scenes, in which inscrutable characters allude to unintelligible plot strands.

Right up to the frankly unfathomable denouement, you're left wondering if you've missed something, if you haven't quite understood what it is they're saying. But the truth is, you haven't. They're not really saying anything. Syndicate's narrative simply doesn't exist.

Syndicate

In the firing line

The overarching plot is, on the other hand, much more obvious. Obvious in its heavy indebtedness to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, that is. You play as a cyborg agent for an unscrupulous megacorp that is embroiled in a corporate war against another unscrupulous megacorp. Your love interest, the world's pre-eminent cybernetic engineer is kidnapped, precipitating... oh wait, you played Deus Ex: Human Revolution too.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Raising arms

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.