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Syndicate Solicits Pirates

New Scientist has details on an interesting overture to software pirates in Syndicate that was found in Starbreeze's newly released first-person shooter by reddit's MikkelManDK. Apparently legit copies of the game include an .nfo file that would normally be found in a cracked copy with two simple instructions: "1) Insert disc 2) Play ;)". This apparently also offers pirates the chance to apply for jobs and asks them to consider the years spent by hundreds of people making the game before stealing it.

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13. Re: Syndicate Solicits Pirates Feb 24, 2012, 23:10 Aero
 
Origin is a pain in the ass. Nothing against it in principle, after all I think Steam is fine. Technically, it's rough and cumbersome. It's just a poor imitation of Steam. Valve had their eye on the ball ten years ago, and now it's paying off because they're a decade ahead of everyone else. I would, however, be uncomfortable if Steam effectively became a monopoly on online game sales, so I'm kinda conflicted there.

Anyways, that isn't why I posted. I went ahead and bought Syndicate anyways because I have a week off and wanted a new first person shooter. And you know, I think it's pretty good actually. Obviously, you need to put aside the fact that it has nothing to do with the first games other than being in the same "universe" (which is pretty slick, so far as those things go... more or less the Sprawl Trilogy).

And, like the reviews say, the plot isn't original or particularly intersting (so far anyways), nor is there a lot of depth to the environment like with, say, Deus Ex. It's just a cyberpunk action shooter. That said, it is considerably more "tactical" than your typical COD shooting gallery. Particularly on the hardest difficulties, you need to consider your environment and maneuver thoughtfully, not just cover-based whack-a-mole crap. The firefights can get pretty intense, and the enemy AI is very good for the most part.

The engine is great and has a lot of the same Starbreeze touches that made the Riddick games so good. It feels physical, like controlling a person rather than flying a floating gun. The cover mechanic works well too. There's none of that 'press a button to enter cover'stuff--if you're crouching behind a wall, and use the iron sights, you'll aim over or around the cover (exactly how it should work, IMO). Overall, the shooting mechanics feel really good--powerful and punchy.

The presentation, aside from a little overzealous application of lens flare (which you can turn off by modifying a config file), is slick too. It has impressively solid graphics and animation, and the sound works really well. The visceralness (is that a word?) of the firefights is right on the money, and has me shrinking back in my seat when I'm crouched behind a wall being raked with enemy fire.

Basically, for a shooter, it's got the mechanics worked out near perfectly.

The primary significant weaknesses are two disappointing bits of consolitis, and this is pushing towards a deal breaker. So far as I can tell, you cannot disable or adjust the default mouse smoothing, which is significant, and so is a serious flaw I hope they fix. It's a little laggy. Secondly, the FOV cannot be adjusted. I like it where it's at myself, generally preferring lower FOVs, but I suspect most PC gamers won't.

My final word, though, despite how surprised I am by how much I'm enjoying it considering it's poor reputation, is that I don't really feel that it's worth $60. It was worth it for me at the time because it happened to be just what I was looking for just when I was looking for it, but if I were weighing my options between different games I wanted, the price would be a deal-breaker. Better to wait for it to come down.

And then, of course, there is the Origin thing.


EDIT: While I was typing that, something to try occurred to me. You can disable the mouse smoothing by unchecking "enhance pointer precision" in your Windows Control Panel mouse settings.

Obviously, this is stupid and it shouldn't be this way, but it does solve the problem.

This comment was edited on Feb 24, 2012, 23:27.
 
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