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Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter

A brief story on The Official Xbox Magazine offers some tidbits from their upcoming issue 78 on the just-announced Syndicate reinvention, focusing on the game's new first-person shooter approach. "It was always going to be an FPS," Starbreeze game director Neil McEwan tells them. "The original nub of the idea was to take that viewpoint from the original game and zoom into the Agent's head, and play that part. A closer experience - to become one of those Agents."

In spite of the genre change, he still feels they can be true to the original. "We're big fans of the original Syndicate, and we're definitely paying as much homage to it as we can - bringing across the essence of the world, the core essence of what it is to be an Agent," he explains. "That sounds wanky but it's true - we're taking the Persuadatron and evolving it in different ways, the weapons and brutality. On both facets of the game, the co-op and the single player, it's very key to stay true to it." He also offers this reassurance for disgruntled Bullfrog fans: "I think the game speaks for itself. We've been very lucky to work with a great, original world, and create another facet of it really. I would love them to like it. You're never going to please everyone."

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57. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 09:02 killer_roach
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Sep 13, 2011, 08:57:
I'll reserve judgment until I experience it first-hand. I also realize I stand alone in this.

I agree completely - while I think an FPS is a pretty easy way out design-wise, it could still have potential.

The problem is, however, that to stand out as an FPS is extremely difficult anymore, especially with the big franchises commanding the lions' share of attention. I don't know if setting alone would be enough to interest gamers too young to have spent much time in the original Syndicate.
 
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56. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 08:57 Zoom
 
I would LOVE a Powermonger remake. Great game. With the same sounds as original please (which were awesome on Amiga).

As for the bullcrap exposed in the article, it's the usual apologetic way of saying "we bought a license, we will milk it with our corridor / 3rd person / cover shooter engine and cheap waypoint based action".
Of course, any slightest idea of, gasp, "original gameplay" is crunched into oblivion.
Soon on your XBOX, PS3, and maybe PC if you accept to press start to play.
 
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55. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 08:57 Fibrocyte
 
I'll reserve judgment until I experience it first-hand. I also realize I stand alone in this.  
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54. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 08:10 wonkawonka
 
tRens wrote on Sep 13, 2011, 07:36:
Are they going to remake Ultima Underworld or Powermonger as a FPS?

Ultima Underworld as an FPS is much less of a stretch than Syndicate as an FPS:
UU is a single-player, one person thing. Remove some dialogue, get rid of all the esoteric inventory items, add more enemies to kill and make the switches-based puzzles more numerous and you have an FPS.
Sure it's not really UU any more, but it's still quite close enough to stretch the gameplay similarities.

What you should have said is: Are they going to remake Ultima Underworld as an isometric squad-based tactical shooter?
 
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53. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 07:40 tRens
 
The problem is simple: The developer is saying that Syndicate is the setting, and the setting stays. Gamers are saying that Syndicate is the squad-based tactical game, which needs a higher-level puppet-master view. All I want is for the developer to acknowledge that fact and stop spewing marketing crap. Call it Syndicate Shooter, or Agents of Syndicate, don't try to sell "it's the same gameplay!" and that's OK.

I agree with you.. it is all marketing.. marketing people should do exactly what Bill Hicks called for.

 
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52. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 07:36 tRens
 
FPS? Kidding me?

It won't be good and it definitively will not be like Syndicate.

"Just name the weapons like the other game"

"What were they"

What I am saying is these kids making the game, these kiddie devs, grew up without playing the game they're basing their crap on.

What is next?

Are they going to remake Ultima Underworld or Powermonger as a FPS?

 
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51. Re: Battlefield 3 Vehicle Preview Sep 13, 2011, 07:07 Zadig
 
What a disgusting shambles this is. Some hack developer wants their 3rd person console shooter to stand out from the hundreds of others so they think polluting a great IP will help them.

If they sell a non-negligible amount, then it'll be taken as 'proof' that every classic should immediately be resurrected as console garbage. "The colecovision doesn't have enough buttons to play MOO properly so lets make it into a corridor shooter!" If it's a disaster, then the mongoloid developers & publishers will blame gamers for endlessly talking about these old games but not buying their 'remake'. "Why you no buy our shovelware stupid gamers?!"
 
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50. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 07:02 Numinar
 
Lighten up guys, this isn't Xcom. Syndicate was more about the world than the mechanics. All the best mechanics of it will translate well if full campaign co-op is included. Destructible buildings will make it glorious indeed! It needs proper maps though, corridor shooting will NOT work with this. GTA cross FPS would suit it just fine, with a switching mechanic or birds eye view to make it feel legit.

Not to say it will be good, but it's certainly not a gross injustice just based on the premise.
 
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49. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 06:23 InBlack
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 13, 2011, 04:47:
The more complex and better a game is, the more EXPENSIVE IT IS TO PRODUCE. Thats the only connection you can make here.

That's not necessarily true. A lot of low-budget indie games are deeper and more complex than big-budget mainstream games. Age of Decadence, for example, is infinitely more complex than BF3 but you can bet your ass that BF3 cost much, much more to develop. Just like with movies, production values are what cost the most, not complexity. In terms of development budget, at least. Marketing budgets are typically 2-3 times as large as development budgets.

What you have stated is true, but it only affirms my point. Low budget games can have more complexity, but that takes time to develop, implement, Q&A, test, re-test, polish etc. etc. and that development time costs money. Indies can get away with it because typically they have a very small development team that usually works out of its own pocket and outside of a publishing deadline.

Now if you take that and combine it with a high-budget development structure i.e. complex and costly game engine, expensive 3d and 2d art assets and a large dev. team (that needs to be very well co-ordinated) to make all of that work I would imagine that your development costs skyrocket.

Now as you yourself stated marketing budgets are typicaly 2-3 times as large as development budgets.

So in the end its the marketing that sells the game, so publishers cut costs where they can and quality (Im talking gameplay here, not polish necessarily) be damned.
 
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48. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 05:17 wonkawonka
 
ThatMonkey wrote on Sep 13, 2011, 04:57:
Half of what made Syndicate so good is the perspective. The gameplay was BASED on what you could do with squad-based real-time combat in an isometric view. Changing it is like doing first person Mario. Imagine that...
...
Absurd, and yet basically the same thing.

Exactly. Like I said in the earlier Syndicate thread:
Call it "Syndicate Shooter" and all is good.
You just can't try to capitalize on a brand to attract the fans by focusing on what's similar when in fact the entire premise is different. I don't think Carmack ever said "Wolf 3D is an amazing opportunity for us to use our expertise in the first person shooter and action genres to bring back, and reignite, the signature action/espionage gameplay of Wolfenstein."
And:
A Ford F-150 and a Ford GT are 2 vehicles made by Ford. And that's about where the comparison stops. Ford doesn't go out and say "The Ford GT is an amazing opportunity for us to use our expertise in vehicle manufacturing to bring back, and reignite, the signature toughness and carrying capacity of our F-150 trucks."

The problem is simple: The developer is saying that Syndicate is the setting, and the setting stays. Gamers are saying that Syndicate is the squad-based tactical game, which needs a higher-level puppet-master view. All I want is for the developer to acknowledge that fact and stop spewing marketing crap. Call it Syndicate Shooter, or Agents of Syndicate, don't try to sell "it's the same gameplay!" and that's OK.
 
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47. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 04:57 ThatMonkey
 
Half of what made Syndicate so good is the perspective. The gameplay was BASED on what you could do with squad-based real-time combat in an isometric view. Changing it is like doing first person Mario. Imagine that...

"It was always going to be an FPS," Nintendo game director Shigeru Miyamoto tells them. "The original nub of the idea was to take that viewpoint from the original game and zoom into the Plumber's head, and play that part. A closer experience - to become one of those Plumbers."

"We're big fans of the original Mario, and we're definitely paying as much homage to it as we can - bringing across the essence of the world, the core essence of what it is to be a Plumber," he explains. "That sounds wanky but it's true - we're taking the Mushroom Kingdom and evolving it in different ways, the shells and wacky fun. On both facets of the game, the co-op and the single player, it's very key to stay true to it." He also offers this reassurance for disgruntled Nintendo fans: "I think the game speaks for itself. We've been very lucky to work with a great, original world, and create another facet of it really. I would love them to like it. You're never going to please everyone."


Absurd, and yet basically the same thing.
 
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46. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 04:47 Jerykk
 
The more complex and better a game is, the more EXPENSIVE IT IS TO PRODUCE. Thats the only connection you can make here.

That's not necessarily true. A lot of low-budget indie games are deeper and more complex than big-budget mainstream games. Age of Decadence, for example, is infinitely more complex than BF3 but you can bet your ass that BF3 cost much, much more to develop. Just like with movies, production values are what cost the most, not complexity. In terms of development budget, at least. Marketing budgets are typically 2-3 times as large as development budgets.
 
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45. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 04:08 InBlack
 
How is the quality of a game INVERSELY RELATED to its sales figures??????

What the FUCK are some of you smoking guys? (Beamer Im looking @ you)

The more complex and better a game is, the more EXPENSIVE IT IS TO PRODUCE. Thats the only connection you can make here.

The more the devs have to spend on a PRODUCTION BUDGET the less they have for MAKRETING!

The less they have for MARKETING the less a game will sell. Combine that with high production values and you wont make a big profit. Yes. its that simple.

(Those who dont think marketing sells games today should go and watch those BF3 promo videos again)

That is the only reason why EVERYONE and their grandmother streamlines games these days.

Connect the fucking dots. Greed. Thats the crux of it.

This comment was edited on Sep 13, 2011, 04:15.
 
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44. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 01:45 Sepharo
 
mag wrote on Sep 12, 2011, 21:01:
Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter

"Do you like my hat? It's made of money."

"Would you like to stay for lunch? I think we're having money!"
 
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43. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 00:41 Alpha Geist
 
WyldKat wrote on Sep 12, 2011, 23:20:
Alpha Geist wrote on Sep 12, 2011, 20:55:
The standalone four-player campaign features levels based on those of the original and its sequel Syndicate Wars. Designer Rickard Johansson talked this up - "hopefully co-op is a great nod towards the old gang" - but argued that the old Syndicate formula had had its day. "I don't want people to stop playing the old games, but time has moved on."

So at best, all they can do is HOPE that the co-op is a nod towards the old gang?

Ugh...don't even get me started on the whole "time has moved on" quote.

If EA/Starbreeze's reinvention of Syndicate mixed in qualities of Battlezone (or Battlezone II), then I wouldn't be so disappointed. That was one FP RTS game I really got a kick out of.

Heck, are there any other games similar to that of BZ/BZII, past or present?

Now where did I put my BZ CD at...

Wait... they actually said "Time has moved on?"

Tell that to the Madden and NFS franchise or any other host of EA games.

No it's more like... "Well those games were made by talented developers whose company we bought out, we're unable/unwilling to match their creativity so have a Deus Ex clone and be happy about it."

Yup, apparently time has moved on and we should forget about what made the classic a classic in the first place.

+1 on the Madden and NFS EA franchise milked every year.

Like someone already mentioned, I too hate it when developers say "We're big fans of the original [insert game here]..." Usually what follows is an excuse to affirm what they're doing now is "paying homage to it as we can..."

Bullocks!

"We're big fans of the original Syndicate, and we're definitely paying as much homage to it as we can - bringing across the essence of the world, the core essence of what it is to be an Agent. That sounds wanky but it's true - we're taking the Persuadatron and evolving it in different ways, the weapons and brutality."

/sarcasm on
We all know that paying homage to Syndicate has nothing to do with (as per jdreyer's post) "...totally destructible environments, strategic gameplay, weapon and augmentation economy, and multiple paths to mission victory."
/sarcasm off

Well, it's EA who most likey has Starbreeze by the berries. Damn asshats!
 
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42. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 00:15 Prez
 
Who wouldn't prefer to make 2 million sales vice 1 million? But again, you seem to live in a reality where you can accurately predict that game 'x' will sell 1 million and game 'y' will sell 2 to 4 million. With the possible exceptions of Blizzard titles and CoD (at least until the bloom comes off that rose...), nothing like those numbers are EVER even remotely certain, especially when dealing with a long dormant property like Syndicate.

What will you say when the FPS Syndicate only sells 250K units? That a strategy remake would have only sold 75k? The truth is, you have no idea.
 
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41. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 00:09 Beamer
 
Prez wrote on Sep 13, 2011, 00:04:
Considering that's more than some of their games sell for, I don't think your attempt at mocking is that impressive.

1M in sales for a non-FPS game would be quite respectable, and would certainly pay for a medium-sized dev house.

I'm sitting here scratching my head at how 1 million sales for a strategy game could be considered anything other than a runaway success.

Ahh, to live in Beamer's world. To have everything figured out to the tiniest detail on paper before the first line of code is written and know exactly how much a studio needs to be successful - wouldn't that be something.

It may be a runaway success. But let's say in one corner you have a few employees that want to have your IP to make a game that would sell .5-1M. In another corner you have Starbreeze, who wants to make a game that will sell 2M-4M.
With your job and your bonus on the line, who do you go with?

And, of course, that other team doesn't need to go away. They can still work on a smaller selling tactics title. But with two teams asking for the same IP you go with the one that will bring in more revenues. And do we even know if anyone competent within EA was asking for the Syndicate IP? No, but we know Starbreeze did.
 
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40. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 00:04 Prez
 
Considering that's more than some of their games sell for, I don't think your attempt at mocking is that impressive.

1M in sales for a non-FPS game would be quite respectable, and would certainly pay for a medium-sized dev house.

I'm sitting here scratching my head at how 1 million sales for a strategy game could be considered anything other than a runaway success.

Ahh, to live in Beamer's world. To have everything figured out to the tiniest detail on paper before the first line of code is written and know exactly how much a studio needs to be successful - wouldn't that be something.
 
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39. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 13, 2011, 00:02 Beamer
 
All because some jackass at EA wanted to "exploit the Syndicate brand".

No, because Starbreeze said "hey, you've got that IP over there no one is using, mind if we grab it?" and some jackass at EA said "what, this old thing? Can you turn it into a good game? Well then sure, have at it."



Why do you guys think every single decision is made by Mr. Burns and not the developers?
 
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38. Re: Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter Sep 12, 2011, 23:57 Bhruic
 
Oooo, 500k sales!
Oooo, 1M sales!

Considering that's more than some of their games sell for, I don't think your attempt at mocking is that impressive. 1M in sales for a non-FPS game would be quite respectable, and would certainly pay for a medium-sized dev house. Would it be Starbreeze? Probably not, as others have mentioned, they seem to focus on FPSes.

As for who should do it, well, the ones that own the IP have decided they want to make a game for that setting. If they've already decided that much, it's not a much bigger stretch to want them to do it properly. We've already seen they aren't, so any further speculation along that path is moot.
 
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