Syndicate Reboot To Have Stand Alone Co-op Story : Interview With Starbreeze

Developer Starbreeze

Publisher EA

Platform PS3, Xbox360 & PC

Release Date Q1 2012

Syndicate is getting a reboot early next year in the form of a first person shooter which has led to many questions so we decided to take some time out and talk to Starbreeze the studio behind the new reimagining to see what’s in store.

I guess the first question with Syndicate is that it’s getting a reboot, how closely connected to the original is it?

Well, we are calling it a re imagining of the original so it isn’t directly connected or a continuation of the original but rather it is drawing on the fiction and the legacy but in a modern context and in a first person view, it’s a different  narrative but with similar things like the corporations and chips in people’s heads.

You take control of a single agent this time rather than a group?

Yes you take the role of one agent who works for the corporation and you follow his narrative throughout the whole game, but there is a co-op mode that is four player so there are still similarities between the two games.

Is it still set in the same time frame in 2069?

2069 in the single player but then the co-op will be separate in a similar timeline but I think it’s 2 months later and the story ark is totally separate. So it’s not like you are just playing the single player maps in co-op it’s a new story.

Will anything you do in the co-op mode affect the single player story or vice versa?

No, there are consistencies in both but we wanted to keep the stories separate because you are following a particular story line in the single player campaign, and then in co-op it’s different stories, different characters so we wanted to keep them apart.

So tells us about your character in the single player campaign?

So in the single player campaign you can build the character up to suit your play style really, within the game you can make use of the chip data and use it to upgrade your character anyway you want to really depending on how you play. So if you like to run and gun you set your character up to take more damage but if you’re a more passive player you can adapt him to that style. The single player campaign really gives you a lot of control over the character.

What engine is it built on?

That is our own Starbreeze engine, obviously it has been through a few changes and is constantly updated but it’s basically our own engine that we have spent many years building so that’s why it feels so good and the gameplay is so natural.

What other games would we have seen it in?

Obviously it has gone through a few changes over the years but it was used in Riddick and the Darkness would have been built on the same technology.

To the multiplayer then, 4 player co-op is a proven method so is it 4 v 4 or 4 v AI.

Yea it’s 4 versus AI, you can of course have more than four people in your syndicate but at any one time it will only be four players versus the computer AI.

Any plan to do person v person?

No we said we would concentrate on four player co-op, we didn’t want to do lots of things not so well, so we concentrated on doing four player co-op only and made the AI really smart, and it needs to be because in the game you can interact with the environment and change things so the AI needs to know that this has changed here or that has moved over there and react to what is happening. So that lends itself to great co-op.

So if your friend suddenly has to take off, is there a drop in drop out option available?

You can actually have less players than four and the game balances to that rather than needing AI to take over, it is optimised for four players but less can also play.

So with the move to first person shooters have you left behind the other things such as micro management and building your corporation etc?

We thought we would keep it simple as you are following the one character and his narrative so we didn’t want to go creating this external RTS or anything so we kept it pretty pure as a shooter.

To end so can you just give us a quick over view of the story?

Yea so you play Miles Kilo he is an agent for Euro-corp (that featured in the first game), you are an agent that does their wet work for them. The whole world revolves around these three huge corporations and the technology they use. They install chips in people’s heads and that’s how they maintain control over the population and a lot of it is based around the kind of classic Cyber punk genre.

One final questions, is there anyone from the original game involved?

Not directly there are still a lot of those guys around in the industry and we have heard they are excited to see what we do with it but no it’s a new team working on this one.


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