Who's played Syndicate? Tell me a little about it.

#1 Posted by NTM (7479 posts) -

I'd like to play this game, but I can't find one that'll run on my laptop since it doesn't run 64 bit. I've seen some YouTube footage, read the Wikipedia page, and that's about as far as I've gotten in the world of Syndicate. I want to play it because Starbreeze is making a new Syndicate, and from the few images I saw, it really looks amazing to me (if a bit Deus Ex-like). I love Starbreeze, and Syndicate looks really interesting, it has before I knew Starbreeze was even making one. This is one of those few games I feel bad for not playing before. So... how is it to those who have played it? And where the heck can I find a playable one?

#2 Posted by august (3853 posts) -

I don't think there's a place to download the original legally. You can play it using DOSBox as it's a DOS game.

#3 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Never played the original. But Syndicate Wars was pretty fun. I would love leveling up the indoctrinator and walking around town creating an army of mindless drones to fight for me.

#4 Edited by turbomonkey138 (4950 posts) -

Ah you have come to the right place. This game was one of the first games I have ever played. I had it on my Amiga back in the early 90s. I was bad at it mind as I was only 6 or 7 years old.

From what I remember it was a unique game where you coudl deal with situations in many different ways. You could go in guns blazing ...or you could take a sneaky approach. However my real experience with syndicate was with syndicate wars on the PC.

And this is the first I've heard about a new syndicate game. I hope it doesn't butcher the series like the new alien breed games did :(

This still give me shivers to this day :D RIP Bulfrog

#5 Edited by newhaap (425 posts) -

Played Syndicate back when I was in school, some time in the early 90s. I haven't played it since, so just based on what I remember it was a really really good game.

The part of the gameplay I remember most is when you can avoid fighting a bunch of dudes by getting them to join your side using the Persuadertron. When that doesn't work and you do have to fight a bunch of dudes, then you group up your guys and hit both right & left mouse buttons to make them enter Panic Mode and shoot everything that moves.

Man, let me know if you find out where & how to get the game running on current gen systems, it'd be cool to take another look at it.

EDIT: Ooh, and the RPG style character upgrade stuff was pretty cool too. You can upgrade your heart, lungs, etc. almost like Deus Ex.

#6 Posted by august (3853 posts) -

I'm sure gog.com will put the original out some time before the new one comes out.

#7 Posted by Binaryfart (24 posts) -

Not sure if I can add anything you won't find from the wiki or online, but here is my 2c! The original Syndicate was one of the best games ever made! You control a roster of cyborged-up "agents" working as security/enforcement for multi-national corporations, in a future reality where corporate wars were very real and the division between government and corporations is blurred. Very cyber-punk in tone.

The game itself is a real-time, sprite-based, isometric, squad-command game, where you field 4 agents at a time loaded out with various weaponry (machine guns, mini guns and fucking awesome gauss cannon). You were set various objectives (escorts this person, destroy X target, etc.), whilst fighting other syndicates and the local law enforcement. Although you had 4 agents for each mission your roster was made up of dozens of bad-ass, trench-coat wearing soldiers, with their own skills and levels.

The challenge came from ensuring you had the right mix agents with the right weapons for each mission. The game rewarded the player with currency that could be spent of purchasing weapons and upgrades and training modules for the agents.It was pretty complex for the time. The missions also had a lot of depth to them - you could tackle each objective using stealth or force and the map layout meant you had to consider your approach - do you take the high ground and go into a slugging match with the opposing agents or do you try and find an unlocked garrage and get into the enemy's compound through a back door?

It's been so long ago that it's a bit hard to remember all the detail, but I do remember spending hours and hours on the game. Just amazing fun!

#8 Posted by NTM (7479 posts) -
@turbomonkey138: I don't think it'll butcher the series, but it'll definitely be different. So you'll find out that if you want it to play and look like the original, you might be a little bit disappointed. I don't think Starbreeze has it in them to let anyone down. After all, they made Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, better than any of the actual movies, and a really great The Darkness game based off the Dark Horse comics. We'll have to wait and see though, I'm excited about it.
#9 Posted by NTM (7479 posts) -
@newhaap: Yeah, if I find one, I'll tell you.
#10 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Syndicate was a great game, well ahead of its time. Syndicate Wars was a pretty OK game, but rather crappy by comparison. Oh and the weapon Mr Klorox was talking about was the Persuadatron, not the "Indoctrinator".

#11 Posted by Rowr (5824 posts) -

So the reboot is a shooter.

*sigh*

i cant see that the new game will be related to the old one in anything except name.

#12 Posted by buzz_clik (6989 posts) -

The last time I played a Syndicate title was the original back in 1996. I remember this being the year because it was when I first moved to Melbourne.

I loved the first one and blazed through it really quickly, which only left me wanting more. Weirdly, however, I never played Syndicate Wars.

Also, gauss gun.

Moderator
#13 Posted by niamahai (1405 posts) -

I was like 9 when I played Syndicate and all I could've remember was Ghost In the Shell FMVs on the billboards
 
@Rowr  said: 

So the reboot is a shooter.

*sigh*

i cant see that the new game will be related to the old one in anything except name.

at this point no publisher wants to spend money on an IP unless it has milkability. Making a new isometric Syndicate would only mean that the end-product will have a niche appeal (for those that played the original), and a company the size of EA does not create products to cater to the niche. Tis just how the way things are. 
 
I've always wondered whether the devs of yesteryear would have envision their game made into a FPS if they had today's technology at hand.
#14 Posted by NTM (7479 posts) -
@niamahai said:
I was like 9 when I played Syndicate and all I could've remember was Ghost In the Shell FMVs on the billboards
 
@Rowr  said: 

So the reboot is a shooter.

*sigh*

i cant see that the new game will be related to the old one in anything except name.

at this point no publisher wants to spend money on an IP unless it has milkability. Making a new isometric Syndicate would only mean that the end-product will have a niche appeal (for those that played the original), and a company the size of EA does not create products to cater to the niche. Tis just how the way things are.  I've always wondered whether the devs of yesteryear would have envision their game made into a FPS if they had today's technology at hand.
I just saw another thread on this site about their disappointment. The thing is, they're judging it too quickly. So what if it's an FPS, it's from Starbreeze, and Starbreeze makes amazing games. Starbreeze is one of the only game companies that I can imagine doing an already licensed title work. Like I said before, Starbreeze made a game out of something that made the movies pale in comparison, they're that good.
#15 Edited by ZackHoagie (23 posts) -

The actual action of Syndicate wherein you moved your agents around and completed missions could really work perfectly as a well put together Squad Based FPS. The only real outrage here is crotchety old PC gamers angry that they don't get to play more Excel Except Instead Of Accounting You're Killing People I Guess.

#16 Posted by ProfessorEss (7450 posts) -

I played it back in the day and loved it. 
 
It was...err... you had to... it... uhhhh... 
 
To be honest, I have a perfect picture of it in my head but I forget almost every aspect of how it played.

#17 Posted by Cheesebob (1243 posts) -

GOG might be releasing it this week, as they have one more game on their big EA release...thing

#18 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -

@august said:

I don't think there's a place to download the original legally. You can play it using DOSBox as it's a DOS game.

It appears to be abandonware... or rather, the big abandonware sites have it available for download. I think it's in a legal grey area but technically legal to download and play, but I'm no lawyer.

#19 Posted by august (3853 posts) -

@Teran said:

@august said:

I don't think there's a place to download the original legally. You can play it using DOSBox as it's a DOS game.

It appears to be abandonware... or rather, the big abandonware sites have it available for download. I think it's in a legal grey area but technically legal to download and play, but I'm no lawyer.

EA owns Syndicate. So there's nothing legal about downloading or hosting the game.

#20 Posted by Tennmuerti (8140 posts) -

I still well remember the last mission, when even when your agents were fully upgraded and had the best weapons they still got eventually swarmed by hosts of other agents.
Didn't solve that untill I realised I could jack up my agents with druuuuuugs.
 
Good times.

#21 Posted by CptBedlam (4453 posts) -

@ZackHoagie said:

The actual action of Syndicate wherein you moved your agents around and completed missions could really work perfectly as a well put together Squad Based FPS. The only real outrage here is crotchety old PC gamers angry that they don't get to play more Excel Except Instead Of Accounting You're Killing People I Guess.

Too bad the new Syndicate won't be a squad based fps - there are only a few coop missions. The actual game is just a linear shooter.

#22 Posted by Eurobum (246 posts) -

It had a SVGA resolution which was really unusual for that time. And it looked very detailed and above and beyond anything that was available, it made a lot of shit that passed for video games back then, look really bad.

Basically it controlled like a RTS game with just 4 agents, whom you could equip or augment with bio-mechanical implants. They could also be killed and replaced with new dudes, which were recruited by using a mind control device.Money earned in missions basically went into research of implants, guns and other stuff. You could send the four around doing different things, but there was hardly ever a reason to do so. Pretty soon you got miniguns and you just rolled around with 4 dudes mowing everythin down. There were also futuristic cars, that drove on rails, they could be entered and controlled by the player.

A later franchise that expanded on this kind of game play was Commandos., didn't Baldurs Gate type games also work similarly, where you sent a small party about with the mouse?

#23 Edited by CptBedlam (4453 posts) -

Here are a few impressions, the game had a great style and atmosphere...

Awesome intro:

Mission screens (PC material, 640x480):

Research / team management in between missions (Amiga material, 320x240):

#24 Posted by Tennmuerti (8140 posts) -
@CptBedlam:
Man that one screenshot with burning agents brings back painfull memories.
When some asshole blows up a transport with all your agents in it it just makes me want to cry. :(
#25 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

hahaha I remember that mission description, holy shit memories.

#26 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -

@august said:

@Teran said:

@august said:

I don't think there's a place to download the original legally. You can play it using DOSBox as it's a DOS game.

It appears to be abandonware... or rather, the big abandonware sites have it available for download. I think it's in a legal grey area but technically legal to download and play, but I'm no lawyer.

EA owns Syndicate. So there's nothing legal about downloading or hosting the game.

I'm not sure you understand just what abandonware is. Assuming you are correct and EA owns the intellectual property, that does not mean that there is "nothing legal about downloading or hosting the game". There are numerous well known mainstream sites out there that provide downloads of older games that meet certain conditions. These sites are not attempting to remain hidden from major publishers and generally comply with requests from the publishers.

EA has a legal department and would have taken care of the issue years ago if it was something they cared about... however it is not. They have no interest in marketing or selling a game that came out in 1993 nor do they seem to want to put any resources into getting it functional on modern operating systems to sell it because again, it would require that they also support it. A case could be made that the original Syndicate has fallen out of protection because it was abandoned by the owners. It is no longer compatible with modern computers out of the box, EA is not offering technical support on the product, it is no longer purchaseable from the publisher or retail outlets, and most importantly, EA has not attempted to protect its brand despite being aware of its availability on these web sites.

X-COM used to be in a similar situation, but once it was made available on Steam most abandonware sites replaced their download links with links that took potential buyers to the Steam page where the purchase could be made.

It is a legal grey area because so long as the product is not available for purchase anywhere and hosting web sites aren't charging for the game it will be very difficult to prove damages or deception.

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