About ten days ago, we revealed how EA was bringing back the Syndicate property, but as a first-person shooter that focuses more on the individual character, instead of allowing players to create and customise a squad of cybernetic industrial saboteurs. Suffice to say, the fans were not happy. In fact they were downright livid about the change of direction but unfortunately, no amount of angry comments will change the direction that Syndicate is heading in. So what’s a hardcore fan to do?
Fortunately, Paradox Studios has stepped up, and have announced that they are busy working on a title that can be only be described as a real-time squad-based RTS with global research and a diplomacy map.
Speaking to RPS, Paradox revealed that the game, called â€œCartelâ€, will be set in a future where global mega-corporations fight amongst themselves for world domination, and that Cartel will fill in a gap created by EA when they announced that Syndicate would be a FPS game.
â€œWe are now in a place where there are many classical PC games that now have people doing remakes and new takes on themâ€, said Paradox’ Shams Jorjani . â€œOne of these is Syndicate, which is being developed at Starbreeze. It was the worst kept secret in the Swedish games industry! But now it’s out there, and we were very interested in the reaction to itâ€.
â€œMeanwhile we were kicking around a lot of ideas for what kinds of cool games we’d like to see made because nobody else is making them anymore. During this time there was someone over at 2K who said you could not make turn-based games anymore, that the new X-Com had to be a shooter because you can’t do turn-based games anymoreâ€.
â€œNow, we have tremendous respect for the Starbreeze guys, they make great games, but the announcement sparked a discussion about â€˜what is in a name’. What makes a Syndicate game? The world? The gameplay? The platform? The name? What is it? Cartel was born out of this discussionâ€.
Players will have to create a formidable faction, or â€œcartelâ€, and take on the mega-corporations of this grim new world, corporations that have been modeled after the dystopian entities present in 1980’s films, think OCP in Robocop, who represent the evils of such rampant consumerism and unchecked capitalism.
â€œYou eliminate the other cartels by doing missions, for which you can decide on your strategies,â€ Jorjani explained. â€œThe game is therefore structured in two parts. You have the action mission part and then the part that takes place between missionsâ€.
â€œOn missions you control a squad of elite soldiers and specialists who are controlled RTS-style. There are a lot of different mission types you can send these guys on, such recon and exploration missions, sabotage missions, retrieval missions, assassinations missions, and so on. These are the kinds of things we are currently experimenting with in terms of making the variety of missions interestingâ€.
â€œOf course you don’t just send your agents in blind, either. You have to kit them out, customise them and their weapons, and it’s all about giving you control of your gang. You are responsible for making sure the teams are suited to their missionâ€.
Jorjani also elaborated on how the studio wants to bring some more dynamic components to mission structures, mixing a variety of scripted segments with random, new objectives every time a new playthrough is attempted.
â€œOur missions will always have parameters that changeâ€, Jorjani said. â€œA large part of the game will about planning ahead, but also adapting to changes in the mission. You’ll need contingencies.â€
Jorjani said that the team would like to release Cartel in 12-18 months time, but only when they were happy with the formula before any concrete release date is announced. Hopefully this bit of news will appease the Syndicate fans who were disappointed with the recent news regarding the revival of the franchise, and its also refreshing to see a studio take advantage of a gap in the market without having to pretend that they’re not creating something that is influenced by consumer trends.
Last Updated: September 22, 2011