Syndicate was a catch-22 battle from the start

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I once promised myself, that if my office syndicate ever won the Powerball, I'd take a massive crap on the desk of my boss. I just wish that they could have told me that they had won R21 first.

The year is now almost halfway done, and we’ve been spoilt for choice so far with games. RPGs, action titles and gunplay from a popular first-person perspective have all made big splashes so far, but one game with high hopes that failed to really make an impression, was Syndicate.

An underwhelming reboot of a classic title, Syndicate experienced underwhelming sales when released, as well as quite a few curb-stomps from the critics. Developer Starbreeze was aware that the game might not be a hit, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have pride in their creation.

“I’m still proud of it. To have the courage to reboot the franchise – We knew from the get-go that there was going to be a small but very vocal [group] of gamers and journalists that was going to hate us whatever route we took,” CEO Mikael Nermark said to EDGE.

If we didn’t do an exact copy of the game, they’d hate us. If we did do an exact copy, they’d say we didn’t innovate. They were never ours to win; it was a lost battle from the get-go.

In terms of scale and cost, Syndicate actually cost “substantially less” to create, than it would have if a larger studio had gotten their hands on the project. Low costs aside, EA Labels head honcho Frank Gibeau still admitted that the game was a big flop, a risky move that did not pay off the publisher.

“I don’t have any response to what Frank said. I think both EA and Starbreeze can look back at it and say that we could have done stuff differently,” Nermark said.

If you ask anyone about any game in production they probably would say the same thing.

A shooter based on a beloved property, Syndicate ditched tactical gang warfare for a more action-orientated approach. While certainly not a terrible game, it’s also a title that failed to really make an impact, and will no doubt spend the remainder of the year flopping around bargain bins.

Last Updated: June 20, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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