Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 21 Feb 2012.
Not really surprising now was it....
I see your point, but I think part of what makes a good reviewer is the ability to disable that instinct. I also think that, while seeing more of a genre means you can get tired of those which just follow the tropes, it also makes it easier to spot the ones which don't follow convention. You can appreciate the best better just like you can tire of the worst.
Personally, I don't want to get into some self-aggrandising discussion, but I do think I can do that much. I think I'm a fair person and I can tell when I'm not being fair and I can act on that. That's why you see me openly and deliberately avoiding doing reviews of games I know I can't be fair on for one reason or another, such as Starcraft 2, as well giving good reviews to games I haven't liked for personal reasons and vice versa. Something like The Path is a good example of that; something which I loved but which I ultimately had to sit back and recognise wasn't a good product for everyone.
I should say straight off that I wrote this review with a Syndicate-remembering audience in mind. We are, after all, hardcore PC gamers here for the most part.
I can't help but feel you're contradicting yourself here, as well as failing to disagree with the overall review. The review is 5/10 - or average. I'm not saying it's really all that bad. I'm not saying it's really all that good. I am saying it's passable, but that there are better alternatives. You seem to be suggesting the same, but I don't see how you can say something is "far from great" but also "a must play"? Great things are must plays. Average things are what you pick up if you've exhausted the other options or feel a game plays to your personal predilections.
I don't think Syndicate is a must play for simple FPS fans. There are better FPS' out there. It might be a must play for cyberpunk fans, but then...Deus Ex is there too.
I think this is a really interesting point, actually. Because: I don't know what constraints you're alluding to regarding freedom and budget. For all I know (and unless you show evidence otherwise) Starbreeze's only limitation was in staying to the broader themes of Syndicate. I don't know that EA said "It has to be a shooter with X features" and I don't know that they had more or less budget than they needed. All I know is that the project has been in the pipe for a good few years and comes from an established studio with, presumably, the staff and facilities that suggests.
And, to a degree, I don't care about the greater details. Or, well, I care about them from a humanistic and investigative point of view - I want to know as much as possible about the product so that I can talk from an authoritative and informed position. But in terms of altering the review expectations? No, not in this case. There are times when I think the background of a development becomes part of the review narrative - like, when one guy in his bedroom makes something amazing, or when a big company invests several billion pounds in a new technology that may or may not pay off - but those are exceptions. The rest of the time (and even as much as possible concerning exceptions) that should not matter to the reviewer. What matters is how good the game is, not how good it is considering that they had one month less to test it than they thought they did.
Wise words. Harry and I, for example, rarely agree on games but it doesn't make either of us wrong or right (except that he's always wrong) - just that those who care mainly about competitive multiplayer should listen to him, while all those who care mainly about singleplayer and collaborative modes should listen to me.
In fact, everyone should listen to me. And send me chocolate bars.
Here's the question though, if all you desire in life is a constant fix of FPS combat action, like a sort of unbroken addiction going back to the days of Doom, would Syndicate be an all time high or would it kill your buzz and leave you in withdrawal?
I think even if a game is a bit perfunctory on the creative side of things, and let's face it that is not unusual these days, if it meets it's unambitious goals successfully, then it deserves a reasonable amount of credit.
It's cruel sometimes because a lot of games, particularly on release, get panned for being buggy or broken and in the majority of cases these are the more ambitious titles. So these games are having to face reviewers and public in a position where they have to be perfect on launch day or maybe they drop from a nine or ten to a seven or eight if they are lucky. So games get scared of trying the clever stuff. And so games appear that adhere rigidly to tried and tested gaming tropes, and, well, let's face it what's the point of them if they aren't doing anything new? Reviewers and gamers alike are stifling the industry that feeds them because they want everything to be perfect on day one.
Here's the dirty little secret kids. A good game is a good game six months after it comes out, in fact it's usually better, and often cheaper. There's a good case for saying in fact that a gamer who operates six months behind the launch date schedule will have more fun and more money (at least when it comes to single player games) than a guy who pre-orders ever Next Big Thing for that quarter in advance.
i will stick to my amiga version
5/10 is an average score on a full-scale scoring system like Joe uses; And seems reasonable for this game given the content of the actual review (Y'know.. the important part!).
But realistically 5 out of 10 is a 1 out of 5 on the scale of "should I spend my money on this?" - And I think that's why a reasonable score of 5 for an average game will be seen as harsh by some people, even without comparison to other reviews.
I don't pirate games because I'm a principled kind of person, but that means that the number of games I get to play is limited by both my income and my free time; which in turn means I'm not going to waste my time or money on a game that gets a mediocre score from a reviewer that I trust - I'd rather spend my resources on games that excel and that really deserve my attention.
Critically, 5/10 is average.
As a consumer, 5/10 is a shitty game to avoid - Which is what I was expecting from (new) Syndicate since the first announcement.
That's what it boils down to for me.
Yes, you are right. I post in the lunch break without too much thought. I really do contradict with myself. The arguments that where in my head were that "passable" in my eyes refers to something like 70%/100% when using the 100% scale. I simply don't bother looking games with less than that. Unless to have some fun with the review (as with Postal review). And when I said "a must play", seems exaggerated now that I read it again. What I wanted to say is that if you happen to get bored of playing some other FPS whether it is BF3, MW3, and you play only FPS and you have some spare cash then it is a viable alternative.
About the "severe" constraints. What is behind the statement is that I have this impression, more like a grounded theory of this game than something supported with arguments, that because of the short time between the announcement trailer and the actual release of the title, the development team had a very hectic time working on this game. Moreover, I was thinking they had a real mental pressure because of the EA on one side and the fans of the game on the other. And to add I thought they had some involvement in the Darkness II building, but I just checked and it's debunked. It's some other studio that was making the game. Anyway, that was in my head. I am glad I could change my train of thought. Thanks. I am sorry if I sounded to determined. The truth is I would never buy the game, because I'd rather spend every gaming second I have in Starcraft2 to get better and reach further into the leagues.
The amount of bloom displayed is stupidly ridiculous. The game hurts my eyes, FFS!
Didn't like the idea of this as a FPS.
Will be waiting for CARTEL by Paradox Interactive, meant to be the true sequel to syndicate.
Perhaps it was through rose-tinted glasses I was expecting explosions of joy on my box after loading up the demo. The only explosion I got was in the trouser department and wasn't from the game itself but due to my having had a curry for tea and it was in no way coerced from this quite frankly shocking effort of a quick buck maker. After trying to repeatedly give it the benefit of the doubt, I gave up after half an hour.
The campaign is pretty damn short, linear, the bloom is insane and the boss fights can be a tad annoying.
This doesn't mean that it wasn't fun. It really is a powertrip game, where you can just wade into a scenario and starting laying waste to everyone! The mixing up of the Breach abilities and your weapons really does instil a sense of utter bad-ass. Charging into a room with loads of enemies, persuading one to fight with you, making the sniper at the back commit suicide, detonating the weapons of the 3 closest to you which damages them, your persuaded comrade shooting them while you fire High-velocity rounds through concrete pillars to shoot the guy with a laser cannon at the back then watching the final enemy being punched to death by the persuaded soldier before he blows his brains out. Genuinely entertaining scenarios happen and I didn't tire of them.
There needs to be alot of tweaking made available or done via patching to help with the FOV, bloom and textures. Yes, there is very strong echoes of it being a console port, namely if you have a 360 controller plugged in when you load the game, the menu navigation swaps to controller buttons.
Co-op is very good fun, but with 3rd party VOIP almost essential. Working as a team healing, gunning and coordinating to mow through the levels is really good fun. As was the case with Space Marine, the P2P system lets it down alot. Thankfully, I got my NAT freed up for it and set to open, so it seems to have solved alot of issues. Unlike Space Marine, there is alot more depth there and loads of customisation, maybe not visually, but certainly in terms of how you play it. The upgrade tree is expanded nicely, but upgrades must follow a path (unlike SP where you can pick any boost in the tech tree).
No, it's not going to win GOTY, not by a long shot. The story isn't great in SP, but it is good fun and harkens back to more fun FPS mechanics and it allows for some awesome firefights. The weapons are great fun and the breaching is a fun mechanic and rarely did it feel repetitive in its use.
Co-op is the mainstay of the game, so if you know someone else with it, fire it up and get stuck in.
I would give it 6.5/10. Don't buy at Steam/Origin prices, but if you can find it at a decent price, I'd say pick it up. I know I'll be returning to it again and again.
I've played this and Loved it.
I just can't believe that they gave up the chance to do a modern spin on the original game. Instead, make yet another ***** shooter?
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