Syndicate Catch-All

Blind_Evil wrote:

First sniff I've had of a real review, from Jeff Gerstmann of Giantbomb via twitter:

Anyway, I'm working on getting a Syndicate review done. Probably won't have it until tomorrow, but the short version is that I like it lots.

And some food for thought:

Writing the Syndicate review and I can't help but wonder if people will ever stop kneejerk-hating reboots that make old games into shooters. You'd think that Fallout 3 would have maybe softened people a bit. And, in conclusion, stop talking sh*t about the XCOM shooter. It looks neat!

Yep, unfortunately in many forms of media communities but games in particular, something always has to be the loser that people focus on. I'm actually looking forward to Syndicate based on my experiences with the demo and while I have concerns with what I've seen of the X-Com shooter, I'll give it a chance. That said, I will say that I wish FPS wasn't the default genre to reboot everything in. I'm very glad to see Take-Two also decide to give X-Com the strategy treatment as well.

And I've got 0 time this week to actually play! Dammit!

I think I'm going to lean heavily on the Co-op missions early with this one. Why? Because it doesn't have Halo or CoD in the title, meaning if I don't get my jollies with the multiplayer now, I might never get the chance (see F3AR.) If it has its splash and then dries up I'll still have a nice Deus Ex with more run and gun experience to look forward to.

Gametrailers seems pleased.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Five-star Giant Bomb review.

I read it. Are they trustworthy? I've never heard of them before.

Gerstmann and I see eye to eye more often than not. Might have sold me with that review.

ibdoomed wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

Five-star Giant Bomb review.

I read it. Are they trustworthy? I've never heard of them before.

O_O

You poor soul!

Blind_Evil wrote:
ibdoomed wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

Five-star Giant Bomb review.

I read it. Are they trustworthy? I've never heard of them before.

O_O

You poor soul!

Ok, so I shouldn't have read it. I'll look for other reviews.

Giant Bomb is the best game site ever, IMO. That particular reviewer lost his job at Gamespot for not caving to review pressure. They are the pinnacle of credibility.

This is the kind of thing that gives me little hope for the future of Origin as a PC platform. The Origin link on the Syndicate main page takes you straight to the 360 product.

Looks like Amazon still has a $20 credit for it, so I think I'll just order it for the 360 from them.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Giant Bomb is the best game site ever, IMO. That particular reviewer lost his job at Gamespot for not caving to review pressure. They are the pinnacle of credibility.

Oh ok. I've lost track of review websites. It's been a rough year or so. First there was the whole gawker network changing to an unreadable format (I miss lifehacker) and then all the gullible suckers that fell for that SOPA/PIPA bait and I have trouble supporting them.

ibdoomed wrote:

First there was the whole gawker network changing to an unreadable format (I miss lifehacker)

*shrug* Not to veer off-topic but their RSS feed has full articles so you can read them in a cleaner format than even the old layout.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Giant Bomb is the best game site ever, IMO. That particular reviewer lost his job at Gamespot for not caving to review pressure. They are the pinnacle of credibility.

Allegedly, neither side will go into specifics.

The thing about Giant Bomb is that it is a completely personality driven website, and that goes for their reviews as well. So there isn't much of an attempt at an unbiased appraisal of a game. Which works great if your taste aligns with the GB reviewer. Since I know that I don't often agree with Jeff Gerstmann's opinions, his review isn't worth much to me, but Thin_J is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Basically, your mileage may vary.

Out to get my copy after posting this (yay odd work schedule!). Most of the big sites' reviews seem to indicate the single-player campaign is fraught with linear story progression and is more generic FPS, but they're really heaping the praise on the cooperative side of things. As always, I'll reserve my own judgement until playing it, but the latter's interesting to me as I've never gotten into coop FPS shooters (played a lot of TFC back in the 90s but was never good enough to delve into anything deeper). Is this the year I finally jump in and get a headset/mic?

Considering Giant Bomb's glowing review, my hunch is that the single player is probably of that "fun but not revolutionary" stripe, so if the tone and atmosphere are right and the controls are good, they've probably got my number.

More to come...

Vox Games went into Alpha status this week and Arthur Gies, who tends to be not easily impressed by shooters, gave it an 8.5. It sounds like it might not be worth full-price if you're not invested in the co-op side of things, but both this game and The Darkness II sound like they aren't completely skippable like I assumed they would be.

kuddles wrote:

Vox Games went into Alpha status this week and Arthur Gies, who tends to be not easily impressed by shooters, gave it an 8.5. It sounds like it might not be worth full-price if you're not invested in the co-op side of things, but both this game and The Darkness II sound like they aren't completely skippable like I assumed they would be.

I may not always agree with the man but Gies is a great writer.

Tannhauser wrote:

The thing about Giant Bomb is that it is a completely personality driven website, and that goes for their reviews as well. So there isn't much of an attempt at an unbiased appraisal of a game.

I kind of take issue with the idea that someone should ignore their own personal tastes when giving their personal opinion (review) of a game.

GB is doing a live quick-look of the game right now, if anyone's interested.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I kind of take issue with the idea that someone should ignore their own personal tastes when giving their personal opinion (review) of a game.

You seem a little touchy. Different organizations have different standards. While Giant Bomb's reviews wear their biases openly, there are places that attempt an impartial journalistic approach in their reviews. You could make an argument for or against either approach. But I don't think this is appropriate place for an discussion that gets down to the definition of the word "review" and builds up from there.

I just think that is a misuse of the word "bias," really. What outlets do you mean?

Blind_Evil wrote:

I just think that is a misuse of the word "bias," really. What outlets do you mean?

F*ck it, I'll take the plunge. I'll report back as soon as I have a chance to play the damn thing.

Tannhauser wrote:

Different organizations have different standards. While Giant Bomb's reviews wear their biases openly, there are places that attempt an impartial journalistic approach in their reviews. You could make an argument for or against either approach. But I don't think this is appropriate place for an discussion that gets down to the definition of the word "review" and builds up from there.

I agree with your assertion about differing standards, and this is why I think there's no great need to overly define the word. There are different sources for reviews and it's generally pretty easy to position them along the fan reaction<--->formal critque strata. An interesting discussion might be how different types of reviews potentionally devalues aggregate review scores. If anyone's up for it, I'll happily dump gallons of combustible fuel on such a thread but I'm not going to spark it.

Back on topic, I just played the first two missions. I'm really liking the sound design best of everything...it really sets the tone. The graphics are variable - a lot of it looks great but I've seen a few iffy textures along walls and floors. This wouldn't be such an issue if I didn't find myself wandering around looking for the next door that actually opens once I've finished clearing a room.

And there's the big complaint: so far, the single-player feels pretty canned, and when there's not something that requires a breach or other interaction requiring a button press, there's a lot of bumping around trying to find out what to do. This is a problem when you've just killed a bunch of enemies and there's every indication that people are still looking for you but you're walking into door-painted walls for thirty seconds to a minute while an alarm screams in the background - it robs the game of a sense of urgency. And thing is, I really want it to have that sense of urgency, because I get the impression this game is supposed to be a cold-sweat, and that's the element of tropey violent cyberpunk action that had me interested in the first place.

I also finally played a co-op quick match. I'd skipped the demo because I didn't want to go in blind on the map, objectives and controls. Not normally playing these sorts of things, I can say I enjoyed myself. The only thing I didn't care for was the predictable "you couple of newbies need to get this down" remark, and that was more because I don't have a headset/mic to say "yeah man, I'm working on it, launch day and all."; can't say I can blame the game for this. The use of breach for support as well as offensive functions makes me feel like I'm contributing despite my unfamiliarity with the map and my non-stellar marksmanship, and that's very encouraging. Unlike the single-player, the co-op mission I played achieved that sense of frantic urgency I was looking for. If I can take the time to get better at it, I'm probably going to MP this game a lot.

Game: Pretty rad.

Menus: Text too small! The infobank stuff requires a bit of squinting.

I was kinda hoping this would suck since it's been banned here. I'm actually happy EA basically told our classification people to stick it by refusing to make a localised version or even appeal the decision. More companies need to play hardball to get our dumbass politicians moving...

In fact part of me actually cheers everytime a big name game gets shot down by our dumb classification system. I can still import it, but less fortunate or import savvy souls will kick up a stink and hopefully get some attention.

Ranting aside, I might have to import this! I never played the original Syndicate, but there honestly isn't enough Cyberpunk in gaming these days as far as I'm concerned, and the reviews seem solid, so I'm pretty much sold at this point.

I leaped. It's downloading though. Origin started off saturating my connection and then the speed just went right down the toilet at about 75% and it won't go past about 120k a second.

Fired up steam and it still maxes it out, so whatever's up is either Origin's servers or it's something between here and there. Regardless, I'm not going to get to try it out tonight.

Sometimes the complete lack of a manual just reminds me how generic gaming has become.

Need moar GWJ impressions!

I'm already interested in the game but I'll waiting a bit longer for my credit balance to settle down and see if i can clear away some of my backlog as well.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Game: Pretty rad.

Menus: Text too small! The infobank stuff requires a bit of squinting.

Lol you aren't joking. Total fail at creating a 10 foot UI.

TheGameguru wrote:

Sometimes the complete lack of a manual just reminds me how generic gaming has become.

Whenever my roommate or myself bitch about the lack of manuals, I feel like an old man. In-game tutorials are somewhat more elegant, more eco-friendly. But it was nice reading a blurb about the characters in a game before actually seeing them. Square-Enix and Nintendo are the only companies I can think of that still print quality manuals (read: only Japanese ones).

On the fourth "mission" and hit my first "boss" fight...got killed a few times before calling it a night...its polished enough despite the one hard lock up...but it's fairly bland so far.. The powers are kinda cool but so far up to now its just a gimmick...you can easily replace the hacking with any mechanic and the results are the exact same. Maybe co-op is where it's at?? But my first impressions are its more like a $30 game..

Which is my problem with the whole AAA model. It's a solid 7 at $60 but like a 9 or 10 at $30...given how much better DX:HR was and how quick that was discounted I would wait on this title.

TheGameguru wrote:

Which is my problem with the whole AAA model. It's a solid 7 at $60 but like a 9 or 10 at $30...given how much better DX:HR was and how quick that was discounted I would wait on this title.

Your mentioned experiences sound purely SP, and I'm prepared to believe that (and dreading further SP). Any co-op in the mix?