Disclosure: I backed Satellite Reign on Kickstarter way back in early 2013.
Stick Friday 28 August 2015 in your diaries, as Satellite Reign is headed for full release. Yet another ‘spiritual successor’, this time to the now-classic Syndicate games by the seminal 90s developers, Bullfrog Productions. For those who don’t know, Syndicate presented gore-filled isometric shooting gameplay set to a backdrop of dystopian corporate-run cityscapes overrun with augmented cyborgs out to get each other. Not only was it a chilling vision of the future, but it had gameplay way ahead of its time and many ideas that are now staple in modern games. Deus Ex has a lot to thank Bullfrog for.
Satellite Reign is a real-time, class-based strategy game. You control a squad of four agents, each with distinct and unique abilities as they vie and battle for control of a fully simulated, living, cyberpunk city.
Customise your team with the strength to destroy your enemies head-on, or hack into their facilities to manipulate their infrastructure without them ever knowing you were even there.
As I backed Satellite Reign on Kickstarter, I’ve had Early Access to the game on Steam since it launched in December. Like with Among the Sleep, I’ve purposefully avoided too much exposure to the game before it’s official release. I haven’t even tried any of the demos that have been available to backers. When I do play it, it’ll be with You can expect a Now Playing story when it comes out, though!
Nostalgia aside, the game is looking great, with a nice blend of bright neon cyberpunk and gritty rain-soaked landscapes. You can see it all in the screenshots below. The busy complex architecture of the city should be perfect for some great tactical gameplay, which is something that Syndicate struggled to convey due to technical limitations: the levels inevitably felt a bit stiff and barren.
I hope the game manages to capture some of the atmosphere of Syndicate, and that there will be some zany equipment like the now-classic Persuadertron mind control device. On top of that, the non-violent options like using propaganda and espionage have a lot of possibilities. The living, breathing city with day/night cycles, roving gangs at night and power systems should also give a strategic feel to the game.
Do you have fond memories of the Syndicate series? What modern improvement are you hoping Satellite Reign can bring to the genre?
Satellite Reign by 5 Lives Studios is out Friday 28 August 2015, for Windows, OS X and Linux/SteamOS via the Steam store. Get it now to have Early Access.