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Electronic Arts turns classic strategy game 'Syndicate' into first-person shooter
LAS VEGAS (AP) ' Over the past seven years, the developers at Starbreeze Studios have created video games based on a film franchise ("The Chronicles of Riddick") and a comic series ("The Darkness"). For the latest entry in its first-person shooter catalog, the independent Swedish gamemaker is turning to an unexpected source of inspiration: another video game.
Starbreeze Studios is transforming the 18-year-old real-time strategy game "Syndicate" into a futuristic first-person shooter. In the new title, players are tasked with wielding weapons and hacking into adversaries' heads, instead of commanding a team of cyborgs, as players did in the original "Syndicate," a property owned by publisher Electronic Arts.
"We were just coming off 'The Darkness,'" said Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark at an Electronic Arts trade show in Las Vegas this week. "As an independent studio, one of our top priorities was to find something new to do. We tried to pitch our own stuff. We were talking to a number of different people, and when we were talking to Electronic Arts, this idea of doing a new 'Syndicate' came up."
The new "Syndicate," which is scheduled for release Feb. 21, 2012, is set in the year 2069 where three massive corporations are in control of most of the world. As a prototype agent named Miles Kilo, players can tap into enemies' heads to persuade them to do such things as become your ally or even blow themselves ' and their buddies ' up with a grenade.
"It's always hard to bring back something that people loved," said Nermark. "When you remake something, people have expectations. How close do you have to stay to the original, and how far can we go to make our own game? We didn't want to make a straight-up shooter to compete with everyone else. We wanted to make a unique experience for the player and us."
"Syndicate" is the latest in a line of classic 1990s gaming franchises to be reimagined for modern audiences. Bethesda Softworks successfully turned the post-apocalyptic role-playing series "Fallout" into a first-person shooter franchise, while 2K Games is currently at work on first-person shooter reboot of the cult "X-COM" alien invasion strategy series.