Syndicate's cooperative missions will come with some particularly challenging difficulty settings.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Starbreeze's lead co-op programmer Lars Magnus Lang discussed the challenges his team has faced in designing Syndicate's four-player cooperative mode, and the fear they've made the game way, way too hard.
"If you try to play it as a shooter straight on it will be really hard," Lars explained. "[Players will] need to take a different approach from other shooters where you try to really cooperate and heal and revive each other, almost like an MMO experience."
As it stands, Syndicate's cooperative mode doesn't offer any kind of "Easy" setting. Instead the game uses a three-star system, with one star being the standard "Normal" difficulty and three stars proving to be the most challenging. Through QA testing, however, Lars stated Starbreeze found the standard difficulty doesn't provide much of an obstacle once players started coming up with effective team-based tactics or have picked up enough of the game mechanics from the single-player campaign.
"If you already played it and you're really good at it, you can just run through the maps with other good players," Lars said. "But then we have scripted it differently on the different difficulties, so you will encounter more interesting enemies and have some special events... We have mercenary events and more mini-bosses - a lot more mini-bosses - on three stars, for example."
Lars also noted that Starbreeze believes players will have to dedicate over 50 hours in order to unlock everything in the game, and play through an estimated "80 to 100 missions" successfully to reach 100% completion.
Syndicate is scheduled to hack its way onto PCs, the Xbox 360 and PS3 on February 21st in North America and Feb 24th in Europe.