EA says the “hero” in Syndicate is not a good guy and gamers shouldn’t expect him to become one midway through the game.
Based on what we’ve seen of Syndicate so far, it’s safe to say that the protagonist isn’t a particularly pleasant person. He kills people without hesitation or remorse, and not for some noble cause or greater good, but for profit margins and quarterly bonuses. It’s an ugly business, which is exactly what EA and Starbreeze are aiming for.
“You’re certainly not playing a good guy. You follow him in the narrative, and that narrative will obviously unfold in different ways,” EA Partners Producer Ben O’Donnell told Videogamer. “When you first start you’re playing as this agent working for EuroCorp, and you do their wet work for them. You have this really high-end chip in your head, and you can do things to people that they really wouldn’t want to do – like commit suicide or change allegiance. You’re by no means a good guy, you’re there to do the dirty work.”
And while some games feature a mid-point moral awakening for the lead characters, O’Donnell suggested that players shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the same thing here. “This isn’t good and evil – it’s not about that really,” he continued. “We’re following the story of this guy who’s an agent, so there’s only a certain number of ways that can pan out really.”
That sort of amorality always struck me as an interesting and very appealing point of the original Syndicate. Your corporation wasn’t some kind of force for good, standing up against the oppressive forces of the evil conglomerates; it was an evil conglomerate and arguably the worst of the bunch, using vicious amounts of force and subterfuge to crush the competition and bring the entire world under its control. I’m still not sure what to make of this new game, but it’s nice to know that I won’t be expected to learn anything about the value of human decency and compassion.
Syndicate comes out on February 21, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.