Sean Cooper, the designer and programmer of the quintessential Bullfrog classic Syndicate, says he doubts EA will ever actually come up with a sequel and will probably screw it up if it does.
In March it was reported that Starbreeze, the studio behind The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, was working on a new Syndicate title under the codename Project Redlime. The unannounced title had been revealed only as a "classic" EA franchise back in February of that year but according to the report, the game has actually been in development since August 2007. Despite that, Cooper told IncGamers that he doesn't expect the game will ever see the light of day.
"They've been saying that for the last fifteen years," Cooper said. "Looking at EA's track record of announcing titles, saying they're going to revive it... they don't tend to do it, because I don't think they really understand what the original game was."
That lack of understanding leads into Cooper's other concern: That if EA does release a new Syndicate title, it'll probably miss out on the elegant simplicity of the original. "Every time I've seen a prototype of a new Syndicate it's just been misguided," he said. "They've tried to be too quirky. They've tried to do things that aren't what the essence of the game was."
"One of [the prototypes]... it was something about using different senses. Something was leaving a scent and the agents were following it," he continued. "I remember seeing them demo it in a conference room and thinking 'What are they trying to achieve? What are they doing?'"
What EA should be doing, Cooper said, is focusing on the only element of gameplay that really mattered: Racking up huge body counts. "The essence of the game was killing people - and that was it," he claimed. "Big guns. Strong dudes. Terminators essentially. If I have to kill everyone, I will. That to me was the essence of the gameplay."
Funny, I always felt the same way.