The rumors were true. Electronic Arts today confirmed that it is bringing back the Syndicate franchise with The Darkness and Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay developer Starbreeze Studios at the helm.
Set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC early next year, EA's newest Syndicate will not be the same top-down action-strategy blend that gamers may remember from the two original PC games, Syndicate and Syndicate Wars. Instead, Starbreeze is working on an action-shooter installment in the series.
"It's been a great experience working with EA and an amazing opportunity for us to use our expertise in the first-person shooter and action genres to bring back, and reignite, the signature action/espionage gameplay of Syndicate," Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
However, the new Syndicate will keep the grim corporation-run future setting of its predecessors. In 2069, three syndicates (series staple Eurocorp, Cayman Global, and Aspari) wage war for control of the United States. The way they wage that battle is through small groups of technologically augmented humans whose modifications allow them to slow time, hack into rival augmented humans, and perform other activities that can benefit their controllers. Players will control Eurocorp prototype agent Miles Kilo.
EA is attempting to provide a new take on the Syndicate formula with weapons and setting from the original game pulled into the structure of a shooter. The game will also feature four-player cooperative missions, meaning players should be able to re-create the original game's four-man commando units, albeit from a new perspective.
For more on Syndicate, check out GameSpot's review of the series' first sequel, 1996's Syndicate Wars.