So. I think I’m reaching the end of Syndicate. Not the end of the game as I’m only 50% through the story, but the end of my interest in it. It’s such a huge game with so much to do, but it’s all repetitive. It gets very samesy, and this is my breakdown:
Sneak up, shiv, loot.
Air assassination, shiv, loot.
Beat the crap out of someone, shiv, loot.
Hijack a cargo, shiv, loot.
Sabotage, shiv, loot.
See the running theme? And, yes, the animations are stylish as hell, but they get old after a while. In addition, there are, like, five versions of the mooks, so I get pretty damn tired of seeing the same faces over and over again. Your mooks also have the same faces, so that’s unintentionally funny as well.
I will say the biggest surprise is that I don’t hate Jacob any longer. In the beginning, I wanted to punch him every time he opened his big gob. Now, however, I just sigh and roll my eyes at Jacob being Jacob. He’s toned down the sarcasm a bit and doesn’t seem to be trying so hard, but I think it’s just resignation on my part. I will saw that I’ve taken him out more because he’s my brawler and until very recently the one with the carriage buffs, so he got the fighting and the driving duties. Plus, most of the story beats have to be played by him, so there’s that as well.
Ok. Time to rant about what I hate about this game. There are several things that annoy me and a few that downright enrage me. Let’s tackle the latter first. A bit of backstory: I have no spatial perception, and I hate driving. In real life and in games. Most games that are not driving games don’t have great controls, and I have quit many games because of the shoddy driving. In this game, it started as annoying, but bearable because there wasn’t much of it in the beginning. Then, I actually talked to Ned Wynert who just appeared in my train but didn’t really tell me much, and I started to do all his* side quests.
Minor gripe: There is so much shit thrown at me in this game. In the beginning, I did what I always do–went off to do outside side quests. I knew to speak to Darwin and Bell, but I didn’t realize that I should just talk to Ned and Robert Topping until I was well into the game. I just assumed the game would tell me to do something with them when the time was right because the game is so hand-holdy for the most part. By the time I made it to Topping’s Fight Club, I was already level 7, I believe. The first Fight Club suggests you be level 2. I was playing as Evie, of course, and she literally kicked everyone’s ass. Then I did it again because I assumed that was how you leveled up. It took me four times beating up everyone to realize I had to go to the other Fight Clubs in the other boroughs. I have not lost a fight yet, and I’ve been mostly fighting with Jacob.
The same thing happened with Ned. By the time I realized I should just go talk to him, I was level 6. I have not had any issue with any of his quests, and I’ve maxed out my loyalty to him. Anyway, he is the reason I have to do a shit-ton of carriage driving, and fuck that noise. Before I get to that, well, actually, adjacent to that is Topping also runs races. I tried one before I had all my carriage upgrades, and it caused me to curse so loudly. I had to race a train to a destination, and, of course, they threw all sorts of obstacles in my way. The timing was tight, and they threw 25 checkpoints in my way. I made it to 22 and 23 respectively before running out of time. I haven’t tried one since, and I hate it so much.
So, what is my issue with the carriage driving? One. I did not know you could brake or reverse. The controls shown for it did not include brake or reverse, so I naively assumed I couldn’t do either. Stupid assumption, but given how bad driving is in so many games, I just took it for a given. So, I’d just jump out when I neared my destination or go around the block and try to coast to a stop. Neither was very effective, and I also quit out of a mission when I got wedged in a space and thought I couldn’t reverse.
I got so frustrated, I looked it up a few days ago. Of course there is a way to brake and reverse (LT for both), and I felt like a fool for going so long without knowing. It’s not my only issue with the driving, however. I hate that the destination points are so wonky in the game. Yes, I can look at the mini-map and see roughly where I need to be, but I often don’t have the bandwidth to do that while I’m driving and trying to avoid thugs all around me. In addition, any time I take on a carriage job, Blighters (the opposition gang) members spring up everywhere with their only focus being to kill me.
Fucking hate it. Hate it so much.
I do find it funny that both Jacob and Evie have love interests in the game. Henry Green for Evie and Pearl Attaway for Jacob. I approve of both of them, but I don’t think I actually get to bonk them. But, as Evie, I’ll press Henry’s flowers any day. As for Pearl, well, she’s a gem for Jacob.
I’m running out of steam. I cleared three boroughs 100% (except 3 helix glitches in one borough), but I’m lagging on the current borough–the City of London. Why? Because there are 60-some frigging chests. That’s a lot. Also, another aggravation I have with the game is that the weapons are, well, shite. I crafted a level 9 cane way too early (another irritation that they let you craft weapons you can’t use) and now that I can use it, the base weapon wasn’t as good as what I had been using (upgraded, level 7, I think). So, in essence, I can’t even consider buying a new weapon unless I can also upgrade it.
I’ve also been playing some Scholar of the First Sin, and it’s really hard to switch back and forth between the two games. I keep hitting RT to run, even though that’s Strong Attack, but it doesn’t take long to get back int o the Souls groove. The difference between the two games is marked. Even though I’ve played SotFS half a dozen times, I still have to concentrate as I play. I just did a boss that I usually have no problem with, but for whatever reason, my Pyro spells weren’t landing on her.
I haven’t played it for quite some time as I’ve mostly been playing III with a healthy dose of the original remastered, so SotFS has been out in the cold for a while. That means while I know what’s about to come, I still have to be on my toes. I just got the second big soul, and I’m dreading The Gutter/Black Gulch. Still. It’s mostly a chill experience, but it’s a nice counterpoint to the empty popcorn movie feel of Syndicate.
Lastly, I’ve been sporadically playing CSD 3 to get the last of my food truck updates. I have done that, so now I’m just waiting for new content. Hopefully, the trinkets will come soon.
*Ned Wynert is a trans man and the first of the series. This has no impact on the character in the game, which is kind of a shame. I mean, I’m glad he’s included and it’s explicitly stated he’s trans, but I’m ready for more than mere inclusion. Also, I had forgotten the ridiculousness of the devs stating before Unity, the game before this, that it was too hard to make a playable female character. I am rolling my eyes so hard right now. Anyway, the statement on the intro screen about the game being made by a team of diverse people (listing diversities) makes sense now. Still makes me roll my eyes, but at least the intent is noble.