Step into the shoes of Chief Technician Galen onboard the Valkenburg, a spaceship that has lost power and seems to have no occupants onboard, or does it? You awake from a deep cryosleep dazed and confused only to find darkness and absolutely no one around. You quickly discover that some alien life form was brought onto this ship and has resulted in the entire crew either being dead or converted into crazed, blood thirsty creatures. How will you escape?
Syndrome is a sci-fi survival horror game developed by Camel101 and Bigmoon entertainment. It is played in the first person view. Now if you enjoy a good horror game that has many jump scares you will most definitely enjoy this one. With a relatively small install of 5.47GB, you will be playing in a flash. But don’t judge the quality based on this as dynamite comes in small packages. An issue I encountered quite quickly was a slight graphics glitch where the inventory menu and certain parts of the game looked incredibly grainy. I sent this info through to Bigmoon entertainment and within a few days they had released an update that fixed all the issues and I was on my way again.
Syndrome is best played in the dark as the lighting is extremely low due to a power failure aboard this spaceship you find yourself stranded on. The aim of this game is to explore, interact with objects, find supplies and hopefully weapons which you quickly realize are scarce. It has an eerie soundtrack that plays constantly and is great at achieving a rapid heartbeat and instilling fear deep within your mind!
Early on in the game you are contacted by two characters, Commander Neomi and James “Jimmy” Marko. Commander Neomi asks you to come to her location and help her and her marines out of an area they are locked in. James “Jimmy” Marko warns you that Neomi cannot be trusted and convinces you to try and restore power to the ship, in order to travel to a more populated system to find help. While exploring the passages of this huge space craft you encounter these mutants that are quite difficult to kill so I found myself evading them rather than fighting them. James helps you over a radio to find your way around but, the deranged creatures are relentless and very quick to attack if they hear you. So far I have come across a creature that can’t be killed so you have to avoid him at all costs. It took me a few tries to realize I couldn’t kill him(frustration was rife).
I have played Syndrome for about 2 hours now and I am enjoying it. I found the plot to be very clever and was impressed by the originality of the storyline. The graphics are good and the gameplay is quite fluid. I do however feel that in order to appeal to a larger group of gamers the developers could’ve made the game a little brighter as I believe a lot of people would be turned off by the sheer darkness. Also, the combat style is quite simple and primitive and you find yourself hacking away a little crazily sometimes without achieving much damage.
I am optimistic that there is more to come regarding Syndrome. It is obviously not an AAA game but has a lot of potential to be great. Is it worth all the frustration of sometimes feeling out of control, I think. If this was the developers objective, then I feel they have achieved what they set out to do. If you are a fan of this Genre, give this game a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.