With games like Dead Space and Alien: Isolation becoming so popular, sci-fi horror games have been on the rise. Unfortunately, if you were hoping for an original story line and interesting, new gameplay, you may not find it here with Syndrome.

Title: Syndrome
Platform: PC (Reviewed), Mac (Ps4 & Xbox One later)
Developer: Camel 101 
Publisher: Camel 101
Price: $24.99
Release Date: October 6th, 2016

That Old Chestnut

In this first person survival horror game, you play as Galen. You’re aboard a space ship where you have been in cryogenic sleep. You awaken to find most of the crew dead, insane, or different than before. As you explore, you discover that an artifact was brought aboard the ship that caused everyone to go crazy. (Sound familiar?) Two other people are alive and are communicating with you to guide you to their positions. You must fight (although running and hiding is recommended) your way through the ship to discover what really happened while you were sleeping. 

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Not only is the story somewhat confusing, but it lacks originality. There is just way to much story, and they needed to really slim it down. It’s obvious what games the developers pulled influence from, and I wish they would have spent more time really developing their own ideas versus copying other storylines. 

Technically Speaking 

I originally was playing the game on my Mac, but decided to switch to PC half way through due to problems with graphics. However, while they were different issues, both versions had problems. Some textures were just nonexistent on the Mac. There were boxed sized white spots throughout the game where things were just not showing up. Some of the glitches made it difficult to get through the game, like the “hacking” tool. There comes a point where you must hack into a locked computer. And by hacking, I mean matching shapes. While the shapes cycle, they’ll occasionally get stuck on a certain shape for a few clicks. I think this was throwing off the count which made it impossible to hack the computer and kept me from continuing on the Mac.On the PC, however, the textures weren’t missing and the hacking worked, but the graphics just couldn’t keep up. If there was a lot going on in a room, the game would pause or skip around trying to catch up. 

Aside from the graphics, the game plays pretty slow. It’s a lot of running back and forth across the ship going from computer to computer shutting things on or off. Eventually, there will be enemies to run from, but I wish it gave you more of an opportunity to fight. But then again, your character moves so slowly fighting is nearly impossible. Whether you’re swinging your weapon or injecting medicine, it’s all done very slowly. 

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Final Thoughts

I hate that I had such a  negative experience with this game because I feel like the developers could have done so much more. I get the feeling that these developers really care; they just didn’t spend enough time honing their own ideas. Because of this, the game feels more like a bad tribute than its own entity. 

Game title: Syndrome

  • It's not me, it's you.

Is this the End?

First off, this game is insanely overpriced for what it is. If it was a little cheaper, I'd say you could enjoy it the way you would enjoy a bad horror movie. It does have a spooky atmosphere due to the isolation aspect, but it's not enough. I think the developers need to learn to take inspiration from other sources but still using their own ideas. 

Pros:

  • Nice atmosphere (that's about all)

Cons:

  • Clunky and repetitive gameplay
  • Lacks originality
  • Graphics issues
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About The Author

Shelby Royal

Shelby has a deep love for gaming, anime, literature, margaritas, corgis, and all things nerdy. Her earliest memories include playing Super Mario World on the SNES with her aunt. Since then, her love of gaming has grown and she has come to accept all systems as equals. She is so excited to combine her two greatest passions: gaming and writing. Shelby is working towards an English degree at THE Ohio State University, and enjoys playing games like God of War and Uncharted when she isn't writing essays. Fun Fact, I didn't play Pokemon or read Harry Potter until I was 16; 16 was a good year! Stay Gold! <3