The vast majority of good indie games
are created in the genre of puzzles or quests. Independent studios, and sometimes games are created entirely by a team of two or three people, there is no way to create beautiful graphics, an open world and all these charms of AAA projects. In the quest, for example, the plot, storytelling, dialogs and puzzles are much more important, while the graphics, engine and game mechanics recede into the background. The same thing about puzzles - if the developer has a fantasy, then he will create a cool product, even with pixel graphics. Actually, if I want to sit in the evening and play a good puzzle, then I will look at the turkey poultry.
, on the other hand, is an action game. For independent studios, this is a rarity, especially if they want to make a solid game, and not something boring and wooden. And, most surprisingly, the creators managed to make an interesting, fascinating hardcore (if desired) game, from which you enjoy. I have nothing against indie projects, but for a very long time I have not seen anything good in the action genre from independent teams.
In addition to the cool game, I’ll talk about this later, the project attracts even my team - these are two developers who also have a specialized education. That is, the person purposefully went to the university, got an education to create games, and went to work in his specialty. At least someone in this life has come up with a diploma. I want to praise and support this desire to make games. This is the first game of Flow Fire Games studio, it was created for two years and taking into account the amount of content, levels and smoothness of the mechanic, one can’t even believe that this can be created by a studio of two participants. The first pancake came out not at all lumpy, we’ll talk about this today.
1985, Kaida Corporation leads the production of robots. Having cast off the shackles of many years of oppression, the AI of the corporation creates the Legion of Machines and begins to exterminate people. You are their last hope. Forgotten experimental model, android, endowed with human consciousness. Your systems turn on at the corporate headquarters, and your goal is to stop the Legion. Walk on the floors of Kaida Corporation, destroy hordes of enemies and do not let the Heart of Armageddon launch. It's time to stop this madness.
The gameplay is built according to the classic “bagel” scheme - we have a generated world, and we are constantly dying. The character lands on the first level of the tower and must move up, killing all his enemies on the way. The levels are fundamentally different from each other in the surroundings, color scheme and even objects, so you do not have to be bored. Plus, at each level there are a lot of enemies, from which you do not expect good.
As soon as you get to the level, do not rush to run forward headlong. Nobody canceled the step-by-step element, plus by moving the mouse to the side, you can see what is ahead, from the side. It’s not necessary to run and jump directly onto enemies, you can safely view the location, note in your head where the enemy is, think about how best to punish him in order to work out as efficiently as possible. For example, if there is a guy with a shield, it would be logical to go around him and give a bullet to the back of his head so that the shield does not help him. If there are warriors with a shotgun, it is better to move as far as possible and shoot so that the shot does not arrive in response. There are a lot of such moments, you need to get used to and gain experience.
When you have killed enemies and the level is frequent, you need to find a way out. Usually there is no problem with this, you just go around the location, kill everyone and everything, and then find the treasured teleport. This is not a puzzle, so there is no need to look for small passages and tunnels. But, sometimes you need to perform some task to go further. For example, hack two terminals scattered on the map. The difficulty is that additional opponents come to the terminal’s hack and while you are waiting for the hack, bullets, missiles and other troubles will pour over you. This gives the game even more charm, you feel right like Tom Cruise in the movie "Mission Impossible."
After stripping a certain number of locations, you are sent to battle with the boss. I can’t say that it’s directly very difficult, it’s just more lives and there are certain tools that can harm your character. But, it is quite possible to defeat the first boss, just use SHIFT to go to the side, if necessary, and shoot accurately. It seems to me that the levels after the first boss are much more complicated than this main villain himself. By the way, despite my love for this kind of games and more or less direct hands, I have not been able to reach the second boss for what day. Enemies clog the banal, until I get to the teleport.
ShootingA very important detail of any game with elements of a shooter is shooting, no matter how trite it sounds. I think if you play a lot of “shooting games”, then you noticed that in some projects you directly feel shots at your fingertips, and in some there are no physics at all. Synthetik, to my pleasure, refers to the first option - the developers thought out the physics and mechanics of shooting, which is why during the battle you directly feel all this tension and intensity of passions, recoil and overheating of the guns.
To begin with, there are quite a lot of weapons and each has its own characteristics. I like to shoot a pistol with a silencer, inflict damage with one or two accurate shots in the head of the enemy. You can take a machine gun and crush the enemy with firepower, or you can use melee weapons and punish everyone with shots. Each type of weapon has its own characteristics, its own physics of projectile flight, accuracy and damage. Thanks to this, each class of characters feels completely different, each has its own style of play.
Plus, the developers thought over some little things that I’m missing in some AAA shooters. For example, there is an overheating of the weapon - if you bring the entire clip from the machine gun at the enemy, the weapon may overheat. There is a mechanism for jamming weapons, when the cartridge suddenly rises incorrectly and your weapon does not shoot, you need to pull the bolt so that the cartridge snaps into place. There is an element of scatter when shooting - if you move, the scope expands and the bullets will fly in a large radius, so it’s not at all a fact that you will hit the enemy. You need to come up, aim the sight, wait for information, and then pull the trigger.
There is even a very cool reload system that complicates life literally at the beginning of the game. The fact is that to reload an assault rifle or pistol, you first need to get the magazine out of the weapon. To do this, click on E. When the store is removed, you need to click on the reload button and a strip appears on our right above the character. When the reload arrow is in the color zone (depending on the character class), you need to press R or Space. If you missed, then the recharge will take longer. It seems like a trifle and business for a couple of seconds, but you need to understand that in one shootout you can reload your weapon five times, and this is not at all easy.
And, of course, the sounds of shooting bring to emotional ecstasy. I don’t know how the developers created the sounds (some large studios record the sound of shooting real weapons on a microphone), but they fit perfectly. The gun fires with a light click, the machine breaks the air with loud pops, and the machine gun gives out a line that you close your eyes directly and remember “Rambo”. There are sounds of hitting the enemy, ricochets, various additional trifles like sound when teleporting to a level or buzzing from flying robots. For the physics of shooting, a variety of weapons and the sound component of the project, you can put a solid five, no questions asked.
ClassesThe game features four classes of characters. Each has its own chips, weapons and skills, each has its own type of battle. You can choose one interesting class and play exclusively for it, training your skills, or you can play for everyone in turn so that the game brings even more colorful emotions.
The first class is the defender . This is a melee warrior with emphasis on defense. Is logical. The developers write that this is ideal for a beginner, but I do not quite agree with them. This is a hero with a decent supply of armor (it is painted in blue in the game and regenerates when you are not in battle) and a melee weapon. For example, there is a bonus to shotgun damage. A chic option to start, but it’s hard enough to fight at close range and it’s not always possible to survive among the darkness of enemies. I can’t say that this is a cool option for a beginner, but due to the armor it turns out to be really tenacious.
The second class is a tramp . This is my favorite class that I play the most. The character is more secretive, he has ranged weapons and has skills conducive to tricky attacks. For example, right from the start of the game you have a grenade blinding opponents. Three soldiers are standing near the boxes, waiting for your appearance, and you put a grenade under their feet and shot everyone until they see where death is coming from. True, if you throw a grenade and look at it, then also blind, so you need to throw it, hide behind the wall, and then quickly go out and punish. A very interesting class, playing for it is even easier than the previous one.
The third class is the commando . Averaged character between first and second grades. He has good combat power at medium and long distances, a good set of items at the start, allowing you to fight in comfort, but there is not so much armor as the defender. I did not notice any cardinal differences in the commandos. He has a syringe that restores life, a blade that deals melee damage, and a very standard weapon in the form of a semi-automatic pistol. This is a class for those who want to fight a lot in the middle distance without unnecessary troubles with grenades and objects. He came up, inflicted darkness of damage, received it in the cabbage soup and went away to heal.
The fourth grade is a specialist . This is a fairly complex class that requires you to be able to subtly adapt to the situation, find the enemy’s weaknesses, hide and move away from the attack. For a novice player, this is not the best option, since you can get an advantage from the class only with proper experience and skill, at the initial stage I would advise you the first three options.
There is no huge difference between classes. Yes, there’s a bigger shotgun bonus, and there’s a grenade that blinds enemies. But, in general, the characters are the same in their characteristics, most of the trunks are universal and suitable for all classes. There is no clear division into types of heroes, you can play by any option and kill opponents from all classes of weapons, just the developer gives you the opportunity to choose something your own, check your strength for a secretive killer, for a melee warrior, so that later, in a cooperative, you show class.
CooperativeThe creators of the project added the ability to fight enemies in a cooperative, but this is an option only for playing with a friend. You can, of course, find a player from the network - for this you simply create a lobby without a password and in a minute someone will connect to you. However, playing with an unknown person without voice communication is quite difficult and the whole point is lost. This is a rather complicated game in which you need to use skills correctly, choose a position and move quickly. When you have a person in your team with your plan for an attack that you don’t suspect, it’s quite difficult to fight effectively.
I played in the cooperative about ten battles, and only a couple of times we got beyond the third teleport. Usually a comrade in arms was dying, and then I cleaned half the level myself. You can get an advantage only in a team with an experienced gamer who has already passed many levels himself and knows what to do. Yes, I understand that levels are always randomly generated, but experience is experience. Once I hit a very cool player, we threw grenades one at a time, shared weapons and shot perfectly, many enemies passed, after which the game crashed to the desktop. We’ll talk more about this problem, but I remembered that guy.
Playing with friends is much more interesting. This game is directly created for the co-op together, although you won’t guess at once about it. You can take two characters with decent fighting power and punish enemies together, or you can come up with a cool combination and use it. For example, you can take a character with a perk to restore 75% of his life while teleporting, and your team will always be as good as you are after passing the next level. There are not so many combinations, but if you take a tramp and a defender, you can even have a bad reaction to go through a lot of enemies without straining at all. If you have a faithful companion, ready to hit the road in the virtual indie world, then be sure to try the co-op, this is a great advantage of the project.
Arsenal of weaponsThere are a lot of weapons in the game, more than 60 items, but you will not be able to see all the trunks right away. To begin with, each class has its own unique weapon that only this type of character can use. That is, you cannot take the branded gun of the Defender and give it into the hands of a Specialist. I can’t say that this is an ideal option, but at the beginning of the game it is worth playing with specialized weapons, then you get used to the style of warfare much faster. In addition, there are several blocked options that open for in-game currency or activity.
It is important to note that in the game there are no lootboxes or the ability to buy currency for real money in order to open all weapons at once. That’s nothing at all. You need to fight on your own, save resources, in order to open a new trunk later. And there are not so many weapons here, you can literally open two pistols, and since they are universal, you open them immediately for all classes. In addition, the last gun on the list can either be bought for 100 units of in-game currency, or for activity - go through a survey about the game.
The survey is quite simple, it will take you about five minutes. We give an assessment to the game, its mechanics, you can write what you are missing, what you want to change, and so on. All this will go to the developers so that they can improve the game, and you will receive a promo code for completing the survey. Enter it in the game and get a gun for free. The gun itself is very cool, firing four bullets at once in one gulp, enemies can be demolished in batches. Sometimes, an activation code is not issued for passing the survey, for unknown reasons, so here is CYBERPOLICE945 . We open the console in the game, enter, activate. Do not give thanks.
Naturally, in addition to weapons in the main menu there are many more options on the playing field, but the situation is completely different there. The essence of the genre is that after death, all your experience, achievements and progress are canceled. That is, if you found a machine gun cool on the battlefield, but they kill you in a couple of minutes, then you cannot select this machine in the main menu. This is a bit confusing, but that's the genre. You always start the game with the weapon that you selected in the main menu and the choice there is not very large - only pistols, maximum semi-automatic. On the other hand, this approach motivates you to appreciate the cool guns and rifles found, play more accurately and protect the find.
Difficulty levelI don’t know how the developers thought of it and why other studios do not, but, here you yourself configure the level of difficulty. And not by trivial Easy-Medium-Hard switches, but manually by adding or removing elements. At the top of the game menu, you click on the icon for selecting the difficulty level and you are shown a drop-down menu.
Now we ourselves, as with the constructor, collect complexity for ourselves. Do not want to get the horn from the machine yourself? We remove this detail, we get -10% of the received resources. Do not want to see the mechanics of jamming weapons? Also remove and get minus another -10%. The total percentage will be shown at the top of the screen.
It shows how many resources you will receive for completing levels, destroying enemies and so on. Accordingly, you can remove all the additional problems in your path, then it will be easier and more fun to play, but you will be given fewer resources. You can twist the difficulty to the maximum and sweat over each opponent, choosing tactics and strategy, but they will give you more virtual currency. Here everyone can decide for himself what he likes best, find a middle ground.
Plus, the right to choose some details of complexity opens up a lot of possibilities for the player to customize the game. It’s not necessary to bleed from the hits of enemies, but I would leave a difficult reload and a weapon wedge, then it turns out not a very difficult game, but they give plenty of virtual currency. As you gain experience and become a real conqueror of this virtual world, you can add a couple of points and make the game interesting and dangerous again, revive your interest in passing. It seems to me that many AAA-class gaming products lack such flexible settings, but the chic mechanics turned out.
ControlI played Synthetik on a keyboard with a mouse, it was quite comfortable and easy to play. Character movement is assigned to WASD, shoot with the left mouse button, everything is like everyone else. However, gradually you have to train your fingers - additional skills require considerable pianist skills. It is worth noting immediately that I played at a standard level of difficulty (120% of the extraction of resources) with a weapon wedge and a completely manual reload. When the cartridges end in battle and you need to dodge the shots of enemies, plus throw the store and reload weapons, then you directly feel the whole hardcore of the product. At such moments, you think that now on the gamepad I would easily click everything and kill everyone on the map.
However, playing on the gamepad is currently not possible (only partial support), and it will not be very convenient. It may be easier to move around or change the store, but these are trifles in comparison with shooting. Our hero needs to constantly accurately shoot, and on the gamepad you won’t be able to hit the pixel-to-pixel pixel precisely, unless you are a cool gamer with many years of experience. And while the support for the gamepad is declared as partial, for many the controller is simply not recognized. Unfortunately, my gamepad also refused to work, so I could not verify my theory.
The best choice would be a mouse with a keyboard, I do not recommend other types of controls at all. Here, very, very often you need to shoot between the boxes, where there is not much space for bullets, sometimes you need to go out, put a bullet from behind the wall, go back and repeat so many times. I’m not a master of playing a gamepad, I’m somehow a closer to a rodent keyboard, but even on them it’s quite difficult to hit enemies through many obstacles. Plus, I do not quite understand how the function of additional items and skills will be implemented on the gamepad. On the left side of the screen are items in the cells - grenades, healing modules, and so on. On the keyboard, they are assigned on numbers from one and above, on the controller there is no corny set of numbers. You need to get used to all this variety of buttons, to rebuild some moments for yourself, then it will be easier to fight and enjoy the gameplay.
I can’t say that the control is perfect, but literally from the second or third hour of the game you are completely getting used to it. It’s convenient to shoot the mouse, you get used to jerking on SHIFT, it’s easy to move, the main problem is reloading weapons and using skills directly in battle - you need to become a pianist for a while. Hardcore fans will love it.
EnemiesThe creators of the Synthetik project surprised a decent variety of opponents. To be honest, I did not even expect that there would be so many of them. Enemies are fundamentally different from each other, they have their own skills, their own attack tactics and damage. The simplest opponents are soldiers with shields, you will meet them quite often, plus melee warriors with shotguns. These are the most popular soldiers in the game who fight in their own unique style.
For example, a soldier with a shotgun can jerk in your direction and shoot shots in close combat. If you let this happen to you, then it will cause decent damage in literally a second. But his head is open and you can shoot him with a medium and long range bullets in his head until he gets closer. A warrior with a shield dies from shots in the back, you only need to deceive him, go behind and shoot him. Such tactics in the game need to be applied very much and very quickly, because enemies sometimes cost two or three. Then you need to remove someone right away, pull someone back on yourself, cheat, kill, stun. There are a lot of variations, you just need to train to use your skills and location around you.
In addition to the "living" soldiers (in fact, these are droids), there are also launchers, guns, tanks and aircraft. They have more damage, more life points, but these enemies move much more slowly (guns with installations are generally static, but they hit from afar). For example, there is a unit that releases flying saucers into the air, three each. They fly after you, and if they manage to aim, they release a beam into the floor, causing damage. It is impossible to destroy the plates themselves, you just need to get away from them, find the base and destroy it.
The number of enemies and their uniqueness are very pleased. I have not listed a tenth of what will meet you on the battlefield. Sometimes enemies are alone and can be easily removed, sometimes soldiers are in the company, sometimes an installation with plates or a cannon that shoots with accurate shots directly at the target is protected by tanks, flying droids and soldiers. Then you need to move quickly, shoot weak targets, throw grenades, heal and gradually destroy the enemy. For the implementation of opponents of the developers I want to praise, some "big" games look more boring in this regard.
Weak spotsEven if you look closely at the details of the project, you can’t find any big flaws. For example, I could not. There are some little things that could be fixed, but this is not critical at all. For example, the storyline is implemented quite simply and I could only find out about it on the game’s page on Steam. It would be possible to implement this in the game, so that the user understands the background and why everything is implemented here in the form of floors and levels with enemies, why climb up at all, what is the ultimate goal. The plot in this genre is far from the main role, so forgive this detail to the developers. They already provided us with training at the beginning of the game, and thanks for that.
The second point - the virtual world is sometimes misleading. For example, you stand in front of the drawers and think that you are in safe shelter and no one will get you out of here. But in fact, boxes waist-high and bullets fly at you very well. There will be many such moments in the game, getting rid of the feeling of shelter is quite difficult. Of course, when I played five hours a night, the brain itself gets used to the fact that here enemies will hit me, and here you can stand and wait until the armor is restored. It all comes with experience, but at the beginning of the game you get bullets in the face, although it seems that the wall is in front of you. Again, I can’t call it a game problem, rather a feature of this kind of camera.
The third point - a lot of things are not clear. The developer did not complete the training and some points need to be learned by typing that in a game of such a plan is not very convenient. Some buildings in the game look like combat units, but, as it turned out, they do not harm us, but give us the opportunity to improve our weapons, items from our inventory or play a game (if you win, then the credits will double, if not, they will disappear). One could add some kind of training to the game or a corny article describing all this stuff. And then you launch a hundred bullets into some kind of rocket, and this is not a rocket at all, but a booth with improvements. Actually, this is all I can name from the shortcomings.
TotalI associate Synthetik with a feeling of surprise. I would never have thought that a project from an independent studio, and even consisting of only two people, could be so cool. Think for yourself - a large virtual world where levels are randomly generated, a huge arsenal of weapons, skills, perks, items and upgrades, a variety of character classes, the darkness of enemies and bosses, an attractive picture and optimization. Of course, this is not such a big game to make your computer puffed up with stress, but I also can’t praise the developers for the optimized product - the vast majority of well-known projects, even taking into account the first day patch, turn out to be wildly buggy, prohibitively demanding for hardware and rich in bugs . No such problems were found here.
Plus, some of the mechanics implemented in this game have not been seen before. Yes, I’m not a guru of the game world and some games passed me because of my age or lack of time, but who now recalls offhand the game where you need to get the store manually from the machine, then reload, timely press the R button, and only after that shoot? In 95% of games, you spend reloading with the letter R, or generally automatically when the ammo runs out. I am generally silent about setting the difficulty level - it seems to me that many creators of game projects can adopt a similar system and make games more fun, flexible.
From Synthetik you get a lot of emotions, adrenaline and a thirst to play again. This is not a game where you get tired after a couple of hours and then another week you will pass by. No, I want to go here again and again, go through levels, look for weapons, try to pass the boss, gain experience to improve the hero or credits in order to buy another bonus. Playing co-op with a friend is also fun, especially if you are focused on success. A striking example of how a game from indie developers can bring you much more fun than any AAA game
for $ 60. By the way, Synthetik costs $ 15, but this is the official price for global sales. The developers have already released regional prices that allow you to purchase a product for less than $ 10. If you like high-quality fascinating shooters in the style of "bagel", then be sure to try it - you will not regret it.
- attractive visual component;
- a wide variety of types of enemies;
- 60 types of weapons and 80 upgrade options;
- flexible adjustment of difficulty level;
- online co-op for two;
- difficult bosses;
- perks, improvements, hero leveling, research;
- no loot boxes and in-app purchases;
- nice to shoot;
- constant updates and additions.
May not like:
- Roguelike is not for everyone;
- level progress does not persist after death;
- the plot is not supported by commercials and descriptions;
- some details of the map only look like shelters;
- quite difficult to learn.