Syndrome (Camel 101)
Looking at the previous releases of developer Camel 101 reveals two things. Firstly, they are definitely not lacking in ambition when it comes to their titles and secondly, they are getting better at what they do with each release. This is very evident in their upcoming release, Syndrome. The game opens with your character waking from cryosleep aboard the exploration and science ship, the Valkenburg. In true survival horror fashion, the shift is drifting through pace with the rest of the crew all dead or insane. You are required to get your bearings, find out what happened and figure out who you can trust.
The preview version that we were fortunate enough to play offers a short glimpse of what players can expect from the full game. Walking around a dimly lit spaceship that has bodies and blood strewn everywhere brings back memories of System Shock, which is definitely not a bad thing. There are also plenty of text logs to be found, with clues about the fate that befell the crewmembers.
The first hour or so of Syndrome is actually relatively peaceful as you are tasked with restoring the ships power and engines. Hanging bodies and mutilated corpses litter the hallways, along with destroyed robots, but your true foes are only briefly glimpsed. When the enemies do finally take a more aggressive stand you are not completely helpless either as you’ll have access to melee as well as long range weapons. However, being stealthy and avoiding combat is still your best bet as you are outnumbered.
Syndrome is shaping up to be a very atmospheric title thanks to its flickering lights, dark shadows and creepy location. There is plenty to explore, but make too much noise and your enemies will come investigate. Since ammo is limited you’ll find that discretion is definitely the better part of valour. Despite the slow start in the preview version, the tense audio, echoing footsteps and ambient noises aboard the Valkenburg made for an eerie experience.
We are expecting big things from Syndrome, so check back when it is released for a full review. In the meantime, give the developers a follow on Twitter or Facebook for more information. The Steam store page is also already up and running, so don’t forget to add it to your wishlist.