Satellite Reign Reviews
A stylish and attractive neo-noir tactical game, Satellite Reign sadly ends up being frustratingly inconsistent.
Satisfyingly freeform missions and rich systems to play with, set in one of the prettiest cyberpunk cities on PC.
Satellite Reign allows you to create the cyberpunk team of your fantasy, but the game's broken pathfinding and enemy AI are too easy to exploit.
It's a smarter, more expressive take on the old Syndicate formula.
Through its wonderfully dynamic gameplay which mixes methodical forward-planning with glorious, chaotic scrambles out of dodge, Satellite Reign has taught me that being a perfectionist is actually dull—the real fun begins when you make a mistake.
Despite the gorgeously rendered city visuals and a goodly amount of text to be found by digging through random data terminals, Satellite Reign's city feel less like a world than a cyberpunk-themed playset. You direct your little squad of action figures around and play as you like, but rarely feel lost or immersed in the setting.
All taken together, getting through Satellite Reign can be a painful and slow process until you can amass enough tech, skill and firepower to repel waves of soldiers. It wants to be a game that gives you different choices, but the stealth gameplay wears thin so quickly that the game just gets boring.
At its best, Satellite Reign has more in common with Commandos than Syndicate. It's a splendid construct, built to endure and to sustain repeated playthroughs in various styles, but I can't shake the feeling that, minute by minute, a little more chaos and unpredictability would go a long way.
Satellite Reign is an incredible successor to Syndicate that gets more right than not. Where it falls down on bugs and control issues, it shines brightly in aesthetics and fantastic combat mechanics.
Satellite Reign offers gamers plenty of tactical choice in a dystopian cyberpunk world, but falters to deliver a non-monotonous PC gameplay experience.
Syndicate's amoral corporate violence meets a more lenient version of Commandos' ability-centric squad tactics, in this on-point cyberpunk sandbox.
Altogether, Satellite Reign is a great experience with a richly-detailed world and approach. While the concept isn't necessarily groundbreaking in a world where games like Shadowrun and the spiritually-preceding Syndicate series have covered much of the idea, it still creates a compelling experience that is unique and well-built.
This is cyberpunk! An ugly-beautiful dystopia dripping with atmosphere. Emergent game play and the freedom to play how you want make Satellite Reign not only a worthy successor to Syndicate, but in many ways the superior game.
These quibbles aside, Satellite Reign has infiltrated our hearts. It's a handsome tribute to a much-loved game series that also functions as a unique RPG and a tactical combat game. As a revival, it takes its place alongside Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Pillars of Eternity with pride; as a tactical combat game, it runs a close second to XCOM.
A fantastic sandbox for experimentation, yet this framework is not backed up by a rich environment. It is screaming for more involving missions, plots and choices to make you feel like this is a game from this millennium rather than a mere tribute to those from the previous. It certainly does a superb job of revitalising Syndicate for this generation, but it feels like it could be so much more.
An exceptional modernising of a beloved classic
It's these moment-to-moment planning decisions that really make Satellite Reign a game to recommend and to remember. Eventually, when you've researched the top-flight weapons and your soldier can stand toe-to-toe with entire squads while your hacker turns turrets against the security forces and the infiltrator moves unseen through swarms of alerted guards, you'll get the feeling that nothing can stand against you, and that you've earned every single ounce of your power. But in the early days, while you're scrambling to stay hidden from Dracogenics' henchmen, making the call to pull out with nothing more than a little more intelligence on the layout of an enemy compound to lick your wounds and rethink strategy for the next assault, something really special is happening. Strategy, being formulated in real-time. A surprisingly rare event for a real-time strategy game.
Digs up a subgenre that hasn't been touched for nearly two decades, turns it around, and aptly demonstrates what we've all been missing out on: a unique tactical stealth-action experience that's at its best when things go off the rails.
This game is just beautiful. Dripping with atmosphere and lit wonderfully, there were honestly moments where I just stayed in cover to look around at my surroundings
Satellite Reign offers a very solid set of mechanics and the four specialists are clearly designed to allow players to approach almost all situations in a variety of ways, able to create big gun battles or to always move without altering anyone to their presence.