It might have been the terrible title, or the avalanche of twin-stick shooters on the Xbox, but we weren’t overly excited by SYNTHETIK: Ultimate. Having read through the blurb and watched the trailer, however, this looks like we might have got it wrong. It’s everything you’d want from the genre, and it’s been buffed to a sheen. If you’ve been looking for a hit of explosions and bullet-dodging then this might be the one for you.
SYNTHETIK: Ultimate is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch to join a previous Steam PC release which has now been massively updated.
This could easily have been a vanilla take on the isometric twin-sticker, but we’re getting an awful lot of bells and whistles. For one, it’s been built on a rogue-like base, with procedural environments and a feeling of just-one-more-go as you look to get further than you did in the run before.
As you’d hope from a rogue-like, there’s also a lot of customisation and progress to get your robotic mitts on. We’re reassured that there is a “seemingly unending” number of weapon mechanics, perks and upgrades, which is a bold claim. There are 140+ items to use, and they all seem to encourage different play styles: Laser Mines to Turrets, Mind-Control, Psy Fields, Orbital Lasers, Pets and weird potions.
This is the kind of game where good reflexes trump everything else. There’s a Gears of War-style active reload mechanic, while you’ll need to pump your guns as there’s an overheating mechanic. If you manage to make your shot particularly well, you’ll be rewarded with a headshot, which is going to be worth seeing, simply as this is an isometric/top-down game so a headshot sounds tricky.
With eight different classes to master – Riot Guard, Breacher, Sniper, Assassin, Raider, Heavy Gunner, Engineer or Demolisher – and specific items and perks for each, SYNTHETIK: Ultimate is going a lot to add longevity and deliver a unique experience each time. 11 different difficulty modifiers also gives you control of how hard you’re failing.
- > Master SYNTHETIK’s uniquely rewarding magazine eject and active reload mechanics!
- > Weapons can jam and overheat, check yourself before you burn yourself!
- > Tame the movement based recoil, discard and switch between varied ammo types.
- > Savor the uniquely satisfying and direct weapon handling, rewarding precision and mastery!
- > We even brought headshots to the top-down perspective for the first time!
SYNTHETIK: Ultimate is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and starts at £13.24 from the Xbox Store. It’s also out on Nintendo Switch and PC. Keep an eye out for our full review soon.
Fight against relentless opponents and unforgiving bosses encased in ever-changing environments. Master the uniquely deep and satisfying weapon mechanics and the unprecedented amount of customization. Discover a seemingly unending amount of weapons, items, perks and character upgrades.