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Video Game / Satellite Reign

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A completely trustworthy individual...with a gun.

Satellite Reign by 5 Lives Studios is a Real-Time Strategy game with Wide Open Sandbox and RPG Elements. It is a Spiritual Successor to the original Syndicate games, with the producers being Bullfrog veterans who had worked on the originals and were unhappy with the 2012 FPS. It was funded through Kickstarter. A playable beta was released November 18, 2014. It was given the Steam Early Access treatment on December 11, 2014. On July 10, 2015 it reached content-completeness and a release teaser was released. The game itself came out on August 28, 2015. Updates continue afterwards, though; on November 26, 2015, it was announced that co-op multiplayer is on the way. This became a reality on July 15, 2016.

The future. Mega Corps de facto rule the world, keeping the poor downtrodden with the iron fist of corporate security and the middle class comfortably apathetic, feeding the rich who live in the lap of luxury. Yet among all of them, one stands out: Dracogenics. With their revolutionary ResTech technology, death is now optional: if your body dies, your brain can be copied and downloaded to a fresh clone body. Needless to say, Dracogenics proprietary technology and absolute control of it gives them incredible power over the world, and CEO Steven Dengler is even worshipped as a god by some.


Cue the robbery: a specialist team, led by a commander at a computer, watching from a stealthy drone, infiltrates Dracogenics' home city. They've been hired by a mysterious benefactor with the goal of navigating the city, subverting Dracogenics control, and taking control of the network of ResTech satellites, before putting a bullet in Dengler's head. How they do that is up to you.

The first main difference from Syndicate is the presence of a Character Class System. Unlike the originals, where there were no fixed roles and you could equip your Agents however you like, Satellite Reign has four distinct types:

  • The Infiltrator: A fast, stealthy assassin, the Infiltrator has better command of sniper rifles than any other class, and also has the ability to get into difficult-to-reach areas. They also have a built in optic camouflage system.
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  • The Hacker: A computer and systems expert, the Hacker can subvert almost any system with ease. They also have better command of energy weapons (specifically lasers), and can summon a drone for more firepower if needed.
  • The Soldier: Rough, tough and ready, the Soldier carries the big guns and can dish out (and take) a lot of damage. They can make themselves a target for enemy fire, throw grenades, and generally wipe the floor with almost anyone. They can also carry special "heavy" class weapons.
  • The Support: Specializing in making everyone around them better, the Support has passive healing abilities, special combat buffs, and the all-important "World Scan" ability, which lets the team see the connections in the world around them.

The second main difference is that instead of having a fixed mission structure you choose from, your Agents get dropped into the city and you can choose to do missions at your own pace in your own way, sandbox-style.

This videogame contains examples of the following:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: Agents can use air-vents to get around, though only the Infiltrator can use "high" air-vents, which frequently makes a passage one-way or a Door to Before. Some vents are clogged with toxic gas, which prevents passage in them until the gas is shut off.
  • Artificial Limbs: Cybernetic limbs can be installed on any agent. Some offer straight bonuses, but most confer abilities to an agent that they don't natively have, such as the cybernetic leg upgrade that allows any agent to use "high" air-vents.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Even if the game's AI can be faulty, there were instances where it really shines:
    • When the main gates of a secure zone are blown apart, Dracogenics will dispatch Mooks at the entrance to guard them permanently.
    • When you've being caught doing something illegal and you've being flagged with a red marking, cameras will report your position to the authorities when you run pass them.
    • Guards will notice hijacked guards belonging to other companies if they're trespassing, even if they have legitimate access.
    • If a shootout happens between hijacked guards and non-hijacked guards from the same corporation, with no agents visible, reinforcements who didn't see the fight start won't know who to shoot at and will collectively pick a side at random.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Civilians wander randomly in the city and aren't programmed to avoid trespassing on guarded compounds. Like when player-controlled Agents are caught trespassing, civilians can be either shot or escorted at gunpoint back to the entrance. Because civilians are usually oblivious to anything that's not combat, they usually don't realize they're being arrested. They then get shot for resisting arrest.
    • Mooks are unable to recognize the areas full of poisoned gas and don't react when they are taking damage from the poison.
    • Guards will repeatedly try to use electrified ziplines, injuring themselves over and over.
    • When the power goes down, guards forget to hardwire doors and get stuck by trying to walk through them.
  • Attack Drone: There are two main types of drones: flying drones are armed with lasers, generally don't have very much armor or health, and exist to provide a dedicated anti-shield enemy. The other type is the attack dog, which latches on to units and forces them out of cover, but does very little damage on its own. There's also an explosive attack dog, which latches on to a unit and then blows up, causing extreme damage.
    • Your hacker can also spawn their own attack drone. You need to invest the required skill points and money however.
  • Ax-Crazy: Knight. This causes no end of headaches for Dengler.
  • Back Stab: Attacking an unaware human target while pressing Alt at target's selection results in a One-Hit Kill, no matter how armoured the enemy is and which gun you use. The selected unit will go very close to the target and shoot him in the back. While any gun will do the trick, using an unsilenced firearm while alert the surrounding mooks.
  • Badass in Distress: A starting mission, indeed the very first one the game recommends you take, calls for you to break the Infiltrator out of prison.
  • Beam Spam: The 2xP3W Laser Repeater has the highest rate of fire in the game. It can empty its entire 20-shot magazine in under a second.
  • Beef Gate: The checkpoints between the districts are staffed by much tougher enemies and security systems than are found within the sector's normal mission areas, to prevent players from simply skipping to later areas before they're ready.
  • BFG: The fan-favourite Gatling Good is an available weapon, and some Elite Mooks may also use it. Beam cannons that deal damage over time are also available. All BFG give a penalty to accuracy and movement speed except for the soldier. You need to install special augmentations to lessen those penalties.
  • Big Bad: Steven Dengler. Yes, as in that Steven Dengler, who paid $10k to have his name and likeness used for the character.
  • Black Market: Once unlocked, you can buy augmentations, gear and weapons. However, if you want to mass-produced them, you have to submit them to your scientists for R&D, less you risk of losing them if you die.
  • Body Backup Drive: This is apparently the technology that Dracogenics has invented and used to become top dog. The basic idea is that a worldwide satellite network keeps track of registered individuals at all times. If a registered user dies, they are immediately cloned and their brain is flash-copied to their new body. This effectively makes the elite immortal, while the downtrodden are worth less than fodder and considered nothing more than another resource by Dracogenics. You have access to a less effective version, where you have to plant relay beacons to provide the range necessary, and the clones degrade with each flash-copy. The goal is to get control of Dracogenic's satellite network and disrupt their satellite reign.
  • Body Horror: The in-game descriptions of skills and augmentations.
    • The Drone Puppeteer skill have one of the Hacker's lobe of her brain removed and replaced it with a computer to control drones.
    • The Ammunition Cavity augmentation require you to replace your kidneys, spleen and liver with artificial ones which double as ammunitions racks.
  • Boom Head Shot: Shoot someone in the back of the head without him noticing you and he'll die instantly regardless of his health, armor and shields. It only works on humans.
  • Boring, but Practical: Rather than using your fancy guns and trying to bypass the enemy's shields and armor, you can simply walk up to him and kick him dead. Not only will a swift kick stop an enemy calling for reinforcements but early on it's your most damaging attack. This becomes impractical when enemies start carrying stronger weapons and moving in groups.
  • Bottomless Magazines: All sidearms have unlimited magazines.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The flamethrower is described as antiquated in the description. It's also the only weapon in the entire game that does full damage to shields, armor and health, which, despite the short range, makes it extremely effective in combat.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Dengler eventually becomes paranoid and lashes out at Atamansha, CEO of Uzy Korp, and Mother, the leader of the Eternals, two people who can do serious damage to his business. Which one hired you is The Reveal earned by completing the Collection Sidequest.
  • Chess Motifs: Dengler has his henchmen named after chess pieces: Bishop and Knight.
  • Chicken Walker: One of the varieties of mooks is a Mini-Mecha of this sort, generally only spawned in very high security areas, or when you insist on outstaying your welcome after being discovered. Your Hacker, at level 5 skill, can hack and take control of it.
  • City with No Name: The game take place in city simply called the City.
  • Clone Degeneration: The first time you clone a hijacked civilian into an Agent, the Agent will benefit from a couple of bonuses (higher health, faster health regen). Those bonuses disappear if you use the same clone again (for example, if you have to respawn an Agent who hae been killed), forcing to have a high enough reserve of fresh clones if you want to keep those stats modifiers (or you can just try to avoid being killed).
  • Collection Sidequest: The only way you learn the plot is by finding the scattered data terminals. You need to find all 40 of them to learn what the situation in the city is, why the corps are all hostile to each other, and who you're actually working for.
  • Color-Coded Armies: Dracogenics mooks and drones are white and tend towards ballistic weapons, Uzy Korp's are red and like plasma, and the Eternals' are purple and like lasers.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Certain things stand out when using World Scan. ATMs are green, cameras are purple, power lines are cyan, mooks are red, recruitable scientists are gold.
  • Combat Medic: An early skill for the Support lets you heal your Agents and boost their existing Regenerating Health.
  • Concussion Frags: A thrown frag grenade will cause a huge fireball and knockdown, rather than sending shrapnel in every directions.
  • Cool Guns: You may choose between futuristic versions of sidearms, shotguns, SMG, sniper rifles, assault rifles, flame throwers. They can shoot bullets, plasma or laser. One special add-on can be inserted for increase in damage, accuracy, range, rapid fire and so on.
    • Weapons also have different levels of effectiveness on certain enemies. Ballistic weapons do the most damage to health, but less damage to shield and armor. Plasma chews through armor, but does much less damage to shields and slightly less damage to health. Lasers devastate shields, but do slightly less damage to armor and much less damage to health. Lasers also do a lot of extra damage to mechanical enemies like drones and turrets.
  • Cool Helmet: Dracogenics mooks wear hammerhead-like helmets with four optics, Eternal mooks wear helmets that resemble their cult emblem, and Uzy mooks wear mecha-like helmets with glaring optics.
  • Crapsack World: And how. In addition to the standard cyberpunk tropes of the rich oppressing the poor and weak, and the poor and weak having no chance of things getting better, you also have the fact that the rich and elite are immortal thanks to Dracogenics technology. So not only are the powerful going to stay powerful, they're going to stay powerful forever.
    • In addition, wandering around the city makes it clear that it's a shitty place. The Industrial section briefing warns you that you shouldn't stay long lest you get lung-rot.
  • Critical Failure:
    • Agents can be ordered to use ziplines despite lacking the necessary skill to do so. In this case, agents have a chance of wiping out mid-zip and suffering a nasty fall, which results in them taking damage (or being incapacitated). The agent will also land quite far away from the intended stopping point, which usually results in guards witnessing the fall.
    • Attempting to hack or hardwire a device higher than your agent's skill level has a chance of failing and electrocuting the agent. This deals damage and stuns them for a short time, while potentially alerting nearby guards due to the noise.
  • Cyberpunk: Archetypally so, like past Syndicate games. You have the world ruled by corporations oppressing the underclass, the rainy, neon-lit urban hell right out of Blade Runner, the disaffected outsiders fighting the power for reasons and with methods that may not be benevolent, etc.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: The City is blanketed in endless rain, leaving the streets to be illuminated by animated billboards and neon lights.
  • Death from Above: Your agents can drop on top of enemies in drop pods.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: When your agents die, they are revived at the last waypoint. The only penalty is the loss of your bonus modifiers.
  • Deflector Shields: Personal shields will easily absorb damage from plasma weapons, and also provide good protection against ballistic weapons, but is weak against laser weapons. They also have a much faster recharge time than armor.
  • Diegetic Interface: The whole action is seen through a remote-controlled drone flying over the city. The various icons and text indications are part of the interface giving orders to the team. The camera even sways back and forth as the drone adjusts position. The drone is destroyed in the ending, just as the city is hit by a satellite, and the games ends with the words "Signal Lost".
  • Drone Deployer: Both the Hacker and Support can deploy drones, albeit of different varieties.
  • Downer Ending: Rather than taking control of ResTech distribution (as you might expect from a Syndicate-like game), your mysterious benefactor instead opts to steer all of the hacked satellites out of orbit and drop them onto major urban centers worldwide. An implied apocalypse ensues and your team, however much of it survived the last mission, dies when an explosion destroys the Dracogenics tower.
  • Early Game Hell: Early on even small groups of basic mooks will make things difficult for your Agents, and good luck if you're outnumbered. Later in the game you generally have enough armor, shields, firepower and skills to take out waves of basic mooks and even non-basic mooks as long as you're using good tactics. So then you meet the elite mooks.
  • Electronic Eyes: You can install augmentations on your agents' eyes to improve their combat performances.
  • Emergency Weapon: All sidearm-type weapons serve as this. While they are weak and have limited ammo, they have unlimited magazines.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: Your mini-map on the top-left will display enemies in red dots.
  • Energy Weapon: They come different shape and size: pistol, SMG, rifle, cannon, etc. They have a bonus against shields, electronics and robots.
  • Escort Mission: You either have to escort someone inside a secure zone or escort them outside. While they are under your control, they are poorly armed have no special skills or augmentations.
  • Every Man Has His Price: You can bribe doctors and scientists to join your research team, as well as the occasional corporate soldier stationed outside a facility to take the night off. Don't expect it to be an option with those actually inside the facility grounds, though.
  • Everything Breaks: Any objects in the environment can be destroyed, although you'll need a lot of firepower or explosives to pull it off.
  • Experience Points: Your agents will gain XP from doing their jobs (i.e. anything except wandering around the non-trespassing areasnote ). Gaining a level will award you with a skill point where you can spend it in different skills.
  • Fog of War: Your agents will only see as far as they optics allow them to. The rest is covered in shroud. The mini-map sees enemies in perfect detail at all times (thanks to your drone), but details such as civilians and system links are local vision only.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • F.R.E.D.: Fast Response Emergency Drop.
    • A laser beam weapon called the P.A.B.L.O.: Particle Accelerated Laser Beam Outlet.
  • Future Copter: Of the drone variety.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Hijacked guards aren't capable of grabbing the plot item from safehouses. This absolutely has to be done by one of your agents (justified in that even a hijacked goon isn't trustworthy enough for the job).
    • You just hijacked a guard with a minigun! Woohoo! Free weapon! Nope, that doesn't count. You still have to acquire a prototype through the missions or the Black Marketnote .
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The hacker's default headgear is a gas mask.
  • Gatling Good: The iconic mini-gun is here! Comes in different flavors: ballistic, laser and plasma. Just keep in mind that everyone can equip them. Large robots and armored vehicles and equip several.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Played straight, either caused by the Artificial Stupidity or by design:
  • Grenade Spam: You can only carry a small number of grenades with the Soldier being skilled enough to carry 5 while the others are restricted to 3 or only 1. However, picking up ammo will restock your supply or even better, producing your own ammo with the proper mod.
  • Gun Accessories: Every gun can have a single augmentation such as scope, extra clips, laser target, silencer and so on.
  • Hive Mind: The religious group, The Eternals, are said to link all its members to a single mind through their modified neural chips and augmentations.
  • Hover Car: There is a variety of hovers cars driving around the streets. They are purely cosmetic: they cannot hurt anyone and they don't even provide cover.
  • Human Resources: Commoners and soldiers are hijacked by you. Their bodies are used by you for Body Surf.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Fully upgraded, a single agent can carry 4 weapons and 4 pieces of gear. Now imagine carrying 4 BFG and 4 accessories under your coat.
  • In the Hood: The Assassin wears a hooded jacket.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Assassin's signature weapon, used for insta-kills.
  • Level Scaling: As you level up, so will the mooks you'll be facing. Word of God says it's a combination of stats, skills and xp.
  • Limited Loadout: Your agents are limited to two weapons. With the proper skill upgrade or with special augmentation, you can increase the amount.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Run the game and you will have to wait for two loading bars. After, you must choose your save game and load your game with yet another loading time to endure. The rest of the game won't have any loading even between districts. If you load your game midway however...
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Riot soldiers carry a shield that act as a mobile cover. It will be destroyed after it received too many hits.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: This is bound to happen very often with so many ways to harm others.
  • The Mafiya: Uzy Korp is now a legit Megacorp, but originates from several groups of Russian mobsters.
  • Meaningful Name: The laser pistol's model is the 2xP3W, or 'Pew Pew.'
  • Mind-Control Device: Satellite Reign's equivalent of the Persuadertron is a Hacker skill called Neural Hijack that lets you take over a target's neural implants and create People Puppets. It greatly reduces your Hacker's energy regen while in use, though. It gives full control of the unit, which can be used for:
  • Mission Control: You to your agents. You have one too.
  • More Dakka: Robots equipped with loads of mini-guns? Yes sir!
  • Must Have Coffee: Upon completing a particular mission it's revealed that your mission coordinator briefly hijacked your agent to make them steal a fancy coffeemaker from the break room.
  • Neon City: As appropriate for a game which leans into the cyberpunk aesthetic, it's a challenge to find parts of the city that aren't soaked in neon.
  • Non-Entity General: The player isn't one of the four agents but an unseen character giving orders and seeing the city through the camera of a drone. Your missions are provided by an initially unnamed female operator as well.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Patrol dogs are not canines. They are small four-legged robots with a headlight and latch at you when they come close to you. Some of them blow-up instead.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: An option for the player. When you steal a piece of equipment, you can either sink time and money into reverse engineering it so you can make copies (aversion) or you can give the equipment to one of your agents to use immediately. If you do the latter and the agent dies, you lose access to the item completely unless you manage to steal another one.
  • Obvious Beta: The original release of the game was riddled with bugs. The multiplayer component was missing and was only added many months later. Agents will get stuck while riding elevators, enemies will behave incorrectly, performance issues and crashes were all too common. Subsequent patches has fixed many of these issues.
    • The most recent release, as of 2019, has bugged achievements: it's possible to get the "10 consecutive stealth kills" achievement in the middle of a huge firefight, for example.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Your mysterious employers that Tag occasionally mentions.
  • One Degree of Separation: There are a fair few major Non Player Characters and all of them know or are related to each other.
  • Optional Stealth: Going around gunning down people is perfectly feasible. However, you can also use stealth to accomplish most objectives without firing a shot, and early on you might want to stick to it while your weapons are poor and your Agents weak.
  • Pacifist Run: Invoked - there are Achievements for making it to certain districts "without getting blood on your hands".
  • Personal Space Invader: Patrol Dogs will latch at you when they come too close to you. Your agent will automatically throw it down and smash it, but this will force you out of your cover.
  • Plasma Cannon: Of the shotgun, mini-gun, rifle, cannon variety. It's as harmful as it sounds. While it easily eat through armor, it lose effectiveness against Deflector Shields.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • It's a reference to the Syndicate Wars weapon "Satellite Rain". It also refers to the overall mission: Dracogenics has utter control through their satellites, meaning they have Satellite Reign. And you want to depose them.
    • The true pun potential of the title is not revealed until the game's ending: your mysterious benefactor takes control of the satellite network and sends them all crashing down to Earth. The game ends with a literal satellite rain.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The agents can be either male or female, but it doesn't change anything in gameplay.
  • Recurring Riff: The combat theme samples a fragment of the Syndicate leitmotif - which shouldn't be surprising, since both games were scored by composer Russell Shaw.
  • Respawning Enemies: When an alarm is raised, a wave of mooks will come after you. If you kill everyone in the wave and no one successfully called for backup, the fighting will end. Otherwise, more guards will come and you'll be overwhelmed. A section that you've cleared will also respawn guards over time, including gates, cameras and auto-gun sentries.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: You're nominally fighting the power, but since this is a Syndicate Spiritual Successor, a lot of morally suspect methods will be used. Your employers, for instance, think that a Colony Drop is pretty much the only way to stop Dracogenics and remove the distribution network forever. This, at the very least, destroys the city you've been exploring the entire game.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The shotgun prototype you pick up while breaking the Soldier out of prison is called the Boom Stick and its description references S-Mart.
    • One mission-giver is called Reese Kyle. There is also a set of emails from one J. Connor.
    • As mentioned above, not only is the Big Bad based on Steven Dengler, but his Mega-Corp is named Dracogenics, an allusion to the real life Dengler's company Dracogen.
    • One of the locales is Bullfrog Plaza, an unabashed reference to Syndicate's creator. You may also be tasked with setting up a dummy corporation named Bullyfrog.
    • One of the random commoners is named Tony Stark
    • The "Black Annex Club" is named after a different Cyberpunk game aiming to follow in Syndicate's footsteps.
    • In the logs, one doctor is named "H. McCoy", which refer to "Henry McCoy", Beast's real name in the X-Men.
    • Model numbers for Extended Plasma Canisters and Extended Ion Batteries are R-2D2 and C3p-O, which refer to R2-D2 and C-3PO, the droids from Star Wars. There's also a corp named Blacksun Insurance, a reference to the Expanded Universe cartel of the same name.
    • The Energon Storage Cell is a Shout-Out the Transformers source of energy. Even the in-game description make a reference to it.
    • The Eternals logs feature a conversation between two operatives named Smith and Jones.
    • There's a bar called Taffers in the Industrial sector.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The EMP charger. Attach it to your laser weapon and it will fire EMP shots that disable targets and shields. Works on any opponents. Don't like laser weapons? Lob a EMP grenade instead and you can knockout a whole group of enemies.
    • Hijacking is the One Stat to Rule Them All: any firefight is made much easier by removing an opponent at the same time that you add a soldier to your side. While the Hacker suffers from stamina regen penalties with each additional hijacked soldier, the Hacker's main abilities aren't stamina-focused, so it ends up being a moot point. And if you lose a hijacked soldier to a group of bad guys, that's just more targets for you to Hijack.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: One of the random faces for the agents is a skull face in white make up.
  • Sniper Rifle: The assassin's favorite weapon as they are special skills linked to this weapon, such as knocback bullets, increase range and damage.
  • Spider Tank: The Centurion 7 tanks.
  • Sprint Meter: The yellow energy meter restricts how long an agent can sprint as well as use of things like the cloak.
  • Storming the Castle: Storming Dracogenics Tower at the end of the game.
  • Suicide Attack: Some Patrol Dogs are laced with explosives and blow-up when come close to you. They also have a layer of armor, making it harder to kill from a distance. There's an augment that lets your agents self-destruct, letting you do this.
  • Take Cover!: If you point your cursor near a wall or barricade, it will turn into a triangle, indicating that your Agents can hide behind it. The difference between being in cover and not being in cover is significant: damage reduction for direct hits and damage immunity while ducking are the basics, and it's also important for stealth. Flanking is very helpful. Being flanked is very painful.
  • Take That!: One of the credits screens says "Made in Australia despite the best efforts of our government."
  • Title Drop: Right at the end, the virus runs a program whose name is Satellite Reign. The game's title isn't the only thing that this program drops.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: There are a number burning barrels illuminating the back streets of the City that somehow manage to stay alight despite the constant rain.
  • Universal Ammunition: The available firearms include pistols, revolvers, SMG, assault rifles, shotguns, etc; some shoot bullets, some others shoot plasma or laser. No matter which gun your squad members are wielding and what your enemies are using, any ammo looted on a dead mook will be added to the current weapon's pool of ammo.
  • Vein-o-Vision: The Support's starting ability World Scan allows you to see the power lines flowing so as to know what to hack to temporarily disable cameras and such out.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Dracogenics Tower, the highest structure in The City. There's a good number of Spider Tank, Mini-Mecha, troops and the Big Bad himself waiting for you.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Like Syndicate, you can slaughter civilians. The developers seem to be aware of this tendency, as you get an Achievement for killing 1000 of them.
    • From the safety of your relay beacon, throw a grenade at a power station. The explosion will alert angry guards that will wrongfully blame passer-bys, causing them to shoot civilians.
    • The Hacker's ability to create People Puppets leads to all sorts of horrible potential fates, including abduction for the purposes of cloning, being forced to murder their friends and sabotage their employers, or simply commit suicide. The animation for hijacking an NPC also suggests that the experience is quite unpleasant.
      • Civilians, despite being harmless most of the time, are armed with pistols upon being hijacked. You are fully capable of amassing a small army of civilians and using them as cannon fodder.
  • Wanted Meter: Each of your agents has a separate meter indicating their level of "heat" with your many enemies. Heat lowers over time, as bad guys lose track of the agents. The levels are:
    • Clean: An empty meter. No one cares about this agent.
    • Trespassing: Indicated by an exclamation point in at the lowest point in the meter. The agent is doing something actively illegal, but is not considered a threat. If discovered they will be escorted out of the area, and then probably clubbed in the head or have some money long as they don't resist. If the exclamation point is visible in any other box, the agent is still doing illegal things, and isn't losing heat.
    • Wanted (1): The bottom box is full. The agent is considered a threat, and any active enemies will try to engage and kill the agent.
    • Wanted (2): The second lowest box is full. The agent is hunted, enemies will be more persistent, and backup will have heavier guards and weapons.
    • Wanted (3): The second highest box is full. Enemies will be more persistent still, reinforcements will have even heavier goons and be more numerous, and explosions will become more frequent as all the firepower (and grenades) being thrown around start to make a mess of things.
    • Wanted (4): The big guns will be pulled out, literally. At lower levels, guards will spawn with heavy weapons. At higher levels, Mini-Mecha will arrive to seriously ruin your day. Enemy forces will now be completely indiscriminate in their attempts to kill you, and will pursue you through the entire complex you're infiltrating.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: All of the endgame Beam weapons and the flamethrower can create a continuous wave of destruction until they run out of ammo.
  • Zerg Rush: When the alarm is sounded, mooks will quickly overwhelmed you from all sides.

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