Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Satellite Reign

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/419fdaf850dffb85fa295ca1689bfd06.jpg
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. Now, a mysterious organisation has risen to challenge the status quo, but to what end? Liberating the masses from corporate oppression or taking over as the new overlords? That is where you come in, controlling four Agents of this organisation to fight the power.

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 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: Starting from version 0.4, Agents can use ventilation systems to move around. Just make sure there aren't any noxious gases passing through...
  • Artificial Limbs: You can outfit cybernetic limbs to your agents to increase their combat abilities, but also remove any gameplay limitations such as artificial legs that allow air-vent climbing or stronger arms to carry BFG.
  • 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.
    • 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: The corporation has flying drones that come out at higher wanted levels.
    • Your hacker can also spawn its 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 (the Soldier in the beta versions) 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: It will theoretically be possible to go straight for the Big Bad right from the start. It will also be an express lane to an arse-kicking.
  • 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.
  • Bottomless Magazines: All sidearms have unlimited magazines.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The flamethrower, however cheap and mundane it looks next to hi-tech plasma and laser heavy weapons, is the most damaging weapon in the game effective against all defense types.
  • 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.
  • 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, Uzy Korp's are red, and the Eternals' are blue.
  • 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.
  • Cool Helmet: Mooks wear this hammerhead-like helmet with four 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.
  • Cyber Punk: 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, but is weak against laser weapons.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 areas). 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.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: They come different shape and size: pistol, SMG, rifle, cannon, etc. They have a bonus against shields, electronics and robots.
  • 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 Market.
  • 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. Robots and armored vehicles who can mount several.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Played straight, either caused by the Artificial Stupidity or by design:
  • 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.
  • 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: One of the Assassin's favored weapons.
  • 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. 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 controller briefly hijacked your agent to make them steal a fancy coffeemaker from the break room.
  • 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.
  • 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 Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Your mysterious employers that Tag occasionally mention.
  • 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.
  • 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 Cyber Punk 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.
  • 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 ducked are the basics. 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."
  • 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.
  • Wanted Meter: In line with the Wide Open Sandbox style, the game has this. There are four levels, with an automatic first level for trespassing in restricted area. Unusually, in an aversion of the usual Disproportionate Retribution common to most sandbox games, trespassing just gets your Agents escorted out of the area at gunpoint so long as you don't fight back and aren't too deep behind enemy lines.
  • 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.

Top