There are two basic things a shooter can do to make a good early impression on me: let me configure the controls, and let me easily experiment with difficulty settings so I can find the one that works for me. Syndicate has failed me on both accounts. I’m coming off Crysis 2, which has very similar controls, but the crouch and melee buttons are the opposite of how Syndicate has it (which Crysis let me configure how I wanted). Syndicate does not give me this option, so I keep meleeing when I wanted to crouch. Worse, there isn’t a melee animation if there is no enemy to hit, so I don’t even get proper feedback when I make the mistake.
I started off on Hard difficulty, like I normally do in shooters, but found myself struggling after a few levels. So I wanted to drop down to normal. I figured I’d lose just the progress of the level I was in. So I went to Chapter Select, but was shocked to find that it’s only for replaying already completed chapters. To change the difficulty, I had to completely restart the game. How does that even happen? I guess I’m glad I found it out early on in the game, and I will keep going – the game has some nice style going for it – but it’s a frustrating way to start.