Some games offer hours of fun, while others offer an experience. Sovereign Syndicate is part of the latter group. It’s a fantasy point-and-click adventure that somehow manages to catch the essence of Victorian London better than any real-life account I’m aware of. Let’s take a look under the hood and see what it has to offer in this Sovereign Syndicate Review.
The World of Sovereign Syndicate
Sovereign Syndicate’s story is primarily based in Victorian-era London. But unlike our Victorian-era London, this London is populated by a whole host of mystical creatures. Mystical to us at least. Centaurs, Minotaurs, Dwarfs, Cyclopses, and many many more.
The thing that really got me with this setting was the realistic grit of it. Oftentimes when you see different species portrayed in media, their mentalities are drastically different from each other, so as to make the uniqueness of each species stand out in contrast to the rest. Humans are naive, elves are pompous, dwarfs are cranky, etc
That’s not the case in Sovereign Syndicate, not by a large margin. Its world is troubled, plagued by gross social inequality and unrest. In such harsh circumstances, degenerates can be found in every group. Case in point, the first character that you play, Atticus Dalley, is a minotaur who is addicted to opioids.
Your second character, Clara Reed, is a lady of the night desperately seeking a way out of that life. Everywhere you go in the world of Sovereign Syndicate you see imperfections, be it in the world itself or the characters. In a way, this perfectly ties in with the gameplay.
The Gameplay of Sovereign Syndicate
Sovereign Syndicate is an isometric point-and-click adventure at its core. Where it differs from other games in its genre is in its character system. The game draws heavy influence from contemporary psychological theories at the time. Each character is compromised of different character traits, all battling against each other.
Well, “battle” might be a bit of a strong word, “Vying” might be more appropriate. The game works off of a humor system, where each character trait is represented by a certain humor. The decisions you make in the world and your interactions with its inhabitants will alter the state of your humors and your temperament.
I personally really like this system. Games usually give us complete agency over our characters, and that’s not necessarily the case in Sovereign Syndicate. Here, you’re offered a set of choices, the choice that you make based on your whim or your morals will dictate how your character develops; which is not always for the better, or how you’d want it to be.
Honestly, I have no other way of explaining this other than saying that it feels “real.” Often in life, it does feel as if we are not in control of our actions. When it comes to dealing with our emotional nature, we really are unpredictable, and Sovereign Syndicate captures that experience perfectly.
The Things I Liked About Sovereign Syndicate
The game also allows you to pet cats. That’s it, review’s over, we’ve found the game of the year!
Okay, jokes aside now. Let’s talk about what the game gets right. For starters, I’ll mention the most important thing. I.e. The game works as it should. In my time playing through it, I found no game-breaking bugs or things that would detract from my experience. The game’s setting is quite grim at times, and yet it still manages to teem with charm.
However, undeniably the best part of the game is its characters and their stories. It’s also a surprisingly accessible CRPG that both newcomers and veterans of the genre can enjoy. And because the game has multiple endings, each playthrough will be different than the last.
The Things I Didn’t Like About Sovereign Syndicate
Honestly, Sovereign Syndicate doesn’t have that many glaring problems to pick apart. Most of my issues with the game are personal nit-picks, but that’s about it. As a whole, Sovereign Syndicate is quite a well-made package.
My only gripe with the game is its content spacing. Some parts of the game feel bereft of interactions while others are chock-full of things to do. To reiterate, this isn’t bad per se, it’s just something that I don’t particularly like.
All in all, Sovereign Syndicate is an exceptionally well-made package. In my opinion, it’s more of an artwork than it is a game. The most surprising thing to me is that this game is Crimson Herring Studio’s first game. First games are always tricky, but Crisom Herring managed to pull it off with flying colors.
The game is polished, it has a captivating story with lots of interesting characters, and it’s exceedingly replayable on account of its multiple endings and branching story paths. If you’re looking for a novel-like experience in a game, look no further than Sovereign Syndicate.
What did you think of our review of Sovereign Syndicate? Share what you think about it in the comments below.
This review is based on the PC version of Sovereign Syndicate. The key was provided by Evolve PR.