Synapse (Alpha Demo) – First Look

There are a lot of Tactical RPGs, many good and bad ones alike. One Tactical RPG I'm personally enjoying right now is "Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones" I never really got into the Fire Emblem Series and my friend told me to try it out, so far I am enjoying the experience. If you're not familiar with the concept of Tactical RPGs the mechanics are simple to get the hang of, all you need is a little bit of strategy and common sense. "Synapse" is a game I can see following in this same line of good Tactical RPGs.

“Synapse” is an upcoming Indie Tactical RPG in development by Transhumanoid. The game takes place in a distant future, where robots, androids, and people roam a distorted utopia, full of abandoned futuristic buildings, fights breaking out in the street, and technology as advanced as you could ever imagine.

You take on the role of Kai, upon waking you are introduced to your first task of finding a credit card. Once you have obtained the credit card and head out, this is where things start to go all over the place. Your friend's brother gets lost and you are challenged to go and find him out in the cold, dark, raining streets of the city. After you find him it's off to meet another friend at the local bar. Going in you are presented a short cutscene of a man arguing with the bartender, when the cutscene ends you head over to your little brother Aliq and friend Wika, discussing some kind of technological rumor that has been going around. That is as far as the story goes in the demo.It is still not clear what the story is building up to or what is in store for Kai.

Though some objectives aren’t explained very well, it’s easy to get the hang of what’s going on and where you need to go. I spent most of my time exploring around and seeing how much detail the developers put into bringing the environment to life, and they did a great job.

The gameplay consists of the basic keyboard controls, from what I've seen there doesn't seem to be any controller support at the moment. I must compliment the fact, despite it being an alpha demo, I was amazed at how well it played. The controls felt right, not too sticky, or too sensitive, very responsive. Cutscenes functioned well, and I didn’t notice the character's clipping through walls or random things flying around the screen (the usual alpha demo bugs), and overall I was pleased with how polished it was.

The music really gives the true cyberpunk feel to it, and the voice actors did an amazing job capturing the personality of each character, from a very surprising moment to an intense moment, I wasn’t caught off guard from unnatural expressions while listening to a character speak. Some things I did notice were that events can be replayed, and some environments get a reset, an example of this being walking into the bar and most of the characters that weren’t there after the event triggered are now back, but hopefully, that can be easily fixed. The concept of the tactical battle engine felt nice and smooth, though a little rough in some areas. The smooth part is that characters were very responsive to controls, whether it be healing or throwing a bomb, it wouldn't bug out, the rough parts being where it tries to register which character is being controlled, and the camera is a little slow in showing the characters move/attack towards the enemy. I was able to move the characters behind objects with no problem and was able to execute commands to attack enemies when needing to do so. As this is a look at the alpha some things do need work but I see the potential for a great indie hit.

I feel that “Synapse” is on track to be a very well developed game. I'm excited to see what new improvements they’ll make. Although I do like the concept of cyberpunk being the theme, I'd like to see more character's back stories and hopefully, see more of an intro. Adding the Tactical RPG elements to an open-world really makes the gameplay and story enjoyable. If you want to check out the alpha demo you can sign-up for the open alpha on the Synapse website, I would definitely recommend checking it out if you're a fan of Tactical RPGs and want something interesting to play!

Check out the trailer for Synapse:

Get the alpha demo for Synapse available on Windows.

David Strickland
Just an average gamer, aspiring to be a game journalist. Also a cat.