The upcoming SYNCED from NExT Studios is a free-to-play co-operative shooter that will take players across a desolate post-apocalyptic world filled to the brim with deadly nanotech-infused foes. As players take on increasingly dangerous missions to expand their arsenal of weapons and nano powers, the larger story of how this world came apart will reveal itself, offering a greater understanding of the connective threads tying the different characters and storylines together.
With the release of SYNCED slated for summer, it feels like the right time for Narrative Director Kevin Shortt to share more about building the main story of SYNCED and how the world will evolve over time.
“We’ve built the story around players diving into missions with others and taking in pieces of the story through cutscenes and memory fragments, which give greater insight into the different characters and world – we want players to get to know these characters and what’s at stake,” said Shortt.
“That aspect is one layer of the story, but we also have seasons, which feature their own storylines and events that sometimes focus on particular runners, which showcases their individual story and how it connects to the Collapse.”
Set in the near future following a catastrophic global event known as the Collapse, the story of SYNCED focuses on the mystery surrounding the fall of civilization, and the ragtag crew of mercenaries, known as Runners, who are tasked with uncovering how everything went wrong. The Runners are not only trained in combat against the enemies known as Nanos, but they also have the ability to capture and control special Nano adversaries and have them fight on their side.
Players will take on the role of different Runners with unique backgrounds and connections to the larger story. The six playable heroes presently include former gambler and now debt-free mercenary, Deadcut, a medic in search of a cure for the Nano-virus known as Dr. Stone, and Park, a big-game hunter and businessman intent on reviving his empire by fighting against the Nano.
At launch, players will be able to dive into the first major chapter, introducing the crew of Runners and other key characters in the hub known as Haven, which is nestled in the larger setting of Meridian – the supposed source of the Collapse. Along with partnering up with other players to engage in PvE missions and PvP team battles, Haven is also a space where Runners and various allies can learn about the state of the world and what’s to come. The mission handler Caraway is one such character whom players will get to know, and she provides greater insight into the growing threats in SYNCED.
SYNCED‘s story will be told by engaging in various activities across the game, allowing players to learn new details and find story beats however they choose. In addition to completing mission milestones, players can also uncover memory fragments that reveal information about key characters. Future seasons will also focus on particular Runners, offering more insight into their personal stories and growth.
As an evolving game, SYNCED‘s main story will have new additions to the main plot, along with an assortment of seasonal events and game updates. Shortt and the team will also be paying attention to the community and their investment in SYNCED‘s story, which will see some changes as the game evolves.
“We’ve actually looked way ahead for this story; about four years down the road, we have a clear idea where the main narrative will go. But we also want to be agile, obviously, once we put the game in the hands of players, and we’ll see where they start leaning to, and what draws their attention to the world of SYNCED. We made sure the story is strong enough that it’s got legs to tell its own set story, but also loose enough that we can adapt and make additions as the seasons go forward, to see what players are connecting with the most.”