Image via Flow Fire Games

Synthetik 2 adds more tactical complexity to its twin-stick combat with Update 14

With decapitations, now!

If you’ve not yet heard about Synthetik 2 and its predecessor, Synthetik (as featured in our Steam Deck Roguelites recs), we can’t blame you, as they’re both niche. However, if the idea of a retro-futuristic tactical twin-stick shooter inspired by Robocop tingles, Synthetik 2‘s Update 14 may be of interest.

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Also known as the “Electrify Mega Update,” according to the official announcement, Synthetik 2‘s Update 14 marks a major step forward for the Early Access title. Featuring 20 new usable items, map reworks, substantially improved destruction effects and ragdolls, a new centre HUD option and loads more, Update 14 is a hallmark release for the game. Most importantly, though, Update 14 underlines the game’s insistence on tactical and statistical complexity.

Image via Flow Fire Games

Synthetik 2’s Update 14 rounds off an already impressive tactical Roguelite

Certainly, when you hear the term ‘Twin-Stick Shooter’, the odds are good that complexity is not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, simply throwing a glance at the Electrify Mega Update’s changelog should provide a good idea of what the game is about.

To illustrate the point, look no further than Update 14’s (re)introduction of Supply Hack Databases. This layer of weapon itemization was removed from the Early Access game a while back, only to now be added back in, in a much-improved format. Notably, Synthetik 2‘s fictionalized real-world weapons can come in a huge number of different varieties that alter their statistics.

Supply Hack Databases build upon Synthetik 2‘s weapon customization and item synergies, as well as the game’s 10 or so unique character classes. What’s particularly notable here, though, is that the developer has finally introduced a comprehensive item compendium to the game, allowing you to inspect all the loot you might’ve come across so far.

Coming to grips with all the different items that Synthetik 2 throws at you is a strange sort of exhilaration, but that comes on top of the game’s hardcore tactical gameplay. For example, reloading a weapon isn’t a simple matter of hitting ‘R’ here. Instead, you need to unload the gun’s magazine, start a new reload, and then play a Gears of War-style timing mini-game to pull it off right. Each of these actions is a separate input, mind!

Curiously, Synthetik 2 is somewhat similar in concept to Intravenous 2, which we discussed a few weeks back. Both of the games are tactical shooters played from a bird’s eye perspective, and though they differ massively in the visual style and gameplay aspects, they both ask the player to apply some fairly advanced mechanics to what has historically been a simple and straightforward genre. Synthetik 2 launched in Early Access late in 2021, and though there’s no 1.0 release on the horizon yet, the developer Flow Fire Games sends out regular and sizeable content updates at a brisk pace, as shown with Update 14.


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Filip Galekovic
A lifetime gamer and writer, Filip has successfully made a career out of combining the two just in time for the bot-driven AI revolution to come into its own.