Right, the plot is a little hard to follow, so bare with me. It is the year 2069 and you take control of Miles Kilo who is an agent for mega corporation EuroCorp. The world has become a complicated and brutal place, where the mega corporations fight to control regions and territories across the globe, simply known as Syndicates. Civilians who are located within these syndicates are micro chipped by the corporation who has power in the region. These microchips allow there users to access all of their digital date literally with a blink of an eye, such as banking, medical, education and some even enhance a person’s physical and mental abilities. But this comes at a great cost, as corporations who run these syndicates such as EuroCorp have access to data from anyone who is micro chipped with their product and can even gain control of that person against their own will.
You (Miles Kilo) are micro chipped with EuroCorp’s latest technology, the Dart 6 Bio Chip, which allows him to not only become a master of the more traditional weaponry, but he can also slow time in combat and access , manipulate, gain control of anything digital and that includes humans. Miles is sent on a seemingly in/out mission to assassinate a scientist belonging to Aspari, who are one of EuroCorp’s most fierce industry rival’s, who also want to gain global dominance. But after discovering from the scientist that Aspari have developed their own chip similar to the Dart 6, things take a serious turn for the worse and Milo is quickly thrown into a more complicated and corrupted world the he though ever existed. Can Milo uncover the truth behind the mega corporation’s true purpose of global domination and more importantly, can he survive?
The world of Syndicate is terrifyingly believable and our hats must be taken off for the developers who have created this universe and re-imagined a cult classic video game that is very much influenced by Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner. Having a solid story is just one part of the puzzle and without a great world or universe to believe in, then we would have not had so many great games over the years. In this day and age with home consoles increasingly reaching their peak, it is getting more difficult to impress and surprise the gaming world. May be this was largely due to me not expecting much from Syndicate, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the world that Starbreeze Studios have created is stunning and superbly well done.
The sound effects and music of Syndicate are done with great purpose, each piece of background music sets the tone perfectly for any level or situation, whether it is walking through the city streets, crawling through the sewers or battling it out with badass agents. Along with that, each weapon has its own sound and identity, you feel every pulsating bullets, every hand to hand combat situation has your hearing each snap of the neck and to top it off, the voice acting is superbly scripted and each character has you believing there story and role within Syndicate.
At first glance, you will be forgiven in thinking that Syndicate plays like the other FPS’s on the market, at first glance I thought that. But as you plunge deeper into its universe, you have a diverse mechanic that makes you take down each enemy in different ways and hasyou thinking about your tactics and surroundings. Run in gung hoe and all guns blazing and you’ll be taken down faster than you can say “Whipper Snapper!” and adding to the diverse gaming mechanics, you also have an RPG like upgrade system, that depending on what you chose to upgrade, will determine what your abilities are and how you go about your game.
Arguably Syndicate’s biggest downfall is its short, but enjoyable single player campaign, about 7 hours for my 1st playthrough. This seems to be a common trend with games of today, is it due to tight deadlines or do developers run out of steam? Only they will truly know. But this still doesn’t take away from the fact that Syndicate has an excellent and action packed campaign, it’s just a little short lived. There are the usual encouragements that may bring you back for another playthrough such as finding the hidden items and Intel scattered throughout the game, different difficulty settings and the different ways in which you can level up your upgrades, which will change ever so slightly how you might play the game. On top of that, you also have the co-op campaign which takes you away from the main storyline and offers a very competitive high score system, which is very welcomed and a change of pace to the usual online deathmatch types. But Syndicate does not include any other online features other then co-op. Though this is not vital to all games, I just think it would have added to the value of Syndicate if there were other types of online modes.
Even though I enjoyed my playthrough of Syndicate, I didn’t really have that urge to come back for more once I had finished the campaign. With its lack of modes and just the inclusion on co-op, Syndicate for me doesn’t really offer value at a full price purchase. Though at some point in the future, if you were to stumble across a copy of Syndicate in the bargain bucket of around £20 – £25, it might be worth a purchase without harming you pocket too much, but if not, stick to renting Syndicate.