5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A touch of brilliance gone to waste.,
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This review is from: Syndicate (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Its been a long time since I wrote a review, and its fair to say, at this point, I'm a little late to the party. All the same, I feel compelled to voice my disappointment; not with the game per say, but with the effect it will have on the franchise, as this will more then likely be last syndicate we see for many years, possibly at all.
The problem; Syndicate is, in many ways, two games, both incomplete, one awesome and with the whiff of greatness, the other, average at best. lets deal with the latter first, the single player campaign.
Single player, is in essence, a first person shooter, with an AMAZINGLY predictable story, which you'll be done with in under six hours, and is every bit as bland as it sounds. It's not all bad; the environments are colourful and diverse, rather then the pallet of brown and grey that i think we are all tired of seeing from call of duty clones. Weapons have a pleasant variety also, with some old favorites making a return, though there are still a few too many genre familiars for my liking. The chip functions are able to slightly distill it from the pack, but ultimately its the story that brings things crushing down. It is so predictably 'cliche by numbers' that I had guessed the entire plot at the end of the first level, that's pretty bad; casting Brian Cox as the eurocorp ceo didn't help. But even its predictability aside, it is amazingly thin, little to no effort at all is made to add depth to the main ark of the story. The original games had no real story, they didn't need one, it was all about corporate conquest, did they really think this story needed telling.
Finally we get to co-op. Arr co-op where many an hour of mine have disappeared never to return. This is where their efforts should have solely lay. No story, doesn't need one. Its just you and your mates fighting through a selection of maps to improve your syndicates standing, the way it should be. Experience points allow you upgrade your chip functions, while chip-ripping enemies give you tokens to research weapon and chip application upgrades. Co-op succeeds in realising what syndicate was all about in a way the single player never could.
If someone from EA is reading this (doubtful as there are no profit figures) please, please, try again. Cut out the single player story mode, and take the co-op to its next step. Just make it into a corporate conquest style game, with larger, more numerous maps that can be approached in a multitude of ways. Increase the RPG style elements so you can research cybernetics like in the original. Add agent customization and a financial elements when researching. Starbreeze are a capable studio, the stull-splittingly awesome Escape from butcher bay for the original Xbox proved that, Let them make it the way Bullfrog would have.
Of course this won't happen, we'll slowly see more and more franchises ruined as publisher continue to try and turn them into Call of Duty; such a shame.
Overall a 3.5, but with the promise of something so much more.