I will try to make this simple for potential buyers.
Syndicate is a fast paced, high action and visceral FPS.
The single player campaign clocks in at about 6-8 hours on a proper difficulty setting. While the world and setting are well realised the story is a mixed bag, I knew at all times what the actual plot was but it was not very compelling or engrossing and the player character is a silent witness throughout. However the game benefits from a Hollywood cast , including Brian Cox and Rosario Dawson, that really brings up the cut scenes and dialogue. It has a great cyberpunk feel but also that kind of 80's action sci fi feel from such films as Terminator , Total Recall and Robocop, also of course such films as Blade Runner are a source of influence.
The Multiplayer is exclusively Co-operative and is excellent. You team up with up to 3 other "Agents" for a team of 4 and play through a collection of missions/scenarios made exclusively for the MP. The matchmaking is fast and there are still players and games up and running at time of writing. I had no issues finding a game. If you have a couple of mates who enjoy co-op games and are stuck on Rainbow six Vegas or don't like COD sepc ops then this is a must try.
Gameplay in general is smooth/ fast and violent. The feel of the shooting and especially the first person cover mechanic reminded me a lot of Killzone 3. So if you liked Killzone 3 and want something similar or Deus Ex was not balls to the wall enough for you. Give this a go.
Reasonably hard but a great game and the graphics are good. You could say it's slightly samey in places but I personally really enjoyed it though. If you're into first person games this could be a good option for you.
STORY You play as Kilo, a special agent of Eurocorp; a powerful 'Syndicate' which has embraced the use of neural implants known as DART 6 chips. Rival Syndicates throw themselves into corporate espionage in a bid to dominate the 'chipped' world, leaving it up to the 'Agents' to carry out a variety of carefully executed attacks. There is more to your past than what you have been told, further embroiling you in all out war between major Syndicates, which will determine the future of the world.
The cyberpunk theme of the story is its strongest asset. There is also an interesting backdrop to the technological advancements of the Syndicates, juxtaposed against the ruins of the 'unchipped' society.
GRAPHICS & SOUND From the outset it's evident that plenty of polish has gone into the visuals. The cyberpunk setting brings out a plethora of lavish colours and luminescent hues. There is almost a Blade Runner like quality to the presentation – neon signs light up darkened areas, lighting streaks through shoddy buildings, and there are also futuristic flying machines constantly hovering over your head. This futuristic depiction of Los Angeles contrasts minimalism against the rotting underbelly of the city.
The DART 6 chip puts its own spin on the presentation, changing the outlook of the environment and overlaying it with augmented vision. The effect is very stylish, simplifying the colours, yet giving key objects the detail they deserve. Character models are well crafted, accompanied by solid animation. Voice acting is strong, especially from the celebrity talents of Brian Cox and Rosario Dawson.
Syndicate keeps the action indoors a little too much, which is a shame as it puts a real stranglehold upon the imaginative art direction in outdoor areas.
GAMEPLAY Syndicate doesn't exactly reinvent the 'FPS wheel', but it does present some interesting combat situations. The DART 6 chip is at the heartbeat of the experience, allowing you to keep one step ahead of your enemies. This nifty little chip will allow you to see enemies through walls and assess the threat they may pose to you. In this mode time will also slow down and allow you to vanquish enemies with ease. However, this can deplete the chip's energy fast and leave you vulnerable against multiple enemies. The shooting mechanics feel robust and responsive, which makes it easily as enjoyable to pump bad guys full of lead. The weapons are all standard fair, but many come with handy alternate firing modes for those special kills. The action flows reasonably well throughout the game, which will encourage players to make those head-shots count!
It can be very easy to get overwhelmed by enemies, which is where the DART 6 chip provides some additional perk. When targeting an enemy (normally/x-ray vision) you can employ a specialised attack: Suicide will cause an enemy to blow up instantly, Backfire will cause an enemy's weapon to blow up, and Persuade will cause an enemy to turn against other enemies before committing suicide. It's great fun to use these abilities and is sure to make life easier when having to clear out large squads. A majority will not really cause you much trouble and use predictable attack patterns. However, some strap on heavy armour, which will spring your chip abilities into action. You will have to interface with an enemy's chip in order to weaken their defense system, only then can you go in for an attack. This is where the game is at its best, it will force you to take a step back and keep an eye on your chip's advantages. The boss battles are truly challenging affairs, to the point where you will literally battle for your life and use a great deal of grit to eliminate an enemy.
Syndicate doesn't fulfil its potential and ends up leaving many mechanics a little half baked. The missions are all a little formulaic, stringing you down corridor routes and eventually boxing you into lacklustre shootouts. Quite simply, the monotonous experience ends up feeling a little empty all the way until its despairingly short campaign.
OVERALL The technological premise of the story is intriguing, but the world that envelopes it lacks depth. The visuals and colourful presentation are exquisitely painted, if a little undermined by drab indoor environments. The DART 6 chip will make you feel like a gun-wielding badass, but the juddering momentum of the experience only reflects the ambition of the game.
I have to say I, unlike some others out there, really like this third reiteration of Syndicate. being a fan of the original's ('Syndicate' which is included in the 'EA Replay' collection for PSP EA Replay (PSP) and 'Syndicate Wars' Syndicate Wars which is available on the PSN store to download) I appreciated the chance to see the world through my own eyes (so to speak) and to take direct control of an agent etc. In 2017, the Eurocorp mega-corporation is born after the world's largest corporate merger. In 2025, Eurocorp releases the DART chip, a neural implant that allows users to access the dataverse and makes most electronic devices obsolete. As a result of the DART chip, the world is no longer ruled by governments, but by large mega-corporations known as "Syndicates". However, only half of the world's population embraces the chip, while the "unchipped" are abandoned and denied the same benefits afforded by their chipped counterparts. Furthermore, corporate espionage for dominance between Syndicates becomes the norm, resulting in the creation of "Agents": bio-engineered and chip-augmented enforcers who protect the interests of their corporate masters. The multiplayer is a pleasant surprise too, a 4 player co-op in which you again take first person control of a agent and play through some of the original game(s) levels, this is Starbreeze Studios take on the original Syndicates missions bridging the gap between the original and this updated Syndicate, the player is taught the new type of FPS interface in the single player, and then can use that in the co-op campaign (a great game in its own right). An underappreciated game that with all taken into account is a great game, and I am sure like Syndicates inspiration the movie 'Blade Runner' will be looked on more favourably in the future.
Having played the original Syndicate on my Commodore Amiga back in the early 90s, I was eagerly anticipating this new remake/reboot of the series. However, in contrast to the isometric tactical gameplay of the original, the new Syndicate game is very much a sci-fi First-Person-Shooter like Deus Ex, which may disappoint you if you were a fan of the original game. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but just don't expect a full on remake of the original experience.
You play a technologically modified Agent (again like Deus Ex), who gets to blast through about six or seven hours' worth of corridors and the occasional ship/warehouse etc. This is probably one of the biggest letdowns of the game - while it generally looks great (albeit very shiny), there are an awful lot of corridors to run down, making the gameplay a little repetitive and not as immersive as its nearest rival, (you guessed it, Deus Ex). When the game looks good, it looks great, however, and there are some very impressive scenes to look at from time to time.
On top of the relatively short single player campaign there is a really fun co-op multiplayer campaign, which makes up for many of the shortcomings on the single-player campaign. The only problem is that it is very difficult, and you'll need to get another three players involved if you want to get through to the end. It's much more fun to play with people you know, so if you have three friends who all have a copy of the game you'll really enjoy the co-op gameplay.
Syndicate is a good game, and if you liked Deus Ex Human Revolution then you'll almost certainly like this. If you like FPS games in general then you'll probably like this too, though if you're desperate for another helping of twitch-shooter gameplay like Modern Warfare you may be better off elsewhere.