Syndicate (2012)

by Mackenzie M. April 20th, 2012 | Game Reviews
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Known as one of 2012’s most anticipated games, Syndicate is actually a so-called reboot of the original 1993 game of the same title. Some strict fans of the original 1993 version have sworn off the reboot, but many game reviewers proclaim that is a big mistake. Syndicate is a good first-person shooter game with interesting themes and great game play. Although not best played alone, Syndicate offers fantastic opportunities for cooperative play, as well as thrills and twists in the plot and amazing graphics.

One reviewer called Syndicate “slick, moody, and in total command of its near-future vision,” due to its impressive graphics and dark settings. The main player, Miles Kilo, is fighting for dominance as the agent of a mega-corporation. Shoot-outs often arise under the dark and hazy skyscrapers of New York City, and the futuristic atmosphere reinforces the fact that the player is a super cool special agent fighting to be the best. The campaign overall is a little unimpressive, but there are several moments of thrills. The game also includes random puzzle solving. Many reviewers have commented that the intentionally silent moments in the game, which are meant to build tension, actually make the game significantly boring at points.

The character development of Miles Kilo and others is lacking. The player is an agent for the EuroCorp Company, but no back-story or emotional connection are ever formed between the main character and the company he is supposedly fighting for. An encyclopedia of the back-story is available, but that is too labor intensive for some gamers. Other games, such as Deus Ex, have used encyclopedias to expand certain characters, but never to replace back-stories. When the shooting in the game breaks out, it is no longer hard to be engaged; however, these pulse-pounding moments do not last long and are unfortunately far and few between.

The game play is all about moving on to the next target, rather than the immediate kill. This mundane premise is made much more enjoyable by the good graphics and sufficient soundtrack. Overall, although Syndicate was highly anticipated, it falls short in many key areas and fails to deliver on consistent action and storytelling. Overall, I would rate this PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 game at a 3 out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com for around $50.

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