v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Syndicate | Done!

Recently I completed the game Syndicate on the xbox 360 (continuing to make my way though my backlog of games) :-).  The game is based on the game which has the similar name from a little over 20 years ago, by developed BullFrog.  The original syndicate game was a DOS and MacOS game (I am pretty sure it was on the Amiga as well) where the player started their own corporation with the aim of destroying rival corporations and dominating the world.  Quite dystopian if you think about it, but the only people who were enhanced were your soldiers.  The original game let the player control a team of 4 people, from a three quarters isometric view.  If you are interested in a long play of the game here is a youtube video of it.  I had completed the original game, and from what I remember the ending was pretty weak (you see a blimp saying 'congratulations, this is the dawn of a new era').  I guess it was OK for back in the day.

With nostalgia in full blast,I picked up this game to relive old experiences - or at least to see who this game was rebooted. The new game on the xbox (well newish by now) is a first person shooter like many of the games I've been playing lately. You play an agent of the Eurocorp syndicate and your goal is to make your syndicate great again (ermmm...LOL?). Along the road you find out about the corruption in the syndicate and how they've killed good people, abducted you as a kid, and made you an agent because you had some compatible genes (or something). In the end you take down the head of Eurocorp and you neural implant is untethered so you have free will to do whatever you want. That's it! No post-credit cutscene, no sequel, no nothing. Blerg...

 In the game your neural implan is upgradeable which enhances your weapon control, your health, and your stamina, and you get points t spend on updates by taking out enemy agents (end of stage bosses).  I played the game on easy since I wanted to get through the story more than be super duper challenged (tried it on hard, but even the  training stage was a bit tough to get through).  In addition to weapons (for which there isn't a ton of variety), you have three neural chip powers. You can overload you enemy's weapon (basically stuns them for a while), you can hack their chips and compel them to commit suicide, or you can hack your enemy's chips to compel them to work for you against their team. The more you get an adrenaline rush, the quicker these capabilities recharge.   Given the cyberpunk feel of the world, where everything and everyone seems chipped, it seems like this was a wasted opportunity on the part of developers to make the game world a little more immersive.  Throughout the game you search for people profiles and propaganda (optional goals), but your chip powers don't really help you a ton with hacking the world.

Overall this seemed like a fun shooter, and glimpse into a dystopian future of corporate overlords and loss of personal will through technological hacking of the biological.  It would have been a much better game if it didn't feel like a skin over a run-of-the-mill shooter. In terms of achievements, I earned 9 of them (for 9% of the total).  I don't think I'll be going back for more - at least any time soon :-)

Have you played this game?  What did you think?

See Older Posts...