Review by Arkhaine
Reviewed: 05/11/01 | Updated: 07/31/02
A dark, brooding game packed with good old fashioned fun
Syndicate is a big-time favourite game for me, it is filled with mayhem, destruction, cool weaponry and scary music. Yet another bullfrog masterpiece, this one was severely under-rated (at least in my area)
Syndicate doesn't have the most complex of storylines. It is the future and you are the head of a syndicate, a massive company/mafia group/government that pretty much rules like a dictatorship. You pretty much want to take over the world, and several other syndicates out their have the same idea.
You start the game with 8 specially designed cyborgs. You are able to inject them with drugs to increase or decrease speed, accuracy and strength during the game and replace organs and limbs after and before each mission. As you get more taxes from the regions you takeover you can research new weapons and new upgrades to the cyborg's bodies. As you increase their normal, puny human body to complicated machinery they will become stronger, tougher and smarter. It is a real blow later on in the game to lose a cyborg you've spent millions of dollars on believe me!
Each mission generally involves assassinating people, or maybe persuading certain political figures to your viewpoint (with the handy brain-scrambling persuadatron). Often you will find rival syndicated pursuing the same goals as you and you must kill or be killed to continue. The music flares up dramatically whenever you encounter a rival cyborg, and it can be quite frightening when you don't quite know where they are then BAM you're hit with a rocket launcher from out of the blue. Gripping stuff.
The missions all have a few paragraphs describing the reason as to why your killing this person or why your persuading that person and they are often quite humorous to read. My favorite mission would probably be the one where you must destroy every single civilian because they've all contracted the plague!
The graphics are quite sharp, with many varied terrain. The games stays true to the theme at all times, offering a gritty harsh futuristic world. You can jump into cars (which follow a set track) which are very fun to ride around in, running people over, etc. The games only problem is with indoor areas. Rather than fading away the roof or sending you into another screen you must navigate your men by using the tiny mini-map near the bottom of the screen, otherwise you are running blind. This can be particularly annoying when there are enemy agents or police bots inside!
Still, this game is very entertaining. It's humour is the traditional bullfrog quirkiness, which many people love. I highly recommend it to anybody who can actually find a copy.
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