This is a screenshot of Syndicate, featuring the player aiming a gun as enemies line up shots on the player.

Syndicate Review

Genre | First Person Shooter
Developer | Starbreeze Studios
Platforms | PC, PS3, XBOX 360

Syndicate is a first person shooter set in the future where the player plays as an agent of one of the eponymous syndicates. The agent’s name is Miles Kilo, a combination of two words that describe distances. Kilo is tasked with shooting a number of employees of the other syndicates, including boss enemies, one whom can jump high. Kilo has a microchip implanted in his brain that allows him to manipulate the environment and enemies. The game also has cooperative multiplayer.

Syndicate has twelve guns and a one grenade type. The weapons include a shotgun, a gun that locks on to enemies and fires homing bullets, a gun with a scope and iron sights that can be swapped between by turning the weapon sideways, and a minigun with infinite ammunition. The player can also use a melee attack. There are twenty missions. The player has three hacking powers. As the player progresses they are able to upgrade Kilo with various skills like shorter reload times or a protective shield.

The chip in the Kilo’s brain allows the player to hack enemy brain chips. This can cause the enemies to commit suicide by pulling out a grenade, explode an enemy’s weapon, or mind control an enemy to cause them to attack allies and then shoot themselves. The chip adds augmented reality aspects to the world, allowing the player to see the remaining ammunition in their weapon, get information about miscellaneous items in the environment, and scan propaganda to discover subliminal brainwashing messages hidden in them. Sometimes the player can remotely trigger things in the environment that raise or lower cover or cause other things to happen. The chip also allows the player to slow down time and see through walls.

The graphics in Syndicate are in a realistic style, except for the lighting, which is much brighter than real life. The environments are mostly stark cities made of metal and glass. There are also levels in dirtier locations. Neon lighting features predominantly, including red, pink, and blue lighting. The sounds are mostly of bullets and screams of civilians who get caught in the crossfire. There are also noises that characters make as they perform dialog. The music is electronic music. During the credits a Skrillex remix of the theme music from the original Syndicate game plays.

The player in Syndicate can slide along the ground by crouching while sprinting. There is no penalty for killing civilians in the game. As the player progresses through the game they unlock various information about the game’s world that can be read in the game’s menu. At one point the Kilo sits in a chair and listens while characters talk at them. At another point Kilo walks alongside a character while the player waits for Kilo to finish walking. That other character looks like Brian Cox and has his voice.

This is a score for an objective game review.