Bullfrog have released only fourteen games in their seventeen year career (this is from memory I think it is right), but unlike other more prolific games developers, most of Bullfrog's games have stood the test of time.
The first, Populous, was a strategy game which put you in the mighty shoes of a God, playing with the lives of peasants and armies, creating religions and raising mountains out of the sea with only a click of the mouse. Something about its blatant grandiosity was utterly addictive and the game spawned dozens of copyists (including, of course, Populous 2) but the original outsold them all, eventually topping the 2 million mark.
Populous was like a game of chess in which you could design your own board and watch the pieces come to life but, like a chess game, you felt no compassion or empathy for the pawns you pushed around. What was needed was a personal touch, and that came with Syndicate in 1993, a game which is as exciting and impressive today as it was nine years ago.
You are the team leader of a number of Eurocorp cybernetically enhanced agents, to do with as you please, with a basic supply of weapons to use. You, being the boss, control your agents from a command centre flying in the sky above.
On logging on you get a New Mail note flashing? This is the way you get the next mission, which you accept or reject. This gives various scenarios based in countries around the globe. The missions can have more than one objective, with combinations varying from one or more of the following: - Eliminate, Persuade, and Escort/Protect, Acquire and evacuate.
You have to kit your four agents out with equipment and weapons to aid in the mission, with limitations; you only carry one of any particular weapon, it is the future and you don’t need ammo...this is supplied by the agent’s energy. Weapons and equipment cost’s money. After completing a mission you earn money and also pick things up along the way that you can sell. If you find a weapon not seen before you can put it in to research back at base.... Which costs money, but when your lab guys finish their research you get to use it.
You also increase your agents abilities buy buying.... Better legs, brain, body etc. These makes you aim better, withstand more hits, move faster, You must research these too.
I loved the original, this game has the same feel to it, but brought up to date; the animation, sound and video clips are wicked and the continuity from the original works well, more missions which are hard, the only problem is the agents. They are bigger than the original or should I say that the overall view is taken at a closer shot so you get less surrounding view. The reason I quibble about this is because I played the original, and this makes it harder, Syndicate Wars is not going to gather dust on your shelf because you play it a few times, it has longevity.