altered_confusion's Syndicate (PlayStation 3) review

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Syndicate Review

This is Starbreeze Studios attempt at resurrecting a series that unfortunately disappeared before its time. Syndicate was once a Real-Time Tactics game, but for this iteration it is a First Person shooter. You will be taking on the role of Kilo a cyber enhanced individual working for one of the corporations/syndicates that basically rule the world. You will be sent on missions, and you'll have your fair share of enemies whose powers will match your own.

Graphically this game looks a bit dated. There are parts that look ok, but for some reason it looks like a game that barely got off of last generations and onto this generation of console, and yet it was made in 2012. I do have to say that I loved the DART system effects in the game. This is basically where everything goes to a vector scan of the area and any enemy you have previously seen you will see highlighted on the screen. It will also slow down time and decrease damage to you while increasing damage to your enemies. All the levels feel a bit boxy as well. It just didn't seem like the full power of the system was taken into effect when this game was created.

I did enjoy the voice work of at least a couple of the characters (Rosario Dawson (as Lily) and Brian Cox (as Denham)). The sounds of the game seem to be your average fair of gunfire and explosions, which isn't a bad thing, but at the same time there wasn't anything unique about it to differentiate it from the rest.

The controls have you using circle to crouch, R2 to enter and exit DART, L1 to aim, R1 to fire, pressing L3 and a direction caused you to run (my least favorite part of the game). The rest of the controls had you reloading, changing weapons, confirming actions, etc.

So you are working for Eurocorp and there's been a leak somewhere in the company and you are tasked with tracking it down, but there's some interesting twists that you discover which puts you in so much more danger. You're going to be hounded by enemies at every turn, there are going to be those who will require you to hack their cyber implants to cause them to do one of the following, commit suicide, assist you, making them an ally for a short amount of time, or backfiring their weapons making them vulnerable for a short amount of time. Now of course these only work on the puny minions sent your way, anyone with talent is immune to your hacking tricks, and the bosses... forget about it, though in some wierd way of making players hopeful they always show a small cut scene that shows your character trying to hack the opponent, which it always fails, and then you're able to pull in data about your opponent, but to what end? Well it doesn't really affect combat whatsoever. What I found is that the DART system is your friend, simply because for some reason most of the enemies you will face will get lucky with their shots at you, even if you're in cover, whereas you have no chance unless you hit them directly in the chest or the head, and even then that might take a while.

To be honest with you I was disappointed about this game from the start. It just didn't seemed polished, and if I didn't die so many times I think I would have cruised through this entire game and been left wonder what the hell was that when the game abruptly ends. This is yet another game where by the end of it I was finally excited to see what was going to happen next and then the credits rolled.

If you like cyber-punk games, you might like this game, but otherwise I'd rent the game if you really want to try it out, or just leave it alone. There's better games out there, and this is just a game that just doesn't feel like it belongs in 2012. So for this game I have to give it a 6.3 out of 10.

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