At first glance, Syndicate looks a lot like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. As you play through the game however, it becomes evident that the similarity exists only in the representation of an oppressive, bleak future for humanity and of course, cheap boss fights. Syndicate is an all out first person shooter that’s as straightforward as can be. It makes you think that it’s a bit different from the crowd but falls prey to the many gameplay mechanics that have plagued previous shooters in the past. This results in an enjoyable game that’s bogged down by quite a few frustrating issues.
The game takes place in the significant future and players step into the bio-engineered boots of an Agent called Miles Kilo. Now by Agent, the game does mean a glorified errand boy for Eurocorp head honcho, Jack Denham. For the first half of the game everyone’s happy as Kilo spends his time shuttling between locations, killing off all the competition – literally. Things get a bit complicated when Kilo learns the truth about his maker and the price he had to pay to earn his abilities. It’s a plot you’ve seen in hundreds of games (and movies) so you’ll be forgiven if you don’t fall out of your chair out of shock by the time the credits roll.
What makes Kilo such a good errand b... I mean Agent is the fact that he’s been tweaked with the DART 6 bio-chip, a prototype chip that simply put, grants him super human abilities. He can slow time down, hack turrets, doors elevators and pretty much every electronic item out there. Like Kilo, other humans in the future have been chipped as well and the DART 6 chip now allows him to hack into their brains and control their actions. That’s always a plus point in Kilo’s line of work where every day ends with a few hundred dudes being shot down.
Syndicate is a very linear affair which means you’ll be led from one level to another all the way till the credits end. However, gameplay actually offers a significant amount of variety thanks to all the juice coursing through your brains, courtesy of the DART 6 chip. For starters Kilo has the ability to slow time down and see through walls which is always nice. Since he can hack a bunch of stuff, he can breach turrets and use them against the enemy or even hack into and defuse a grenade before it blows his arms off.
Someone gonna get hurt bad
Other more significant abilities include Suicide, Persuasion and Backfire. Persuasion forces the breached individual to turn on his foes, Backfire temporarily malfunctions weapons and stuns enemies while Suicide causes the breached individual’s head to explode damaging/killing nearby soldiers in the process. Choosing which powers to use at different intervals gives Syndicate a tactical feel not seen in many first person shooters. Every power has a certain cool down period as well so you can’t just continuously spam them. Once exhausted, you need to replenish them by pulling off headshots or executing enemies. Combining these abilities with some stealth missions would have been ace but unfortunately, there aren’t any to be found in this game.