drops you in a future world where the chipped, connected few are the elite. Corporations own everyone this way, and not being a part of that elite few means you're the forgotten, part of the lowly masses that live below the massive skyscrapers that dominate the landscape. It's a dark view of the future where the well off are incredibly well off, and the poor live hopelessly derelict in comparison. In this world, your character, Miles Kilo, works for Eurocorp, protecting their interests and infiltrating rival corporations' territory. You're also testing an advanced chip for them called the DART 6. Yeah, there's no way you get by in a world of corporations without doing something to make them money, even while you're working.
This future world of corporations also feels pretty real in its story and plot. It's interesting to walk by a holographic greeter when you walk in the building. Rules, rules, rules are the norm in corporate heaven. Don't try to bypass your chip, don't ask questions, don't step out of line; the company is your life and will take care of you. But behind the scenes, espionage, secret projects, and a lot of human abuse is just boiling over. Even when you work for a company, you're never really safe.
Syndicate is a remake of the 1993 original Syndicate. Though I haven't played the original, Syndicate appears to live up to some of the themes of the original, at least. One of those themes is the violent nature of the game. No, this new game is not going to cause much controversy in the current gaming landscape, but it is still pretty brutal. One of the first techniques you learn is one that forces a chipped enemy to commit suicide. Your partner, Jules, is also a little on the ultra-violent side, killing innocent civilians, even though it's not necessary to the mission. It's perhaps not something that warrants discussion, but it it is odd when no one questions why he does this or even addresses it. It's not as if the corporation asks for dead civilians. And heck, in this corporate-controlled world, it looks like civilians are unarmed, completely harmless, and they're probably mandated by some sort of company policy to remain as such (or risk loss of job, house, entertainment privileges, etc.). Hmm, perhaps I've spent too much time in corporate America to let this slide from my mind.
Syndicate gives you some fun toys to play with and help you on your missions. One weapon has homing style missiles that let you lock on to each target and bend your shots around cover. Classic flamethrowers, Gatling guns, and missile launchers are all there. And there are abilities that come with your DART chip that can lead to some creative ways to clear a room or at least get your enemy out of cover. Your DART chip also allows you to see your enemies through walls, so you can get a heads up if they try to sneak around and flank you. But of course, don't expect any of this cool stuff to work on bosses.
Though there are a lot of extras and cool weaponry, this is pretty much a straight up shooter. There's an upgrade tree you can use to power up your health and abilities, but it's pretty simple. This is the kind of game that moves you along quickly, no need to do any heavy thinking or strategizing unless it's combat tactics.
Online play offers cooperative gameplay with a team of 4 people. You can customize an agent here, unlike in the Campaign Mode where you're always Miles Kilo. Online offers some advantages to the team based play, such as the ability to heal and revive your partner. It's just a shame some sort of split-screen co-op couldn't make it. I've probably said this quite a few times before, but it's just more fun to play with people next to you. It's also fun to be able to choose the maturity/age bracket of the players you hang out with, if you know what I mean.