|System: Xbox 360*, PS3, PC|
|Release: February 21, 2012|
|Players: 1-4 (Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes.|
Syndicate features online co-op missions where you'll be playing as a part of a squad, taking on the role of a character that persistently upgrades after each mission. There are nine unique maps and many different goals to complete, and teamwork is required for each of them. Enemy encounters are far more random and more difficult, though defeating enemies allows you to upgrade your loadouts with new weapons and abilities, some of which you can't access in the single-player. You can also resurrect your teammates should they fall in battle, or even heal them if their life is running low.
Strangely enough, co-op here feels less like a first-person shooter and more like Diablo; you never really feel like your goal is to complete the campaign, but to upgrade your character instead. You'll happily play the same maps over and over again just to gain a little bit more experience. You'll be more compelled to play many of these at higher difficulty settings for the better rewards that come with them. Since the enemies attack with the same health and numbers no matter what party size you bring into the game, bringing in a full four-person party almost feels like cheating, but in a good way. Eventually you'll create the exact class you want, but then you'll then have little reason to play the multiplayer anymore because there is nothing left to upgrade.
Syndicate is, all things considered, a competent shooter. It has some good ideas that are unfortunately marred by repetitive gameplay and out-of-place puzzle elements. Its true strengths lie in its interesting setting and fast-paced gameplay. I would recommend this game to cyberpunk or sci-fi fans looking for a good shooter to hold them over. Syndicate won't be winning any awards anytime soon, but it's certainly worth its 60-dollar price tag.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: February 21, 2012