Hidden Gems of the Gaming World : Syndicate

Hidden Gems of the Gaming World is a new post series here on J Station X that talks about the games that you should buy (though will most likely overlook).Syndicate Headhunting Logo

“Syndication for the nation!”, the heralds will cry.

“Corporations, criminals, television shows!”, “Syndicate ALL the things!”, Internet meme posters will bellow from behind their laptop screens.
Meanwhile, you are sat there thinking ‘how on Earth is any of this relevant to my gaming interests?’.

Back in the ancient times of 1993, a game called ‘Syndicate’ was released. It was an “isometric tactical squad” game that put you in charge of four agents with the task of killing, escorting and persuading various high profile figures.

The last game in the franchise (Syndicate Wars) was released almost two decades ago but EA are starting from scratch, rebooting the series and throwing out the clunky, block-like graphics of old, giving it a futuristic look and a myriad of gameplay options to boot for its upcoming 2012 release.

Click ‘Continue Reading’ to find out why Syndicate is worth your time.

Syndicate Screenshot 2

As I stated, the last Syndicate game was released 16 years ago in 1996, though thankfully EA has no plans to bring back any of those other god awful 90s’ staples (hair scrunchies, hammer pants, Milli Vanilli) so you shouldn’t overlook the game based on whatever traumatising 20th century fashion memories that are inhabiting the dark, dank recesses of your mind. The best way to describe what EA are trying to do with the revamp of Syndicate in one sentence is “Deus Ex meets Metal Gear Solid and they have a baby, Monopoly”.

Yes, Monopoly.

I know it sounds as bizarre as the Zubaz pants (another horrific product of the 90s) look, but the premise of the game is much saner.

Syndicate Screenshot 1

The ‘new’ Syndicate game is a First-Person shooter, set in in 2069 (69, LOLZ!) that pits you as the employee of a corporation in a new modern era where democrats, republicans and coalitions (if you’re British) no longer exist and corporations are responsible for the lay of the land. Imagine McDonalds being responsible for your health benefits, say. Your job role as ‘corporation employee’ is to swan around in a leather trenchcoat, getting stabby, hacking computers and beating your company’s rivals for power (like a rogue BK fry cook). Just like Deus Ex Human Revolution, you have access to augmentations and are encouraged to use stealth to wage war (the trailer sees you entering an enemy officer’s mind, having him kill his colleague before committing suicide) – “the syndicates will stop at nothing for ultimate market dominance”.

Short of being an actual sequel of Eidos’ Deus Ex, EA seem to have built a sure thing here, even if it is being overlooked due to us knowing very little about the game. Despite any similarities to other franchises, Syndicate looks like it can hold its own, though we’ll soon find out how well it can carry itself when it’s released for Xbox 360 and PS3 on the 24th of February, 2012.

Like the sound of Syndicate? – Leave a comment!