“ Genre: Adventures & Role-playing „
The premise of syndicate wars is simple. An evil syndicate called Eurocorp has taken over the world through the use of military power and mind control. However, a virus has weakened the mind control system, liberating numerous citizens who form a militia to destroy Eurocorp.
You take on the role of either the syndicate or the militia and your ultimate goal, through a series of missions, is to eliminate your rival. You can control the actions of up to four agents at a time, giving orders such as to attack a target, defend their position, collect items etc.
The game features a variety of weapons, from machine guns, to rocket launchers to psycho gas grenades that make people go crazy and start killing each other. My favourite is a weapon called Satellite rain, which is essentially a laser burst from an orbiting satellite which obliterates everything in its radius (including your own guys if you're not careful).
Missions take place in various cities around the globe and generally take the form of either assassinating your enemy, protecting an ally, or brainwashing an enemy scientist to join your side. The cities themselves can be quite small, however they are beautifully constructed. It's easy to see that the developers spent a long time trying to create the feel of a real living city. Citizens can be seen going about their daily business, vehicles traverse the numerous highways and side roads, police can be seen neutralising bad guys, and massive electronic billboards depict various adverts, announcements and even clips of Judge Dredd. The best part of these cities is that many of them contain one or more banks. If you get bored doing the missions then why not take a break and conduct a bank heist instead? Enter the bank, plant a few explosives, watch the building turn to rubble and then collect the loot before the cops come. It's so much fun!
However, what makes this game for me is the idea of the indoctrinator. This is a brainwashing device which you can use on citizens to turn them over to your side. These citizens then form your own personal army. following you everywhere you go. You can arm them with weapons you've collected from dead enemies and send them off to eliminate threats. This is such a simple idea and it works perfectly. There's something wonderfully delicious about seeing 30 brainwashed citizens all attacking one solitary enemy while your agents just stand back and watch.
While this game is great fun, it does have a couple of minor flaws. To get your agents to each equip the same weapon you have to hold down R1 and then press a direction on the pad. Most of the time this works as intended, but sometimes instead of equipping the weapon your agents will actually drop it on the ground. Not good if you're in a massive firefight at the time! Another minor disappointment is that, whichever side you choose to play as, the final mission is always the same. And its hard. Very hard!
Overall, Syndicate Wars is a very fun game with very few flaws. The biggest problem you are going to have with this game is actually finding a copy as it is quite old and therefore hard to find. Amazon are currently selling a new copy for £39.99 which in my view is extortionate! However, they also recently had a used copy for £2.99 so my advice is shop around for the best bargain and maybe buy second hand rather than new.
Syndicate wars is another offering by Bullfrog, I only realised this fact when I was looking at the box while getting ready to write this review. This suprises me somewhat as it's not a game I would have readily assosciated with the usually humour laden, light hearted approach to vide game development that are synonymous with Bullfrog.
Far from a cheery hospital or a super fun theme park, the content of Syndicate wars is much darker. For me syndicate is a shining example of how graphics really don't matter at all as long as certain other elements are realised to their fullest. Elements such as a compelling narrative, excellent gameplay and a superb atmosphere, Syndicate has all this and more in spades.
Let's start with the story. It is the not so distant future and the world is ruled by a massive corporation known as EuroCorp, assisted by the use of powerful A.I that is linked throughout the globe, Eurocorp rule over a dark and dystopic future where terrorism and mind control are rife.
However, a recent insurrection involving a cultist group known as the church of the new epoch has seen a potential shift in world power. The church has designed 'Harbinger', a malicious virus that they havve managed to install in the data banks of EuroCorps powerful A.I. One by one the terminals disconnect from eachother to avoid the virus' spread. Thats where you come in, will you lead your four kitted out and augmented agents to reassert unyielding control over the earth or will you defect and join the ranks of the mysterious church led by "the nine".
The gameplay is not overly complex, it is a simple matter of keeping your agents alive, stealing hover cars, blowing up banks for cash and mowing down police and disciples of the church. With simple objectives such as, kill that person or destroy that building. Although simple, the gameplay is effective and is very addictive.
When you couple the simple yet effective gameplay with a deep and compelling story, an absolutely dreching atmosphere and the ability to upgrade your agents and purchase destructive weaponary, you know you've got a real pearler on your hands.
As mentioned the atmosphere is a defining aspect of the game, you really are plonked in the middle of a hostile city, drab, dark with a feeling of dispassion and almost machine like neutrality in the surrounding metropolis.
Bullfrog manage to convey the game entirely as they meant to, the game has a clear direction. The story fits perfectly with the atmosphere creating a truly unforgettable game.
There are a good number of missions to take on (around 20 for each faction) and will even see you travelling to the moon for the big finale.
There aren't many games I would feel comfortable giving a 10 out of 10 for but this is certainly one of them, it's not perfect but thankfully there's no such thing as absolute perfection (otherwise we all would have given up long ago).
-Graphics (may matter to some)
-Got me addicted then failed to release a sequel
The sequel to the now rather ancient 'Syndicate' game for the PC, Syndicate Wars puts you in command of a high-tech futuristic corporation, allowing you to control a squad of four heavily cybernetically enhanced, trenchcoat-wearing 'agents' on various missions throughout numerous living, breathing, Bladerunner-style, dystopian cityscapes.
The aim of the missions varies from assassinating rival company executives, gangleaders and politicians, stealing secret intelligence or weapons prototypes and bombing commercial/residential/governmental buildings, and is a simple case of clicking on the person/structure you wish to attack, at which point your agents will pull guns out of their trenchcoats and start blasting away. The game has a really cool Robocop/Terminator/Judge Dredd feel to it, with the weapons at your disposal including uzis, shotguns, miniguns, rocket-launchers and laser weapons, with lots of pitched battles between you and large numbers of street punks, gangsters, police and government soldiers taking place on the rainy, sleazy streets under the glare of dark and looming skyscrapers. There are plenty of innocent civilians wandering about the maps, and these can be gunned down at random or made good use of via the Persuadertron, a handy little device that brainwashes them into rallying to your cause, making them wander around your characters acting as human shields and collect weapons from the bodies of your fallen enemies before blasting away at your foes.
The graphics look a little dated now but still have lots of charm, mixing 3d structures and vehicles with 2d character sprites, but overall the game is still visually appealing despite its pixellated appearance. The 3d environment is fully rotatable, which comes in very handy as your cyborgs navigate the maps' urban sprawl, and the levels have numerous working transport systems, allowing you to hijack futuristic trains and hovercars when you need to make a quick getaway. Everything can be blown up too, with buildings coming crashing down satisfyingly when explosives are planted at their base. In between each mission there is a resource-management section, in which you can develop new weapons and cybernetic enhancements for your agents, manage your funds and choose which missions to embark upon.
Like most of Bullforg's releases Syndicate Wars is conceptually brilliant but slightly flawed on the gameplay front, with the missions sometimes becoming repetitive and the gameplay overly simplistic. There is enough in the way of gore, pyrotechnics, explosions and huge urban gunfights to retain interest for a good while though, and Syndicate Wars remains great for the occasional atmospheric, futuristic blastfest.
About 3 months ago, I purchased a game for my Playstation 1 called Syndicate Wars. As it was an old game I snapped it up in Electronics Boutique for 7 GBP, a bargain I thought and off home I skipped with my new buy. Now, a few months later I am still playing and trying to complete the game (level 32 of 38), the addiction factor and size of the game are second to none. ~~~~~~GAME STORY~~~~~~ The story behind Syndicate Wars is hardcore science fiction so if you are not into the genre then you probably won?t be able to get into the game. The world is in chaos and two global co-operations are in direct conflict as to who will reign supreme. The Eurocorp organization is the big fish, armed with lots of money and an army of robotic cyborg soldiers, they are the favorites to win the war of who takes ultimate control. The Church of the new Epoch, COTNE, they are a holy sect with good intentions for the world, however, in order for them to take control they must defeat the Eurocorp organization by any means possible. The COTNE don?t have a great deal of money at their disposal and so rely heavily on their ability to devise new and strange weapons to aid them in their fight. Both these organizations have to contend with rebel guerillas, small terrorist organizations and various militia, who stand in the way of their quest for global dominance as well. ~~~~~~STARTING THE GAME~~~~~~ When you start your game you must first choose your allegiance to either the Eurocorp or the Church of the new Epoch. You are given a small troop containing 8 men of which, in every mission you are only allowed to use 4. Once you have made your choice you are then presented with a screen containing your mission briefing and targets: Your cryovat (which is a storage facility to keep your troops, you can also upgrade your teams cyborg suits from here): An equipment screen where you can buy and sell wea
ponry for your troops: An options menu to save and load games and change your settings and finally the start game icon. You must always read your mission briefing before you are allowed to start your next mission though. HELPFUL HINT: On your mission briefing screen only the GREEN text is your actual mission, the pink text is simply helpful knowledge that will help you complete your task at hand. ~~~~~~GRAPHICS~~~~~~ The graphics in Syndicate Wars are a visual treat, everything is just so darn realistic and believable and this gives you a real sense of atmosphere. The city streets are very colourful and the lighting effects are given center stage so the scene looks very dark, neon lit and futuristic. The viewpoint is very similar to Grand Theft Auto in that you have a kind of birds eye view of the scene surrounding your team. You can see a certain distance in front and behind your men and coupled with the use of your radar (more on that later) you are aware of any attacks a few seconds before they happen. You can leave your team in a certain spot and look around the entire city to plot your next move if you wish. This is made easier by the fact that, if a skyscraper blocks your view, it will immediately become transparent and ghost like so that you can see all around, hence giving you full control of the entire surroundings. The best part of the graphical features for me, are that when anyone is killed in the city their carcass will melt into a pool of blood and remain there until the level is completed, so you know where you have and have not been before. The same goes for any buildings and cars that you blow up, there will be a huge pile of rubble where the object once was. This is quite different from some similar games that I have played before, where once you leave the scene, any dead bodies will disappear and everything returns to normal. This can be quite confu
sing but not in Syndicate Wars, you can simply take out your frustrations by destroying everything in sight and watching the brilliant explosions as you stroll through the streets making a huge mess along the way. ~~~~~~SOUND AND MUSIC~~~~~~ The sound effects are really cool, all the weapons and explosions sound real and when someone is killed, their screams of pain and terror are almost frightening. The good thing with Syndicate Wars is that you can actually hear people fighting, screaming and shooting off screen so you know when you are about to walk into trouble. You are also warned when any police presence is in your vicinity by the loud warning ?Halt Police, throw down your weapons? The music is fairly haunting and surreal but isn?t too overpowering to get on your nerves. The themes basically flit in and out of the game occasionally and simply add to the games awesome atmospherics, at times I almost felt like I was inside some kind of Hollywood science fiction movie such as Blade Runner. ~~~~~~GAME INFORMATION, CONTROLS AND PLAYABILITY ~~~~~~ Now this is the catch with SW, the controls are so vast that they really do take some mastering. There are so many things that your men a capable of doing, that every single button on your joypad will come into use at some point during the game, sometimes you will even need to use button combinations as well. You start each level with 4 men but you then have the choice from within the game to move and use them together or separately. If you decide to leave any men behind while you go off and do a certain task, then you can program them to be on alert and they will then attack (totally without your aid), anyone with a gun who happens to walk past. Alternatively, if you have a Multi Tap adapter, then you can have 3 of your friends take control of a man each. At first, your men are simply normal people with a basic oozy machine gun bu
t after ea ch mission is completed, you are given access to new and improved weapons such as laser guns, flamethrowers, missile and grenade launchers, exploding razor wire and loads of other weird stuff. You can also arm your men as the game progresses with various levels of robotic armor, this will make them harder to kill and gives you more control when you are attacked. All these things though, cost money so you are advised to pick up suitcases whenever you see one. The cities and complexes that you play the game in are totally interactive and so people, cars and robots will move around on their own steam and occasionally get in your way. If you shoot your weapon though, any normal civilians will scream and run away from you, whilst police and bad guys with run straight at you with all guns blazing. When you have killed any bad guys, they will often drop their weapons and other handy items (money cases, knockout gas and bombs) that they happen to be carrying. NOTE: These will be symbolized by a small box that appears when you step over a dead body to show you exactly which items the bad guy was carrying at the time of his death. If he drops a bomb (which looks like a red and blue flashing sphere) pick it up quickly as it will explode after a few seconds. You can pick these items up and use them yourself but each one of your men can only carry a certain number of items and only one of each type of item. These items have to be swapped or selected from a pop up menu, which you can access during play. You can also steal parked up vehicles that may have been left, these are vital for gaining entry into walled off compounds as the gates are automated and will only open for people in cars, trucks or tanks. The complexity of the controls will mean that if you only like simple 2 or 3 button platform games such as Crash Bandicoot, then you will NOT like this but if like me, you yearn for a challenge then thi
s will be a gam e to try. Trust me though, when you master the games controls, you really don?t forget them, even if you don?t play for a couple of days. I gave a friend of mine a quick go and he lost all of his men in a matter of seconds and nearly hurled my joypad at the TV, so it is very frustrating if you don?t work out the controls first. In some areas of the game you will need to use a Persuadertron, this is a device that allows you to brainwash people into being your friend. Some people are stronger minded than others though and you need to make your Persuadertron field bigger. You do this by persuading some ordinary members of the public, the more people you persuade, the stronger your Persuadertron becomes and you can brainwash higher minded people such as Police and enemy soldiers. I have personally had quite a bit of fun with this device as I tried to persuade as many people as I possibly could and at one stage, I had half of the city following me around. This was of course, until I was attacked by a small army of soldiers who wiped out my entire clan leaving behind a very large pool of blood but it gave me the chance to escape unharmed. Syndicate Wars has 19 strategic, action packed missions (38 in total) for you to complete for each co-operation (Eurocorp and COTNE). Sometimes you have to search for and destroy bad guys, other times you have to protect and escort important people to a certain place, whilst half of the cities low lives are hell bent on making sure you fail and other times you simply have to steal a suitcase full of atomic secrets which is located in the middle of an enemy base (very difficult). Each level is more of a challenge than the last one and they really can get difficult in the later stages. Finally, as mentioned earlier, in the bottom left hand corner of your screen there is a small radar map with various coloured dots on it, these are to show you where your
men need to be in o rder for them to complete the mission at hand. This map also lets you see where the bad guys are and any guns or money cases that they might have dropped. For example, RED dots are your mission objectives, WHITE dots are the bad guys and little GREEN or YELLOW dots are guns, bombs and money cases. It does sound complicated but it really isn?t once you get used to it, the first couple of missions are designed simply for practice purposes to get you going anyway. At the end of each mission you are presented with a debriefing screen, this tells you how many baddies you killed, how much money you lost and gained and how many men you lost, basically a statistic screen which, if for nothing else, is fairly interesting. Finally, Syndicate Wars is definitely NOT a game for children, it has a 15 certificate because of the level of violence involved and is also quite gory in parts. If however, you?re a fan of violence and gore like I am (simulated of course) and you like to use your brain to figure out different strategy moves, then you will love this game. I still haven?t fully completed it yet and as it is so easy to get wrapped up in, it will last for months. I have found though, that you do need to come away every now and then, as the whole scenario can leave you feeling a little claustrophobic. The game uses 1 memory card block, and is compatible with the PSX Mouse. ~~~~~~PRICE AND AVAILABILITY~~~~~~ Syndicate Wars is now a fairly old game and as such, you will struggle to find it in the likes of HMV or Virgin. Your best chance of picking up a copy is in places like Electronics Boutique and Gamestation, a second hand copy will probably cost you between 5 and 10 GBP. They have copies in stock at Gamestation for 5.99 GBP, the site link is at the end of this opinion. ~~~~~~HINTS AND TIPS~~~~~~ *Always look out for suitcases that may have been dropped and
pick them up, money is of vital importance in this game. *Always take your men and scour and dead baddies for weapons, once you have done with them, you can sell them back to the surplus and gain extra money. *It is a good idea to set traps around your base (the place where you start each mission) then if you are being chased by a large number of nasties at some point in the game, you can always lead them into your trap for easy disposal. *Keep your eyes and ears open for noise or panic and learn how to read your radar map as this will be of vital importance. *Choose your weapons and items carefully for each mission, these can be expensive to buy but are frequently dropped by baddies when they die, so pack light and utilize your enemies weapons, thus saving you the need to spend money. *Finally, always make sure you have a canister of Knockout gas handy, you never know when this will come in handy. ~~~~~~CONTACT INFORMATION~~~~~~ Syndicate Wars is produced by Electronic Arts and Bullfrog, the customer service telephone numbers are: 0990 998877 01753 546465 Address: Electronic Arts Ltd PO BOX 835 Slough SL3 8XU UK Also, here?s a few web sites you that may interest you: Electronic Arts official site, http://www.uk.ea.com Bullfrog official site, http://www.bullfrog.com Electronics Boutique official site, http://www.electronicsboutique.co.uk Gamestation official site, (copies are available from here) http://www.gamestation.co.uk Thanks for reading DEANO!
Syndicate Wars plays like a dream. The environment looks so real, you can shoot lights and the light sourcing will adjust to leave that area in darkness, objects cast shadows, its brilliant. There are huge video walls in most cities that play Manga cartoons and Judge Dredd videos. Quite often you find yourself stopping to watch in the middle of combat!! The vehicles are amazing as well. Now you can drive the normal hovercar as well as police cars, ambulances, armoured personnel cariers, vans, battle tanks and even a hover car that can fly enabling you to move in three dimensions and perform sneaky surprise attacks on enemy bases. While they guard the main gate you can land at the back of the fort, perform your objectives like persuading a scientist and then leave without them even knowing you were there! There are also plenty of weapons to choose from. As the game progresses you are able to research new weapon technologies which enable you to be even more destructive. Much fun can be had by setting explosives next to buildings and watching them crumble to the ground in an impresive explosion of dust and debris. The best part of Wars is being able to rob banks! Ok so the approach used isn't all that subtle, you blow them up! The unguided also find this a good source of income. One of my favourite tricks is to wait for an unguided citizeen to lay the explosives next to the bank, and when he runs for cover I activate the cyborgs sheilds and wait next to the building. When the bank explodes im protected because I've got my sheild on and it means I can get to the money before the unguided and beat a hasty retreate. Naturally they don't appreciate this tactic and go hell for leather to try and get the money back! The control system has been adjusted since the original syndicate game. The three drug bars have been replaced by a single bar which makes it a lot easier in the heat of battle to make adjustments. Controlling the team as seperat
e groups is now possible thanks to a button that enables you to choose how many agents you want to follow the selected agent. This is very useful because it means you can split the group up and control them easier than in the original game. Syndicate Wars is one of the best games I've played in a long time. Gameplay wise it's right up there with Quake which is as high an accolade as you can get. The graphics are gorgeous, the sound is good and the gameplay will have you glued to your monitor screen for months.
Syndicate Wars is the sequal to the classic Syndicate game originally released on the Amiga. It was given huge critical acclaim then and their were a lot of excited gamers waiting for this. The game involves the player comtrolling 4 members of a Syndicate as they attempt to gain control of cities and try to wipe out enemy agents. To do this you are armed to the teeth with a huge variety of weapons and other devices including bombs and one even lets you take control of other agents. Heavy emphasis is put on strategy in Syndicate Wars and you may well find yourself take more than one attempt to complete a mission. The intelligence of enemy agents makes the game a lot harder. They work in temas to stop you from completeing your task. The main criticism of Syndicate Wars is probably that it doesn't capture the atmosphere of the original. Too much emphasis is placed on graphics and making the game look impressive than on gameplay. Overall though Syndictae Wars is a fine game and it will keep you going for a long time. It definatley isn't one for young kids though because it is very complicated and will take a long time to complete.
Syndicate Wars has a 3/4 perspective similar to X-Com: UFO Defense's, but with a well-functioning rotatable view. One to four players control cybernetically enhanced Agents, who can upgrade weapons and receive surgical implants. The first couple of levels which I've seen so far are dark (it seems to be nighttime ), and the setting is in the future, when Blade Runner-esque hover cars zip around city blocks. Once you figure out how to hop in one of these cars you'll be pleased with the transportation effects, though it's sort of a passive process. The cityscape is covered with citizens and baddies. The citizens, who have cybernetic brain implants which *normally* keep them mellow, are often screaming or running because of a computer virus, but can be persuaded back to sanity with a Persuadetron. Once persuaded, citizens become behaviorally malleable tools of the Agents; citizens can pick up guns off dead baddies and fire them when an Agent fires his own weapon. Imagine a crowd of 15 or so "persuaded" men and women, many of whom have weapons, all of whom follow you about as you cut down the enemy. Unlike X-Com: UFO Defense, this title is stuffed with animations and audile hubbub. The animations include big screen billboards of movies, and strangely rippling water/sludge in open-air channels. The sounds include policeman shouts and Uzi weapon discharges. Some of the gameplay features include bank robbing (hey, I thought Eurocorp were the good guys -- I guess this depends on whom you ask), escorting someone, protecting a building, seeking out and killing baddies, evacuating from an area, and conducting espionage. Syndicate Wars has a lot of little touches, such as inconvenient feedback loops to an Agent's energy pack when using unresearched weapons. Also, the first time you activate an Agents shi
elds and notice how they look a lot like the personal shield devices from the SCI-FI movie Dune, you'll be very impressed (if you were a fan of the movie, like me). So far I've only played it in 2-player mode. It's confusing with two people at first, but the teamwork aspect is a lot of fun, especially when you begin to successfully coordinate your onscreen efforts. So far I'm excited by the game. I'm looking forward to trying it in 1-player mode, though I've been told by my brother-in-law that it's very difficult familiarizing oneself with the controls. BTW, while I'm mentioning controls, this game supports the mouse ... which is yet another parallel with X-Com: UFO Defense. I cannot say whether it'll have the addiction factor of X-Com, but it's a lot of fun so far; and the replay value seems high, given the apparent option of playing as either Eurocorp or the Church of the New Epoch. More later, probably.
Been a big fan of the first syndicate game I was looking forward to getting my hands on the follow up game. After waiting ages for this game to be released I didn’t bother to buy it (I recommend you try this game before you buy it). I found the game itself sucked the control system was questionable. The graphics and sound did the job they were suppose to but just I am afraid this game sucked another case of been over hyped in the press in my opinion. I have seen this for 50p at boot sales and for about £4 in the second hand shops says a lot.
I borred this game from a friend for a week, I gave it him back after 2 days. This game is awful, it has to be one of the worst games I have played in my entire life. Basically it is a futuristic flight sim with some guns thrown in for effect. The graphics and sound are tacky and cheap and it has no addiction factor what-so-ever, in fact, as soon as I started to play it I wanted to stop. Leave this one on the shelf, I'm glad I didn't buy it.
Syndicate Wars is the sequel to the original Syndicate game and is essentially the same game with some nice updates. The basis of the game is that you control a futuristic syndicate, using a team of four operatives from a pool of them you complete a series of missions to advance your Syndicate's aims. The type of mission might be robbing a bank, an assassination or capturing a scientist. The only thing you can be certain is that they won't be for the good of mankind. Syndicate Wars graphically updates on Syndicate with a much more detailed environment, the graphics still hold well even today. There is a grimey cyberpunk feel to the environments just as you'd expect from the game's plot. Other improvements include the ability to blow up buildings and to create carnage on a much larger scale.than in the first game. Cities are filled with a population who will typically run away once they realise who you are, so the amount of detail on screen is impressive. Gameplay is varied and enjoyable. Each mission will usually take several attempts to do things right. Completion of a mission gives you more money to play with, money that can buy weapons and enhancements to your operatives. Before a mission begins you equip your operatives for the field and once you're sure they've got the weapons they neeed set them loose. Once in the field you can use the mouse to move them about as a group or separately. You can set how intelligently they can act or how fast they should move, but these wear out over time so don't over use them. You are free to roam the city as you like, destroy what you want, steal cars, take control of people's minds (there's nothing like having 50 civilians under your control and using them as a human shield). You can do whatever sick thing is needed to complete the mission objective. The range of the city is limited, but with such choices it doesn' t curb play. Once you've come up with a
strategy you can settle down to inacting it, but don't be surprised by sudden twists of events. Also available is a multiplayer mode where you can share control of your team out to other players. Having tried this a little it can be quite fun and certainly makes things easier when things get tight for your team. It's non-competitive which makes a nice change, but I think ultimately limits it as it doesn't offer much over playing on your own (ok, you can blame someone else when things go wrong). Syndicate Wars is an excellent game, updating an orginal strategy game. Graphically it may show it's age a little, but it's still a good looker. Look around in bargain bins for this one, it's worth the money being charged there's many hours of gameplay in there.