Syndicate isn't getting the praise it deserves.

User Rating: 8.5 | Syndicate PS3
Don't get me wrong. Syndicate can't touch the shooter juggernauts like Gears of War, Crysis, Call of Duty, and Battlefield, but it's still a great shooter in it's own right and is definitely worth any sci-fi FPS fan to check out.

The story is basic, but I do find it interesting. Essentially, in the future it's no longer about countries, so much as companies that essentially control the world. In the near future (2017) a product called DART is invented, which makes all previous communication devices obsolete. It is, if you will, an internal iPhone on crack, but also has combat specialties and things like X-ray vision. It's not a big story, but it gets the job done.

Visually, the game looks great. In it's lighting and graphics style, I'd call it similar to something like Killzone 2 or 3, but the bloom effects and some of the lighting are a bit intense. I didn't notice the problems very much though. The guns sound great and powerful, and each weapon has it's own unique style to it.

Some of the interesting game mechanics set Syndicate apart. I guess you could call it similar to Crysis, but it's still different enough to be original. You have 3 basic combat mechanics which are selected with the d-pad and activated with L2/LT. These 3 mechanics allow you to turn a soldier against his comrades, detonate their chip from the inside of their head (with very explosive results), and cause their weapon to backfire, knocking them over and allowing you to deal damage.

Besides this, Syndicate also controls very well. You can run and proceed to slide into cover (it features a simple Killzone 2 or 3 style system where you can crouch behind things and peak out over them) or attempt to run up to enemies and execute them in a particularly gruesome matter. The basic gun play is very good, and it's very seamless to go from shooting an enemy to hacking a turret to having an enemies gun backfire, all while allowing you to instantly get back to the action.

One of my favorite things about Syndicate is the HUD. It's all integrated into the screen, so things like ammo hover next to the left (or right) side of your gun, while firing modes accompany the other side and grenade count hovers beside the gun. It fits stylistically with the game, and it also makes sense, with the DART interface. Very simple to keep track of. Very well done.

The co-op is great. It's challenging, but fun, and probably the best reason to get this game. There's plenty of things to unlock and missions to play through, all of which are fun and interesting (at least the ones I've played). I find that it's most fun with 4 players, but even 2 players can still have a great experience.

Sure, Syndicate isn't going to dethrone any of the big shooters, or even sci-fi shooters, but for a reboot of a game from the early 90's, I think they did an amazing job. Syndicate deserves higher ratings, and I'm definitely buying a sequel if they make one. And any Syndicate fan who is avoiding this game because it's not a tactical shooter is just kidding themselves. It's great. If you aren't into co-op, then a rental is fine for the campaign, but definitely buy it if you're looking for a great co-op experience.

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