When Syndicate Wars came out on the PC, it didn't fare as well as its competitors at the time (Command & Conquer, Warcraft, and so on) or the original Syndicate. For whatever reason, it wasn't a big enough jump forward, and the other real-time strategy titles burning up the charts were far superior. Syndicate Wars for the PlayStation, a port of the PC title, feels even more outdated - but with only a few real-time strategy titles to compete with, it warrants a look.
Syndicate Wars takes place in a Blade Runner-esque future where corporate syndicates have a hand in everything. Working for a syndicate, you must control various cyborg henchmen that carry out a variety of dirty deeds. With a bevy of weapons and tactics at your disposal, each mission is full of things to destroy and enemies to take out. Controlling four cyborgs at a time, the game moves at a relatively fast pace - and, once the action gets going, things get quite hectic. There is plenty of stuff to shoot at during each mission, and just about everything in the level can be destroyed. Unfortunately, the play control feels off (a problem that lots of PC ports have), and the game never plays smoothly, not even when you're fully used to the controls. What you're left with is a strategy game that would have made a much better shooter.
The graphics in Syndicate Wars look fairly average, which unfortunately means that in today's competitive marketplace, the graphics don't cut it. The 3D landscapes and light-sourced environments look nice, but the animated characters don't jump out enough for you to notice everything that is going on. The three-quarter top-down perspective works as you navigate most of the city-based areas, but it, along with most of the game's attributes, feels tired.
If you loved the PC version, only the play control in the PlayStation version will disappoint you. Fans of real-time strategy games will probably want to check this title out, but there just isn't enough here for the casual gamer that can't be topped by the PlayStation version of Command & Conquer.