A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Syndicate is a "Mature"-rated sci-fi shooter that is centered heavily on violence. You play as a futuristic agent who must kill enemies with weapons (guns, grenades, etc.), bare hands (neck snaps), and by using your special abilities, thanks to a bio-chip implant. It is not for young players because of strong violence, blood, gore, and use of strong profanity. The game also contains light sexual imagery. It is playable online with open chat that isn't moderated, which could lead to hearing profanity and inappropriate dialogue.
What's it about?
A spiritual remake of a 1993 game, SYNDICATE, Electronic Arts' first-person shooter, takes place in 2069 in a society run by cutthroat corporations. With no government intervention to challenge their actions, three major corporations are vying for the American market: EuroCorp, Cayman Global, and Aspari. You play as Miles Kilo, a prototype agent for EuroCorp, with exceptional weapon skills, superhuman strength for melee combat, and perhaps most importantly, extraordinary abilities thanks to a bio-chip, DART 6, in your head. The bio-chip allows you to slow down time, see through walls, and hack others. In the single-player campaign, Syndicate features the voice talent of Rosario Dawson (Men in Black II, Sin City) and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity), while the storyline was written by sci-fi novelist Richard Morgan.
Is it any good?
Syndicate is a good game but it distinguishes itself with its superior online cooperative (co-op) play for up to four gamers. Requiring a free Origin account (Electronic Arts' Internet gaming network), you play as an up-and-coming syndicate named Wulf Western, vowing to take over the rival syndicates. This mode has nine different missions in the campaign -- with a few nods to the original 1993 game Syndicate -- as players team up to bump off each other syndicates' bosses and steal their technology from the bio-chips in their heads.
The single-player game -- which is also loaded with gunplay, special abilities, and a hacking mechanic -- is also fun but on the short side; plus the tough artificial intelligence (A.I.) will keep you on your toes. Syndicate is a challenging and intriguing sci-fi shooter for mature players.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why this video game publisher decided to resurrect an old franchise like 1993's SYNDICATE for a new generation of players in 2012. Why do you think they switched the genre from strategy to first-person shooter? Is it OK to use the same name but deliver a very different gameplay experience?
What is the impact of extreme violence in a video game?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: February 21, 2012
- Genre: First Person Shooter
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Science and nature
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.