Syndicate

Common Sense Media says

Violent, profanity-filled sci-fi shooter best in co-op mode.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game has very few positive messages because it primarily centers on violence. Its one positive is that you're a military agent fighting back against a Machiavellian world where corporations rule by any means necessary.

Positive role models

In the year 2069, you play as Miles Kilo, EuroCorp's latest prototype Agent, outfitted with a bio-chip called DART 6 implanted in your head. Therefore, not only are you a super sharpshooter with incredible accuracy, but you also have special powers, such as slowing down time and seeing through walls. You are tackling other corporate agents with violence, so your character isn't a very good role model.

Ease of play

The game is quite easy to play, especially for those who are used to first-person shooters. A mandatory tutorial makes up for the lack of a manual, plus the first few single-player missions will introduce new abilities and controls. While easy to control, the game can get tough because of its smart artificial intelligence.

Violence

This first-person shooter contains a lot of violence, blood, and gore. Along with your powers of perception and time manipulation, you must use weapons like machine guns, sniper rifles, grenades, and flamethrowers -- against human targets. Large splashes of red blood can be seen and in some cases, dismembered bodies. Enemy screams can be heard. Cut-scene sequences are also violent in nature, depicting acts of suicide and civilians being executed.

Sex

There is no nudity in the game, but in a futuristic strip club you can see two holographic women in two-piece bikinis dancing provocatively inside a storefront window.

Language

SYNDICATE contains strong profanity in the dialogue including words like "f--k," "s--t" and "a--hole," along with "bitch," ass," "damn" and "hell."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Serious privacy and safety concerns. In all three versions of the game -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC -- SYNDICATE can be played online against others, with support for voice chat. Because it's unmonitored and un-moderated, a gamer could hear profanity or other inappropriate words and dialogue.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not 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 (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Syndicate was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 11, 13, and 15 year old Written byGimmick February 25, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Violent, rude but very entertaining as well

This game is VERY violent, you can shoot enemies heads off, chop your enemies bodies in half with a minigun and snap enemies necks with a quick but cruel execution move. Although there is a ton of violence, there is little detail and not huge amounts of blood, which makes this suitable for no child under 13. The language is strong and plentiful, but nothing a 13 year-old wouldn't have heard before.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 25, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Language,violence,you name it.

I've just finished this game and can conclude this is a very violent,language filled,sex laced action shooter.There is nothing in it that you want your kids to see.Violence and language may be enticing to kids,but talk to them.Do they really want to see this kind of stuff in real life?Games are just as real as everyday life.Explain to your kids that.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bycallofduty5 July 9, 2012
AGE
16
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Gorefest

Syndicate is a remake of the old PS1 game Syndicate Wars. But this title is more of an FPS gorefest than the previous game. The violence is fast-paced, gory slaughterfest, with lots of blood splushing out from bodies and sometimes opponents are blown to gory bits and shred. Blood and gore is present throughout the game. The game was banned in Australia due to High Impact Violence. Parents: i'd say that this game is okay for people aged 16+ but any kids below, you should talk with them do you want them to play this sci-fi shooter. Above all else Syndicate is fun, profanitive and gory stylized shooter that will entertain.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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