By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Violent, profanity-filled sci-fi shooter best in co-op mode.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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SYNDICATE contains strong profanity in the dialogue including words like "f--k," "s--t" and "a--hole," along with "bitch," ass," "damn" and "hell."
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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.
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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
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: 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
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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