Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
No, not that one. The other one. Yes, the FPS. EA trying to resurrect Bullfrog’s top-down tactical series as an FPS was obviously going to rile up the people it was supposed to excite, but ignore the name. It’s a pleasant spot of face-shooting in a sumptuous cyberpunk world of gleaming clean lines and filthy neon. I don’t remember much of the campaign, but writing this has me wanting to dive back into the co-op.
Syndicate’s campaign is something about Johnny Trenchcoat being betrayed by his megacorp and then smashing the system and all that. He shoots men with big guns, uses cyberwizardry to mess with enemies and change the environment, and it’s an enjoyable enough ride for a modern FPS campaign, pleasantly forgettable. More importantly, it lets you figure out what kind of cool cyborg you’d like to be in co-op.
The co-op mode is a sadly small set of missions on megacorp antics like raiding facilities, stealing tech, assassinating agents, and ripping chips out of heads. You shoot lots of men. It’s classless but encourages class-like behaviour. It’s pretty fun. It’s made for four but I played with only one chum, so we felt like a pair of super cool cyborg murderers as we gunned down swarms of mooks with our big fancy guns but would rightly struggle against folks as high-tech as ourselves.
And my, what cyborgs we were! In its persistent progression you choose which abilities, buffs, and weapon upgrades to focus on – none of that fixed track nonsense. I, obviously, pumped everything into making my shotgun also be a sniper grenade launcher, my sniper rifle also a battle rifle, and my huge chunky revolver even nastier. Playing as a small shrieky lady with a kickin’ mohawk, I felt like a pret-ty cool cyborg murderer all right.
Keep an eye on Syndicate over the holiday sales, as the co-op is worth a few pounds if you have pals to play with. It’s a shame Syndicate flopped, as I’d like more. Oh! Also! You can look down and see your legs and you can do a cool slide move – two features I always appreciate in an FPS.