Friday, 30 September 2011

Amiga Capers: Syndicate (1993, Bullfrog/E.A)

Los Angeles. The year 2024. Mega corporations are waging secret battles for corporate control of the entire globe on the streets. One such company, is yours: EuroCorp. You have a selection of different agents, al with cyborg implants, and robotic limbs at your disposal, out of which you have to select a group of four. Their first mission: eliminate a chief of police on the payroll of a rival corp in a small suburb using any means necessary. Your team are dispatched, but are quickly overpowered by agents from a rival corp on a mission to protect him. Three are under fire, with one dead and with ammo running low, do you make them retreat, or push on through?
Say hello to our little friends!!

Syndicate was released in 1993 on both the Amiga and PC. Being an isometric strategy-cum-shooter, you control the team of 4 cybernetically enhanced agents doing the different missions aroutnd the world, be it an assassination mission in New York, to Persuading a scientist to join your corp, the missions vary from locale to locale. After selecting the mission you want to tackle, you select the four agents who will undertake the mission. After which, you then select the appropriate weaponry, which ranges from UZI's, to Miniguns, to flamethrowers right up to timebombs and the Persuazertron, which manipulates the mind waves of the individual you wish to "Persuade" to join your corp. Then, its off to the mission. Your team starts off a fair distance away from the target, and have to make your way there. But, there is the chance you'll run into a rival corporation's agents, who will either want to protect your target, or kill them. When you dispatch the enemy, they drop their weapons which you can pick up and use yourself. You also have to contend with the local police forces who will persue you if they see you with your weapons drawn or see you kill an enemy agent or a pedestrian by accident (collateral damage).
Original recipe, or extra crispy?

The graphics on the Amiga version are simply superb. The amount of detail on the buildings in particular is second to none. The game controls competently with the mouse, although sometimes they don't respond to your mouse presses, particularly if you have to enter buildings. They either go around the building or just stand still. It's a small bug that hasn't been rectified, but it doesn't detract from an otherwise great game. The amount of weapons you can use isn't an enormous list, but there are some great toys to play with, especially if you put one agent with a minigun and another with a flamethrower. The missions are plentyful and will take a long time to traverse.
Bugger! I left my Uzi in the car!

If you've never played Syndicate before, grab a copy and load it up. A great mix of strategy with shooting action which no-one should miss.

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