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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

Syndicate Wars

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by Bullfrog

Congratulations, Executive, on attaining clearance to use the Marionette Remote Drone Operation Suite. You have joined the elite ranks of those qualifies to direct and command our cyborg Agents to further the prosperity and authority of Eurocorp. As of now you have been assigned a team of Agents and granted security clearance EX-ALPHA. This grants you freedom to issue elimination/demolition orders as you see fit.

Your only crime will be to fail the corporation; in the case that your cell is rendered inoperable through misuse of funds and/or Agent loss, your resignation from EuroCorp will be tendered immediately. Given your EX-ALPHA status, you will be expected to auto-euthanise as soon as your resignation has been accepted, to prevent any compromise of EuroCorp security. To this end, cyanide capsules have been enclosed with this package. Should you fail in this duty, you will be immediately classed as an NTE-1 Neutralization Priority. We feel confident that your skills and integrity will ensure that this state of affairs will never arise.

Have a nice day...

The Review:
It is 95 years after the first Syndicates fought for control. An oppressive peace has reigned, but the controlling Syndicate, EuroCorp, hasn't been idle. As well as upgrading the computer control Chips embedded in peoples' brains, they set up a research team to find out how the Syndicate can utilize more of the brains they control.

Syndicate Wars is the sequel to the original hit Syndicate. In the tradition of Command & Conquer and Warcraft, you have the option to play for either of the two sides. One side is EuroCorp, through the use of the Persuadertron, they beat out all of the other corps in the original Syndicate. Their opponents are the Church of the new Epoch, a mysterious new faction who introduced a computer virus into the UTOPIA global control network which Eurocorp uses to 'guide' the population. Chips failed in their droves, and suddenly the masses saw the world for what it was. The Church was there, their Indoctrinators, the Church version of the Persuadertron, were virtually overheating with the numbers of new converts they were attracting. As in the original Syndicate, as you acquire funds, you can research new weapons and cybernetic modifications to give your Agents the edge on the competition. Pulse lasers, nuclear grenades, plasma lances, miniguns, electron maces, nuclear grenades, and knock-out gas are just some of the goodies you get to equip yourself with.

While Syndicate Wars retains the same general feel as the original Syndicate, there are some new noticeable advances. Now, not only do you look at the terrain at an orthogonal view, you can rotate the view a full 360 degrees to expose anything that may be lurking around the corner. Although the graphics are not crisp super VGA, they are detailed. You can see the shadows of your Agents as they run by street lights, etc. Also the cities themselves are much more complex. They contain overhead passes, banks, sculptures, monorail transport systems, and some type of transporter that sucks you through a tube (yea, about freaked out the first time I accidentally got in one). There are several more different vehicles too, from police cars and vans, to trucks, tanks and flying DeLorain’s. Some of the vehicles come equipped with anti-gravity lifters that let them fly over buildings and such. The graphics have two resolutions, the high setting giving you pretty good graphics for faster computers, and the low setting so slower computers can run the game. Also, I really liked the variety of weapons that you get to research and/or find on dead corpses. Finally, there are many, many mission on both sides to insure hours of playing time.

Although Syndicate Wars is a pretty good sequel, it did have it’s share of problems. Firstly, the missions were long and complicated and hard. It gets frustrating to spend a half hour on a mission just to get killed off by enemies that out number you 5 to 1. It might not be so bad if you could save in the middle of a mission, but you can only save between missions, so you have to start from scratch every time you get killed. Secondly, the interface of controlling your Agents is pretty difficult to work efficiently. When things get dicey, it is hard to give you Agents commands, and that spells dead Agents, and that means you have to start the mission over (ack!). Lastly, and most importantly, is making money. Basically, you are not paid for each mission, you have to make your own money. Selling weapons you pick up makes you a little pocket change, but the only real money to be had is attacking the banks (when there is one, which is rare), killing everyone in it and/or blowing it up with High Explosives and taking the satchels that are left behind. Occasionally an enemy agent has a satchel too, but again, this is sporatic. However, the instruction book tells you nothing of this, unless someone tells you about it, you kind of just find it by accident. This is very frustrating because in the beginning, you need lots of money, and since you are not paid per mission, funds run short fast. I think being paid each mission or at least the instruction book telling you how to make money would have been immensely helpful.

--Brent Hegarty