So there I was chatting with Glenn about games and he gives me an MMORPG to review (Syndicates). I say, great, there’s been a lot of lame ones and it would be nice to have one that really is fun to play and isn’t just ruled by a few people who jumped on it early and make it suck for people who get into it late.
We looked at it and thought that this one had a chance. We even had the thought to both go into the game and battle it out. Sounded like a perfect way to really get into the game. Only Glenn and I never met up on the streets of Syndicates. Not because we couldn’t really meet up…- it was because the game was so boring that Glenn bowed out for other things, leaving me to work through things and give the game a review.
Okay, so you’re already thinking that this is not going to end well as a review (and you’re right), but maybe by reading through this someone will see the beginnings of a good game and how it could have been better. And perhaps someone will actually go out and make that game and we can dance in the streets like it’s the Madi Gras of Gamedom!
In Syndicates you take on the role of a thug walking around a very large city who is out to prove that he is the baddest of the bad. To do this you rob stores and pick fights with some of the others in the game and steal their money. Sounds pretty good so far.
The game is done in an overhead viewpoint and the city is actually huge. Thankfully there is good use of the Pinch/Zoom touch feature and you can get in close to the action or pull way out to see where everyone is hiding. When you’re in tight the detail on the city is actually very nice and it’s easy to make out who you are. Also sounding good.
Where the game fails is that it really has nothing going for it. You can enter any store and begin robbing it (I’ll explain the fighting system in a moment) and each one of them is the same. They have the same damage and the same amount of money. Sure, if a store has been robbed recently they have less money, but a store will always max out at the same amount no matter what it is. Lame.
And the fighting and robbing is all done by just shaking your device as fast as you can…- that’s it. It doesn’t matter what your level is or anything else, the fastest shaker wins. After robbing about 20 stores and fighting 4 guys (all wins) I was pretty much done with the whole shaking thing. Oddly there is a health meter for both you and your opponent (or the store you’re robbing) but there’s no way to actually read it since you’re shaking the thing far too much to ever read it. The only way you know a fight is over is that there is cheering (by whom I don’t know). Then you stop and see how much money you got.
The game does have a nice global ranking system, but after I got to 5th in the world I was already too bored to go on and finally just shut it down.
The thing is…- there has to be an RPG to the MMORPG. There is nothing in this game. You can’t buy anything with your money and nothing ever really changes for you. There is also some strange thing where some guys are red and others are green. The colors that are the same as yours are supposed to be your allies, but I never saw anything that made that worth anything. I did what the game asked and beat up every green buy I could fight –- though they mostly just ran away and there is no way to speed up…- if they’re ahead of you, they’ll stay that way.
Why can’t I buy a car for this big city? How about some weapons? it would be great to pick a fight only to find that the guy I’m fighting has more firepower than me and I’ve made a big mistake…- sure I’m going to get hurt bad, but that’s the fun of it –- the not knowing.
The game never changes and that’s where it goes horribly wrong. Some updates could change this up and make it a nice game but I can’t see enough people buying it to make it happen. Right now the game is $5.99 (USD) and that is steep at the App Store. It should be more like a buck, then people might get it and there will be enough interest to do updates. As it stand now, I’m just not hopeful.
In the streets of Syndicates there’s a whole lot of shaking’ going on…- but very little else.
Pretty Big Area
Pinch/Zoom Is Nice
Needs More Depth
$6 Price Tag…- Really?