In the future, the world is controlled by a handful of global corporations (syndicates). You are the Marketing director (hit man) for one of these companies. It is your job to take control away from the competitors. The job is not one of diplomacy, but one of brute force and physical control. Advance your way to the top of the corporation by successfully completing your missions and managing the money you make from your territories.
The gameplay is visually reminiscent of X-Com
, with an angled top-down perspective, but it is real time rather than turn based. You have missions ranging from infiltrate and capture, to seek and destroy. In each of these you direct a team of four agents as they move through the world shooting at anything that gets in their way.
You can upgrade and modify your agents, as well as equip them with tools you have researched or liberated from opposing syndicates. As you complete missions, you gain more funds to use for purchasing agents or researching upgrades and equipment.
- "הסינדיקט" -- Hebrew spelling
- "Higher Functions" -- Working title
- "Cyber Assault" -- Working title
- "BOB" -- Working title
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In pre-release versions of the game, the cities apparently also featured (in addition to the normal civilians) Mothers with baby-carriages and Dogs. These extra innocents were removed from the game, before its release.
In the German version, the blood was removed.
An article by Edge magazine, dated December 4, 2009, and titled "The Making Of: Syndicate" features interviews with several developers of Syndicate
Among other things, it is revealed that the game was initially developed as a multiplayer game. The developers built and tested it as a network game first. Then, based on the experience they gained from their network games, they started to build single-player missions.
However, during the Quality Assurance process, it was decided that the multiplayer component had to be removed because, in Alex Trowers
' words: "EA
couldn’t get the network game working on their system, so we had to drop it".
The American Revolt
add-on would however restore the multiplayer capability of the game.
's four character design was based on a similar concept which had been removed from an earlier Bullfrog
, during development. At one point in production Syndicate
had as many as eight on-screen characters to lead, but the number was cut back to four as the majority of the development team felt that controlling so many on-screen characters was unwieldy.
Bullfrog did a special feature with UK games mag PC Format, at the time ('93) in which they wrote a C Programming tutorial based on some of the Syndicate code. The tutorial involved using the internal graphics libraries from Syndicate
to animate and move agents on the screen. Although the C tutorial was largely useless it was a fairly interesting read for those interested in the way Bullfrog operated.
Information also contributed by
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #67 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/1999 - #75 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking