Description official descriptions
In the future, the world is controlled by a handful of global corporations (syndicates). You are the Marketing director (hitman) 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
- シンジケート - Japanese spelling
Credits (DOS version)
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1001 Video Games
Syndicate appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
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.
The architecture in the game, aside from more obvious cyberpunk influences, is also inspired by Surrey Research Park, where Bullfrog offices were situated at the time.
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.
Syndicate's four character design was based on a similar concept which had been removed from an earlier Bullfrog title, Flood, 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.
- Amiga Joker
- Issue 02/1994 – Best Strategical in 1993 (Readers' Vote)
- 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
- Power Play
- Issue 02/1994 – Best MS-DOS Game in 1993
Information also contributed by Agent 5, lulalurl, PCGamer77, phlux and Tibes80
Related Sites +
"The Making Of: Syndicate" article by Edge Magazine
An article by the Edge magazine about the making of <i>Syndicate</i>.
IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
(Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
Matt Chat 65
Video interview with Sean Cooper about the development of <i>Syndicate</i>
MobyGames Classic: Syndicate
A reminiscent feature article on ShackNews written based on the MobyGames entry for the game, specifically drawing on the reviews and description.
- MobyGames ID: 281
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Brian Hirt.
Amiga added by Famine3h. Jaguar added by Kartanym. Windows added by Sciere. Amiga CD32 added by Kabushi. FM Towns, PC-98, Macintosh added by Terok Nor. 3DO added by Indra was here.
Additional contributors: xroox, Chentzilla, Martin Smith, Crawly, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, lilalurl, Rik Hideto, Victor Vance, FatherJack.
Game added September 19th, 1999. Last modified May 2nd, 2023.