Syndicate is a reboot of the Bullfrog strategy series franchise from the nineties. Unlike the original games where the focus was on tactical management of a shooter squad, this version is a first-person shooter set in the same universe but without strategy elements.
The game takes place in 2069 in a world that is ruled by syndicates following the invention of a neural chip implant that gives users direct access to a dataverse network without the use of electronic devices. Due to this technical revolution, the world has been divided between chipped and unchipped people, where the latter refuse and oppose the advancement. There is tension between the different syndicates as well, with lots of corporate espionage. Syndicates battle his by deploying bio-engineered agents that are enforced with chips. They defend the intelligence of their own syndicate and attempt to infiltrate others. Players take command of Miles Kilo, an agent of the Eurocorp syndicate. He has a new prototype chip and is sent out on a mission to test the abilities. The events of this first mission set in motion the storyline for the rest of the game, filled with espionage, betrayal, brutal murders and the opposition of unchipped civilians who are deemed terrorists.
The game is played from a first-person perspective and Kilo can carry two weapons at a time, along with grenades. The gameplay includes a cover system and health regenerates automatically over time. His DART 6 bio-chip provides most of his abilities. He can slow down time and activate x-ray vision. Another element are the breach powers. Kilo is able to hack into opponents and then choose one of the three options: Backfire (guns jam up an do some damage, makes them leave their cover, and they become more vulnerable), Suicide (enemies execute themselves or use a grenade when they are in a group) and Persuasion (enemies turn to your side for a short time, but commit suicide when there are no enemies around).
Multiplayer is available through an online four-player cooperative mode in a separate campaign based on missions from the singleplayer game. It is divided in smaller segments with resupply points. Players earn experience points through kills, healing squad members, and completing objectives. At the start of the game one of the three available classes is chosen, with further customization through power and weapon loadouts. The collected points can be spent to update the main chip through a tech tree and unlock additional breach powers, unlock weapon improvements such as reload times, recoil, capacity … and a tech tree for abilities more closely tied to the chosen class. There is no competitive multiplayer mode.