- Play as either the EuroCorp
Syndicate or the Church of the New Epoch. The
plot advances as you beat each level, and
occasionally you'll even be able to play the same
level, but from the opposite side.
- There are numerous individual
characters in the game, ranging from special
agents to world-beating scientists and even
mercenary-style Syndicate operatives who have
special abilities. You'll either find and use
them, or you could end up pitted against them.
Either way, you'll appreciate their power.
- There are many approaches to
take with each mission. Even 'simple' eradication
missions must be carefully planned, as the
computer's Artificial Intelligence will react
swiftly to any gunplay within the confines of
most cities. Taking out five cops is easy. But
what if that act leads to fifty piling out of
their HQ to wreak vengeance on you? Then what do
- Planning your assaults is the
best way. But there is still a vast amount of
mindless violence, though.
- Researching new weapons and
agent modifications is integral to the survival
of your team. All this takes money, so whichever
side you're playing, you can stray outside the
law and raid the city bank vaults for more cash.
Beware, though - these places are heavily
guarded, booby-trapped and, occasionally, almost
empty. But pull off a big bank job and you could
gain huge wealth. Unless someone else has beaten
you to it..
- You can add many modifications
to your team of operatives. There are even four
special cyberskins hidden in the game; hard-skin,
flame skin, energy skin and stealth skin. Each
has incredible protective properties and the
careful player could conceivably find them all.
- The missions are wider than
ever. They range from simple assassination to
destruction of key buildings, persuading key
enemies, or rescuing captured agents. If you're
playing as the Church, you carry out some
missions using special agent Mirabelle Lucy De
Saxo, to impersonate the foe and kidnap a top
scientist at a high-level meeting.
- The plot of Syndicate Wars is
highly advanced, and as you battle through each
level, you're building on a story which ends up
with the potential destruction of all the life on
Earth. Your actions can change the story, of
course, and when you play the game from 'the
other side', you can see their side of the same
- There are dozens of weapons,
and each side has access to different equipment.
The Church has a distinctly religious bent on
their firepower, and, owing to the size of their
brains, has the edge for much of the game, but
the Syndicate is forever collecting, researching,
copying and using the Church's discarded weapons.
Of course, they're building their own kit as
well, capable of handling combat in Syndicate
Wars. This includes unmanned area defence drones
which fire at any hostile in range automatically,
as well as virtually nuke-proof vehicles and
rapid airborne APCs.
- The combat doesn't just take
place on Earth. Do well enough for either side
and you may find yourself heading off to an
orbital space station and, if you survive that
baptism of fire, the moon's surface.
- There's a twist in the tail
for the Church player, too. On the penultimate
level, his bosses (who of course, he has been
obeying - ahem - religiously) tell him that his
missions are over and he must stand down and stay
on Earth while they activate the ionosphere
disruption equipment. Does the player mindlessly
obey once more, or will he deliberately go
against his orders and attack his erstwhile
leaders? That's up to the individual. But between
ourselves, clearly he should disobey and get
embroiled in some save-the-world righteous
carnage. The Syndicate player is also treated to
a twist in the tale but it is narrative in nature
and best discovered by playing the game.
- There are over a dozen
different types of vehicles in the game,
including hover ships. You can steal and control
taxis, punk bikes, armoured trucks, personnel
carriers, cars and even huge twin-rocket-firing
siege tanks when they appear. And the Church have
their own auto-guided spider defence droids which
are agile, well-armed and utterly relentless.
- There are even boss-baddies in
the form of assault-suit exo-skeletons as beloved
in Japanese culture. These are hideous to come up
- The cities are of course
fully-rotatable, and have proper lighting from
buildings and streetlamps. These can be destroyed
for those preferring to skulk in the shadows.
Thermal imaging is available to the player but is
expensive in terms of its energy drain.
- There are massive numbers of
civilians, as you'd expect in futuristic cities,
and plenty of traffic on the roads, plus a
fully-working city-wide train system. There's
also the Intercontinental Magnetic Link
- There's a supreme 8-player
network game with fifteen extra levels specially
designed for deadly multi-player hide-and-seek.
You can even pre-set the technology levels and
funds (and thus the available weapons).
- Modem play is fully supported.
- Four players can be supported
on one machine, using the mouse and either a
joystick splitter or different parts of the
keyboard. Each player controls one team member,
and as long as they all stay on-screen, you can
have the firefight of your life.