8 Unique Games You Probably Missed Last Gen

First person shooters have run out of ideas, you say? Well, not in the case Syndicate's 2012 reboot by Starbreeze (also known for The Darkness, Brothers, and Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay). Instead we got a distinctive cooperative shooter experience that presented one of the most aggressive shooter/RPG-lite games for 360, PC, and PS3. It could have been another break out title for EA; except for the small problem that almost no one played it.

A combination of way too limited marketing, a lackluster (and altogether unnecessary if still fairly polished) single-player campaign, the removal of the competitive component due to time constraints, and angry fans  of the normally isometric shooter series all combined to make Syndicate's release more of a silent puff than an explosive hit. Rumors have also swirled that the title was originally considered as an open world title, suggesting even more changes in design and development. Despite all these problems, the game was received average to above average reception from critics.

The strength for Syndicate lies in it's multiplayer co-op mode. It features nine missions from the original Syndicate, rebuilt with modern tastes in mind. In addition to highly aggressive AI, the game gives players an armory of breaches, tactics, and fully upgradable weapons to play around with.

Perhaps you want an armor piercing semi-automatic sniper rifle with a virus that damages and spreads amongst your opponents while you raise an overshield on each of your teammates. Maybe you go with the burst fire pistol, self-revive ability, and EMP so you can swoop in, grab an objective, stun all enemies, and be gone before they can even hit you. Instead of requiring players fit into traditional Tank/Healer/DPS/Buff roles, you use what works best for you and your allies can make up the difference. The game's various difficulties also change enemy spawns and behavior instead of just giving your opponents larger health bars.

One other notable aspect for those tired of Gears of War style of grit is the game's attempt to combine Mirror's Edge's high contrast color palette with an almost Goth-like sensibility to character design. Instead of war torn cities and grunting military men, you're in slick high rise corporate buildings fighting UAV drones, automated turrets, and riot police. Every location is made to be distinctive and features it's own specific theme.

While the PC community is all but dead, there are still active fans on PS3 and Xbox 360 who play the multiplayer. There has been no DLC released for the game, although Starbreeze is still apparently working on a new Free to Play experience called Cold Mercury that may take some inspirations from Syndicate. While singe-player fans have only average fair to look forward to, co-op fans would benefit from giving this title a look before EA cuts the plug on the servers.

Published Apr. 24th 2014
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