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Syndicate debut gameplay - Dissected

Trailer Analysis: 51 screenshots from the first footage

This week we're taking our metaphorical scalpel and carefully dissecting the newly released debut trailer for EA and Starbreeze's Syndicate, breaking down all the important bits and pointing out anything of interest.

First off we'll state it's a cracking trailer, and we're not saying that just because we love a bit of thumping, screeching, deep base dubstep with our video games.

As far as first impressions go it makes a good one, making its mark by teasing interesting mechanics, a world rife with corporate espionage and visuals with plenty of style.


The trailer opens by laying the foundations of Syndicate's dystopian future, setting the scene for a future where 'every corporation has an agenda'. It briefly cuts away to show a dense and sprawling metropolis filled with high rise buildings. In the centre is a towering skyscraper that dwarfs all the surrounding structures. The city in question is called La Ballena, it's a floating city somewhere above Asia, and the year is 2069.

The next nugget of info the trailer gives us is 'every corporation has an agent', it goes on to show an imposing figure casually jumping out of a helicopter. His name is Miles Kilo and he's an agent in the employment of Eurocorp Syndicate. We're going to say he likes The Matrix and Terminator. A lot.


Old Miles here has a Dart 6 chip knocking around in his noggin, like most people in Syndicate's future. Dart 6 chips are used by the average folk to manage every aspect of their lives, think of it as an iPhone... except in your brain. The information and upgrades going in and out of these Dart 6 chips is supplied and managed by a select few number of Syndicates. Behind the scenes these same Syndicates are locked in a battle for control over the entire world. Grim stuff.

A female voice says 'mission clock on' and it all kicks off. We're shown a squad of agents kicking down a door, nothing too out-of-the-ordinary for a game like this, but the interesting part is that it seems like Miles is interfacing with the soldier centered in his view, a 'connecting data' bar floats next to him while an 'acquiring data' message sticks to another nearby soldier.


The next scene is prefaced with the phrases 'acquire asset' and 'access acquired'. The room Miles wanders into is marked as a 'customer relations' office. Within it the profile of a man is displayed on a few wall mounted TVs, the same man can be seen behind a pane of glass in the same room, he's being brutally interrogated by a couple of guards. Miles approaches before leaping into the mind of his enemy. Yep, mind jack!

This handy little feature is called 'Breaching' and allows Miles to infiltrate his enemy by hacking into their Dart 6 chips and assuming control. Once in there Miles can use a number of abilities, in this trailer he uses his control to take out the other guard before forcing the poor guard to commit suicide, this particular ability is called 'Allegiance'. It has been revealed that Miles will also be able to make his victim's weapon explode using 'Backfire'. There's bound to be more abilities revealed in future trailers.


In his next run in with soldiers Miles is even more brutal, recklessly charging down a defenseless soldier and leaping off a flight of stairs with the terrified guard positioned to take the full impact of the fall. Unfortunately we don't get to see how Miles gets himself out of that situation but we're given a brief glimpse at his 'Dart Vision', a viewing mode similar to Batman's detective vision that highlights enemies and possibly the information streams within the human body. But we're just speculating with that one.

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