Review: Syndicate (X360)

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In 1993, Bullfrog Productions introduced the world to an isometric, future dystopia where augmented “Agents” were used by megacorporate empires to take the battle for market share out of the boardrooms and into the streets.

It was a tactical game spread across fifty cities across the world as you guided your team of four to cripple the competition by any means possible even if it meant using civilians as meat shields. The Atlantic Accelerator mission still gets a nod from me for its ruthless difficulty, and that was before the expansion pack made things even worse.

Since then, it’s become a cyberpunk classic so when EA and Starbreeze announced that Syndicate would reboot as an FPS, more than a few people were upset. For some, it reminded them of what FASA under Microsoft had done with Shadowrun. Even I had doubts. At the same time, it’s also easy to understand why. In a market dominated by Activision’s Modern Warfare, it’s a safe guess that they were trying to answer how to get an audience that may not have even played the original game to give this a shot.

And now after moonlighting as a new Agent, I can safely say that while it won’t knock your cybersocks off, it doesn’t quite leave the operating table littered with leftover body parts from the original, either. 
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Review: Chronicles of Riddick – Assault on Dark Athena

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Vin Diesel has a place in my gaming heart. Not because I was that enthralled with his fictional street racing exploits or hijinks as a souped-up super agent — but because he was part of the first movie-related game I played that wasn’t a flaming ball of rehashed “play the movie” garbage.

A few years ago, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay for the original Xbox seemed to get a better reception than the film to which it was tied.
With the full backing of its bankable star and executive producer, “Butcher Bay” rode its formula of movie-free story, visual personality and melee combat to critical acclaim.

Now comes the follow-up for the 360 and PS3, Assault on Dark Athena, which comes out with no movie behind it, but the same support system of star and developer. It’s also got the same formula, which works beautifully for the most part, but doesn’t have quite the same impact as its predecessor.

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