The free shooters “Synced” on Steam convinced me about nano-powered AI allies in a dystopian world. But the game also has its disadvantages and will probably only delight you for the time being if you don’t mind extensive grinding.
What kind of game is Synced? Synced is a science fiction action adventure developed by NExT Studios and publisher Level Infinite that was officially released for PC on September 8th. PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are expected to follow soon.
In the third-person shooter you can compete against futuristic zombies or other players in both PvE and PvP, and so Tencent deliberately mixes tried-and-tested shooter recipes from Outriders, Apex Legend, Destiny 2 or Warframe.
- The game is definitely graphically successful and allows your characters precise movements and fast gunplay.
- After a tutorial you come to Haven, from where you start conquering the Meridian.
- If you kill a so-called “Nano-Prime” in a mission, you can “suck it up” or “hack” it and use it to form your own “Nano-Buddy”.
- This “Prime” is now your strongest active and passive player ability in Synced, which you can even transform into a surfboard or a giant fist if necessary.
With this buddy you can then play PvE as a solo player with matchmaking, as well as do PvP. And all of this with up to three friends.
In this trailer you can see what Synced’s gameplay has to offer:
Solid shooter mechanics, but they quickly become monotonous
This is how the nano shooter plays: We played Tencent’s third-person shooter in its beta back in December 2022 and found the idea of fighting against a zombie apocalypse with an AI ally cool.
Now, in the official version of the game, the dystopian world and the successful graphics have once again impressed us with their immersive atmosphere. Also because a lot of things have improved in a positive way. For example, the request for more story from the feedback from the beta players was implemented.
In the gameplay you can try out some combinations between the 4 nano companions and the different runners. As is often the case, a combination of different characters is ideal here.
The controls are just as precise and the variety of weapons and skills available offers many tactical options. However, the biggest problem with Synced for us is the grind mechanics.
Painstaking progress that requires a lot of time: Progression in the game is complex and often feels tedious and time-consuming.
However, unlocking weapons, equipment, and skills simply requires a significant amount of time and dedication. If you want to see everything, you have to spend a long time with the game and if you are not prepared to invest that in “Synced”, you will quickly lose your patience to stick with it.
This happens because the missions are all very similar and at some point they no longer pose a challenge. It’s not exciting to have to fight through similar onslaughts of Nanos in similar areas over and over again to upgrade your equipment.
- You hardly have any time for discoveries and secrets – every mission has to be done quickly and there is no real open world in which you can look around freely and without time pressure.
- Individuality also suffers due to the different heroes with fixed roles and faces. This makes it difficult to identify with the character, even with skins.
- At some point I got stuck in PvP because the 3v3 scenarios have the more entertaining challenges. Especially when you have synchronized with your Nano and send it into battle.
Unfortunately, the hope of a great sci-fi story in the main campaEsports Extrasis dashed, because its narrative remains good, but quite flat. Even if, according to player feedback from the beta, there is already more story and lore on offer.
The characters also follow this pattern with, for me, a little little personality and monotonous dialogues. The latter may only bother me, as I’m used to great shooter stories like those in Destiny 2. However, free seasonal content will come into play here, which will focus on a runner over several months, which is somewhat reminiscent of Destiny 2’s live service model.
Can you have fun in this shooter? In any case. At least you won’t go wrong if you give the game a chance. Especially if you’re looking for a new action shooter.
Synced may not have reinvented the tried and tested shooter recipe. But above all, your AI buddies bring a certain finesse to the game. Even if they like to walk into your line of fire.
However, the game is perfect for anyone who is attracted to hard grinding and doesn’t mind returning to areas that they have already completed. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that this will be expanded in future updates.
It’s worth mentioning that Synced does offer microtransactions in the game, but doesn’t emphasize them too much. You must actively go to the merchant to see what packs, skins, currencies, and other items are for sale. So it won’t be waved around in front of your face.
Which aspects of “Synced” speak directly to you personally? And what do you think is the most important factor that determines whether a free-to-play game appeals to you or not? Feel free to tell us directly in the comments.
Here you can read what the developers said about their game: A new shooter is coming and the boss is sure: “There has never been anything like this before”