Street Racing Syndicate is a street racing themed racing game in which player’s race around the streets or in controlled events. This game is one of many early 2000’s racing games that had designed around street racing to cash in on the craze for the time.
This game is a straight port of a 2004 console game with no updates made and on modern computers it is very dated as the game designed to play on a CRT monitor rather than a modern computer so if you use the larger screen settings it does end up in pixelated images especially in the user interfaces. But visually the in game graphics are ok for an early 2000’s game but this game has no individuality to separate it from other titles of the era (including the game that it attempts to replicate) and visually it is noticeable from the reflections, lighting, the in game assets and even the textures used in game. Whilst this isn’t horrendous to look at it isn’t an oil painting by any means.
Whilst visually the game is poor you would think that the gameplay would be good but sadly it isn’t. I feel that the game is quite poor as the game is. Also the game is orientates around grinding a lot which I feel is a drawback for a racing game as in the game there is a respect system in which you earn points by winning races you can also earn points during races which are awarded by performing various tasks such as Drifting or driving a whole lap without crashing, however you can only earn a maximum of 1000 points per race(750 for winning and 250 for respect points) so you will wind up having to replay the same races over and over again in order to gain 1000 points in each race. But the fun part is that some of the races are 1 v 1 drag races which are a straight line and you have to earn points (which are mainly for drifting) it is a difficult task to do that.
I also think that the game is very poor in the game design on upgrading the vehicles as you don’t have to unlock or earn any extra parts as they are all there from the start (with the exception of purchasing the parts of course) however you aren’t shown the effect of what part has such as making the car lighter or that it is easier to handle etc, which is confusing as you don’t know what part does and the way buy parts is confusing as you would expect that when you are looking for a category such as weight reduction parts or brakes you would expect it to be classed as brakes and then you get a list of all the parts needed but you then have to go through the chore of cycling through traders to pick parts rather than a simpler way of picking a part type and going from cheaper parts through the more expensive parts which is the better way of doing things. Strangely enough whenever you customize a vehicle aesthetically it will show you the paint or the vinyl to be placed on the vehicle without as much messing around and it shows you what your car will look like after the modifications have been done.
Another thing that I feel is the atmosphere of the cities in game as you get 3 different cities to play on is very basic as the cities are real world (Philadelphia, Miami and Los Angeles) but they look nothing like the real world counterpart and they aren’t unrealistic enough to do anything remotely creative with it so it is quite dull and they are too alike with no differences to separate them such as landmarks or different environments.
Outside of the campaign mode there is an arcade mode which is from where you get different options these being single races, competing in various time trials, checkpoint runs through any of the cities, or even a taking part in a series of different races one after another. There is also a split screen multiplayer which you race against each other on a track which might of interest but it isn’t really going to hold your interest for too long.
Overall I can’t recommend this game as it is a very basic game with little to no charm (even for back in the day) and there is significantly better games within the genre that are better use of your time. The only time I would even recommend this is when it is on sale on steam (which it can be bought for as little as 39p) for a rainy day, outside of the aforementioned purpose it isn’t worth playing on.