How Synced is forging a new path in the free-to-play shooter genre

Now that its foundations are set, the free-to-play third-person shooter Synced has big plans ahead for its mysterious and visually stunning post-apocalypse.
Synced game

Synced, the new free-to-play third-person shooter from Level Infinite and NExT Studios has an exciting and intriguing future in the works. After launching in September 2023, the game is forging ahead to blast open a new niche for itself in the free-to-play genre. 

Set in an alternate near future in the wake of a cataclysm known as the Collapse, where nanotechnology has become the backbone of Earth’s civilization, Synced has you take on the role of one of six predefined ‘Runners’ to fight back against a predatory group of mutated enemies known as Nanos.

The game has so far laid some familiar groundwork in the free-to-play space, drawing some promising parallels to other long-standing live-service shooters like Destiny 2 and The Division 2. But where Synced is finding its point of difference is in its striking, stylized visuals and approach to storytelling, on top of a player-friendly approach to monetisation.

The core gameplay loop mixes together action-packed PvP and PvE combat encounters, catering to different preferred playstyles, while incorporating its signature Sync mechanic – an ability which lets you ‘sync’ with enemy Nanos in order to obtain their mods and skill sets. It brings a certain edge to each encounter, encouraging you to think strategically about the possible approaches, and which will be most effective for each character in your roster. 

Image: Level Infinite / NeXT Studios

There’s also a clear sense of reward for the time you invest in Synced, as in-game combat and character progression feels enjoyable, complimented by a well-written cast who each possess their own unique and sometimes relatable attributes, which all aids the game’s grander methods of world-building.

Synced takes a unique approach to fleshing out its post-apocalyptic online universe, portraying its sci-fi, Annihilation-inspired setting and narrative beats through the environment and atmosphere of the game’s missions, rather than the explicit use of cutscenes and scripted exposition – which can often by quickly forgotten in a live service game. It’s an interesting approach that’s worth dipping in to check out.

Synced Narrative Director Kevin Shortt touched on the studio’s plans to unveil multi-year storyline arcs and build on the wider lore of Synced in an interview with GamesHub prior to the launch of the game.

“There’s a sense of mystery within this game when it comes to the Nanos and the encroaching Tyrants, and that’s really needed to pull players along this journey,” Shortt said. “We knew that if we could find and figure out what’s going on beyond just simply what happened with the Collapse and what is bubbling under the surface, then it would be a main push for players. Not just for the main story, but along with the seasons down the road – we made sure that Synced’s story has legs to keep it going for many seasons to come.”

But there’s also going to be fun stuff happening along the way too, of course. In honour of the spooky season, the game is hosting its second seasonal event, a Halloween event called The Haunting of Haven.

The Haunting of Haven will be running from 6-31 October 2023, allowing players to decorate Synced’s in-game hub, Haven, with fun Halloween decorations. It’ll also include themed chests, limited in-game drops, and holiday tasks to complete which will earn special currency redeemable for seasonal rewards.

Past this, the developers say Synced is aiming to provide continual quality-of-life updates as well as seasonal events well beyond 2023, teasing exciting prospects for the game’s refinement and growth. It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into how the game will progress beyond what’s been revealed of the story so far, and it will certainly be an intriguing journey to follow. 

Synced is available to download and play for free on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store. A PS5 and Xbox Series X|S version is also in the works. 

Visit the official Synced website for more information on ongoing updates and future in-game events.