Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow
The most popular third person action shooter on PSP finally got a sequel. With Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow Sony continues on the chosen path and you certainly won’t hear us complaining.
After an American navy ship gets hijacked by an Arab terrorist group (how original!) Logan is sent in as last hope (how original!) to set things straight. After some arguments, Logan agrees to do the mission as Bitar, a familiar name for Logan, lead the hijacking. Logan really would like to add Bitar’s head to his trophy case and thus immerses himself in a nest of political games and intrigues where old friends appear to be enemies and the other way around. Fans of Syphon Filter will enjoy the plot tremendously although the writers did loose their pedals here and there a bit.
Political games are nothing for Logan who goes out heavily armed to save the world yet again. All familiar weapons are back but just like in the PS2 version of Dark Mirror, Sony has given Censorship what they want so that the tazer gun is no longer that enjoyable weapon with which you can set enemies on fire after which their burned bodies would fall to the ground and slowly disappear to decrease the calculations for the PSP cpu. Luckily there’s quite a lot of other weapons with a high fun factor like the sniper rifle with explosive darts.
Action is the leading motive of Logan’s Shadow but the devs did dare to bring back some stealth elements. You only need to walk against a wall to have Logan push himself against it and take a look around the corner from his defensive position. You can also take enemies hostage, use them as living shield or drag them into the water along with you. All very nice and together with the minigames they bring enough variation to the game.
The minigames consist of pushing a sequence of buttons to let Logan do all sorts of things. On the hijacked ship you’ll regularly have to get rid of tubes and bulkheads that way to clear the passage. Pushing for instance triangle, X, O, O, O makes Gabe tie a rope around the tubes so the chopper can drop some stuff in the sea. It’s comparable with the hacking sequence we know from Mass Effect. All in all it’s a nice addition that never becomes irritatingly difficult. The buildup of the levels exists – just like in Dark Mirror – out of a number of episodes with chapters you can constantly replay to increase your end result. It’s a good division that offers the possibility to quickly play a level or can nest you in your chair for a couple of hours so you can go through the entire storyline.
Technically little has changed although Sony heavily focused on the ragdoll physics, more detailed textures and some more. The graphics look indeed a bit sharper but Dark Mirror was already one of the bigger leaps forward graphically on the handheld. The biggest atmosphere maker is again the sound that will literally suck you into the world of Syphon Filter. Whether it are men shouting, footsteps in a corridor or a bunch of tubes that fall down, it all sounds like it’s happening around you. Also the background music enhances in all its simplicity to thriller feeling of the game.
Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow is a game that’s finished. Both technically as when it comes to content it’s a top title that fulfills all expectations. After a fun single player campaign there’s the still very well made multiplayer that seriously increases the replay value of this game. It looks like the PSP has an indestructible franchise in its hands with Syphon Filter.