Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow Review

  • Posted September 30th, 2007 at 16:57 EDT by Michael Berquam

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Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow

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Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow is a refreshing entry into a long running series that had begun to become stagnant. Offering diverse gameplay elements and choices, along with good story and plot development, this is one PSP game that every action or stealth gamer should at least play, if not buy.

We like

  • Great mix of action and stealth.
  • Boss battles are excellent.
  • Mini games keep things fresh.

We dislike

  • Learning curve is a bit steep for casual gamers.
  • Some story elements don’t make sense if you aren’t familiar with the series.

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

(continued from previous page) ...aimed shots. More of a Splinter Cell fan? Gabe is also able to sneak up on enemies, often with the use of thermal or night vision goggles, to perform stealth kills. Each stealth kill is quite varied, as well, with animations dependent on the situation. For instance, swimming up behind a land-based enemy will allow you to drag them into the water to drown them. Get the drop on a rooftop sniper? Your stealth kill ability will allow you to pitch them physically from their perch. Even the ordinary animations are quite entertaining, with breaking necks and slitting throats a commonplace. More stylized animations also pop up occasionally, with the most memorable animation showing Gabe pulling an enemies legs out from under him, followed by a swift kick to the groin to finish the job. Finally, if you are the Ghost Recon type, there are also instances of squad-based tactical engagements as well. Ranging from field firefights with the aid of an allied operative, all the way to calling down airstrikes and commanding other units forward while providing cover fire, Logan’s Shadow has all the bases covered.

Boss battles are the proverbial icing on this already quite tasty cake. While there is the run-of-the-mill, humdrum, one on one battles with an armored elite enemy, there are also many battles that include much, much more. Gabe will often find himself in direct conflict with enemies that are far beyond his ability to combat using normal methods. When this happens, unique strategies will develop that allow you to defeat your enemy. Some examples of this include conflicts between the player and heavily armored vehicles. During an early mission, Gabe and a highly-trained underwater ally are assaulted by an enemy sub, all while being pelted by navy depth charges. During this combat, it becomes clear that nothing in Gabe’s arsenal can scratch the armored underwater behemoth. Instead, the sharp player finds himself shooting depth charges that fall close to the sub while your ally runs a distraction for you. When a depth charge hits the sub, the player must then swim in close and remove a control mechanism from the exterior shell of the sub, through one of the mini-games mentioned above. After completing this a few times, the sub literally becomes dead in the water, while Gabe and his associate make a covert escape. Another example has Gabe running interference this time, against an attack chopper with superior armaments. While Gabe holds the chopper’s attention, he must call out to another operative to fire LAW rockets. Encounters like these spice up gameplay, and offer a different approach from your traditional twitch fire and run and gun strategies.

The weapons available in this Logan’s Shadow allow for even more strategic play. Including everything from pistols and assault rifles to shotguns and sniper rifles, every type of combat situation has a weapon to cover it. There is even a nifty rifle that fires different types of darts into unsuspecting enemies, with results ranging from putting them to sleep to explosives that catch all enemies in the vicinity. While the situations that use these darts are somewhat limited, their timely application is crucial at certain points.

In closing, Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow offers a widely diverse range of game play opportunities. Players are giving the choice of approaching each conflict as they see fit, making the game replayable and offering unique experiences to each gamer. This also allows SF: Logan’s Shadow to be enjoyable to a wide range of players out there. The controls, while initially a bit difficult to learn, do suit the game well, and a talented player will soon find them to be quite intuitive. The wide range of action that is experienced during gameplay is surprising, and it’s backed up with a ever-twisting story by author and graphic novelist Greg Rucka. This entry into the Syphon Filter line is a welcome one, offering something fun and exciting for nearly any player out there.

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