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Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow - PSP - Preview 2

SYPHON FILTER: LOGAN’S SHADOW

 

The SS Mt. St. Helens is burning and the man in the black stealth suit doesn’t care about anything except for completing the mission at hand. The remains of the terrorist cell that captured the ship is frightened of this man but orders are orders so they shoot back at him, hoping that somehow their bullets will put an end to this one-man siege. He is Gabe Logan and this is Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow for the PSP.


“Honestly, George, why do all our family vacations end up like this?”

If Dark Mirror was the portable gaming prelude to a sonata, Logan’s Shadow is already shaping up to be the complete symphony - the main attraction complete with intrigue, intense drama and a lot of action. Acting as a follow-up of the series’ first (and downright flawless) Sony PSP opus, Logan’s Shadow finds shadowy spy operative Gabe Logan back into field after a Washington desk jockey named Cordell tells him that the SS Mt. St. Helens has been hijacked by a terrorist group based in Somalia and spearheaded by one of Logan's nemesis Bitar. The demo we played set up the events that would lead to some interesting twists in the Syphon Filter series including where and what is series' regular, Lian Xing.

In the preview demo, Logan manages to infiltrate the hijacked ship with the aid of helicopter pilot Alma Haddad. One again, we jump right into the action and Gabe is once again outfitted with a number of stealthy gadgets like his UVA goggles, K-Bar knife and an assortment of neat weaponry. Thankfully, we once again can learn how to use the gadgets, weapons and even Logan’s moves through a training mode that plays like a level in the game. Like Dark Mirror, the analog stick controls Logan’s movement while the face buttons control direction. In other words, nothing has changed control-wise. If it isn’t broke why fix it, right?

What has changed is the depth of the gameplay and the manner in which Logan changes in the game. I won’t spoil the various surprises scattered throughout the story but the demo’s tone changes in the first episode as tragedy occurs during the first mission. These events change Logan and push him to act more violently. In Logan’s Shadow, Gabe Logan is pissed off and the results aren’t pretty for the bad guys. Case in point, at one point in the mission, Logan can sneak up to an enemy standing in front of a stove and shove his face in the open flame. It’s not pretty but it goes to show gamers that when it comes to being a lethal force, Gabe Logan can show Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher a thing or two.


Welcome to the NRA’s version of hide and seek.

The preview showcased a few of the new tricks Logan springs on his enemies aboard the ship. He can still flatten up against a wall or any other hard surface but now Logan can fire from behind cover without exposing himself. This isn’t a new concept but for a third-person shooter where you’ll go up against a number of armed terrorist, it works nicely. Secondly, Logan can sneak up behind an enemy, grab him and use him as a human shield. Again, not a new concept but it’s extremely helpful in a situation where you’re outnumbered.

Finally, the preview build showed off a water level where Logan jumps ship after the SS Mt. St. Helens goes down and he must swim to a nearby terrorist tug boat. Logan just doesn’t float there but he can dive in (keeping in mind that he has to worry about oxygen) and climb aboard enemy ships. It’s a nice touch that shows us that there are tons of surprises in store for us in Logan’s Shadow.

Graphically speaking, the game looks just as good as Dark Mirror and it’s impressive to see some beautiful water effects on the PSP widescreen. The voice acting, thankfully, is top notch thanks to returning voice actors and great dialogue. It’s the score and sound effects that really steals the show this time around with a gorgeous soundtrack (the menu screen theme music is a definite highlight) and detailed sound effects.


Bad Movie Idea #20: The Little Mermaid II starring Jet Li.

Unfortunately, we were not able to test the online multiplayer mode at the time of the review - another aspect of the game that will resemble the addictive joy that was the online multiplayer game mode in Dark Mirror. If it’s anything like the last game, we’re in for another multiplayer treat that will have fans playing the game long after they finish the single-player mode.

Yes, the days of September will be a good one once Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow ships and if the preview build is any indication of how the game will turn out, we can expect this one to be one of the best additions to the series plus a real Must Have title for the PSP.

Gw
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