Review: Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow (PS2)

You might be thinking, wasn’t Syphon Filter a great PSP game back in 2007.  And that answer is yes, but you may not know that a PS2 port is now available.  For those clinging onto the PS2 or original 60gb PS3 model’s, this Spec-op’s adventure makeover is worth noting.  The story of covert taking out terrorists has been done.  One PS2 title does stand out when playing Syphon filter, maybe you’ve heard of it, Metal Gear Solid.  But our hero Gabe Logan is out to seek his missing partner and oh yeah, blow things up.

Graphics made for PSP. Ok, let’s get this out of the way now.  Syphon Filter Logan’s Shadow is a PSP port so expect graphics equal to PS2 graphics.  The cutscenes show pretty good graphics but the gameplay is a boxy, origamic blur.  But there is hope.  Gabe Logan is the main character and he looks quite good for a port.  The terrorists are also detailed with their turbans and clothing fits suit.  It actually feels pretty good to blow some of them up, especially the first boss (Fahin) on the ship.

QTE on point. Logan’s Shadow does offer a good amount of quick time events.  Throughout the story, you’re asked to press buttons in a pattern allowing you to pry open vents or connect grappling lines for helicopter pickups.  QTE’s always add a bit of challenge and for the PSP that is good enough.  For the PS3, that attribute is a substitute for gameplay when graphics are at the peak.  In other words, it was a pleasant distraction from the standard 3rd person shooter.

Shooter among shooters. Ok, trying to compare apples to apples here.  As a 3rd person shooter the controls are very loose.  I did not have good feedback aiming down with L1 and shooting with R1.  So shooting from the hip was more my preference.  But I can imagine how impressive it would have been for the PSP.  The weapons and the inventory system is dated and does not hold up to today’s shooters standards.  Everyone knows “square” is to reload, duh!

Syphon your health. The health system is the old school “armor and health” we’re used to from older shooter games.  Health is regenerative but armor isn’t.  Picking up flak vests inside storage bins will replenish your blue armor bar.  Ammo is also available in bins as well as picking them up after you kill an enemy.

Boxart. The PS2 case displays the underwater missions which were very cool. Pressing buttons rapidly, you’re asked to move underwater mines to help guide a submarine punch a hole into the ships hull. Shooting bullets underwater was perfectly detailed with streams of air bubbles behind the bullet as it travelled towards the enemy. I also like the small details in the game like shooting off the hinge of a door allowing passage. That actually stumped me for a few minutes.

Final Thought: In short, this PS2 port of PSP’s 2007 game of the year should have stayed as a PSP port.  The PS2 has seen better graphics even earlier in it’s days. The controls were loose for a 3rd person shooter but the story written by best selling author Greg Rucka was entertaining at best.  Some games are better left untouched or in this case un-ported. But if you’re still skipping on the PS3 and playing on your composite connected PS2, Syphon Filter Logan’s Shadow might be the last of the mohicans.


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