Logan just keeps on running.
Gabe Logan is back for his final adventure on the Playstation and frankly,
I couldn’t be happier that it’s the last one. Don’t get me wrong – the Syphon
Filters are good, action-packed spy games. But like Kenny Rogers, at some
point you gotta know when to hold ’em and especially know when to fold ’em.
time Gabe and his allies must give closed-door congressional testimony about
the activities of the Agency during the period when the Syphon Filter
virus first emerged as a world threat. Unfortunately, because of events in the
previous games, Gabe is alone and unable to even prove the existence
of the Agency. Congressional inquiries and political posturing aside, organizations
are at this moment maneuvering to secure Syphon Filter to use toward
their own ends.
The game opens with Gabe giving testimony, denying he had any involvement with
the assassination of a foreign diplomat during the Syphon Filter crisis.
While testifying, the game gives a flashback, allowing you to play through the
situation Gabe describes…in this case, assassinating the previously mentioned
diplomat. Thus begins the game’s first mission.
Once you complete this mission, it becomes clear that this is the same damn
game we’ve been playing for three years now. Syphon
Filter was the spy game for folks who didn’t have the patience for Metal
Gear Solid. Whereas MGS was like playing through a psychological
espionage thriller, Syphon Filter played more like a hardcore episode
of The A-Team.
Just as much fun, just not as much thinking.
Once again the storyline is top-notch, with many levels being played flashback-style
during the hearing. But as cool as this is, it only serves to remind you how
dated the game is. As Gabe testifies about events that happened in a previous
game, you play that level in the context of the testimonial. For example, Gabe
tells congress about Rhoemer’s assassination of a fellow agent, which we saw
in the opening cinemas in the first game. Not only do we see it again, but this
time we actively chase Rhoemer afterward.
At first this seems pretty cool, almost like a ‘Syphon Filter: The Untold
Story’ project or something. Ultimately, though, you feel like you’ve done
feeling of deja vu isn’t helped by the fact that the game looks precisely the
same as the old games. Honestly, the only difference is Gabe’s new haircut.
Granted, it was no Solid Snake mullet,
but the old ‘doo had it’s charm. The animations in the cut-scenes look a bit
different as well, but I can’t say they look better. Gabe still runs with that
bowl-legged gait that screams “Gotta hustle!” and still uses the calm-under-pressure
The sound effects are exceptional with realistic weapon sounds and ambient
tracks. My only complaint about the sound is the fact you can’t hear the frequent
mission updates over the swell of the soundtrack.
Like other aspects of Syphon Filter 3, the gameplay itself remains unchanged.
Sabotage, personnel extraction, assassination and general sneakiness are the
parameters to ensure success. The same control scheme is used with no new actions
or animations. It’s still harder than necessary to change weapons in the middle
of a firefight, but the variety of weapons available gives you incentive.
The feeling of tension and suspense the player gets while playing through the
first two games is strangely absent here. Whereas before I would hug the walls
and creep silently through corridors looking for the enemy, now I find myself
calmly standing in the middle of a room nonchalantly picking off baddies. Maybe
I’m a better player, maybe I’m jaded, or just maybe the game isn’t as exciting
The boring head-to-head multiplayer is back with brand new ways to make your
eyes roll back. It’s only one on one, the areas are pretty small, the control
isn’t great and the split screen sucks. It’s just a waste.
I understand the developers want Gabe to finish his first adventure on the
PSX – Syphon Filter being a trilogy and all that – but this engine’s
time has passed. It winds up playing more like Max
Payne on crack. This game is for hardcore fans of the series who have to
see how the story ends. If you just want some run ‘n’ gun shooting action, play
the first game again. You’ll thank yourself.