Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow – PSP review

4.5 out of 5
£35

For

Stunning aesthetics, excellent single player campaign

Against

Story is a little daft, enemy AI sometimes a little iffy

Stealth focused shooters have always been ten a penny on the Sony consoles. From the Tom Clancy games, to Metal Gear, and even good old Splinter Cell, there’s always been a plethora of goodness to be extracted in this particular genre.

The PSP is no different with the continuation of the Syphon Filter series that was so much adored on the PS1. Last years Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror was a surprise hit with its excellent brand of stealth based action, and some dazzling visuals that proved that the PSP had a lot of power hidden within its tiny exterior.

Logan’s Shadow then, unsurprisingly doesn’t trek too far from the path trodden by last years iteration. It’s still all about sneaking around, and taking out enemies, and taking in the slightly odd brand of story that only sneaky spy types ever seen to be a part of.

It’s all very well Gears of War and Rainbow Six esque, with ducking behind cover and picking off targets as you pop out into danger making up the vast majority of play. Thankfully, while your enemies are intelligent enough to keep themselves out of danger – though it was noticed that a few instances of enemies wandering into walls did occur – they are happy enough to pop their heads out from behind cover from time to time to allow you to end their existence.

There are, indeed, a few extra gameplay ideas tossed into the mix to break up what could potentially have descended into monotony. Some of which make the game infinitely more enjoyable, with certain enemies clad in bullet resistant armour forcing you to shoot their exposed air tanks. Firing blind also helps force enemies into cover, which is handy when the odds are heavily stacked against you.

Others are a little less adventurous, with the now standard introduction of quick time events requiring a series of button presses to perform a complicated action. Yes, it was fantastic in Shenmue, and even the God of War series. But does it need to be seen in every single game released in modern times?

Again, things are looking remarkably impressive. Obviously there’s been no expense spared handing over the kind of aesthetics you’d not expect to spy on a handheld. The graphics, particularly the lighting, only impress for the entire length of the single player campaign. And the cutscenes that help push along the story are a real treat for the eye.

The single player campaign itself will last you quite a while, and it’s had the replayability meter ramped up by some handy opportunities to unlock bonus items, and even brand new levels to play through.

That’s not to say you’ll enjoy every second of it. Though the story does do a decent job of encouraging you to progress, it certainly isn’t what you’d call the best example the genre has to offer. The dialogue can be so bad it avoids cringe worthy, and heads straight to laughable.

Verdict

As an example for what the PSP can do when some talented folks get their hands on a machine, Logan’s Shadow is a phenomenal achievement.

Its lengthy single player campaign is an absolute delight from start to finish, and deserves to be picked up by any stealth and action loving PSP owners.

A major plus point for the PSP to hold over the DS.