SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$39.99

DEVELOPER
989 Studios

PUBLISHER
Sony

RELEASE
03/00

Syphon Filter 2 Review

By: Ace Sky


Don't ya just love summer? The reruns, the humidity, the pool, and the sequels; all the glorious rituals of the hottest seasons on the calendar that we thrive on. Everybody's favorite secret agent, Gabriel Logan, is back with his own sequel, intelligently named Syphon Filter 2. SF2 doesn't give up on the thrills and story but defiantly lets down on challenge and innovation. If Syphon Filter 2 were M:I2, I'm sure it its title would run something like "Mission: Semi-Questionably-Improbable 2."


Highs:
Lows:

Here in America, we have a funky mentality that if something good comes out then the next time around there should be more of it. If it's music, more good songs. If it's movies, more action and "story." If it's games, more of the same. Syphon Filter 2 follows suit, being almost identical to its predecessor, except for a bit of polishing up and new story. There are new weapons, new mission objectives, new movies, new characters, and new modes of play but at the core it's basically the same old game. For some that is great. For others, it is a very bad thing. If you hated the game the first time around, then do not even rent this. It is the exact same thing in a new package.

The graphics received a small face lift from the original Syphon Filter, getting a little bit more polished than they were previously feature and some of the old fog and draw in were done away with. Yet most of the character models and motions remained the same. Gabe still looks, walks, and runs like a stiff board, as does everyone else. The cinema sequences also have not changed a bit, still looking exactly like they did a year ago, which isn't that bad. Not much else here to talk about, it is all the same.

The sounds also have not changed that much. The regular sound FX sounds exactly the same. More ambient tracks have been added but not much else. The voice acting still needed much work but unfortunately it didn't receive it. Every character, especially Gabe, sounds like a reject William Shatner, uttering some of the poorest and driest tones ever known to mankind. Just imagine Shatner saying something like "I am going to stop them if it's the last thing I do." You will get the idea. It's bearable but in the end it should have been done better. The music still follows the MGS example, changing as you encounter obstacles and generally get into trouble. Not much else, because again it's all the same.

The overall core gameplay has not changed as well. Are you beginning to notice a trend yet? Controls are still tight, being a perfect showcase for how you make a good set of controls. SF2 still uses the three different targeting systems; target locking, manual targeting, and sniping. All three are still very useful especially the target locking. The target locking is unique to the Syphon Filter series. It is the most practical way to do targeting in an action game. Other than that, nothing else has changed. Gabe still runs around and completes mission objectives alibit more of them. After you finish a level, you are rewarded with a story sequence. One change was made, though. You can save at the checkpoints instead of the end of a level. If you love the game, it's essential. Other than that, nothing else here.

Multiplayer has been added to Syphon Filter 2 and it fairs terrible, unfortunately. I had high hopes for it, even though knowing it couldn't compare to Perfect Dark or Quake III. My hopes fell to the ground as I fired it up with a friend. First all you are limited to only 2 players, which takes a lot away. I expected just as much so that wasn't such a let down. The real let down was in the gameplay. There was minimal slow down and all the other technical aspects were fine but in the end it just was not fun after several sittings. That element of trying to beat your friend in a game of stealth and guns was missing. The programmers just went with the bear minimum with customization. It was fun to start out but slowly progressed into more of a chore than a memorable experience. Even after getting all the secret stages and characters, it did not have that lasting ability that so many multiplayer games have. SF2's multiplayer is a neat feature but needed work. Hopefully the PS2 sequel will include 4 players and a whole lot more fun.

All in all, Syphon Filter 2 is a fun game; it's just not an original game. Being simply a game skeleton with a pretty set of clothing, SF2 will do well. It is an American thing, as stated before. Lets just hope that the third game will be a whole lot better on the PS2.

OVERALL
7.0

GRAPHICS
8.0

CONTROL
7.0

MUSIC/FX
9.0

FRUSTRATION
2.0


Second Opinion

By: John Doe

Here in Canada we have a funky mentality that if the American's think something is good, then we'll be seeing a whole lot of it. Syphon Filter 2 is good, but it really doesn't try to do much more than be a good sequel. We are all familiar with the sequel formula; emphasize characters from the original (Lian is playable this time around), throw in bigger weapons, badder enemies, bigger explosions - you get the picture. Well Syphon Filter 2 accomplishes all of that and more, however I found it harder to enjoy this one. Perhaps the dark, grainy graphics were responsible, or the super-difficult missions. Either way, Syphon Filter 2 is a worthy sequel, but like most sequels, pales in comparison to the original. It's worth playing, don't get me wrong. Just don't expect an entirely new experience.

OVERALL
7.5

GRAPHICS
7.5

CONTROL
7.0

MUSIC/FX
7.0

FRUSTRATION
6.0

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