BY JUSTIN BRAXTON-BROWN
If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it. 989 Studios’ Syphon Filter 2 is no exception to that rule. The highly anticipated follow up to the smash hit, Syphon Filter lives up to all of the magic of its predecessor and in some cases moves beyond.
The story of Syphon Filter 2 is similar to the original. You are a highly skilled top-secret government agent with very important objectives to accomplish. Your job is to accomplish those objectives at any cost, even if it means destroying communication satellites, infiltrating highly secure compounds and even killing people.
The story opens with a newscast covering a supposed accidental nuclear explosion. Of course, it was not an accident and the main character, Gabe Logan, is investigating. Being a highly trained government agent is not all it’s cracked up to be as Gabe finds out when he is attacked during the investigation, and Gabe’s partner from the original Syphon is kidnapped.
While continuing to meet his objectives, Gabe also has to track down his partner and punish the kidnappers. The pursuit of his partner leads Gabe into many exciting levels and pits him against unbeatable odds. The fighting gets so thick at times, it is easy to forget that you are playing a game and not watching a James Bond movie.
Syphon Filter 2 is armed with a slew of weapons and a dozen new missions. Each mission, like the original, is intertwined with video clips. A clip is shown when a new objective is added to your mission, or when you confront an evil villain for the first time. These video segments add to the game’s interactivity and make it seem as though you are playing out a big budget movie.
The controls have not changed from the original game. Gabe is very easy to maneuver and can dive into corners, avoid probing searchlights and scale imposing walls with ease. Because the controls are basic, they are also easy to master, making the game very entertaining.
Perhaps the best feature of Syphon Filter 2 is the new two-player mode. In this mode, players can battle head-to-head in many different environments, fighting to see who is the best secret agent. The head-to-head mode allows players to customize each battle by setting the number of times a person can be killed, the types of weapons they can use and which character they would like to be. The player who kills the other wins the match.
Syphon filter is gory. Like many action movies and video games, the goal is to stop the bad guy at all costs — even if that means killing the bad guy. The game can be disturbing. Due to the war-like casualty rates, it has been rated Mature.
Because being a secret agent is cool to almost everyone, Syphon Filter appeals to people in all age ranges. Diving out of planes, rolling behind rocks for cover and sneaking up behind an unsuspecting foot soldier makes Syphon Filter a great escape from everyday life.
The game is spectacular to look at and the integration of video and audio allows gamers to feel like they are taking part in an interactive action flick. The menus are easy to follow, and unlike some first-person shooting games, it is very hard to get lost.
The game almost makes you follow a pattern to avoid getting caught in the catacombs that are indigenous to some levels. With the addition of new weapons, characters and the dual player mode, Syphon Filter 2 surpasses the original and is by far one of the best games in its class.