Combining both action and stealth into an incredible mix, Syphonfilter is an amazing achievement that mustn't be missed.
The Bad: The analog control support is bad; Gabe runs sissy-like; the closed-mouth talking is bizarre at some points.
Games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil created a new gameplay style, and they were heavily accepted. Seeing that creating new styles works, SCEA and 989 Studios unite their strength to make a new and entertaining action/stealth game. And fortunately, the mix was edible, and another superb PlayStation game was born.
Syphonfilter is the kind of game that gives you total control of what's happening. You can choose to go guns blazing and start shooting everyone on-site or you can choose to pick your silenced 9mm handgun and sneak behind the enemy's defense line. Being the first game to do this, it was awesome the way it came out. The enemy AI helped creating this "choose your destiny", since when they see you, they start blasting you to death. So, your best bet is to pass unnoticed behind everyone.
The game's graphics are beautiful, with wide-open, detailed and highly-interactive backgrounds. You can shoot of the room's lights, for example, and make yourself harder to be found by enemy sentries. Of course, by today's standards, they suck, but I'm reviewing it like I'm back in the time. The characters are well-designed (though the mouth-closed talking seems a bit bizarre at some times) and the game does a pretty good job with the transparency (when you're too close to a wall, your character will be semi-visible, so you can see what's happening in front of you.
The sound keep up with the graphics' quality pretty well. The weapons noises are fairly realistic and believeable, and the great voice work helps a lot creating the action atmosphere. The dialogues were well-written and they certainly add more tension to the game. The explosion effects are also awesome, creating a very realistic atmosphere. The focus of the game is: realism. They wanted to create an incredible shooter, full with brand-new stealthy scenarios, but everything in a believeable fashion. And they did!
The gameplay unfortunatelly doesn't keep track of the audiovisual quality very well. Controlling Logan with the D-Pad is extremelly annoying, and the analog stick's support is far worse than de D-Pad's, so it's better to take some time to get addicted to the D-Pad's moves than frustrate yourself with the imprecise, cumbersome analog controls.
Apart form the gameplay issues, Syphonfilter is an extremely superb game, that will provide you lots of amazing thrills in a great and well-designed stealthy fashion. The plot is also amazing, with some fine hollywood movie-like moments and charismatic (and markable) characters.
Make no mistake. If you have a PlayStation and don't own Syphonfilter, do it now, you don't know what you're missing. A deep, well-designed and entretaining action/stealth 3rd person shooter. These words describe really well what Syphonfilter is like.