"My name is Gabe Logan; I'm here to do my job the way I know how to do it."
Continuing right after Syphon Filter's end, Logan is on his way back to a safe place with the vital information about the Syphon Filter Virus. Lian (Logan's partner) is also on route about to lift off but she is captured; new characters also get involved for better or worse. Quickly, the agency that created the virus is attempting to retrieve the data by all means and eliminate key members. It would be a very good idea to have gotten the original's story because this one is deep, and more interesting; but it is also easier to get confused and there's not much done for players that didn't finish the first. If anything else, it does lay in the drama, suspense, and interest (in other words, it does its' job decently).
From a design standpoint, much of the game is the same; however, it would be a completely moronic move to change the majority of these features. The easy to use map, smartly laid out controls, auto-targeting system, and direct, clear objectives/ info statements keep the game easy to get into. Level design is better than usual as you are generally awarded with various weapons/ items to help if you navigate around a level in full or try to really search around. One neat inclusion is the presence of certain real world obstacles; they aren't actually mentioned, but arrive in the level designs themselves. Sometimes, you have to take out the lights to get the edge on the enemy with your night vision, incapacitate an enemy before they realize the comrade they're talking to is out, or watch out for high speed traffic on roads. All of these obstacles help add variety to the main game's usually just as strong other game play portions: clearing a room, protecting a certain individual, destroying something, or navigating through somewhere without being caught.
For SF2, stealth is a greater focus before as more weapons such as hand tasers, tear gas, tranquillizing crossbows, and knifes become popular new additions; furthermore, there still are situations where you'll end up catching the enemy by surprise (if you make the right moves). Unfortunately, the greater focus on stealth also equals to more memorizing of enemy movement patterns and immediate failures if getting caught during one of these sections. This was around before, but the first game remembered to usually avoid them or give you the action or stealth route; this one has that too but as said, it's more stealth oriented. Luckily, roughly 70% of the game still is the well received action game play and there's a well designed 2 player multiplayer to go at that will have players probably avoiding stealth given you can see one another on the tv. The trigger happy multiplayer also has a nice tie in with the main game, if you find generally well hidden items, you will unlock various skins and levels to face off in; many of these inclusions will pleasantly remind you of the original and the current. You also have to crawl around in air ducts and overhear some conversations; it really does feel stealthy as you move around like a rat, seeing and hearing things that was clearly meant to stay private.
Your weapons all feel well weighted, having the pros and cons that should be expected from each weapon. You can still light someone on fire with an air taser, shoot a sniper rifle through 2 enemies' heads, blow up most vehicles, and perform the awesome knife kill. The camera will switch to a security camera type viewpoint and let you see Logan slit their throat; the camera itself is usually locked behind you but assists when it should to avoid issues. The enemy themselves are still very smart using tactics such as ambushing, evading grenades, lobbing grenades, can aim well, and even perform a head shot (if they are going to perform a head shot, you will have a moderate warning). As far as length goes, the first run-through will offer 9/ 10 hours but it's probably fun enough to try again and the multiplayer will tide any gamer for at least some time.
Graphically, the game looks stronger; on a technical level, there's a general sharpness to environments, cut scenes look respectable. The game runs smoothly and loads quite quickly. The sound is OK; rock solid sound effects are surrounded by actors that have limited emotion and dialogue that usually has even less. The music can be memorable or forgettable, I still remember bits of it on and off but it's mostly just to be forgotten.
While SF2 has a fair few nice additions, there are problems. The sneaky, don't fail stealth missions can easily frustrate you, the story can be a confusing distraction, and it's largely the same but refined and added with some extra portions. The game as a whole can be just as stiff as Logan's acting, but usually, it is rock solid at what it does!