Even with its shortcomings, the amazing aspects shine through in one awesome game.
Let's start off with the story. Syphon Filter revolves around a whole conspiracy with a drug known as, well, Syphon Filter. Gabe Logan (The hero), does everything he can to stop the trafficking of the drug, and the parties involved with it. It all goes down from there. While the story isn't the most innovative out there, it's plausible. In the beginning of the sequel, Lian Xing (Gabe's partner) gets kidnapped. Logan sets out to get her, and his plane gets shot down, and he lands with his GI Troops in the Colorado Rockies. So enough about that.
Now let's talk about the gameplay. Syphon Filter is a 3rd Person stealth action game. The view of the game is entirely seen from behind Gabe (and Lian a little later *wink wink*) except for when you zoom your gun in to aim. The game offers a good variety of missions. Some missions are all out war, while some are filled with a lot of espionage. The gameplay mechanics are solid, there's a great variety of weapons, and the controls are a breeze to use. Target Locking and aiming add great variety to the gameplay. You have to choose whether you want to aim and be more accurate, or take a quick shot to save your life. The game gives you meters for your HUD. You have your Armor, Danger, and target meter. The danger meter tells you that an enemy is aiming for you, and when they will likely hit you. When it's filling up, it means they are closing in on you. When it's blinking red, they are about to hit you. While you may think this makes the game easy, you WILL be in for a surprise. The target meter tells you how likely you are to hit your enemy you are targeting. The weapons have no range to them, and it's pretty cool to get a headshot with a shotgun from miles away. While it's unrealistic, it's fun. Instead of ranting on, to make a long story short, the gameplay is great. Moving on.
Now for the difficulty. This game is HARD. You will die, and die, and die, and die some more. Oh, and you will die. Did I mention you will die? Well, you'll die. But don't think this is a game breaker. It's just a big challenge. The one thing that is annoying however, is that the game is heavily scripted. Meaning if you don't do exactly what the game wants you to do, you will automatically die. Whether it be blown up by a grenade, or shot in the face by a sniper. Speaking of which, headshots are a minor gripe in this game. Fans of the first game will know how enemies never shot you in the head. But they do here. A label will appear above your head (clearly labeled head shot), and your HUD will be flashing blue and red. While it clearly warns you, it can get annoying. If you get close to an enemy (particularly a boss), forget about it. You will get shot in the face. They get really annoying when a sniper is targeting you while you are fighting a posse of bad guys. About the enemies, the AI is pretty good. Enemies can be pretty accurate, and perform some good tactics in combat. Enemies will wait for you to enter a room, they will run away if they sense danger, and they will try their best to get you. The game definitely packs a punch.
Moving on to Graphics. The graphics are PS1, so it won't be particularly eye candy. However, Syphon filter looked great. Syphon Filter 2 does look a little better. The color pallette is a lot sharper this time around, and the environments are more detailed and varied. The character models look downgraded from the first game though. The graphics engine pulls off some slick effects. You get snow falling in the first level, and the cold breaths coming out from humans to name a few. It's the small details that add to the look. They are great for PlayStation standards.
Overall, there's a lot this game has to offer. With a rather lengthy two disc campaign, and a two player deathmatch mode, you will spend a lot of time with this game. The modes are all very fun and will have you coming back if you are a true syphon filter fan. Syphon Filter 2 is cheap and common these days, so you won't go wrong getting a copy off of eBay. This game gets a 9/10 from me.