Hands-on: Syphon Filter Logan's Shadow

Has there ever been a better time to be a portable gamer? Nintendo DS owners are blessed with an incredible lineup of unique software, and PSP owners are finally getting games that are delivering on the system's promise of bringing console-quality gaming on the go. Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow expands upon the excellent Dark Mirror with a plethora of gameplay improvements that make it one of the most exciting games for Sony's handheld. It's rare to see a handheld game dare to do so much ... and succeed.

Logan's Shadow has a lot to showcase, and does a fantastic job presenting all it has to offer. The game begins with a fully voice cinematic that already reeks of international politics and betrayal. We loved the writing, and were even more impressed by the incredible voice acting. Afterwards, Logan can be found, manning a minigun in a helicopter. This on-rails segment adds a nice cinematic touch to the game, while having players adjust to the PSP's analog nub. Once on the ground, players will have to take out enemies by brute force.

We were surprised to see the incredible variety of moves that Logan has at his disposal. We were easily able to duck for cover, and start blind-firing at enemies. Much to our joy, we saw enemies also taking cover, trying to intelligently move. Of course, this being a video game, there were conveniently located explosive barrels that helped our fight considerably. Eventually, we were able to get close to an enemy, disarm him, and use him as a body shield. The button commands were easy, and made Logan feel like an appropriately lethal killer. Scattered throughout the levels were quick time events, which have the player pressing on-screen commands, a la God of War. These sequences simply break up the action, and help the game's pacing.

Logan's Shadow is an impressive game that features great graphics, and great gameplay. (Although, this game makes us long for a second analog stick!) Regardless, Logan's Shadow offers a truly compelling gaming experience for portable gamers that will make console owners jealous.


This article was originally published on Joystiq.