Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
The same as Dark Mirror with a few additions.
Ah, how that awful Syphon Filter PS2 multiplayer game - The Omega Strain - has been consigned to the ages - Logan's Shadow isn't as much of a breath of fresh air as the first PSP version (Dark Mirror) was, but it still hits all the right notes and provides all the right thrills in all the right places. I was going to do some awful phoenix/flames metaphor about the game being another feather on said phoenix, but it was awful. Just, awful. Felt you should know.
Logan's Shadow sees players taking control of everybody's favourite gruff-voiced not-a-snake-rip-off incredibly-named hero, Gabe Logan, as he travels the world killing people who don't look American. There is a story backing all this up - stolen cargo, foreigners, double crossing, the government being bastards and the like - but it's generally very much ignorable tosh. It has to be noted though that it is a shame the game takes itself so seriously, when it's so clearly half-baked in many narrative concepts. BUT ANYWAY.
The game itself is pretty much identical to Dark Mirror - controls, movements, looks, everything really. There are a couple of additions ripped from the two GoWs, namely blind fire and quick time events, and these slot in nicely enough to not disrupt the flow - even if they don't make a huge amount of difference. Oh, and you can grab enemies, but that doesn't fit with the GoWs line, so shut up. Basically though, this is the same single player game as of 2006. Whilst I don't think they've left it long enough to release what is essentially an expansion pack and expect to charge full price for it, you can't argue with how solid the experience is.
Controls are tight once you (a) get used to them, or (b) change them to an easier layout, and it never feels like you're being punished for design flaws rather than lack of personal skill - if you should be able to make a headshot, you'll be able to make a headshot. So with this knowledge you run, hide, poke out and shoot through however many levels they saw fit to put in this time - each one is split into segments each lasting around ten minutes or so, making things ideal for handheld play. Another plus mark there then. The game rushes you along at quite a pace, but never gets too difficult, and it even rewards you with some decent extras on finishing the game, including a demo of Combat Ops, the upcoming multiplayer-only version of Syphon Filter.
Speaking of multiplayer, we have some lovely online action available - for once the developers on a PSP game have seen sense and not limited it to ad-hoc (Monster Hunter I'm looking at you...) so you're free to link up with the three other people in the world that own a PSP - so long as they're playing the game at the same time as you. Hmm. Look - I once got an online multiplayer game out of Twisted Metal: Head On - by this logic I can safely say that any PSP game with online facilities has the chance of providing some online competition.
The main problems with the game come with the fact that it isn't very different from the last one. It really, really isn't. There are some half-hearted additions as mentioned and a decent multiplayer option, but all in all this is a very similar experience to the one a few people were involved in back in '06. It's lazy and not to be encouraged, but I can't help but be enamoured with the ongoing adventures of Gabe (snigger) and his pals.