Syphon Filter 2

Hi and welcome back to SyphonFilter.Co – just kidding. What started off as a friend of the blog asking me to cover a classic has turned into a full blown series. So welcome to part two – the classic, Syphon Filter 2.

In case you missed Syphon Filter 1

Mere hours after the events of the first game, with crazy German terrorist, Erich Rhoemer’s body still warm – Lian and Gabe are once again set into action. But this time their foes are much more far reaching and formidable than eccentric and badly accented Terrorists.

Following up the massive success of the first Syphon Filter, Eidetic picks up right where it left off with explosive action, more guns and an epic two disc sequel. (To me back in the day the double disc packaging felt so good. Like a steel book case nowadays).

I, in fact, did actually play this game when it was out unlike the first one that I could never afford. But, somehow I only had disc one and never got to finish it. But what I DO remember is having a crush on Lian Xing’s character and what could have been chalked up as mere adolescence (😂😂) the sentiment is reinforced with fresh eyes decades later. Lian Xing was written pretty well. Especially for the time the game was released (2000). She doesn’t need Gabe Logan to rescue her. On the contrary, she actually rescues him at one point of the game and while the 32-bit physical attraction is a bit questionable these days – there is nothing sexier than a strong female lead.

The teenage mind is a curious place

Anyways, moving on.

After uncovering connections between PharmCom and The Agency the two agents are now being pursued by the exact same Agency they worked for in the first game. With only the help of one another and an ex-Agency operative, Teresa Lipan (based out of an insanely decked out trailer somewhere in the deserts of Arizona) they are on the run for their lives with the sole mission to finally expose the truth to the world.

The entire first disc of the game is the “first mission”. Which begins at the Kazakhstan Missile Silo from the ending of SF1. From there Lian Xing is abducted and infected with the Syphon Filter virus. With help from Teresa, Logan is off to track down the Pharcom encryption discs but his plane is shot down over the Rockies in Colorado.

From there you swap between escaping a military base with Xing to escaping the pursuit of the agency down the Rocky Mountains with Logan. Making for an interesting and dynamic dual storyline. While both characters play the exact same (maybe Lian is a bit faster? But that could be my imagination) the technique of swapping characters back in the day was an exciting prospect.

SF promotional art. (SFWIKI)

The second half of the game finds the crew in different locals from a club in Moscow, a woman’s Gulag deep in Russia (for which Lian was once held as a political prisoner at and she bravely returns) to the streets of New York City, the second disc finally starts to offer the exotic locales its predecessor was famous for.

Interestingly enough, despite being released in 2000 – The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centrr can only be glimpsed briefly when Gabe breaks into the Pharcom Exposition Center. Despite logic dictating they should in fact be visible in the skyline during the escape from New York (specifically, during Missions 19: “New York City Slums” and 21: “Sykes Parking Garage” , both of which are set in the lower east side of Manhattan), they for some reason whatsoever remain unseen. (SyphonfilterWiki)

Mara Aramov returns. She’s the worst.

The game was praised for its gameplay tweaks but took a few hits for not expanding much on the formula and it’s pretty confusing story line but overall it’s still a solid release and the best original PlayStation spy series not named, Metal Gear Solid.

Overall: 83%

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