Syphon Filter retro review: Counter-terrorism at its finest

by MaddOx
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Syphon Filter is a third-person shooter video game that was first released in 1999. Developed by SCE Bend Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Syphon Filter quickly became one of the most popular video games of its time, with millions of players playing it every day. In this review, we’ll be taking a closer look at Syphon Filter, exploring what makes it such an enduring and beloved video game.


Syphon Filter’s story is one of its biggest selling points. Interestingly, the game’s storyline was heavily inspired by real-world events and espionage thrillers, featuring a cast of characters who work for a secret government agency.

Players take on the role of Gabe Logan as he tries to stop a dangerous terrorist organization from releasing a deadly virus. The story is well-written and engaging, with players feeling like they are truly a part of the action as they progress through the game. The characters are well-developed, with each one having their own unique personality and motivations, making the story feel more immersive and personal.

The story also does an excellent job of building tension and suspense, with players constantly feeling like they’re on the edge of their seats as they progress through the game. The game’s pacing is perfect, with players being given just enough time to catch their breath between intense firefights, but never enough time to get bored or lose interest.

Syphon Filter PS1 gameplay


Syphon Filter is a third-person shooter that puts players in the shoes of Gabe Logan, a government agent tasked with stopping a dangerous terrorist organization from releasing a deadly virus. Throughout the game, players will navigate a variety of environments, using a variety of weapons to take down enemies and complete objectives. The gameplay is fast-paced and intense, with players having to constantly be on the move to avoid enemy fire and stay one step ahead of the enemy.

One of the standout features of Syphon Filter is its ability to blend stealth and action seamlessly. Syphon Filter was one of the first games to feature a stealth-based gameplay mechanic, where players were encouraged to avoid enemies and complete missions undetected. Players are encouraged to use stealth to complete objectives and take down enemies, but can also engage in intense firefights when necessary. This gives players the freedom to approach each situation in the way that they see fit, making the gameplay feel fresh and engaging throughout.

Another key aspect of Syphon Filter’s gameplay is its tight controls. Players are able to aim, shoot, and move with ease, making the game feel intuitive and responsive. The controls are designed to be accessible to players of all skill levels, so even if you’re new to the world of video games, you’ll be able to pick up Syphon Filter and start playing with ease.

Graphics and Sound

Syphon Filter was released in 1999, and while its graphics may not hold up as well as some of the more recent video games, they are still impressive for their time. The game’s environments are well-designed, with each one feeling unique and believable. The character models are also well-done, with each one having its own unique look and style.

The sound in Syphon Filter is also top-notch, with the game’s soundtrack and sound effects doing an excellent job of immersing players in the game’s world. The game’s soundtrack was composed by legendary video game composer Chuck Doud, who created a memorable and atmospheric score that helped to enhance the game’s overall experience. The game’s voice acting is also excellent, with each character having their own unique voice and personality, making the story feel even more engaging.

Syphon Filter gameplay from PS1

Final thoughts on Syphon Filter

Syphon Filter is a timeless classic that still holds up today as one of the best video games ever made. Its fast-paced gameplay, engaging story, and well-designed environments make it a must-play for fans of third-person shooters and explain why the game was a critical and commercial success, selling over 2 million copies worldwide.

If you’re a fan of video games and haven’t played Syphon Filter, now is the perfect time to do so, as it’s a true testament to the power and potential of video games. You can actually play this as one of the titles on PlayStation Plus Premium, along with its two sequels.

For more retrospective reviews like this, check out our Game Reviews section.

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