Syphon Filter is a third-person shooter/stealth video game developed by Eidetic and published by 989 Studios for the PlayStation. It is the first game in the series of the same name, the plot centring around special agents Gabriel Logan (infamously called "Gabe" to in-game characters and real life players) and Lian Xing who are tasked by the United States government to apprehend an international terrorist from Germany.
Development on Syphon Filter began with the intention of creating a new "super-spy" genre hybrid that contained elements of stealth-action and puzzle solving. The game was almost cancelled several times during development as Eidetic faced many difficulties due to the lack of inspiration from others and their inexperience in creating video games. Despite the initial drawbacks faced, Syphon Filter was met with positive reviews from critics upon release, mostly directed at its innovation and immersive plot. Certain comparisons have been made between this series and another action-adventure/stealth series, Metal Gear Solid, which was both developed and published by Konami.
Due to the nature of this article, it is currently under construction and may not necessarily be considered complete.
SPOILER ALERT WARNING! DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE GAME'S STORYLINE
The game is presented in a third-person perspective, and the player can freely move in three-dimensional space and rotate the camera in any desired direction. The top left corner of the screen interface shows the status of Logan's body armour (referred to as a 'flak jacket' in-game), a 'danger-meter' which rises as the player engages enemies through combat, and a target lock. A radar is displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen which shows the location of various objects including friendly units if any, enemies, weapon pick ups or mission objectives. (Referencing required from Wikipedia) The current weapon equipped is always displayed in the bottom right corner, with the ammunition count. The camera is contingent to the weapon used, and will shift to first-person mode to assist in aiming. (Referencing required from Wikipedia)
The core of the gameplay is focused on stealth-based tactics, which require one to silently take out enemies using silenced weapons or other lethal attacks. However, most of the game is action-orientated, (Referencing required from Wikipedia) which involves Logan navigating through levels while simultaenously shooting enemies. (Referencing required from Wikipedia) The game takes place in a wide variety of locations, including narrow interior streets of Washington D.C. to wide open plains of Kazakhstan. (Referencing required from Wikipedia) In some stealth based missions, the game will involve various puzzles. (Referencing required from Wikipedia) Some locations feature low light ambience, which force the player to use their flashlight despite its drawbacks imposed during stealth missions, and this limits the player's in-hand weapons since a torch replaces one's firearms or other lethal instruments. (Referencing required from Wikipedia)
A silenced Glock 17, designated Silenced 9mm in the game, is the second default weapon for each mission and is a very commonly-carried handgun by NPCs. The game treats Gabe's version as integrally silenced, and thus the attachment can never be removed (in contrast to Metal Gear, another popular stealth-action series and the direct competitor to Syphon Filter). However, low-ranking enemies and some CBDC agents will use them without the silencer.
The M1911A1, called .45 in the game, can be found in Washington Park and in Rhoemer's cathedrals. The weapon is the most powerful pistol in the game. Unlike the 9mm, it can shred through enemies, especially the more armoured ones, but generates a significant amount of noise and recoil. It also has a terribly slow firing rate.
The Glock 18, or G-18 as the game refers to it, can be used in Rhoemer's cathedral and is held by Edward Benton, a traitorous Agency turncoat attempting to kill Gabe. For some reason whatsoever, it is always shown with the slide fully locked back.
Heckler & Koch MP5K
A Heckler & Koch MP5K, called HK5 in the game, is found in the PHARCOM expo centre. The weapon is primarily used by Phagan's guards. It holds an erroneous 32 rounds in the magazine, despite the menu model having a 20-round magazine and 30 being the weapon's largest possible standard magazine.
Izhmash PP-19 Bizon
The Izhmash PP-19 Bizon, called Biz-2 in the game, can be found in the PHARCOM warehouses. It has an incorrect 66-round magazine: the maximum possible for a real Bizon is 64. Likely due to graphical limitations at the time, the gun is fired one-handed as you would a machine pistol.
Colt M16 A1
The M16A1 can be used during the Washington assault, known as the M-16. The weapon fires incorrectly in 3-round bursts if you tap the fire button once, but is fully capable of fully-automatic fire if it is held down. The weapon is the primary firearm used by CBDC agents.
This is a bit anachronistic since the game takes place during 1999, while the US military personnel would be armed with M16A2's at this point. Additionally, since the weapon is primarily used by CBDC in a purely urban operation, a full-sized rifle is unlikely to be issued to them. A more fitting choice would be an M4A1 carbine.
A fictional weapon which is apparently some kind of one-handed AK pistol without a handguard, but is still somehow classified as a rifle, is called the K3G4. Its description repeats the media myth of the "teflon-coated bullet:" while heavy AP rounds do have Teflon coatings to reduce barrel wear, the coating is mostly removed through contact with the weapon's rifling and has no effect whatsoever on its penetration. Despite its armour-piercing performance in-game, it does not stop Gabe from recovering completely intact armour pickups.
What appears to be the AK-102, judging from the name and locale it is used, appears in the game as the PK-102. Strangely, the gun appears to be depicted in art with the barrel fully exposed, lacking an instrument resembling a handguard.
SIG SG 550 SR
A sniper rifle is one of the starting weapons in every mission. While it does not look tremendously like one, the model used in the second game implies it is supposed to be a SIG SG 550 SR. The weapon also features a fairly unrealistic sophisticated scope that highlights everything from distance to target appendage, something a small scope mounted on the weapon is unlikely to have. Its world model also has no stock.
The SVD Dragunov is functionally almost exactly the same as the standard sniper rifle, but has a night vision scope. It is called the Night Vision Sniper.
Mossberg 500 Mariner Cruiser
A Mossberg 500 Mariner Cruiser can be used during most mission, known as the Shotgun. The weapon is naturally one of the more devastating close-quarters firearms in the game, capable of easily shredding through armored enemies in a few shots. The gun has a bottomless magazine, where you do not need to actually reload the weapon with new shells and will continue to fire, so long as you have spare ammo for the gun. It also fires slugs, making it effective at range.
The weapon can also be fired while hanging, one handed. Strangely, Gabe is somehow able to magically fire the gun as normal, bypassing the need to pump the weapon per shot.
Remington Model 1100
The Remington Model 1100 is called the Combat Shotgun and found in several end-game levels, replacing the standard shotgun altogether. The weapon functions similarly to the default shotgun, but fires a bit faster and has 5 shells more in its ammo pool.
Tru Flite 37mm Super Long Range Gas Gun
The weapon called the M79 in-game is in fact a Tru Flite 37mm Super Long Range Gas Gun erroneously shown as able to launch high-explosive grenades. The weapon is found uncommonly through the game, but is highly destructive, capable of instantly killing most targets in a wide area, so long as they're inside the blast radius (this however, also includes the user himself, making it extremely dangerous to use in tight areas). Much like the shotgun, the weapon draws from a bottomless magazine (despite that it can only hold one round at a time), so it does not need to be reloaded and can continue to fire as there're rounds available for it.
Erich Rhoemer uses it in the last boss fight, but the player can never acquire it since the game is scripted to finish when he is killed. It is hidden very well in certain places for the player to search.
M67 Hand Grenade
The standard grenade which can be found in most missions, called the Grenade: it explodes 3 seconds after throwing it. The weapon is quite powerful, killing any non-boss target if they're even remotely near the blast zone (like the M79, Gabe himself can die from the explosion). Likely due to engine limitations, the damage passes through walls without any penalties.
M7 CS Gas Grenade
This canister, called Gas Grenade, contains Soman nerve gas (a chemical similar to but even more toxic than Sarin, also known as GD - the third of the "G series" of nerve agents; the others being GA, GB and GF, which are respectively Tabun, Sarin and Cyclosarin) and can be found in stealth missions. It appears to essentially be a truncated M7 CS Gas Grenade. It is integral to taking enemies down without sounding the alarm. This particular item is also required to kill Rhoemer, whose plot armour renders him essentially invulnerable to any other weapon.
C4 explosives can be equipped and planted but the player can never trigger the explosion physically. It is always automatically set off.
A general-purpose, nondescript taser which appears to have been based on the design of the Star Trek: The Next Generation hand phaser is a starting weapon in every mission. (The weapon was later used in certain movies such as The Perfect Weapon, in which Jeff Speakman acts as a martial arts expert who takes on a Korean mafia gang that kills his best friend). The signature weapon of the series, it was possible to set enemies alight if sustained stunning was used. This convention carried over to most games in the franchise. Exclusive to The Omega Strain was the option for players to either set enemies aflame with a sustained attack which killed them, or simply render them unconscious with a shorter burst of electricity.
In the PS2 and Vita versions of Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, you can't burn enemies with the Taser but in the PSP version, you can. However, in Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow, you can't burn enemies with it, for all the platforms which the game can be used on.
In perhaps one of the most memorable scenes of gaming, Anton Girdeux brandishes a fire whip during the fight against Gabe in Freedom Memorial. Since he is unable to use explosives against the heavily armoured pyromaniac (to avoid setting off a bomb), Gabe instead decides to give the French a taste of his own medicine by shooting the fuel tanks mounted behind him.
Gadgets and Equipment
The flashlight is the only method to see in the dark. It has a 300 hours battery according to the game manual, but in reality, it can stay on for an indefinite amount of time. Be careful, you will be well visible to enemies. Instead, use the Night vision rifle when possible, it's silenced and can kill. If you don't have the NVR, stick to the Viral Scanner instead. This device, however can only be found in the last set of missions in the PHARCOM Warehouse.
The flashlight is present only in the first game of the PlayStation 1 trilogy, replaced with the night vision googles in the subsequent games. However, the flashlight can be used again in the last three games (The Omega Strain, Dark Mirror and Logan's Shadow. In Syphon Filter 2 and 3, the NV googles will turn on only in some places. The flashlight can be also turned off. Every time you select it the device will be on. Can be selected only with the accurate weapon select, or rather, select plus L1/R2 or from the option weapon select.
The keycard can open highly secure doors which a metallic key cannot access. Is carried by enemies, often armored or with a high damaging weapon.
Used to administrate the antigen to the test subjects. It appears only in the Rhoemer Stronghold levels. It can't be used as a weapon.
SPOILER ALERT: This does not contain any sort of "antidote" but rather it is a poisonous compound, which is concentrated potassium chloride, as proved by Lian's briefing in one of the missions to the Pharcom warehouse.
The viral scanner is used to find faster the corpses in the boxes. Appears only in the Pharcom Warehouses level. This is the very first time of a X-Ray weapon (in this case, object). You can see this on a wall. The item can also be used to locate enemies in pitch-dark environments without betraying the player's position.
The weapon's X-ray vision was supplanted by the AUG in Syphon Filter 3, which allowed users to spot enemies through surfaces. This vision mode was only available in that game, but in the subsequent titles, it is possible to acquire weapons whose scopes had an infrared view. This caused bodies that radiated heat to show up through the scope, regardless of whether the body was physically within the viewer's vision range or otherwise.
Flak Jackets supply body protection against most firearms. Head shots remain just as lethal as normal even with this. Flak Jackets found in weapon crates offer full protection, while those from enemies give 1/4 protection. If you kill an enemy with a body shot or explosives, his jacket became useless.