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PSP Fanboy hands-on: Logan's Shadow

Watch out. Logan's Shadow will redefine what gamers should expect from the Syphon Filter series. No, it will change what people should expect from handheld games in whole. The long-running franchise hits its peak in the upcoming PSP-exclusive Logan's Shadow and provides one of the most intense and immersive handheld experiences ever made. What makes Logan's Shadow so successful is its incredible production values. The graphics take full advantage of the PSP's true power. RUnning at 333MHz, the game outputs some of the system's best graphics, only falling shy of the upcoming SOCOM: Tactical Strike. The graphics found in the game best many PS2 games, with superior interactive water, beautiful volumetric smoke, and intense particle and shader effects. In addition, detailed animation and real-time physics bring the world to life.

The core of Logan's Shadow's success comes in its unrelenting pursuit of bringing a true console experience to the handheld. This is easily the most advanced Syphon Filter yet, allowing players to perform a variety of moves that establishes Gabe Logan as a true badass. Logan has a variety of moves at his disposal: stealth moves allow the player to grapple enemies and dispose of them in unique context-sensitive ways. Sneaking around, taking cover, peeking and blindfiring will be familiar to those that have played Gears of War, and its impressive that the controls translate so well on the PSP's admittedly limited interface. There are so many "wow" moments in the game that handheld gamers would never have expected. For example, in one of Logan's misadventures, he'll have to fight a submarine underwater. Given complete 360 degree freedom whilst fighting enemies underwater and figuring out how to defeat a submarine is one of the most epic experiences I've seen in all of handheld gaming ... and that's just one of the many brilliant set pieces to be found in Logan's Shadow.

There's a lot to rave about the game, but we're not allowed to talk about the game's latter half, which features some truly spectacular moments. Rest assured, it appears that Logan's Shadow will be the single best game ever made for PSP, provided you're a real hardcore gamer. Casual players will be offput by the complex controls and somewhat daunting difficulty level. The incredibly long levels also do the game some harm: gamers will have to devote a hefty amount of time to each level, with each individual level taking upwards of thirty minutes of continuous play. However, with a compelling story, great graphics, and exciting gameplay, you'll want to devote a lot of time to the game. Expect the full review soon.

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