It’s hard to be universally for or against the concept of rebooting old intellectual properties, be it a cover of an old song, a reimagining of a new movie (Vince Vaughn in Psycho? Fuck you.) or a reconceptualization of a video game. You can try to be a purist and cringe every time something you fell in love with in years gone by is “redone,” but there are some things out there that deserve such treatment. Particularly in gaming, some titles with classic potential go under the radar and don’t do so well. Discussing these titles is why I’m here.
Let us take a trip down memory lane:
I was just a youngster when the first Syphon Filter was released, I remember it just like it was yesterday. I begged my mom to get it for me after hearing my brother talk about its pure goodness. By the gods, he was not mistaken. The game was so tight; the combat was perfect and the animations were smooth and gorgeous. The story…? I was six…I had no idea what the story was, but the gameplay was this platform-ish romp that was nothing short of amazingly fun. When it came time for Syphon Filter 2, I was on it like a white man on the dance floor when it’s time to Macarena.
And then… Syphon Filter 3. By this time the PS1 was reaching its very end, the PS2 was right around the corner and with how good the series was, I knew there was going to be yet another Syphon Filter adventure, but first I had to get through 3. It was the same routine: Wally World, home, console, orgasm. Syphon Filter had done it again.
Then came the day when I heard of the new Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain. I was excited, for obvious reasons, but the best news? It was online…
Did this mean I was going to be able to play Syphon Filter in my favorite style of gaming ever, Co-op? Welcome to Splooge City, population me. I followed the game’s development more closely than I had with any game before, and when release day came I was more excited than I’ve been for any since.
The online component to the PS2 wasn’t perfect, but before too long I had the game up and running. I jumped into my first game, put on that Socom headset and burst into a firefight along four other people screaming with joy just like I was. The game was phenomenal. Co-op was seamless and even for back then the lag was almost non-existant. Missions required you to split up into groups, work together in stealth, or help each other over obstacles. The game was fantastic. Your agent was completely customizable from every part of your appearance to your loadout. You unlocked more and more as you leveled, including new badges and awards as you earned through achievements. Achievements! This game was basically the pioneer of such things!
And here we are today, The Omega Strain being a hardly remembered game that was given mediocre reviews by critics. The game was absolutely a revolution back then no matter what anyone says. It had a better loadout system that any CoD game, character customization that rivaled Bethesda games, and gameplay that was a landmark in the Syphon Filter series, now with friends.
As you might have already guessed, the existence of the Playstation Network is the best reason to give this game a remake. Omega Strain ran on a system that was basically a glorified dial-up and ran smooth as butter, making it a perfect candidate for the vastly increased sophistication of the PSN. The game was tailored both for casual play and hardcore eight hour binge sessions. There were so many things to do and unlock that it could keep you locked in for years, as it did for me.
The Syphon Filter series had a pretty rough life after the PS3 and PSP debuted, only a few games made and only for the PSP. This once beloved and great series really needs a refresher; something to get the old fans riled up and wanting more. This would be the perfect game for that. And maybe a remaster of 1 and 2 if you’re feeling frisky.
Until next time, this is 404, remaking old games one article at a time.