The Playstation Trilogy comprises the first three games of the Syphon Filter series. Syphon Filter and Syphon Filter 2 are generally the most praised for their high difficulties and puzzling challenges, while the third installment tends to catch less approval. Some reasons for the third game's dislike is the fact that the story focuses most of its time in the past rather than in the present. The missions that do take place in the present are entertaining, but the story form is less than what you'd expect...only Hotel Fukushima, SS Lorelei, Waterfront, Docks Final Assault, Senate Building and DC Subway come out as favorites for most. As for the missions taking place in the past, it gives you good insight on each character's story and near the later part of the game the arrival of Teresa Lipan is a shocker for most people thought her dead at the end of Syphon Filter 2.
The most distinguishing feature about these games, aside from having a classic and repeated (but well used) gameplay as well as all being on the PSX (where the graphics were close to each other in each game, minus differences in cutscenes for each) is that the story revolves around the use of the Syphon Filter Virus, whereas Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain and the two PSP titles (one of which has been ported to the PS2) Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow had little to nothing to do with the virus, rather replacing the story with new problems (such as the Omega Strain, Dark Mirror and the X-Z-2). In conclusion, the Playstation Trilogy really is a literal trilogy in the sense that there are so many things that set it apart from the rest of the series and if a 3rd PSP game is made, it will more than likely create a PSP trilogy as well.
- The first game in the series and the highest rated amongst game websites, this is a plain action/shooter game with everything anyone could love. For its time, it was top class...and the story presented was actually quite good, sparking numerous sequels and even talks about a movie. This game follows Gabe as he discovers the Syphon Filter virus for the first time and does battle with the Black Baton, led by Erich Rhoemer. The end of the game after Rhoemer's fall gives way for a sequel as the ending reveals a shadowy figure that had been shown time and time again throughout the game.
- The second game goes more into the story this time around, though keeps up with a more challenging pace than the first game. Stealth which was introduced in the first game for a minor portion in the game (during the Pharcom Expo mission and then later in Rhoemer's Base) has now leaped to new bounds because it plays heavily into many of the games missions as a parameter that if failed, will end the mission. You now must insure that you keep out of sight at all times, but you can't be heard and forgotten about. You are only spotted by running too close to an enemy or falling into their line of vision, and being caught will lead to someone running and setting off an alarm...in which case if the mission grants you the right, you may eliminate them before they get the chance (just don't fire a loud weapon). While the level of stealth introduced adds new layers to the game, it certainly is a welcome addition but the story also picks up with new characters, new scenarios and plenty of level variety (not necessarily just a single focus...). The main enemy in this game is never revealed early on, but each boss plays an importance in the story until you finally face Jason Chance at the end. Not only does his appearance as a villain now turn the tables and come out as a very surprising deception, but he even makes you believe that Teresa is killed. Following his well deserved death, the game concludes and the credits roll...with yet another scene at the end revealing that Vince Hadden, a figure shown at the beginning of the game and seen in shadow throughout the remainder, is actually the leader of The Agency and Mara is working close with him. A last thing to mention but certainly not forgotten is the multiplayer added to this game, to allow you to use all the characters from the previous game as well as this one in various landscapes for fighting and fun. While it was only two player it certainly was entertaining if you had a friend whom also had this game and was another welcome addition.
- When the third game was announced, many of the hardcore fanatics were excited and spent hours training for this game by playing the Hard modes for the first two. Aspects they thought near impossible in the second game were sadly put to waste upon the third game's arrival, as things were changed around quite a bit. For one, where Syphon Filter 2 was a direct sequel to the first game and delved deeper into the story, Syphon Filter 3 instead uses flashback missions as its main plot. Furthermore, while the first and second games included quite a few notable bosses (more so for the second game), the third game hardly included any and few were true boss fights with the exception of Mara Aramov in Mission 19 (not even a special boss theme music for the game, although there were memorable fights like The Beast, Nigel Cummings and Erich Rhoemer). The game is hated by some but adored by others, while a few are neutral and see it as a welcome part of the series. It brings very few additions to the gameplay, which is a departure from innovation...new weapons and plenty of enemies are added but aside from that there's no real expansion on stealth (even less this time around than the second game) and the enemies aren't all that difficult. While it lacks in innovation, it does add premise to the story as it brings Gabe in after he kills Shi Hao in his hotel suite for a testimony issued by Vince Hadden himself, seeking to prosecute Gabe and blame the Agency's faults on him. Gabe recounts his history, which brings us with various conflicts and characters from previous games as well as Lian's experiences. Even Lawrence Mujari gets a couple missions to himself, as does Lian (as well as Teresa when she arrives). Following these stories Mara barges in and kills Hadden, while it transpires Hadden was behind The Agency from the very beginning. Gabe pursues Mara onto a train, shooting her in the skull for a second time (the first being in Syphon Filter ) which, of course, doesn't kill her...the game concludes with everyone enjoying a martini on a tropical island until Gabe warns about this not being over just yet. After the credits, Mara is seen retrieving boxes of Syphon Filter left at the bottom of the ocean floor.
- While Syphon Filter 2 added Multiplayer, this game adds the solo-missions which are actually quite fun. These mini-games are actually quite challenging and get harder as you do better at them. They range from stealth, assault, demolition and even shooting targets...though the enemy is basic and always the same, it certainly is entertaining and you gain various characters for your use in these minigames.
The Playstation Trilogy while with flaws is quite the masterpiece and is welcome in an SF fan's library. The main sad thing is the time gap between the last game and Omega Strain, as well as the PSP titles later. The fanbase had all but evaporated into thin air since only the hardcore fans remained and Omega Strain didn't get the most positive of reviews. Despite it's creation system and online mode, it still didn't refresh the old days. In fact when it came out most people who were contacted said the original games were like "What?". Sad to say Omega Strain didn't bring a whole lot of people to the original games, but the PSP titles which did very well amongst the populars sprouted interests in new gamers who wanted to experience the past.