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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain' (PS2) Ships To Stores

by Rainier on May 4, 2004 @ 12:18 p.m. PDT

SCEA announced today the release of Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain designed exclusively for the PS2. Developed by SCEA's Bend group, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain incorporates many of the franchise's signature gameplay elements with the addition of four-player cooperative peer-to-peer online play, an innovative character customization feature, and larger, richly-detailed international environments.

Featuring a dangerous arsenal of all-new, high-tech weaponry and sophisticated gunplay, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain places gamers in the role of a counter-terrorism agent where they can combat hostile terrorists alone or join together with up to three other agents online via a broadband connection to take down global terror as a team. Going online with Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain will not only allow gamers to access new areas of the offline environments and discover bonus objectives, but also will test their teamwork abilities as they face a new set of challenges which must be overcome as a team.

As the latest chapter in the compelling story of Gabe Logan, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain is back with more intrigue and international espionage and explodes with non-stop online and offline action. Rather than watching the story unfold through the eyes of Gabe Logan as in past iterations of the franchise, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain draws players into the storyline more than ever before with the ability to create their own richly detailed playable remote operative, with customizable options such as their agent's look, uniform and equipment. Selected as one of the chosen few to be a trained operative within Gabe Logan's reformed Agency (I.P.C.A.), players must use both tactical strategy and deadly weapons to battle the most deadly commandos in the world in exhilarating missions spanning the globe.

"Building upon the series' immense popularity, we aimed to deliver a dynamic online and offline gaming experience, true to the evolution of the Syphon Filter franchise," said Ami Blaire, director, marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain further expands the series and revolutionizes the action genre with innovative cooperative online gameplay, a competitive rewards system, intense strategic challenges, and an all-new spy thriller storyline."

Gamers will immerse themselves in Gabe Logan's covert operation as they exchange gun shots or fight hand-to-hand with a knife against all-new terrorists and enemies in visually-stunning international locations approximately three times larger than previous installments in the franchise. To assist gamers in taking on terrorists, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain arms players with an arsenal of more than 100 unique weapons and gadgets and allows them to upgrade their artillery as they progress through the levels. Players must carefully plot out which weapons to use for a particular mission, and are limited to carrying four weapons at a time for a truly realistic and strategic gameplay experience. Detailed animations have been created for enhanced seamless gameplay motions, allowing players new abilities to keep enemies in target, creating one of the most fluid experiences on a console to date.

In both the online and offline modes, players will progress up the I.P.C.A. chain-of-command and earn new weapons, accessories and awards by successfully completing various objectives within the missions and within the timeframe allowed for the missions. Gamers determined to rise up the ranks and eventually reach Gabe's inner circle will have an incentive to team-up with other agents online to strive for the highest game rankings and align themselves with the best players online.

What ultimately distinguishes Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain from other games is that online teamwork is a prerequisite for success. Teamwork skills are put to the test in a unique setting as players will take on different responsibilities to complete the mission faster, while encountering obstacles that require two or more players to overcome. For example, online gamers can use options like the "buddy climb" -- working together to scale a wall or an otherwise insurmountable obstacle -- to complete team mission objectives more efficiently. Communication is crucial to achieve the pinnacle online experience and gamers will have the opportunity to utilize a USB headset (for PlayStation®2) or SOCOM headset for voice chat to discuss strategies with teammates and provide updates while playing. Players can also use the directional pad instead of a headset to communicate with fellow agents to strategize their next maneuver.

Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain's storyline begins when outbreaks of a fatal, mysterious virus erupt in such diverse locations as Italy, Belarus, Switzerland, and Myanmar. No one seems to know where the virus originated from or how it has spread. The enigmatic Mara Aramov also has escaped from a high-security prison and is seen in locations all over the world. Gabe Logan suspects that Mara somehow plays a part in the outbreak of the deadly virus with the help of whoever is behind the Syphon Filter conspiracy. Put in charge of a powerful new black-box Agency, Gabe uses all of his resources in a desperate battle against the clock. He and his team battle terrorists from all over the world, as they struggle to discover who mutated the original virus, and why. If a cure is not found soon, the fate of the world's population is in jeopardy.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has rated Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain "M" for Mature. For more information about the ESRB visit www.esrb.org.

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