There’s some solid tactical play, the game feels more sure-footed in its bigger set-pieces, and there’s even room for a few cool Bond-style underwater sequences to boot. You can see the new Havok-based physics at work as things blow up and bodies get thrown around, and the game also packs in better AI sidekicks than its predecessor. Add better checkpointing and fewer of the sudden surprise deaths that spoilt Dark Mirror, and there’s very little to stop you getting caught up in Logan’s Shadow.
But our big worry about Dark Mirror was never that it wasn’t a great PSP game – we freely acknowledged it was one of the finest on the system. Our problem was that if you had to rate it as an action game – not just a PSP action game – it still felt a little second rate. In fact, it felt like a PS2 game redesigned to work around the limitations of the PSP, rather than a game you’d be delighted with had it emerged on any system.
Well, that feeling hasn’t entirely disappeared. In fact, the action genre has moved on a lot since August 2006, and the gulf between Logan’s Shadow and what’s available on other platforms is only getting wider. Of course, we can’t expect a PSP game to compete with Call of Duty 4, Gears of War or Uncharted, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that a few things about this one really do annoy me.
We’re mostly talking controls and AI, and to some extent both are limited by what the PSP hardware can do. You see, both are good by PSP standards, but not by the standards set by other games. Your foes aren’t total morons – they know when to duck behind cover, and they know that sometimes you have to leave that cover to attack. Yet this means that when they’re not doing the old ‘Hello, here’s my head, shoot it now while you have the chance’ manoeuvre (years of playing FPS games has taught me that it’s rarely effective) they’re merely blundering straight towards your waiting sights. In a game this combat intensive, this can make each encounter a little too much like the last.