SCEA recently announced Syphon Filter Omega Strain, a single and multiplayer update to the renowned PSX series, and several useful details have made it out in a Game Informer article in the US, dutifully reported on by IGN.
Syphon Filter's PS2 debut will be handled by Sony Bend (formerly Eidetic), and uses flexible, peer-to-peer technology that doesn't rely on a server base like SOCOM. It'll be accessible by both broadband and dial-ups in the US, but obviously we're restricted to broadband ("oh no!") in Europe. Still, modem users needn't be too upset as Sony Bend is promising to put serious work into both the single and multiplayer aspects of the game equally, in stark contrast to most of the online games we've seen on PS2 and Xbox since November.
Both modes will share the same levels, but are obviously approached differently in multiplayer. A given example is that a blocked stairwell may be impassable in single player, but with a handy boost provided by a teammate it may be possible to make it over the obstruction in multiplayer. Meanwhile, both modes will apparently share the same characters - not Gabriel Logan, star of the first three games in the series - but the player's own custom visage, constructed via a PSO-style create-a-player interface.
Omega Strain will also introduce a few MGS-style aspects like the ability to pick up and deposit bodies; that omnipotent "enhanced AI" feature with the ability to climb, duck, lean, search and co-operate; the chance to destroy power grids; and a realtime wireframe map which sounds like the rather excellent one in Metroid Prime. Pretty much all the tried and trusted techniques in existing Syphon Filters are also accounted for, along with 100 new weapons and SOCOM-style headset voice comms support.
SFOS is due out in "fall 2003", although we'd expect a spring 2004 release in Europe.