Syphon Filter Dark - Mirror
|Platforms:||PSP, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.7/10 - 3 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||First Person Shooter, Syphon Filter Series|
Around the mid 2000’s, there were many games that had a lot to offer but slid under the radar for most gamers. With the release of the Xbox 360 and PS3 on the horizon, games like Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror were released while only gaining some popularity. Being the second to last installment (so far) in the Syphon Filter Series, Dark Mirror follows the events of The Omega Strain and allows players to play as both Gabe Logan, the flagship of the series, and Lian Xing at certain points. Given that this title released on the PS2 and PSP right around the age of the PS3, it went unnoticed for the most part, but had decently developed gameplay with standard graphics at the time.
Work with the Agency
Although it is comprehensive, the story for this entry in the Syphon Filter series is nothing special. It focuses on Gabe Logan as he attempts to take on a group called the Red Section. I would say that the story trying to be told here has a message while Gabe slowly learns more about Project Dark Mirror, but I found every piece of the story coincidental and loosely tied together. In the first few levels, the men that Gabe/Lian are after end up dying just before any new or valuable information can be obtained from them. This isn’t a bad way to build suspense, but the fact that it happens twice, in more or less the same way, was disappointing. To add to this sentiment, each level felt loosely connected to the last – when I discuss the gameplay, I think it’ll be obvious why this isn’t a bad thing, but it took away a lot of urgency and desperation. It never felt like there was much at risk because each event happens with little/no build up. There are also some plotlines with Addison that arise later in the story that felt incomplete. It was a too little, too late sort of situation despite the emotional draw that it tried to create. Setting the loose story telling aside, this title was not created to be invested heavily in.
Take Down Red Section
For a relatively old dual-stick shooter, Dark Mirror is incredibly well made and it never felt like I was controlling an old game. There aren’t any crazy new or groundbreaking mechanics, but the core shooter gameplay made up for the disappointment I had with the story (which, admittedly, wasn’t what sold me on Dark Mirror anyways). The mantra of this game is to have fun being an undercover spy and I think it does that incredibly well. The number of ways that you can run through any of the main missions is mind boggling. You’ve got stealth at your disposal, with access to silencers and knives.
However, you also happen to have access to pistols, snipers, shotguns, grenades, mines, exploding darts, and, of course, the machine gun. The controls are responsive and tight, which is truly important given the control scheme. For the PSP/2, the audio is clear with some great voice acting, and graphics are, far and away, as close to next-gen as it gets. If you don’t hold out on the story, every other aspect is seriously enjoyable and worth your time.
Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror has its flaws, but these are greatly aided by the shooter gameplay and the amount of fun you’ll have progressing through the campaign, ranking up, and backtracking using different tactics for each level.
- Controls neat/responsive
- Impressive graphics
- One of the best executions for shooter gameplay
- Weak story
- Characters are alright, but generally less likable
- Small complaint, but online no longer available