I had never played a [i]Syphon Filter[/i] game before, on any console. On the PS1, I was not interested in these types of games, and on the PS2 games such as [i]Splinter Cell[/i] and [i]Metal Gear Solid[/i] kept me occupied. However, [i]Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror[/i] being a PSP exclusive which received excellent reviews, and considering it looked like what [i]Splinter Cell Essentials[/i] could’ve/should’ve been, I decided to get it.
The game has the best graphics I have ever seen on the PSP. Stunning cut scenes, FMVs that look better than most games on the big consoles (for example, [i]Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones[/i]), and in game graphics are excellent too. Locations are varied, as well as the times of day to make the game more interesting. Visual orgasm at its best!
No complaints in the sound department either. Voice acting is solid, music is good when used. Weapons sound good quite too.
Speaking of weapons, [i]Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror[/i] boasts a great variety of weapons. Selecting them may seem complicated at first, but it is actually really simple. You press and hold right on your D-pad, and while holding you press the triangle to select the “assault” weapons (such as shotguns, snipers, rocket launchers, machine guns), the square for pistols, circle for SMGs, and X for your rifle that has multiple firing modes. While in this menu, you can press R for melee weapons, such as your bare hands, a trusty knife, and an EDT, which if you hold down long enough, will set the victim on fire. Awesome huh? The L button is for grenades.
Much like [i]Splinter Cell[/i], [i]Syphon Filter[/i] also has a variety of vision modes. You access these and use them like weapons, but press and hold left on the D-pad. There is the infra mode for seeking heat signatures, the night vision mode for seeing in the dark, a flashlight, and the EDSU goggles, which is for searching for bombs and such.
You move around with the analog stick, and use the circle, triangle, X and square buttons to look around. It may be confusing at first, but you adjust very quickly as it is quite comfortable.
The story revolves primarily around Gabe Logan, the protagonist of the previous [i]Syphon Filter[/i] games. He is sent into a variety of places to get rid of some naughty terrorists. Lucky for Gabe and the player, there seems to be a big link between all the bad guys and this “Project Dark Mirror”. A few familiar faces show up as well to complicate the situation even more than it is.
The single player campaign will take you quite some time. There are a number of unlockables to go back for, even in the training missions! Once you are done with that, online play is available as well to spend countless hours on.
[i]Syphon Filter[/i] is one of, if not the, best games on the PSP. Developer Sony Bend managed to bring the complexity and the awesomeness of a console game right to the palm of your hands, and it was achieved beautifully, unlike many other companies’ efforts. After seeing how a third person shooter really can work in [i]SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo[/i], and now [i]Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror[/i], it truly makes you wonder how a [b]real[/b] [i]Metal Gear[/i] game could work on the PSP. Until that happens, [i]Syphon Filter[/i] should be an excellent alternative.