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Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror

PSP Gets a Dark Mirror

Headlines like that are what you get when creativity dies.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: March 14, 2006
Back during the late 90's and the heady days of the original PS one (née PlayStation), Sony and second-party developer Eidetic hit big with the first couple Syphon Filter games. Besides wreaking havoc on spell checkers far and wide, the series managed to bridge a sort of James Bond/Solid Snake/Sam Fisher stealth feel with logical puzzle design.

The latter games, though didn't meet with the same kind of critical response that the early titles got, and the last entry, the PS2's The Omega Strain did indeed strain players' (and critics') patience with clunky controls and gameplay that harkened back to the later games rather than the original. It did, however, offer one very cool option: online co-op that let you partner up with a buddy to get to places you never could have offline in the single-player game.

With Dark Mirror, the PSP version, Sony is (and we are) hoping, will continue the same approach to creative additions to the formula while retaining some of the fun that made the first game such a surprise hit. To this end, they've reworked the targeting system, added ragdoll physics, a dynamic difficulty level, universal ammo for all weapons, multiple ways of juggling the PSP's limited control setup, full wireless online play (Infrastructure and Ad Hoc, the latter of which supports game sharing for sending entire levels to another PSP to play co-op), and a return to Gabe Logan as the main character.

"We are very excited to expand the Syphon Filter franchise onto the PSP system," gushed Connie Booth, director of product development, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "We set out to create a story-driven, mission-oriented adventure featuring intense action and a multitude of weapons and gadgets for the player to choose from, and we can't wait for gamers to experience an innovative and portable Gabe Logan adventure."

The story so far is typical Syphon Filter stuff; Gabe and his black ops team must take down Red Section, a terrorist group attempting to steal the Dark Mirror Project that the game gets its name from. Still Sony is thickening up the storyline with viral marketing, and the usual ad blitz on TV and in mags/on web sites will certainly pop up if you're part of the coveted 18-34 demographic that just looves this kind of stuff.

Expect a review in the next few days.