Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror

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Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
PSP-SyphonFilterDarkMirrorUSversion-FrontCover.jpg
Developer(s) SCE Bend Studio
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Composer(s) Clint Bajakian
Jonathan Mayer
Mark Snow
Lior Rosner
Series Syphon Filter
Platform(s) PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2
Release PlayStation Portable
  • NA: March 14, 2006
  • AU: September 7, 2006
  • EU: September 29, 2006
PlayStation 2
  • NA: September 18, 2007
  • EU: November 2, 2007
  • AU: November 8, 2007
Genre(s) Third-person shooter, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror is a third-person shooter stealth video game developed by SCE Bend Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2. It is the fifth game in the Syphon Filter series.

This game is also notable for being among the rare, few games to have a handheld version receiving a higher ESRB rating than the console version(s), such as LEGO Bionicle Heroes and Jaws: Ultimate Predator.

Gameplay[edit]

As with the trilogy and unlike the previous game, the gameplay is a return to the series roots. Players resume the role of Gabe Logan and occasionally Lian Xing, special operatives for a secret government agency. The non-linear, open-ended feel of the previous game has been reverted to the linear gameplay. Several types of rifles and visors are introduced. Players can now hide against walls and shoot around corners. However, the roll ability is noticeably absent.[1]

Multiplayer[edit]

The game is Ad Hoc and Infrastructure compatible, both supporting up to 8 players in a single game. Players can use the PSP Headset online to chat with others in the pre-game lobby, and in-game.

  • Deathmatch: Standard deathmatch. The player who reaches the point limit or has the highest score after time runs out is the winner.
  • Team Deathmatch: There are three factions, the IPCA, the Akram Brotherhood, and Red Section. Each has its own unique weapon sets. The team who reaches the point limit first or has the highest score after time runs out is the winner.
  • Rogue Agent: When the game starts, every player is on the same team. Everyone must rush to a fixed location and run over a kit to become the rogue agent. The rogue agent is then teleported away from all other players and spawns with a new skin and a special weapon. Kills only count for the rogue agent. When the rogue agent is killed, he drops the kit, and whoever runs it over becomes the new rogue agent. Whoever has the highest score after time runs out or reaches the kill limit is the winner.
  • Objective: Each team has a set number of lives and they must complete objectives to win. One team must defend while the other team assaults, either trying to destroy something or carry an object back to another location. If a team completes all objectives before time runs out or defends successfully, they will win. If a team's reinforcements are depleted, they lose.

Plot[edit]

The Syphon Filter fiasco is finally over, and Gary Stoneman's assassination of Mara and Elsa ends the conspiracy for good, but the IPCA must solve a new case when paramilitary squads belonging to a group called Red Section attack an oil refinery owned by the corporation KemSynth Petroleum. When Washington calls for a Precision Strike, a mission too sensitive for military forces, Gabe brings his team to Alaska and investigates.

Gabe explores the refinery for the whereabouts of foreman Malcolm Freeman, and soon discovers hints of another project directed by a scientist named William Kreisler. More questions arise when Gabe observes the dead body of NSA agent Jack Miller, a man he knew, and proof of other NSA spying inside the area. He then kills a field commander codenamed Red Jack (who borrows his armour and equipment from Anton Girdeaux) to advance, after observing that a soldier called Black King is leading the operation.

Once Lian destroys Red Section's transport, Gabe continues to search for data on the project Red Section is seeking. As he looks for Security Section D in hopes that it contains answers, Gabe rescues the genetic engineer Kreisler, only to have him die from what appears to be an exotic plant, without surrendering any information. Gabe hurries to Kreisler's botanical garden and takes an optical disc before Red Section can steal it.

Lian and Teresa alert him to Black King's plan to destroy the pipeline, so Gabe engages the forces and learns of the name Project Dark Mirror from graffiti on the wall. Gabe eliminates Black King, but Malcolm Freeman commits suicide, like Kreisler, rather than tell the IPCA anything.

The Agency decodes the disc and learns that Dark Mirror involves plants. KemSynth Botanicals is growing them in Iquitos, but Red Section is using the local Peruvian Revolutionary War Council to attack the location. The mission becomes personal when Gabe learns that an old associate of his, Addison Hargrove, is part of the KemSynth operation, and Gabe must assist her while hiding his feelings.

Their successful mission in Peru takes them to Bosnia, where a UN assault is attempting to stop Goran Zivmovic, the latter looking to steal nuclear fuel. His men are allies of Red Section, so Gabe must uncover what they know. Along the way, he saves a private named Janzen and cooperates with him to reach the remaining UN forces who are fighting Zivmovic. Gabe soon finds that UN medical officer Richard Kress is a mole, but he is unable to stop Kress from murdering Janzen and an unnamed wounded soldier. Gabe hunts down and kills Kress in revenge before destroying a tank which Zivmovic hijacked.

Gabe is able to turn his attention to Red Section and he seeks another of their allies in Viktor Yavlinski, a Russian criminal operating out of a casino. More information gleaned from Kress' computer yields the codenames Singularity and Touchstone, the Red Section leaders. Gabe tracks down the source of their finances and eliminates Yavlinski while dodging Touchstone. He escapes from the casino and soon receives word from none other than Addison.

Addison reveals that she left the Agency to have a daughter. Her ten-year-old daughter Blake is now a captive of Touchstone, and they are demanding her to trade information. Gabe and his former love travel to the exchange point, but during an argument Touchstone knocks Addison down a cliff. Enraged, Gabe attacks Red Section forces and finds Touchstone. Following a heated duel, Logan defeats Touchstone and drops him into the abyss.

Blake is still Red Section's prisoner, but the Agency is able to identify Singularity as an Interpol accountant named Grant Morrill. He copied every piece of classified data he received and used his resources to create Red Section. Gabe brings his team to the group's headquarters to kill Singularity and destroy the remaining traces of Dark Mirror. In the facility, Gabe finds that Singularity manufactured special armour that can deflect bullets, explosives and knife stabs, but that is vulnerable against electronic attacks.

Gabe and Lian rescue Blake, but Singularity taunts Gabe with memories of his past after breaking into Agency records, from the murdering of the cathedral test subjects and the betrayal of Jason Chance to the conspiracy when Gabe was working for Vincent Hadden and Logan's obsession with Mihai Niculescu. Infuriated, Gabe disrupts the special armour worn by Morill and shoves him into the path of a train.

Back at the Agency, Mujari determines that Project Dark Mirror is a chemical nerve agent, and Singularity was trying to release it in the atmosphere. A small amount could have killed millions, but the threat has passed now.

Gabe visits the mausoleum of Addison and reflects on her while the credits roll. In a post-credits cutscene, she suddenly appears behind him, indicating that she had brought a harness to save her from falling. She and Blake have reunited. Gabe also learns that Blake's comments reveal that Addison was lying about her age. Far from ten, she is twelve. Gabe realizes Blake is his daughter, but he cannot say anything. Addison wants her to live away from the world of deception found in the Agency, so the two say goodbye and drive off. Gabe watches them disappear.

A bonus level in Bangkok takes place after the AIT assault. Jimmy Zhou, a gang leader tries using the avian bird flu as a weapon against his rivals. Gabe kills the birds and learns that Zhou has taken Lian hostage. Inside his penthouse, Gabe faces an army of Zhou soldiers, including one with a Gatling gun. Gabe manages to rescue Lian and kills Zhou.

Sequel and port[edit]

At SCEA Spring Gamer's Day 2007, a sequel was announced for the PSP, Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow. It was released on October 2, 2007.[2]

A port of Dark Mirror for the PlayStation 2 was released on September 18, 2007 with updated graphics. Much mature content was removed, censoring many bloody details, swearing, alcohol and frightening scenes.[3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PSP) 87.11%[4]
(PS2) 70.87%[5]
Metacritic (PSP) 87/100[6]
(PS2) 70/100[7]

Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror received positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation Portable version 87.11% and 87/100[4][6] and the PlayStation 2 version 70.87% and 70/100.[5][7]

References[edit]