Lately we’ve seen titles being ported from the PS2 to PSP, however the tide has changed as we now see Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror make its way onto the PS2. Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror enjoyed much success on the PSP, but will this success be shared or is the release on PS2 just another way of cashing in?
Unfortunately it will be difficult to tell as we can’t do a PSP vs PS2 comparison as I have not played the PSP version. Besides if this is the first time then that takes out the whole cash cow scenario. So with this said we look purely at the game as it stands on PS2 and what this game has to offer.
The Syphon Filter series has been going on for some time now and is based around a government agent known as Gabe Logan who specialises in missions deemed to be top secret and poses a threat to all of mankind. Dark Mirror is no different and again follows the “All hell will break loose if they use it” scenario. The threat this time comes from a terrorist group known as the Red Section. The group have managed to obtain a top secret weapon and plan to unleash its devastation on man. Gabe and his team of operatives must now track them down and stop the threat the group poses.
Dark Mirror is set across 30+ missions taking you to various places around the world. As exotic as this may sounds, it's actually not that flash. The graphics in general play seem somewhat sluggish and looks similar to the bulky design seen in the earlier games of Syphon Filter. This may be a result of bring the smaller version to the big screen, but then surely the move would have been an improvement? I find it hard to believe that the graphics would have been devalued, or is it a case of just throwing it on another platform and modifying the options? I think it might just be the later.
However the cut scenes are great and it works well with some great voiceovers. This has always been a strong point for the series where it shows the story through some small snippets in-between missions. Its tells the story perfectly and gives more insight into each of the characters and submerges you more into the world of espionage.
The general play is pretty good as well and if played right could see you last a while without experiencing too much trouble. It's all about strategy and to assist in this approach, gamers can peek and aim around the corner at possible targets and then pop out to fire off a few rounds. Although, if you want to conserve your ammo then best bet is to practice a few heads shots for instant kills.
But then playing safely can be somewhat of a boring exercise and so it pays to mix it up a bit. Occasionally just go all out then pull out more of the heavy artillery such as explosives, shotguns or high powered rifles. Some of the AI isn’t that great so you might get off lucky when going in guns blazing, as some of the enemy run for cover and at times sit aimlessly just waiting for you to put them away. Its something that needs to be improved, as it has been somewhat of a constant in the series.
The controls are relatively good and after some initial training and combat in the field you’ll get the hang of it pretty easily. They are intuitive and with the addition of the second analogue stick, one can only assume it makes the control system work better than the PSP, where its lack of a second analogue stick has been somewhat of a thorn for the system.
Its not that bad of a game and if this is anything to go by then we can assume that the PSP version was just as good. However the obvious bonus in having this on the PS2 is the bigger screen and the control system. So looking back at the original question, “is the release on PS2 just another way of cashing in?”, well if you have played this on PSP your probably better off leaving it that way. If you are new to Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, then this is an admirable game, but not one you would rush out and get.