Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror review

Gabe Logan's back on top as his stealth-shooter series returns to respectability

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    exploration balanced well

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    versatile gameplay

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    Taser still sets terrorists on fire


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    Controls can be awkward

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    Action sometimes hampered by bugs

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    The screams sound horrifyingly real

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When superspy Gabe Logan first stomped onto the PSone scene in 1999's then-amazing Syphon Filter, he became an icon overnight. But seven years and three increasingly tepid sequels later, he's been all but forgotten. Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror yanks him out of obscurity once more, and lucky for Gabe, this handheld shooter is exactly the shot in the arm the series needed.

As Dark Mirror opens, Gabe and his partner Lian Xing are dispatched to Alaska, where a terror cell called Red Section has seized a refinery. That's just the first step, though, as they find evidence there of a mysterious superweapon called Project Dark Mirror. To find out exactly what it is and shut it down, they'll have to chase Red Section to places like a casino in Eastern Europe, a remote South American village and a war-torn munitions plant in Bosnia.

For the most part, gameplay in Dark Mirror is pretty straightforward: run around, try to stay out of sight and quietly kill bad guys. When that doesn't work, duck behind cover and shoot the hordes of terrorists before they gun you down. Like in a lot of other PSP shooters, players move with the analog stick and use the face buttons to look around. It's a little clunky and gets awkward in tight situations, but overall it's comfortable and allows for pinpoint accuracy - when you've got the time to aim carefully, that is. If not, the auto-aim feature keeps it from getting frustrating.

More info

DescriptionPackaging online play with a compelling single-player game, this gadget-heavy, versatile spy thriller is one of the PSP's best shooters.
US censor rating"Mature"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.