Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: This game has plenty of blood, gore and suggestive themes. But, what makes this earn it's "M" rating is the language, as it's chock full of it. So, I recommend this game for ages 17+. However, the PS2 version's a port of the PSP version, and for the reason of bringing it to a broader age group, they rated that version "T", removing harsher language, lesbian scene, and most of the blood/gore. So, I recommend the PS2 version for ages 14+.

Blood: There's a moderate amount of blood splatter when you shoot or stab enemies; the blood also stains walls, floors, and clothing. There are also many dead bodies of civilians, workers and enemy soldiers scattered throughout—some of these bodies are heavily burned or damaged, but most are intact and unbloodied. You also see workers being thrown, shot, etc. by enemies. There is no option to turn blood off.

Specific scenes of blood:

  • An early CG scene shows the protagonist come upon a dead, heavily damaged human body. It's lying in a large pool of its own blood, and the back of its skull is partially missing, exposing part of its brain—this scene is very brief.
  • A brief scene shows as an enemy Russian soldier interrogating your fellow U.N. soldier. The enemy soldier proceeds to slap your ally multiple times in the face, resulting in his blood splattering in oversized droplets. Later in the same level, you see an enemy Russian soldier execute two more of your allied U.N soldiers by shooting them in the head, with the appropriate blood effects in play.
  • Later in, there is a brief CG cutscene that shows the protagonist grab an enemy by the neck and stab him in the side of the throat, with blood spurting from the wound, and appropriate squishing sounds, as the enemy gurgles/chokes.
  • Near the very end of the last level, you enter a room with an active Centrifuge; a device scientists use to test gravity on the human body. Affixed in the middle of the room, it spins in circles like a continuous pendulum, and if you shove an enemy in its path, you'll see as it violently smashes him, resulting in his blood splattering, as you then hear a sickening crunching and squishing sound.
  • In one of the last CG cutscenes, the main character drags the last boss toward the tracks. As the train comes their way, he throws the boss into the oncoming train, as you see the bloody impact. After the train passes, you see the enemy's body with its blood smeared heavily on it and the ground.

Intense violence: The game's violence is similar to that of Mission Impossible with a slight twing of Splinter Cell, and an overall feel of covert ops and war, and as such, it has plenty of explosions, killing and action. The violence is not the most graphic of its kind, just suspenseful and intense. Your enemy ranges from mercenaries to a private military, and you'll be killing dozens of them with a variety of weapons; stealth pistol, machine gun, sniper rifle, grenades, a knife, etc. You also have an option to sneak up on an enemy, grab their neck and snap it with a *crunch.*

If you use a knife while you are not detected, you'll sneak up on the enemy and stab him in the side of the throat. If used when you have been detected, you'll run up and stab the enemy in the stomach. Lastly, you have the option to use a taser; it will stun enemies only for seconds, but if you expose them to it long enough, they will explode into flames. However, you're given very little opportunity to use your hands, knife or taser, and if you do, you are liable to get killed. You can also use the environment to damage enemies, with flammable and electrified objects; if you shoot a barrel, truck or other explodable devices, it will detonate and set enemies in the vicinity ablaze, as enemies scream in obvious pain while being burned alive. If electricity is used, they'll fry and shake until they drop to the ground dead (although this technique can only be used a couple of times). Lastly, if an enemies is injured, they'll drop their gun and try to slowly limp/drag to safety, only to be gunned down by you.

Specific scene of intense violence:

  • A brief scene shows a very confused and panicked woman run into the middle of a gunfight between the main character and the enemy. The enemy then shoots her down without a second thought. The main character responds by then swiftly shooting the offenders both in the head (no blood or gore).

Partial nudity: A bonus level's objective is to assassinate two enemies who happen to be lesbian lovers. If you play this level on normal difficulty, you will see the two grab each other and kiss. If you play on hard difficulty, you'll see the same scene, but with both of them in revealing lingerie. And in a later level, you come upon a scantily clad prostitute, crying in fear on her knees, during a gunfight.

Mild use of alcohol and tobacco: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) At one point, you see a man with a bottle of wine in his hand, and a cigarette clenched in his mouth, and there are a few light references to drugs and alcohol.

Strong language: There's over a dozen uses of hell and d*mn, under a dozen uses of bastard, sh*t and f-word, three or under uses of b*tch, SoB, a** and God d*mn, and one use of God. Other than the main script, enemies spout, "D*mn it!", "Oh my god!", "Bastard!", "God d*mn it!", "What the hell?!", and "D*mn you!", while fighting. Also in a bonus level, if the playable character is hurt, he'll say, "D*mn it!", "Sh*t!" and "God d*mn it! That hurt!" There is no option to turn language off.

Content review posted: 05/29/2008

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