Mixed or average reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 47
  2. Negative: 7 out of 47
Buy On
  1. 95
    A chunky online component will keep you coming back for more than just the 40 or so hours of solo game play.
  2. The best game in the series since the original. Online or off, the game has plenty of replay value, tons of weapons and cool levels and a player customization feature that rules. Don't be put off by the controls because they actually rock.
  3. Some of the missions are a bit ambiguous, the respawn ponts don't work as well as they should, and the visuals really haven't evolved too much since the previous installment, but as a whole, The Omega Strain emerges as one of the PS2's most irrresistable online titles. [May 2004, p.98]
  4. Computer Games Magazine
    As a single-player game, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain is quickly lost in the crowd. But thanks to its online cooperative mode, the game truly shines. [June 2004, p.12]
  5. Cheat Code Central
    The sound effects are varied and realistic but the musical soundtrack steals the show. Not only is there plenty of musical variation but it matches the moods of the game perfectly.
  6. Tense, powerful, and gripping.
  7. AceGamez
    A first class title. At points it becomes boring and many fans of the series won't see enough continuity to keep them happy, but it's got plenty of depth and style.
  8. 80
    Even without the attraction of variable online play, The Omega Strain would be a winner thanks to its tough, smart missions, and huge rewards system.
  9. 76
    With the control issues and the respawning and the floaty movement, The Omega Strain is kept in check from becoming a more immersive experience and is instead more of an arcade-style shooter.
  10. The game falls short in too many spots and it is a major disappointment on the overall. This game left me feeling bad.
  11. What Sony forgot to do was fix the control scheme and think a bit harder about how the game was presented in the single-player section.
  12. Somewhat of a disappointment. The frustrating controls along with some other issues, the game is kept from being a true must-have title.
  13. 75
    While it's no masterpiece, Omega Strain is worth playing for online junkies who've grown tired of the endless hours of "SOCOM II." Those that lack a network adaptor should probably rent first.
  14. Playboy
    Best of all, online team play lets you and three buddies dispense hot leaden vengeance from Tokyo to Yemen. [Mar 2004, p.39]
  15. Play Magazine
    Would the game have succeeded on a much higher level had the focus been placed completely on either a one-player campaign or just the multiplayer? In the end, I feel like the experience was diluted for unnecessary reasons, with the game appearing to walk the fence, trying to offer a compelling foundation spread across two different modes of play. [May 2004, p.51]
  16. From the opening sequences you'll be mildly impressed, but as the gameplay drags on you'll begin to feel a growing sense of deja vu. We've seen it all before. [PSM2]
  17. The online play keeps the game from being a complete 'once-n-shelve' title but if you're only a casual gamer without the online ability or an interest in the franchise from the past there is better tactical action games already available on the market.
  18. The off and online modes of play are good concepts, but unfortunately have enough hiccups to make either one completely enjoyable.
  19. Not only is it hard to actually go out and complete the objectives, but finding your way around the levels to figure out what you have to do is also a huge pain since accessing the map doesn’t pause the game, giving enemies ample opportunity to riddle you with bullets.
  20. It’s a good game, but a taxing game experience. Overall, the game left me feeling like it was worked on for so long and overly tweaked for online play, with not too much attention paid to the single-player campaign.
  21. One of those games that did not live up to the hype that its fan base put out for it.
  22. 70
    If you can forgive the unimaginative AI and time-intensive design, Omega Strain stands as an accomplished shooter.
  23. If you have access to a broadband connection and take well to online co-operative games, then The Omega Strain might just be worth your time and money, primarily thanks to the massive collection of cool unlockables. However, the single-player aspect is so unbalanced and unpolished that the each mission quickly becomes a chore, a menial, labored process.
  24. 70
    Espionage action games have evolved beyond the standards this series helped establish, but Syphon Filter's combat and accompanying controls remain too old-school for their own good. [June 2004, p.65]
  25. A disappointment. The game lacks polish thanks to enemies that never stay dead and a lock-on method that is only so-so.
  26. I just do not like these controls. It feels like you can do nothing via the weapon inventory system quickly, changing from an empty sidearm to a ready loaded one particularly slow given the fast paced environment you’re in.
  27. It doesn't raise the bar for online cooperative gameplay and even the basic character movements made me shutter.
  28. A disappointing package that clocks in much closer to the other Syphon Filter sequels instead of standing up to the fantastic original game.
  29. If the control had been more intuitive and the combat had been tightened up, the game could have been more enjoyable, but as things stand, most should give Sony's new shooter a wide birth.
  30. Doesn't quite live up to the simple fun and excitement of the original game, mainly because it seems to have been designed with its co-op multiplayer mode in mind.
  31. There is fun to be had, and the online portion is a nice diversion, but unless you’re a die-hard fan, there is little here that hasn’t already been done better somewhere else.
  32. A frustrating game when played solo that becomes a divide and conquer race through almost puzzle-like missions when played online.
  33. 62
    The online mode makes up for some of the problems with Omega Strain, but if you don't have the PS2 adapter, or not a fan of the series, there is very little for you in the game.
  34. Cooperative multiplayer and the basic gunplay thrills don't quite make up for bad control and ugly graphics.
  35. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The story is prime Syphon goodness, with twists and turns aplenty and several very poignant moments. [June 2004, p.94]
  36. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Straightforward run-and-gun action gets the blood pumping...Until you have to stop to check the map, which is all the time. That's a problem because looking at the map doesn't suspend the action. [June 2004, p.94]
  37. It has no huge deficiencies that make it a bad game, but it was clearly built with online play in mind and the solitary gamer may feel a bit cheated in the difficulty of the single-player mode. I know I did.
  38. PSM Magazine
    Plays as though its developers were simply going through the motions. There are better third-person military shooters out there...lots of them. [June 2004, p.27]
  39. This feels every bit a PSone game whose stretch outreaches its grasp in every aspect of its being.
  40. GMR Magazine
    Even the most uninspired games in this class (read: "Brute Force") have, at the very least, a solid technical foundation. But Omega Strain is janky, and uninspired on top of it. The series was better off left buried rather than marred with a subpar effort like this. [June 2004, p.80]
  41. It's not as pretty as "Splinter Cell", it's not as engaging as "SOCOM 2", and it features a frustration factor that's almost in the realm of "Ninja Gaiden"—without the rewards.
  42. While it’s surprising that the clunky gameplay mechanics haven’t received a facelift, it’s even more surprising that Sony has failed to include a decent single-player experience. It can be fun playing online, but if you do not get help, this virus will kill you over and over again.
  43. This empty feeling you get from playing The Omega Strain will be etched all over your drained face within minutes - it's a depressingly bland experience, and frankly not one we'd advise anyone but the most committed online console gamer to even bother having a look at.
  44. games(TM)
    The genre has moved on, and after over two years in the making we expected more than a basic continuation of the PSone game complete with all the trappings of that generation's first clutch of action titles. [July 2004, p.120]
  45. There's no silver lining or light at the end of the tunnel. The play experience starts and ends the same way, leaving the player extremely frustrated at what really is a broken game.
  46. Edge Magazine
    The levels are so gloomy, grey and fog-drenched (there's even fog in the mall) that it's hard to see buildings in the near distance, nevermind enemies. Dark, oppressive and torturous, Omega Strain is about as much fun as a wet weekend in a Kafka novel. [July 2004, p.107]
  47. Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain easily ranks among the worst titles I have ever played on the PlayStation 2, an astounding feat considering that the game came from Sony themselves.

Awards & Rankings

#54 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 7 out of 30
  1. Feb 4, 2016
    An insanely fun and quite exceptional shooter that got negative attention in droves without reason. One of the best TPS games I've played soAn insanely fun and quite exceptional shooter that got negative attention in droves without reason. One of the best TPS games I've played so far, and one of the best of the Syphon Filter series. It plays like a classic Syphon Filter, and that's what people sadly hated about it. While many shall not show the proper love this game deserves, I shall show my appreciation and stand up for one kickass game. Full Review »
  2. Dec 9, 2015
    I hated this game at the time and after giving it another chance much much later, I can see why. The biggest issue with this game, is theI hated this game at the time and after giving it another chance much much later, I can see why. The biggest issue with this game, is the constantly re-spawning enemies. It just makes the whole shooting of enemies feel pointless and anger inducing. The women on the radio is really annoying also and seems to only be there to tell you to hurry up and tell you often, The checkpoints are not a checkpoints, they are re-spawn points and your re-spawning with the ammo missing you used after reaching it and if you failed a side objective after it and before dying, it's still failed. If you died because you was out of ammo then you will re-spawn with no ammo. The game would be a great test as to if you need anger management or not. Full Review »
  3. Jul 29, 2015
    What can be said about Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain? I **** love it. Its one of my favorite PlayStation 2 games of all time along with TombWhat can be said about Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain? I **** love it. Its one of my favorite PlayStation 2 games of all time along with Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X, an Sonic Heroes. There are some games I like and some I don't like but Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain is one of the games I love to death. I need to see a reboot of the series. Full Review »