The PlayStation version is a direct port of last year's N64 game with minor improvements, such as dramatic lighting effects, speech, and a quick-save feature. While these enhancements certainly make the game better than its N64 counterpart, M:I simply wasn't that great to begin with and it now feels dated in comparison to more recent spy games such as Syphon Filter, Metal Gear Solid, or even Tomorrow Never Dies.
The storyline of the game loosely follows that of the original movie. A mole has infiltrated the IMF team and framed you, agent Ethan Hunt. Now you must recover the NOC list (a document that lists all the IMF operatives working undercover around the world) to lure the mole into the open so he can clear his name. To do so, you'll visit various locations that you'll recognize from the movie such as the CIA headquarters in Langley VA, where Tom Cruise hung from a rope to access the world's most secure computer. You get to do this and many other things seen in the movie, as well as embark on completely new missions. Some are fun and challenging, such as the one where you get to use a sniper rifle to take out the bad guys as they try to attack one of your team members. But levels like these are few and far between, and the majority are just plain boring.
The missions are basically broken up into two parts. One portion will have you running around the level collecting and using objects while avoiding enemy detection. The later parts are straightforward action levels where you have to do things like shoot all the bad guys you come across, jump over dangerous toxic goo, and blow up targets. For instance, on the embassy-party level, you must assume the identity of a specific guest. You have to knock him out first, but you can't just walk up and smack him or it will blow your cover. So you have to lure him away by putting nausea powder in his drink, forcing him to run to the restroom where you can knock him out unseen and then use your face maker to assume his identity. Once you've taken his appearance, making it past the guards is a breeze. There are other instances where the interaction between your character and the characters in the game is subtle but smart. For example, when you are in a place where a gun would be inappropriate, like a hospital, the characters in the hospital start screaming that you have a gun, thus causing a big stir, and security is dispatched to come and pick you up.
The visuals and camera angles in Mission Impossible are competent. All of the action is seen from a camera angle behind and above Ethan when you're in open areas. When you're in close quarters, the camera angle changes to a behind-the-back view, and if you need to see something or use the targeting crosshairs to place a careful shot, you can hit your gun button that makes Ethan transparent, letting you see through him.
It's hard to miss with the Mission: Impossible theme and accompanying spy tunes, so the soundtrack is good, but the sound effects are only fair. Some sounds are quite familiar and surely have appeared in other games. The inclusion of speech in the PlayStation version of Mission Impossible is a definite plus, although more because it saves you the pain of reading lengthy text bits (as was the case in the original version) than because of its quality of acting. The accents the actors use for the Russian characters in the game are downright comical.
One really helpful tool that has been added to the PlayStation version of Mission Impossible is its quick-save feature, which lets you save your progress in a level at any point without the need of a memory card. This makes the game so much easier, because you can start from where you last saved in a level so you don't have to start the whole mission over again. It trims down on a lot of frustration.
Overall, Mission Impossible for the PlayStation isn't a bad game, and it's certainly better than its N64 counterpart, but compared with more recent spy games for the PlayStation, it just doesn't stand up. Even if you really enjoy the genre and have already played Syphon Filter, Metal Gear Solid, and Tomorrow Never Dies, you should still consider renting Mission Impossible before buying.