Mirror’s Edge Review

If there is proof that game developers continue to reinvent the industry with innovative ideas, Mirror’s Edge is it.

From the first day I heard of this game’s existence, I’ve eagerly awaited it’s release. At the beggining of the month, EA released a demo of this game that blew me away. Then I got my hands on a coppy.

From start to finish, Mirror’s Edge is a solid first person adventure. The absolute thrill of sliding down the slanted face of a building to jump for the next roof or leaping to catch the runner of a helicopter to escape gunfire is incomprable. Unfortunately, that distance from start to finish isn’t very long.

Unquestionably, the largest drawback of the game is it’s painfully short campaign mode and shoddy story. Basically, your sister is framed for murder and your off to uncover the conspiracy that put her in that position.

However, the game more than makes up with it in the sheer brilliance of the game play. With an even balance of slow, thinking games where you have to figure out where and how to string together different techniques to get from point a to point b, and blazing fast paced instances of fight or flight make this game enjoyable to the end.

The melee combat control are impressive and versatile, making for an enjoyable experience so long as you keep the kicks and punches coming. Stop or mess up and it’s a sharp crack to the back of the skull that sends you back to the last checkpoint. The disarming function is great if you can time it right, but I wouldn’t recommend holding on to the gun unless you’re completely overwhelmed by the enemy. Not only will a gun slow you down and prevent you from making that all-important jump, the shooting in this game is no where near the quality of more mainstream titles. But I suppose that’s excusable, given the game isn’t focused on shooting.

That brings me to the main attraction, the movement. In most first person games, your up/down movement is limited to a single button that makes your character do a funny little bunny hop. In Mirror’sedge, you get two buttons. One is for “up” moves, the other is for “down” moves. the up button will cause you to jump, yes, but it will also allow you to scale walls, vault fences and low objects, springboard off of conviently placed boxes, catch a zipline, and even wallrun. The down button makes you crouch, slide, drop, and more. These simple additions bring out an incredible interface that allows you to immerse yourself in a game as has never been done. When you run, the camera will bob with your steps and you can see your hands pumping. Look down while jumping buildings and see your legs bicyling in midair in preparation to land. Sumersalt and the camera rolls with you. The level of immersion in this game is unprecidentd.

The speedrun and time trial modes are fine, adding a tiny slice of competion to an already great game. However I for one think EA should have put more thought into creating a tea based multiplayer mode or even an online race against other players. It just isn’t as fun when you don’t have someone visible that you are actively competing against.

Overall, Mirror’s Edge is a fast and furious game that, while short, is an innovative and reveloutionary experience for first person gaming.

I give this game a 8/10

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~ by Pickapok on November 26, 2008.

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