Thursday, June 11, 2009

Game Review: Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge came out in the fall of 2008 to mixed reviews. Some considered it revolutionary and some thought it was shallow and unfinished. At the time all I had played was the demo and was pretty public about my dislike for the game simply based on that demo. Flash forward 7 months and I found myself staring at the game in Best Buy. the game was marked down to 30 bucks, so I thought to myself "Why not?". I brought the game home and played all the way through it. so here are my thoughts on the first-person free running game Mirror's Edge.

Let me get the story out of the way by saying, "What just happened?". All I can tell you is that Faith's sister gets kidnapped or something by this organization that wants the runners to stop making deliveries or something along those lines. Faith must then go through buildings and jump rooftops to save her? Look the story here is a waste and is just there to give some reason to why the game plays the way it does. Honestly they could have just given me the levels and withheld the absurd story. The cut scenes in this game are just laughable and really make the package as a whole feel a bit cheap.

Lucky for Mirror's Edge the game succeeds because of it's excellent level traversal. When you're moving forward with full momentum the game is excellent. At first the controls seemed hard to understand, which is why I hated the demo. Once I had a little more time then the demo, I was able to fully understand the controls and everything came very easy to me. The challenge came from being able to perfect the tools they give you. I've never been a time trials guy, but with Mirror's Edge I kept finding myself wanting to get the fastest time and smoothest play through I could get. There were two occasions where I was frustrated with how to get through a portion of a level. Some times the areas are not well enough explained and can be hard to figure out. I couldn't imagine playing this game the first time through without keeping the red indicator on to show you the way.

While the game succeeds when it's full speed ahead it fails miserably when it tries to be anything else. The combat is completely broken, they try to add depth by having counters and timed events to over take the enemy but it's all very clumsy. The moves they offer never seem to combo as smoothly as I would like.

Mirror's Edge is a game that does one thing practically perfect and a bunch of smaller things very clumsily. Luckily the majority of the game and the fun come from the free running aspect of the game which is executed brilliantly. All in all Mirror's Edge is a good game that has great potential.

4 out of 5

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