Mirrors Edge Review

Posted: March 17, 2013 in Reviews
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Ah the platformer. A staple in gaming lore that has seemingly died out, bar the annual releases of Mario and Disney film tie-ins. There was a time when it was platforming games that sold the console. Mario on Nintendo’s various machines. Sonic the hedgehog for the Genesis and Dreamcast. And to name a few other greats you also have Banjo Kazooie, Jak and Daxter, Metroid, Castlevania SOTN and the list goes on and on. However in current times the platformer seems to have fallen by the wayside in favour of grey and grimy futuristic war games. So how do you reinvigorate the concept of jumping from ledge to ledge and sell it to today’s gaming demographic? Well, you get EA Digital Illusions CE (or DICE) on board and make a vertigo inducing game called Mirrors Edge.

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Mirrors Edge is, in essence, a first person platformer. In fact those of you fortunate enough to play the astounding Prince of Persia games from the last generation will be glad to hear this plays out pretty much exactly the same. Faith (the female protagonist in question) can run, jump, roll, wall run, slide, grab onto zip lines amongst a heap of other abilities. Looking at screenshots you would be forgiven for thinking that this is another run of the mill FPS but you would be wrong. Indeed Faith can wield a gun, if you want her to, and this brings me to my only real criticism of the game.

When you come face to face with and enemy you can disarm them. Tapping a button when their weapon flashes red as they try to melee you does this. However if you miss that prompt you will be facing a game over screen a few seconds later as they pummel your face in. unfortunately the window of opportunity to do this is extremely narrow and only gets shorter the further into the game you get. This makes for a lot of frustration as you attempt the same battle scenario for the umpteenth time. The process is made slightly easier by the fact that Faith has a small array of melee moves herself and you can also momentarily slow down time to make that fraction of a second last slightly longer. Remember our gaming math? Guns + slow mo = WIN! Unfortunately this time round the guns aren’t in your hands to begin with.

As I said, that is my only real gripe with the game. Some critics have suggested that the platforming requires you to be very precise. Well yeah it’s a platformer. It’s like criticising Bioshock because you have to actually aim and fire before you down an enemy. Yes there are moments where you have to be precise like when you’re trying to grab onto a drain pipe or zip line, but of course you have to be spot on, they’re very small targets. I don’t mean to go on but can you imagine how much fun Mario would have been if every time you misjudged a jump another platform popped up and saved you? It would have sucked and probably wouldn’t be the platforming behemoth we know and love today.

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The presentation of this game is another thing that should be mentioned. As mentioned before most contemporary games that are played out from the first person perspective seem to be favouring gloomy grey boring environments. Whether you’re playing Resistance FOM, F.E.A.R or Fallout 3, they all kind of look the same. Well thankfully Mirrors Edge throws this template out the window and replaces all the aforementioned staples with a bright vibrant city splashed with primary colours. As you dart from the lush blue tinted buildings that make up the city you are going to be taking detours through office blocks and underground passageways. And every time you enter one I guarantee you your eyes will have to adjust as you are greeted with either bright lime green or tangerine orange. It may not be the most colour-coordinated game in the world but it sure makes a change.

Clocking in at about 5 hours to complete the main story Mirrors Edge isn’t the longest game in the world. However, there is plenty of replay value here. There are hidden packages to find which unlock bonus content, time trials and speed runs to compete in. so there is a lot more to the game than the campaign alone. Furthermore you can probably pick up a copy of this game for around about £10 now. So there has never been a better time to visit the world of Faith, and you have never needed a better excuse to rekindle yourself with the type of game that probably got you into gaming in the first place.

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