Mirror’s Edge Review: Problematic or Genius?
Mirrors Edge was announced back in July 2007 and ever since it’s debut screens, and amazing teaser video, we’ve clamored for it. The title echoed a departure from the standard FPS; that’s the this-is-a-post-appocaplytpic-nightmare-world that we need to straighten out for the betterment of mankind. Gone are the heavy geared enemies, and weapons with secondary fire. Enter, as you watch in awe, the lead character interact with the environment in a way that we always wanted one to.
It is perhaps this very focus on environment interaction that gives ME its’ edge but also delivers a blunt blow in other aspects for the game. Specifically, the story, cutscenes, and use of other elements in the game; weapons. The game itself is not for everyone. Apparently my brother became queezy from just looking at this game and subsequently began to complain about dizziness during his experience with the title. Never the less, he never had a stomach for FPSs to begin with.
While he may have had his problems with keeping yesterdays’ Carnitas Boritto down, for me it was more on the weapons and presentation. This game is great in every other way; it hits you from a perspective that you wouldn’t believe, but it falls short on the story, and the way the characters are presented. I mean it falls so hard, it’s almost too obvious that they spent a lot of time working on the running, wall running, climbing, shimmies, and all that other lovely stuff that Parkour runners do. This is a typical mistake and perhaps there are good reasons for it; budget being the first in my mind.
Yet the experience, and the way that you interact with the stages, makes you realize that ME is top-notch stuff. If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to jump from 30 feet up, land, tuck, and roll, then this game is for you. If you’re looking for a weapon feast, then perhaps something else might appease your lust for bullet soufle n’est pas?
If DICE had stayed away from the flash story cut scenes, and kept everything in-game, I would have been a little more forgiving. However, the words and expressions exchanged in the flash based cutscenes fall short. You want to see everything in real time because the engine that runs the game looks so damn good. Even after my first run through I wasn’t sure I liked the story. The game seems to have needed a super robot controlling the denizens of the city to explain the way that they were behaving. As cliche as it may sound … I half expected something like that from this game.
That’s what gamers do though, when they breathe hard onto monitors gazing at trailer previews; they set high bars of expectations for titles well in advance of release dates. Just think about what my expectations are for FF XIII are right now. Yet games are a departure from the norm, or give you the opportunity to experience something that you probably would never get to do in real life.
At times, Mirrors Edge becomes a guessing game. The inclusion of the Runner Vision could have been implemented better, because you’re still stuck on how to execute certain moves. This occurs even more later in the game because Runner Vision is designed to assist you less and less.
In addition, there’s a disconnect where the controls don’t come across. Specifically it’s in the way the game tells you how to string together multiple moves (Combos). As a matter of fact, it doesn’t … at least not outright.
The combos are only hinted to you, and while that can be considered “intuitive,” some users just don’t seem to get how to pass certain areas and are subjected to the use of YouTube to see how user DD_1227_PinoyCrazy did it. With that, I don’t have to tell you that the satisfaction in any game is to figure it out for yourself. The feeling you get from considering that you can get to certain areas in the game, attempting to execute it, and accomplishing it is very rewarding. That’s where the game really shines!
Minus a few hiccups, Mirrors Edge is worth anyones time to play … indeed “there’s no looking back.” The online element in the game also keeps you interested for a while longer to see if you can best you and other world records. Some of the user videos out there for record times are amazing to watch and attempting these can result in a very satisfying feeling. There’s nothing like Mirrors Edge out there and I don’t think its like Prince of Persia either. Everyone should try this game out, it’s one of those titles that you have to experience as a gamer, because if anything, it is problematic but also a sign of genius.