Mirror's Edge--triumph mixed with frustration

Mirror’s Edge is the type of game that there should be more of. Its story is standard fare but its vision is grand. Except for the sparse cut scenes, which are animated in a minimalist style, everything is done in the first person perspective, which gives everything a sense of immediacy. Since speed is your ally, confrontations are played with a hit and run style. There are no life bars and you slowly regenerate, but three shots are enough to bring you down. I love the rush when you’re surrounded by guards and cops, and you’re sprinting like mad over desks and obstacles and up stairwells to get away from them. The controls are tight and responsive and suprisingly simple considering all the moves you can pull off.

Unfortunately, the execution is crushed under the weight of its grand scope. There are a few snags. The most notable one is the hint system. Pressing a button points you towards the exit, but finding the correct path to it is still up to you and is often a case of trial and error. There’s also very little to do other afterwards other than a hard mode, some bonus races, and time trial modes. Also, because you’re such a fragile character, being trapped by three or more guards is no fun as you try to disarm one to shoot another and wind up getting smacked in the face. And its worst, you’re often reminded of a first person Super Mario Bros. With practice, you’ll learn to judge where your feet are, but the physics is unforgiving. Expect to fall to your death. Quite a lot.

However I wouldn’t call Mirror’s Edge a disappointment. Feeling the rush of parkour in first person perspective without the danger is a thrill. Even when there’s only one path to the exit, there’s still different techniques you can use to shave time. At first you might just simply head for the stairs. But then as you play you spot where you can wall run to a kick jump to a platform to turn to jump to a higher level, saving you that much space and running(and looking cool in the process). The outdoors during the rooftop chases are where the game shines, and that’s where your choices open up. Do I leap? Do I slide? Head for that launching point? Jump over the fence straight or try to tackle that difficult platform to avoid fighting gravity?

At its worst it’s merely mundane. At its best it’s a simple thrill. Mirror’s Edge gets a B from me.

Pretty cool eh? They should do a DS or PSP game :stuck_out_tongue:

I intend to get this in January when it hits the PC (and hopefully my new rig).