Where Bayonetta was distinguishable for its outlandishness, Mirror’s Edge is known for trying out a style of gaming that has been rarely attempted by others.
For those that don’t know, Mirror’s Edge is a first person, action adventure platform video-game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (THAT SPELLS DICE! OMG!) and published by Electronic Arts.
Mirror’s Edge is one of the rare video-games to try out the first-person style of platforming. Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider did third-person platforming well, so, why’s it too much to suggest that first-person might be able to create a similar and even more intense experience. I had torn expectations about Mirror’s Edge. I remember when I was excited for a similar experience that promised fast-paced and gut-wrenching action from a first-person perspective. Unfortunately, by the time that I had my feel for Brink, I realized how mislead that I was. I began thinking that there wasn’t a game out there that would answer my request.
Mirror’s Edge takes place in a dsytopian society where life is unaffected by crime and everybody is comfortable with day-to-day life. However, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Or, when a destructive regime begins to create havoc throughout the city by ways of brainwash and propaganda. You play as Faith, the game’s main-character, who works alongside a network of “runner” that discreetly transmits information while at the same time evading the government’s all seeing eye.
Meanwhile, your sister, Kate, is strangely framed for the murder of the Pope, and Faith has to attempt to rescue her sister from captivity. The story isn’t anything spectacular, and stands as one of the biggest faults that I have to say about this. There seemed to be a lot of depth behind the premise, but I don’t feel like they even started to scratch the surface. I feel like there isn’t very much closure brought to the story itself in the experience. This might have been because they thought the franchise was going to be more successful and that they had a large series on their hands. Instead, it has been six years, and we are just now getting a sequel. (and it’s a prequel.)
Thankfully, more or less, everything else makes up for the underwhelming storyline, and it bounces back considerably. A first-person platforming experience is rightfully seen as being an oddball in video-games. However, I think you’ll quickly abandon the awkwardness and begin seeing this as a platformer like any other. The controls for the parkour style are generally smooth, if a little oversensitive. It probably doesn’t help that so much of your movements like wall-running, jumping, and whatnot are limited to a single-button. That’s the only criticisms that I have about it. I feel like they could have expanded and alleviated some of the nuisances like when I would jump off a cliff when I wanted to run. Other-wise, it’s fast-paced and intense at times, quick and is a whole lot of fun whenever you get good at it. I would have also given more options for melee attack and added the ability to zoom-in or aim better using a gun. Combat isn’t the strong-suit of this experience, and it really didn’t need to be.
I think the controls and the layout of the mechanics really proved that first-person based games are capable of much more than what we’ve already seen.
The graphics look absolutely beautiful. They truly are one of the most extravagant offerings from Mirror’s Edge. They feel so refreshing, invigorating, and stylish. I don’t even know what else to say about it, the animation for the cut-scenes and the depiction of the world itself were all things that I found myself being really able to sink my teeth into. They aren’t good in that they portray a realistic environment, but are great in how they formulate an enthused and energetic world for the protagonist and the player.
From the very minute that you begin playing the game, there is this fluent intensity with the movements and the antics that can’t be denied. Everything seems so fast-paced and chaotic, which is one of the best compliments that I can offer to it. For the first hour or so, the movements and the ways of exploring the area are some of the most bewildering and intriguing things imaginable. There’s just so much uniqueness and depth. Throughout the story, you’ll constantly be running simply from one place to another, dodging bullets, attacking soldiers, and it’s basically an all-out marathon of movements and nothing else.
Eventually, what once made the game seem cool begins to seem more like a novelty that thinned and waned as it progressed.
At the same, there’s something to be said for an all-out marathon of fast-paced platforming that I found to be enjoyable in itself and with the pzazz of the game itself, it’s difficult to not at least somewhat enjoy what’s being thrown at you. How the game-play breaks the game can be dwindled down to discussing the melee portions of the game where you have to fight soldiers and guards. The fact is, you die very, very quickly, unreasonably quickly, in-fact, and because of how bland and tedious the attacking is, I found myself not wanting to replay the parts where combat was necessary.
Mirror’s Edge is far from being a stealth-based game, however, at the same time, it also doesn’t want you to make direct attacks to adversaries, and it is here that fighting adversaries becomes repetitive. There’s very little that you can do with combat, very little variety, and because of this, every opponent you face will be beaten the same exact way, and it’s tiring, honestly. The game can be incredibly difficult but the reason its difficulty is brought up by a lot of people isn’t because of the troublesome platforming but because of the troublesome and monotonous moments of trying to get past enemies.
I don’t think that it’d be as blatant of an annoyance if it weren’t for the abundance of enemies throughout the game, and it doesn’t add to the challenge, but really just hurts the flow and pace of the game.
In conclusion, the graphics are spectacular, and it’s a lot of fun whenever it first starts up. However, it doesn’t have enough going for it to keep the experience enjoyable through it all. Even still, I have a lot of excitement for the sequel, if they can fix some of the mistakes that I pointed out, I feel like it can achieve greatness.