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Review: Mirror's Edge™
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If you had long forgotten about the platform genre, Mirror’s Edge is the perfect example of what you’ve been missing out on. Its entire tapestry is carefully woven to deliver a unique, visually pleasing and mechanically stunning game.
The level of detail in this game is just breathtaking. The render of the utopian city is almost perfect, and everything from 10-foot beams to the smallest balustrade seems right in its natural place. The characters are brought to life with about 30 fps, and all the cutscenes beautifully mesh with the entire gameplay. Most importantly, the way you interact with the environment around you is quite immersive.
Mirror’s Edge casts you as Faith Connors, a courier in a utopian future in which the city is controlled by a military regime that has all but taken away people’s freedom. As a runner, you work to deliver highly sensitive information between an underground ring working to destabilize this regime. As a platform game, you work your way through vents, shafts, walls, rooftops, stairs, ladders and other places that test your physical fitness skills. The environment is interactive, and the actual physics of the game is undeniably spectacular, pulling in the extents of real physical simulation. The experience is totally immersive.
The plot thickens as you get entangled in a new web of deceit. Your sister is implicated in a murder, and you move in to save her, only to become the primary target for Project Icarus, which aims to develop soldiers with abilities such as yourself to hunt Runners down. Occasionally, you’ll need to engage in hand-to-hand combat, but there is never too much melee action in the game. It should be noted that combat is in fact not an object in this game, only a means, therefore it isn’t emphasized.
The controls play beautifully considering that the action on this platform game is quite fast-paced, and you build momentum as you move along. You can pull off ten jumps in a minute or get down several stories via a zip-line in a flash, simply because the controls are so interactive and seamless. The weapon mechanics are a little downer, and it might get a bit cumbersome to aim and shoot. You do get points for not using a single firearm once throughout the game.
Replay Value: 4.5
The realistic mechanics are brilliant, which for me make this game a must replay. The story doesn’t spring to life fully throughout the game, but it holds water. The hint system is a particularly addition for those who are only getting started playing this game. The gameplay is a bit linear, but then again, there is a great storyline in the background. Just appreciating the technology and innovation in this game will make you replay it.
Mirror’s Edge doesn’t have scintillating combat (it’s pretty smooth though), and it doesn’t even need to. Running through the beautiful city will get a sweat down your brow. You always have to keep momentum, which is the best quality of the game. I did find that parts of the in-game scenes might have been a little disjointed, but these weren’t too noticeable. The game is engrossing, and you might just end up spending the full 8 hours on this game.
Mirror’s Edge borrows a leaf from the future of gaming, where full physical immersion is the primary intent of the play.
Replay Value 4.5
Terrific gameplay mechanics.
The story is quite linear.
Lack of combat action.