Mirror’s Edge™
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 6

Mirror’s Edge is a bit on the short side, but it definitely features some unique gameplay elements. It will probably not appeal to everyone and trying to play it like a first-person shooter will get you killed very quickly, but there is a lot of potential here. Hopefully, future installments can refine and expand on the concept.

Gameplay: Definitely a unique take on the genre.
Graphics: A fresh look for the genre.
Sound: Top notch

Summary 7.7 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Mirror’s Edge™

Developer: DICE | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Release Date: 2009 | Genre: Action / Adventure| Website: n/a | Purchase: Steam

Imagine a futuristic world devoid of crime and violence. A spotlessly clean world where the government tracks your every move and keeps you in line. A world where the flow of information is carefully monitored and controlled. This is the world of Mirror’s Edge. Of course, the outer calm is just one side of the coin. There will always be those that will operate outside the boundaries of what those in power deem acceptable, and they will need secure channels for their information. This is where your character, Faith, comes into the picture. As a “Runner,” she carries sensitive information for clients while using her incredible athletic skills to elude the powers that be. Things go horribly wrong when her enemies frame her sister for murder, and so Faith sets out to uncover the truth.

As far as plot development goes, I wasn’t too impressed with Mirror’s Edge. The story was pretty mundane, and while it provided a good excuse for the protagonist to be clambering about rooftops, it lacked the emotion to draw me in and empathize with the characters. The absolutely horrible “flash-style” cut-scenes that drive the story also did not do much to endear itself to me. Style and design are a different matter, and this is where Mirror’s Edge pulls ahead of the pack.

While powered by Unreal Engine 3 this game looks unlike anything else. Everything is very polished, and the game makes use of lots of white and bright primary colors to bring its world to life. The dazzling light effects keep things from looking too cold and clinical, though. The game already looked good on consoles, but this computer version has some extra features tucked up its sleeve. PC owners benefit significantly from the increased resolution available. Also, owners of Nvidia graphics cards can enable “PhysX” support which enhances things like glass, smoke, and soft materials. The outdoor sections are really breathtaking, but the cramped interiors are less impressive.

The entire game takes place from a first-person perspective view but don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a first-person shooter. While Faith can disarm enemies and use their weapons, but these are often more of a hindrance and will only slow you down. Relying on Faith’s speed and agility you will find yourself making death-defying leaps across rooftops, wall-running between buildings and swinging from poles. Just imagine Prince of Persia from a first-person perspective, and you should get the idea. Your characters’ limbs are visible while performing these actions, which ads an added layer of depth and really makes you a part of the world. Things can be a bit disorienting at first, but the “runner vision” that highlights interactive objects like ramps and pipes is a great help. The basic idea is to pick up speed and momentum, which will let you traverse levels seamlessly. It is a nice idea, but this “flow” can be constantly interrupted by weapon-wielding enemies or confusing level layouts. Especially towards the end where you have to deal with enemies that also have runner-like abilities things can get bogged down in combat and frustrating trial-and-error segments. The indoor sections are also a chore, and crawling around air-vents was not what I was looking forward to when I bought this game. There is also the by now mandatory slow-motion effect which I probably used once or twice in the entire duration I played. At least the controls are intuitive, and a keyboard/mouse combo works much better than a gamepad.

The audio is top-notch and features some decent voice acting even if the story itself was as dull as can be. The music consists mostly of some ambient tracks, which is nice as it fits the solitary feel of the game and allows you to hear the cool sound effects. The theme song “Still Alive” by Lisa Miskovsky is exceptionally catchy, and as a bonus, you get an audio cd with a few remixes by famous DJs thrown in for free. A pity then that the game is so short you could almost complete it before the bonus cd has finished playing. There are some unlockables to go back for and the time trial mode will provide some more challenges, but overall the game feels like it needed a few more levels.

Mirror’s Edge is another title that falls into the love it or hate category. For every innovation, there are some annoyances, and in the end, the game fell somewhat short of my expectations. It’s part of a planned trilogy, so hopefully, the next installment will iron out all of the wrinkles.

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® XP SP2 or Vista
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM or more
    • Graphics: DirectX® 9.0c compatible video card, Shader Model 3.0 required. Video card must have 256 MB, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or better
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB free space
    • Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
    • INTERNET CONNECTION, ONLINE AUTHENTICATION AND ACCEPTANCE OF END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT REQUIRED TO PLAY. TO ACCESS ONLINE FEATURES, YOU MUST REGISTER ONLINE. ONLY ONE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE PER GAME. EA ONLINE TERMS & CONDITIONS AND FEATURE UPDATES CAN BE FOUND AT www.ea.com. YOU MUST BE 13+ TO REGISTER WITH EA ONLINE.

Related posts

Drakensang: The Dark Eye

Drakensang: The Dark Eye

Drakensang is one of those games that harkens back to the days of hardcore role playing with a party of characters and an epic quest. While it is great to see something like this in an age where dumbed down console ports are becoming the norm on PC it does require a considerable investment in time and patience from players. A good game, albeit somewhat generic. Gameplay: Definitely aimed at hardcore role playing fans. Graphics: Treads a fine line between colorful and realistic. Sound: The music is OK, but overall audio is average.

The Purring Quest

The Purring Quest

The Purring Quest has a few flaws, including a rather limited amount of levels, but it is hard not to be charmed by the delightful protagonist and moving story. The hand drawn visuals and animations definitely stand out, but the game is genuinely fun as well. It might not feature a lot of innovations in terms of gameplay or puzzles, but there is no doubt that it was a labor of love for the creators and something all cat fans will enjoy. Gameplay: The controls are a little stiff, but this doesn’t detract too much from the fun. Graphics: Beautiful hand drawn visuals and some stellar animations. Sound: The orchestral soundtrack is quite epic.

Planescape: Torment

Planescape: Torment

You just don't get games like this anymore and it is with good reason that Planescape Torment is constantly rated amongst the best games of all time. It is a nice departure from similar games in the genre but you are going to need patience and perseverance to stick with it. Once you get caught up in the fate of the nameless one however there's no turning back until you have seen all that this game has to offer. Gameplay: Planescape Torment is a solid RPG experience that should please all fans of the genre. Graphics: Showing their age but the story makes up for the lack in visuals. Sound: Excellent voice work and great sound effects not to mention stirring music.

The Order of the Thorne – The King’s Challenge

The Order of the Thorne - The King's Challenge

The Order of the Thorne – The King’s Challenge offers a witty, entertaining and family friendly point and click adventure experience. The retro style visuals take a while to get used to, especially on larger monitors, but definitely captures the charm of the classics of the genre. As far as point and click adventures goes this one is rather straightforward, but definitely a lot of fun and well worth adding to your collection. Gameplay: The story and puzzles are relatively straightforward, but still very entertaining. Graphics: Looks like it was lifted straight from a nineties Sierra title. Sound: Great voice acting for all the characters and a nice orchestral soundtrack.

Team Indie

Team Indie

Team Indie features an all-star lineup of characters taken from some of the best indie titles of recent years. You’ll also have to put these characters to good use as while the game is a platformer at heart it also features a heavy puzzle element. The game doesn’t quite live up to its full potential though and unfortunately there are some annoyances that drag it down. However, if you enjoy the genre and like the characters it should keep you busy for quite a while. Gameplay: With its large cast of characters and challenging levels it will take you a while to see and do everything. Graphics: Nice character designs, but the backgrounds are a bit bland and the animation could have been better. Sound: None of the tunes, except for the one during boss battles, are exactly memorable.

Devil’s Dare 悪魔の挑戦

Devil's Dare 悪魔の挑戦

Devil’s Dare isn’t afraid to challenge you and mock you for your pitiful skills, but it is also very rewarding and surprisingly addictive. The pixel art visuals are very stylish, although a little on the monochrome side, and packs a lot of charm. The lack of online co-op is obviously a bummer, but understandable for a game like this. To get the most out of Devil’s Dare you are going to have to actually play it enough to become good at it, which is something that can’t be said for many games these days. Graphics: Charming and detailed pixel art visuals, but not a lot of color. Sound: The music sounds like something straight out of the Arcade era. Gameplay. Unforgiving, but very rewarding and addictive.

Leave a comment

five + 17 =