Publisher: Electronic Arts
Also on: Xbox 360
Console Played on: PLAYSTATION 3
Release Date: Friday November 14th
Rating: PEGI 16
Around this time last year, we had two games which lit up the games industry with their great gameplay and innovation, Portal and Assassins Creed. While Assassins Creed was a love it or hate it game (personally, I loved it bar the ending), Portal was just sheer genius when it was released with The Orange Box.
It’s back humor, it’s plot, it’s tagline of “The cake is a lie” swept the internet and the infamous ending song, Still Alive is probably the most popular gaming song ever.
So call this coincidence that within this time, two other innovative games have come out with one of these games having a title track called . Mirror’s Edge and LittleBigPlanet are two of the most anticipated and innovative titles of the year, like Assassins Creed and Portal. But with LittleBigPlanet now out of the way, now stands Mirror’s Edge.
Mirror’s Edge is a brand new IP from DICE, the creators of the infamous Battlefield series who only in June released Battlefield: Bad Company for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Now with Mirror’s Edge being DICE’s 2nd game this generation (3rd if you count the 360 port of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat), how does Mirror’s Edge fair?
You play as Faith, she’s someone who’s called a “runner” where runner’s deliever sensitive information that can’t be delievered by normal communications like emails or phone calls. She becomes a runner after running into someone called Merc who teaches her the ways of being a runner after Faith leaves home soon after her family falls apart, what with her mum dying in riots during the “November Riots”, her father deserting her and her sister Kate becoming a cop long after.
One day, during what should be a routine job, Faith’s world gets turned upside down when her sister is accused of murdering a Mayoral candidate so you must help her to clear her name. The story in Mirror’s Edge is short, coming in at roughly 6 – 8 hours depending on how you play it and what difficulty but even when you decide how to play it, it still takes you on a liner route.
And sadly, it is the length of the story which brings Mirror’s Edge down a peg. Do bear in mind that the story is also somewhat okay, not great but it ain’t bad neither but it could easily be better. Plus, the cutscenes, all animated bar the end cutscene, are somewhat dull at times infact, at one point during the game, it just shows Faith running and running, it may as well have been the loading screen the way she just kept running.
Once you finish the story, you then unlock the Speedrun mode which sees you do entire levels of the story mode in the game under the target time set by the developers like in Time Trial mode. In Time Trial mode, you are given the chance to set your best times in the levels in the game and compete against times set by other people around the world or by your friends.
In Mirror’s Edge, it’s 2 simple innovations are First Person and Parkour. Now, both of these have been done before in games. First Person games is what the industry is living on right now, particularly FPS games in the mold of Halo and Call of Duty with Parkour been done in Assassins Creed.
But combine the two and you got one hell of a great gameplay mechanic. The game encourages you to not use guns but the options is there should you wish to and it’s the fact that it’s a First Person game which isn’t mostly a shooter give’s Mirror’s a plus point but to add on the fact it’s based on free running and parkour, it shows that given the right brains and the right team, innovation can come to a game just like that.
The gameplay is simply great and is probably one of the best gameplay elements in a game this year and this gen, it has a certain realism of free running and parkour like you are free running realistically only without doing it in real life.
Although there are parts in the game which makes it difficult. Sometimes, the game will jump when you tried to wallrun as such. Also, the game is difficult at some segments when in parts of the game where it really shouldn’t be.
Infact, there is one segment in the game which will have you tearing your hair out because of the fact it shouldn’t be this fucking tough! Even on Easy, which I had to revert to just to finish the level (don’t worry, I changed back once I got through said segment), it’s tough but not as much on either Normal or Hard. So a great game design but it’s tough gameplay bring it down.
You also get “Runners Vision”, something which lays out a path for you to take throughout a level in the game although if you want you can turn it off to make it a bit more of a challenge for you when playing the game.
Infact, when you are playing on the Hard difficulty, which you unlock once you finish the game the first time, it gets turned off anyways so the game will make your life a bit of a living hell somewhere between the middle of the game and the end of it.
Graphically, the game is simply one of the best looking this year… from afar. When I say afar, it does look great but up close, they look drab somewhat but don’t take that away from the game, it is visually stunning, too stunning for my liking.
The game has too many colors! Yes, it’s nice to see a game which doesn’t rely on black or grey in a game for once but c’mon, there is points in the game where it’s really too colorful which makes my head sore and probably the same for some gamers.
It’s animated cutscenes is not the best idea tbh for the game as feels like they wasted a good chance to put all of it’s cutscenes in a better perspective of first person 3D cutscenes (except for the final cutscene), hopefully this is something which can be considering for Mirror’s Edge 2 which is a certainty as Owen O’Brien, senior producer of the game, has stated is certain as Mirror’s Edge is a 3 part trillogy.
Overall: Mirror’s Edge is certainly innovative. It’s graphics, while sore on the eyes sometimes for it’s color, is certainly some of the best graphics this year in gaming.
It’s gameplay mechanic of First Person Parkour, while flawed at times, is one of innovation.
The story is short but it is something DICE and EA can fix and expand on for Mirror’s Edge 2.
Story: 7 – It has it’s moments and it does leave it open for a Mirror’s Edge 2 but this is something which needs to be improved on, cutscenes especially.
Gameplay: 8 – It’s somewhat flawed but it’s one of the best idea’s that the industry has seen in a while and it’s something which could be expanded on for Mirror’s Edge 2.
Graphics: 9 – It maybe waaaay too colorful but they are still some of the best graphics in a game this year.
Lifespan: 7 – Only Time Trial mode, Speedrun mode, the 2nd playthrough on Hard for trophies on the PS3 is all this game has to offer, no multiplayer. Hopefully, the PS3 exclusive DLC is a small expansion on the story at least.
Overall: 8 – Mirror’s Edge, while slightly flawed, is an excellent game and is certainly innovitive. It may be a love it or hate it game like Assassins Creed but it most certainly a good game.
While the game does have it’s ups and downs, it’s something EA and DICE can build upon, fix and expand for Mirror’s Edge.
It’s a good star by DICE.