Mirror’s Edge | Flashback Review
✔ Unique gameplay
✔ Awesome level design
✘ Occasional frame rate drop
✘ Got stuck or lost one too many times
Mirror’s Edge is a game that will take you for a ride whether it’s running past cops or jumping over rooftops, this first person free-running game will provide you with some, if not many, action-packed moments. Developed by DICE and Published by EA in 2008, This game is available for PC, PS3, Xbox 360.
The story of Mirror’s Edge takes place in the not-so-distant future where there are people known as runners. Runners are basically these secret couriers that handle sensitive packages from A to B which is primarily what Faith, the main character, does. But the focus shifts from the corrupt and oppressed city to Faith’s sister who has been framed for the murder of a mayoral candidate set to bring change to the city streets. So it’s now Faith’s mission to do her sister justice and find out who framed her. Given the type of setting and the kind of fast-paced gameplay that Mirror’s Edge has, the story could have been engaging and interesting (key words being “could have”).
I say that it COULD HAVE been a fun story because it had a wonderful and simple setting to portray the story in but the mediocre voice acting and cartoon-looking cut scenes don’t do a good job immersing players to the experience.
Considering the time that this game was developed, the graphics of Mirror’s Edge is beautifully simple which make the visuals amazing to look at. The heavily contrasted colors are to blame for this. Most of the environments are colored in plain white while some objects, walls, rooftops, etc. are presented in primary colors like red and yellow. the plain white color helps bring out the atmosphere of a lifeless, corrupt city while the bright reds give a sense of seeing the world through a Runner’s eyes. And running through this beautifully designed setting just won’t be complete without music and the electronic tracks that play in the background complement the gameplay very well.
However, there are some cases where the contrasting colors is its own Achilles Heel. At times, colors are so blindingly white that you just loose track of where to go in the world and this can be kind of a drag when you’re suppose to be ducking and sliding your way away from the police.
Mirror’s Edge gameplay revolves around speed and momentum. It’s all about stringing together moves that connect properly so that you don’t slow down thus, creating a nice flow to your run. When moves are done properly, running becomes fun and fast-paced, especially when the cops get involved. Mirror’s Edge also tries to introduce gunplay to it’s mechanics which is below par when comparing to other games. I found it rather annoying when the game just forces you to take the “shoot-to-kill” approach rather than just escaping with Faith’s free-running skills. The big and obvious twist in the game is that it’s in First person which is not what many people might have anticipated. At times it was confusing to find the right way when you’re doing barrel rolls and the camera is going 360 on you but I actually enjoyed the first person perspective. It was new and exciting to see how a first person view would work and for the most part, it was done properly.
As mentioned before, the game can be proven to be extremely satisfying when strings of moves are executed properly but what they don’t tell you is that you don’t just get those moves in your first try. It takes patience and timing to get a good flow going. You have to play through the stages about 3 or 4 times in order to make one whole level a smooth run. In some occasions, I was able to maintain a good flow in my first try but those were just lucky breaks.