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Friday | October 19, 2018
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Mirrors Edge (X360 and PS3)

Mirrors Edge (X360 and PS3)

Mirror’s Edge is a daring release from Electronic Arts as there has been nothing quite like it before. You take control of an acrobatic runner called Faith and it is her job to deliver important snippets of information to an underground network fighting for freedom in an oppressive and sinister city.

As the story develops we learn that Faith’s sister Kate has been set up to take the fall for a murder and most of the game revolves around the player traversing maps to help clear her name and form a rescue.

The story isn’t as in-depth or compelling as it sounds and the characters are secondary to the game design with little emphasis on emotional connections. The game is rather short and I had it beaten in just over 6 hours which was rather disappointing.

Much has been talked about regarding the game control system and it is true, it is rather unique in its implementation and the world is fun to roam around. Unfortunately after a few hours you begin to realise that what you have experienced to this point is just being regurgitated. The graphic design is attractive with an almost anime style colour scheme being utilised and the cutscenes reinforce this idealism. The presentation however, apart from the aforementioned design ethic is rather shallow. The architecture for instance is much too limiting for such a daring game concept and while there are some nice touches, the surfaces are generally very bland … an overuse of bloom is partly to fault for this.

The main crux of the problem is the linear nature of the game and while many of you will have seen screenshots and had a certain amount of excitement for the cityscapes you will quickly realise that only a few paths are available to reach your objectives.

Controlling Faith the player has access to a three button control scheme, basically a pyramid of moves that can be used. She can swing on poles, run, parachute roll out of long jumps and do a number of fighting attacks such as punching or kicking, all of these have a foundation rooted in parkour. Achieving a series of rolls and jumps in this manner is rather satisfying, especially considering the flowing nature of the onscreen action.

The detail to the action is also rather impressive as although the game plays in first person perspective you often see Faith’s legs kicking out when performing some moves, such as when landing from a long jump. It would be fair to state that the feeling of momentum and array of first person acrobatics are as good as we have seen in a videogame.

Unfortunately the game takes a turn for the worse when outside this zone, as the combat system is not very intuitive or compelling. You have to confront small groups of policemen and other characters from time to time and the manner in which this is done, is left to the player. It is possible for example to complete the game without firing a gun at all (and get an achievement/trophy for it) however this is difficult in nature and the chances are that at some stage you will disarm a cop and take his weapon to use on his buddies. This is where one of the game ruining issues comes into play, the collision detection is not perfect and punches and kicks frequently do not seem to work correctly. The best option is to slow down time and perform a disarm, you do this by timing a button press to correspond with the assailants weapon flashing red. The combat experience is less than impressive as it feels clunky and the AI can sometimes cheat, by letting you take damage through objects. Additionally weapons like shotguns have limited range, until in the hands of your foes, and they can seemingly hit you from the same distance as a rifle, which is rather unfair and unrealistic.

You are guided on your journey by Runner Vision, this feature highlights environmental objects (in red) that you need to interact with in some manner to progress. These range from pipes to climb on to doors you will need to access. Rule of thumb is, if you see a red object then you know the direction you are meant to go. You can turn off Runner Vision if you wish, however be prepared for some brain chewing puzzles if you do so.

All in all there are nine chapters to complete and after this there really isn’t much else to keep you coming back for more. You can increase the difficulty and play through the campaign again if you wish or you can try to complete the plethora of unlockable time trials. There is no true multiplayer at all, even though the developers have included leaderboards for each time trial. I feel a direct battle system with another player would have prolonged the lifespan and increased value for money.
The graphics on both consoles are impressive, but in saying that, they are also limited as well. The art style will not appeal to everyone and sometimes you look around and see plain white surfaces and are left wondering why a little more effort wasn’t involved in increasing the environmental detail. There are aliasing issues (which seem slightly more apparent on the Xbox 360) and there is texture popin and breakup around some doors and on the edges of character models. Faith’s modelling is actually impressive, but for 99.9% of the game you never see it, so the potential for increasing game immersion is lost.

The soundtrack is a positive aspect of the game, however if you get stuck on a few jumps and puzzles then be prepared to hear a repeating musical sequence for longer than you desire. The voice acting is satisfactory although a few of the characterisations are rather weak and some even would fit perfectly within a cheesy B movie. Not intentionally I might add, either.

Mirrors’ Edge is a failed attempt at creating something that could easily have been a modern-day classic. The list of moves is limited, the world environments can be bland at times and it is too constrictive in nature to ever feel like you are a part of a futuristic world. The combat is another weak aspect and anyone who is moderately experienced as a gamer will feel disappointed with the methodology. I have high hopes for the sequel but for now this is one for a weekend rental.



Some great ideas but it becomes limited and repetitive in nature.


Again, the environments are repetitive and somewhat bland, even though there are some nice touches.


Good sense of immersion and tension when needed. Voice acting is distinctly average.

6-7 hours of single player with very little extra and no multiplayer.
(not an average)

A decent game, worth a rental, but a disappointment.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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