Mirror's Edge Review
- Posted December 2nd, 2008 at 07:47 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 44 Comments
- PSU Review Score
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Mirror's Edge is both unique and stimulating, but it rapidly loses momentum after a great start.
- Visually stimulating
- Simple, but fun to execute free-running moves
- Combat is useless
- Enemies constantly on your tail gets annoying
- Interior locations - bland level design
By using the increasingly popular free-running activity of Parkour as its theme and mixing it with a story of murder and intrigue, EA’s DICE Studio certainly deserves credit for thinking outside of the conventional box. Despite some thrills along the way though it’s an experiment that ultimately fails to provide the exhilarating and free-flowing first person action experience that we’d hoped. Mirror’s Edge is a great concept that starts off well, but doesn’t quite live up to its full potential and dazzling good looks.
By giving you control over a range of intuitive and fun-to-execute acrobatic free-running moves, Mirror’s Edge shows great promise in the initial stages as you vault impressively over fences, scale buildings, shimmy up drainpipes and make huge leaps of faith across rooftops in an attempt to smoothly traverse the sparkling and stylishly designed metropolis. However, during the first half-an-hour or so of springing, sliding and jumping across the environment you’ll have experienced practically everything, certainly all the good things anyway, that the game has to offer. The fast pace, the feeling of speed and the flowing movement of free-running that is so accurately captured in the preliminary levels also fails to filter into the latter parts of the game where the action slows down considerably before grinding to an abrupt halt at its unsatisfactory conclusion, a measly 5 to 6 hours later.
Set within the confines of a totalitarian regime, where all forms of communication are strictly monitored by the powers that be, the story of Mirror’s Edge follows Faith, a free-running courier who spends her days working above the law sprinting across the city, dodging government officials along the way in order to deliver sensitive data to a group of revolutionaries. It’s a story-line that had great potential, but even with the nicely drawn anime cut-scenes that accompany each chapter, yet never quite live up to the quality of the gorgeous in-game graphics, it soon dies its death and becomes nothing more than an irrelevant distraction and an excuse to just run around the city dodging gun-wielding officials.
When you first find yourself standing upon a rooftop high above the busy city streets, where you get a first glimpse at the massive concrete jungle of mirrored-glass-encrusted skyscrapers and brilliant white rooftops far away in the distance, it’s an impressive sight. The city looks encouragingly huge, an adventure playground for free-runners, so you’d think. However, despite a few branching paths, Mirror’s Edge is a disappointingly linear game where pathways to your goal are indicated via “Runner Vision,” red objects that highlight where you can safely jump to reach a balcony or rooftop, where you can climb up a set of ladders, grab onto a drain-pipe or scurry through a ventilation shaft.
The inside locations in particular are very restricted with set paths to follow restricting you to grabbing only onto certain ledges or smashing through particular doors. The outside locations, however, do offer a certain degree of freedom and at least allow you to make the most of the set of acrobatic moves on offer. Once you string a few actions together, which requires inch perfect timing, the feeling of speed and movement as you dive under ducts, spring into the air from ledge to ledge or zip-line from one roof-top to the next, makes for an exciting experience.
Part of the excitement is because the developer has created a sense of urgency throughout the game. You constantly have to keep on the move wherever you go at all times otherwise you get caught in a storm of bullets from government officials who burst onto rooftops and surround you at any given opportunity. Initially, this keeps the game moving and flowing and encourages you to take risks that see you taking on big jumps, which occasionally won’t pay off. However, it also works to the detriment of the gameplay and at times you’re pushed a bit too hard; you're just not given enough time to think. If you stop for a moment to look around in order to work out where you need to go you’ll more often than not get shot. Especially later on in the game, when pathway hints become fewer, this means that ... (continued on next page)
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- 2:54am EST - December 2nd, 2008
6.5....i loved this game. hehehe oh well players opinion :)
- 2:57am EST - December 2nd, 2008
ya, didnt like this game at all well the demo at least, the combat felt tacked on, and the unless your really good at spotting red objects quickly you never really know where you're going.
- 3:24am EST - December 2nd, 2008
I like the demo, but there are many top ps3 games on sale atm..so I will skip this one for now, maybe in the future I will buy it :)
- 3:39am EST - December 2nd, 2008
this one needs a price drop, PSU and IGN were being generous.
- 3:53am EST - December 2nd, 2008
@ 2 you can use bullet time to slow everything down for a about 5 secs to combat against those pesky kids! i mean the Law. i have the game and im enjoying it though it was abit silly of me because i bought COD5, Mirrors Edge, and LBP at the same time, and im having to juggle all of them! I'll remember next time to just stick with one at a time!
- 4:14am EST - December 2nd, 2008
All you see in this gmes is WHITE,BLUE AND RED. the graphic is really good but do you really think that thats the only colors we have in every city? the whole concept and idea of the game is nice since we didt see anything really like this before but the fighting and the combat in this game is really useless,just jump and jump and jump and thats it. maybe mirrors edge 2 will make it better.
- 4:42am EST - December 2nd, 2008
Sad to hear the game turned out like this.
Maybe there will be another installement where they can treat this one as a prologue. The next one they have allow a varied pace, by creating a stealth ability....I mean, how do the authorities always know where she is? Where are the CCTV cameras, search parties etc? Could she not percievably use stealth to pass these by & when caught, sends a pille of officials your way causing you to get a move on? Think on something similar to the MGS games.
Being careful gets you time to think & explore, while being spotted causes the pace to pick up & the dodgng to begin.
And where are the varied objectives? People need a reason to be doing something....and it would seem, too little thought was put into this. Running becuase you are being hunted is one thing, but there has to be an objective other than escaping. What about spying to get to the truth? Make use of the fact of having to enter buildings by having to sneak into govt. offices from the rooftops etc.
I thought the story would be the downfall of this game & it would seem I was right. There just isnt enough to fill out what could have been a great game. They had some things perfect ( movement.visuals)...and yet it seems it was still too linear.
Maybe next time.
All I can say is DICE, don't give up. Make another one with these things in mind...bigger & better. Add puzzle elements into it...like moving a crane to be able to get onto another area etc....theres so much you could do.
- 4:48am EST - December 2nd, 2008
Thats because the glowing weapon thing is useless. Spend a few seconds to learn the timing of disarming each particular weapon, and then you are gold. Spend a couple minutes more and you can find a combat combo that takes enemies down faster than the disarm.
All it would have taken was a little bit of experimentation because this games holds you by the hand less and less as you prgress further in the game.
Combat is far from useless because it helps you take on larger groups of enemies once you get combo's down. Unless you like dieing alot, trying to run past enemies or disarm them one at a time at the later part of the game, must be horribly tedious if you have not gotten down the basics of the combo's down.
If the pace of the game slows to a crawl then blame no one other than yourself.
@GunTeng, don't take this review to heart like that. Trust me, things were explained in the game and there were minor puzzle elements to it. You are judging the game on what you "feel" it should be. Why don't you rent the game to experienced what it actually is about before you build up those preconcieved notions of yours.
I am not going to drop spoilers here for those that have not played the game, I will just say that this is a simple story about a regular person caught in a grand situation. Mirrors edge is finally one of those games where it is ok just o be a person, instead of a superhero/villian/fighter for justice and all that nonsense. Games do not always have to surround extrodinary people, and that is what puts them in line with films. If you believe that games always require overblown stories than you must not think much about the medium.
- 5:40am EST - December 2nd, 2008
This game is gr8 it's something new aswell it's a 9 not 6.5 and combat ain't useless u lot just don't know how to play. mirrors edge is worth playing 9/10.
- 5:49am EST - December 2nd, 2008
it scored higher than tomb raider? this site is losing grip.
- 6:12am EST - December 2nd, 2008
Yet another reviewer who clearly doesn't grasp the concept.
Ah well, it's a stellar game.
- 6:16am EST - December 2nd, 2008
i liked this game, it is just far too short. very good idea, i don't think combat was the aim of this game anyway, you can complete it without shooting anyone. the story of the city and the runners is good, but thought it could of been done better. the levels are a bit plain but it's good to see a game that isn't covered in brown/grey colours like most are. at least it's a fresh idea, not just another shooter 8/10 for me
- 6:43am EST - December 2nd, 2008
I think the game deserves at least a 7.5 though I do agree it can be frustrating at times. R2 as the fire button is what really threw me off in combat since it's R1 in a lot of other games. I liked the game though. It may not be the best title of 2008 but it's still pretty decent overall.
- 6:58am EST - December 2nd, 2008
£20.50 @ mymemory.co.uk!!!
- 7:07am EST - December 2nd, 2008
disagree with the score. The game has alota new concepts. I give it at least a 7.5 or 8
- 7:27am EST - December 2nd, 2008
6.5? There must be a reason you give it such a high score. I smell EA dollar$ in your pocket$!
I want my $10 rental fee back.
- 7:37am EST - December 2nd, 2008
i love the game, a nice clean setting and unless you're colorblind its easy to spot the red. i like the fact that combat is a last resort. why doesnt anyone want SOMETHING DIFFERENT. this is the only game thats different available to buy
- 7:57am EST - December 2nd, 2008
Different doesn't always = good. EA should be applauded for trying this and I'm sure the next game in the series will be better, but it didn't quite work.
BTW - climbing through vents isn't original
- 8:34am EST - December 2nd, 2008
The worst part of this game is that the videos between the chapters look just like a clip from the ESurance commercials; and once you realise that, it makes those videos even harder to watch.
- 9:17am EST - December 2nd, 2008
I loved this game too and i think 6.5 isn't fair cause this game is awsome "for me"
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