Mirror’s Edge is a very ambitious game from Electronic Arts, but did it meet my expectations? Yes and no…
From time to time I’ll play a video game that I’m not really sure what to think about. Mirror’s Edge is one of those rare titles. Part of the game feels like an absolute masterpiece, while other parts seem mediocre.
Art & Environment
What sets Mirror’s Edge apart from every other video game currently on the market is the artistic elements of the game. From the beautiful blue skies to the bleached cityscape, Mirror’s Edge places you in an environment that is extremely creative and unique. From an artistic stand point, EA hit a home run with the visuals.
While the rooftop environment was presented perfectly, the indoor environments are weak and sometimes confusing. Pressing B for hints doesn’t help you find your way to the goal. I had to set the controller down several times out of frustration when stuck inside an area I couldn’t immediately figure out how to escape.
When you first get into the game, it has the look of a game with infinite options, but that’s sadly not the case. The environment may look limitless, but you are stuck with a linear game with limited options. Most of the time, there’s only one or two possible ways to make your way to the target.
The Story and Characters
The story flat out bored me. It starts out interesting enough, but flat lines before you get deep into the plot. For the most part, you can play through the entire game without paying a bit of attention to the story or the characters.
Controls were a problem in this game for me. The demo gives you an idea of how the game will play, but it doesn’t get frustrating until after the end point of the demo. I love how the controls allow you to string moves together to perform rather complicated tasks, but there’s very little if any room for error. If you’re like me, you’ll spend more time falling to your death than actually playing the game. When jumping over a gap or trying to grab a pipe, you have to be absolutely perfect with the execution, or you will fall to your immediate death. While I love challenging games, I don’t like the challenge to come from the controls.
For the most part, the point of the game is to avoid combat, so it’s not the most important aspect of the title. Forget about using guns in the game because shooting is sluggish and not very accurate. You must get skilled with chained moves, slow-motion disarms and quick thinking to defeat enemies. Running away from them is almost always the only way to get through an area.
The learning curve in Mirror’s Edge is fairly steep, but after a couple hours you’ll get better. The entire game is fairly challenging, yet short lived. You could easily beat the game in one or two sittings as long as you have tons of patience. The entire game is an entire trial-and-error test and you will not make it to the end without dying numerous times.
In The End…
I feel that most people will either love or hate Mirror’s Edge. The artistic quality of the title is certainly worth witnessing. It’s a challenging game that has little to no room for error. The story is weak and the theme of the experience seems a bit lacking. I would love to see EA take another crack at the game and work on a sequel, because the potential for excellence is there. If you aren’t quite sure about this title, I’d suggest renting it. You can beat it within the time of a standard rental. While some of my thoughts above are negative, I still feel like it’s a good game. Creativity and originality flow from this title and EA deserves credit for doing something fresh.
I’m currently working on a review for Tom Clancy’s End War. I’m a little late on this one, but expect to see my thoughts on the game by this weekend at the latest…