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    dkirschner's Mirror's Edge (PC)

    [April 25, 2011 01:48:05 PM]
    Alright alright, done with Mirror's Edge. Short game, didn't really like it at first, but definitely grew on me. I played two long sessions, 3 hours or so each. In the first half, I basically got used to the controls, the running, jumping and melee combat. I got used to the flow of running across rooftops, runner vision, and the cutscene story -> mission -> cutscene story -> mission format. Learning can be frustrating, but playing well is satisfying. In the second session, I played well. I beat up enemies with gusto and ran with finesse. I was also more adept at intuiting which direction to run. Also, I feel the level design was actually better in the second half and the missions were more exciting.

    So what is Mirror's Edge? Mirror's Edge is dystopian parkour. You play as Faith, a runner, in a police state urban environment. Runners are subversive elements who relay political messages, illegal packages, etc. from place to place in the city, gliding on rooftops, using the urban environment to their mobile advantage. An up-and-coming politician was murdered, Faith's sister framed. Faith has to find out the circumstances of the murder, who really did it, clear her sister's name, put the killer to rest, and ultimately save her sis. The story was pretty cool, and mostly delivered in anime-style cut scenes dividing missions.

    Levels involved Faith running from point A to point B, basically, then receiving instructions to get to point C, and so on, via Merc on a radio transmitter. Running is of course the main mechanic of the game and what sets it apart from anything else I've played. Now, it's not totally as original as it sounds because at its heart, it's just a platformer without puzzles. Reminded me very much of the Prince of Persia series. The difference, like I said, is the emphasis on running and 'flow.' There's flow in Prince of Persia and other platformers of course, but Mirror's Edge makes a big deal out of it by giving you 'runner vision,' which highlights important spots in the environment bright red. So as you're running to the edge of a building, you'll see a plank sticking out turn red, or a pipe on the side of the opposite building fade into red, meaning "Hey, go there." At first, I wasn't feeling this supposed flow very much, but as I played, I got a better feel for the controls. Say you have a big box in front of you. If you run right up to it and then jump, Faith will slowly pull herself up. If you come at the box with speed and time your jump, Faith will gracefully scale it. It's all about speed and timing. If you navigate in the best way, Faith's movements are quick and efficient, and it's really graceful. Despite how cool it can feel to get a hot streak of running, the mechanic is super basic and feels a little boring at times, saved though by the excitement of jumping across the tops of buildings at high speed. You basically hold W (forward run) and push space bar (jump/climb) over and over the whole game.

    At the beginning of the game, I got frustrated at this one jump, literally right at the beginning, that almost made me quit immediately. There were a couple other relatively minor areas that were frustrating because I couldn't find the precision to make Faith do what I wanted her to do. In all the rest, I ended up working on the controls and getting the move down. But that first one, I think was just ridiculously punishing and a bad spot to locate it in first thing. There were some other sections later on where I was a little stuck as to where to go, and then figured it out, but the path wasn't anything I would have thought to do. Like "Oh, I can climb on this? I haven't had to do that before." There was another part where you have to do this running wall jump, but jump halfway because the space wasn't big enough for an actual wall jump. I couldn't figure it out for the life of me, so I went to a walkthrough, which noted that the tutorial, instructions, controls, nothing tells you this (and a couple other) move is possible, so I guess I was just supposed to magically figure it out. Ah yes, and there was a bug that caused the game to freeze. Luckily I was able to patch it away early.

    I have two favorite things about Mirror's Edge. First is the general visual aesthetic. The game is whitewashed, bright, bright whites and pastels. I mentioned the red of runner vision. There is also yellow, blue, lime green, orange, and a couple others. It's really pretty and really cool-looking. The graphics themselves are really nice too. At one point I emerged onto a boat deck and saw the cityscape across the ocean. I went "whoa" out loud and looked for a minute. And since you're in a city scaling buildings, the game is vertical. You go up and down, up and down, instead of the typical side to side. A couple levels were practically nothing but finding your way up 8 or 9 stories of a building, and then maybe back down.

    My other favorite thing was a specific sequence where you must jump on a train and avoid fans and support beams as it goes. Then you come to a low-hanging ceiling and have to jump trains, and avoid more stuff. It was just really intense and unexpected. There were other cool sequences too, notably anything involving chasing/being chased.

    So, neat game. Loved the style, and the platforming was done pretty well. I'd like some more variety in acrobatics and a longer story because I felt like it was over as I was really getting the hang of it. I think a sequel to this game could be really great. The story totally leaves it open for one.
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    dkirschner's Mirror's Edge (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 24 April, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 26 April, 2011

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Meh so far. Just holding W and pushing spacebar. --------------------- Good game, grew on me. Getting used to the controls makes a world of difference.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on Mirror's Edge

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Mirror's Edge (iPd) by jp (rating: 5)
    2 : Mirror's Edge (PC) by Prodimator (rating: 5)


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