Well it took me about eight months to do it, but I finally completed Mirror’s Edge. Twice. Once on hard. In theory, Mirror’s Edge isn’t the hardest game, but is extremely tedious and frustrating. I’m going to officially apologise to the people who were in a party with me whilst I was playing some of the later chapters. I may have got a little bit aggressive towards Faith, but she wasn’t doing what I wanted her to do! I am extremely pleased I got it done. Eventually.
When the game first came out, I was intrigued by it.. but not enough to buy it. Enough though to not say no to someone who was willing to lend me it. I love free-running, or should I say I love controlling characters who can free-run (Altair and the Prince spring to mind). I like being able to see all the cool stuff they can do, so the fact Mirror’s Edge is all first-person kinda gives it a really odd twist. The developers had to add that little dot in the middle of the screen to stop the testers getting sick from playing it! But there’s plenty of other things to look at. The cityscapes are amazing. The simplicity of it all, such as with the colours and blocks, creates a very unique look. I love the colours, and the bright splurts of red everywhere (although this is removed when playing it on hard unfortunately). So it looks fantastic. And Faith is a pretty cool main character. I like how, because it’s in first-person, you only ever catch glimpses oh her, like in a shadow, or her reflection in a window whilst she’s hanging off the bottom of a helicopter for example. She’s not flaunted around even though she has a really distinct look. She’s the face of Mirror’s Edge, but she doesn’t define the game. The running does.
I’ve noticed recently when talking about storylines in games.. I usually don’t have a clue what’s going on. Mirror’s Edge is no exception. From what I gather it starts off on a cool information-seeking arc, but then everyone’s out to kill the runners. And I missed the bit which links that together obviously. Despite that, I’m quite happy to run from one end of the level to the other and knocking a few guys out in the process. And after you’ve completed the game, the fun doesn’t stop there. Oh no! Speed runs and time trials. And my goodness you’ve got to be good to do those. For example, the level ‘Jack Knife’ gives you an allowance of 11 minutes to complete it in. That’s a rreeeally long level. It means that one wrong move and you’ve lost a good chunk of time which is needed to complete the level in. However, this is apparently the hardest speed run and best saved till last. Maybe if you didn’t have to knock enemies out whilst running around against a time limit it’d be much more easier, although admittedly, less challenging.
The gameplay itself isn’t difficult. You could play the game with a couple of buttons and an analogue stick. Left bumper jumps and left trigger crouches. The thing which makes it a bit creative is the process from getting from point A to point B, and how cool you feel doing so. It’s all about flare. Jumping between two buildings is standard stuff. But maybe throw in a wall-run, 180 degree spin and a skill roll and it’s the coolest thing ever. I started off a bit clunky playing the game, but as I progressed I learned to control Faith a little bit more fluently. And knowing when to wall-run and coil or jump and skill roll not only makes Faith move faster, but looks so much better. And an awesome combo move could earn you an achievement too. I personally enjoy jumping off a building, twisting around in mid-air and sticking my fingers up at my pursuers.
I’m not sure what else to say about Mirror’s Edge. It’s one of those games. It feels amazing running around rooftops being shot at by helicopters.. but that could pretty much sum up the entire game. I was intrigued by the added DLC, but that appears just to be extra speed runs and time trials of some sort, and nothing else which really adds to the story or Faith as a character. So once you’ve played it.. that’s that. Of course there’s a Mirror’s Edge 2 in the works. I have some mixed feelings about this. Will there be a new hero? What other trouble can the runners get themselves into? When does running around rooftops get old? But as it goes, only time will tell.