Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mirrors Edge PC Review

Mirrors Edge isn't a new game, but it's something that I played through far after it's release and with it being on sale on steam, for $5.00 in the US or $2.50 if your in Europe, I figured now would be a good time to write this up review, if you all don't mind. As is my fashion, let's dish out some basic deals on this game.

Basic Information
Developer: DICE
Genre: First Person Action Adventure (free runner) 
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Price Tag: $5.00 steam, $20 normally 
Release Date: 2009 PC, 2008 Consoles 
One of the first thing's you would notice with Mirrors Edge is that you can see your legs and arms, it is one of the few games to allow such a view without making the limbs looking awkward or unrealistic. You may also notice that Mirrors Edge is quite gorgeous, boasting a vibrant color palette that spreads throughout all portions of the world. The gameplay is also invaded by the artistic vision of DICE's designers, showing itself in  objectives, secrets and menu's. The entire experience of Mirrors Edge feels like your being treated to a grand artistic vision, but not a flawless vision.  Gameplay is very unique, mixing the concepts of free running, a first person shooter and open environments. Guns are downplayed and don't play a major part of gameplay, but you use them to advantage at various points of the game. In many areas of the game you don't have access to guns, it focuses entirely on free running. 

Mirrors Edge Trailer

Free running is the core aspect of gameplay, you use it to get through all portions of the game. Only at several points in the game are you required to do anything but move through your environment as quick as possible with the only tools available to you, climbing, jumping and running. One of the greatest achievements of Mirror's Edge is creating a game that makes free running it's main mechanic, while also making it enjoyable. You use your momentum to run across walls, jump over buildings, slide under pipes and other situations. Sometimes, free running feels smooth and glorious, but at other times it can be a pain. Most of the game tends to be back and forth like that, at points providing something that feels excellent, but at other times feeling broken and clumsy. It especially goes that way with level design, some levels feel like they are exceptionally designed, boasting open areas with many routes and plenty of options, while others are boring, disjointed and lacking direction. There are also levels that show the best of DICE's artistic direction, like skyscrapers and streets, while they still have some environments that lack vibrancy, attractive palette's and are not enjoyable to traverse. 
The story in Mirror's Edge can be taken lightly, it is shown through stylistic cut scenes that people may enjoy, but they could also easily turn people off of it and if you dislike the cut scenes you can always skip them. Thankfully, the story is fairly short, never getting in the way of gameplay for too long. It revolves around the main character, a woman named Faith, the person you control, and her adventure through the world running from cops and trying to save her sister from being framed. The plot is something which the game is heavily criticized for, but it's fairly easy to look past it. 

Last Comments
Mirror's Edge has it's problems with pacing, sporadic gameplay and a weak story, but it still has strengths that are hard to overlook. DICE and EA created a unique game, one that relies on you to use your wits, speed and environment to get you from one area to the next. If you let it, Mirror's Edge will thrill you and provide you with a great experience, just don't let the bad portions of the game make you forget about what it's like to  kick a gun out of cops hand and then jump down onto a building far below. I can only hope someday that they will make a Mirrors Edge 2, correcting all of it's flaws and propelling it to greatness. Without further ado, Here's the score. 

Score Breakdown
Presentation - 7.5 (forgettable story, some bugs,  poor pacing; all bring down this score)
Graphics - 9 (presents some beautiful environments, great animations, but they are inconsistent)
Sound - 8 (great soundtrack. Appropriate, but not impressive, sound effects and mostly decent voice work) 
Gameplay - 8.5 (overall impressive gameplay mechanics, but held down down by bugs, performance issues and some inappropriately difficult situations) 
Length of Play - 8 (a fairly short story with a extra time trial mode to mess around with once you've beaten the game. There are collectibles, but they don't amount to anything significant.) 

Violent Score: 8.5 (out of 10) 
-Mirrors Edge may not be the looker it was when it came out, but it is still impressive and presents some enjoyable non-violent gameplay. Thanks for reading. 

Steam Page:

-Written by Sean Cargle 


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