Thursday, December 18, 2008

Review: Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge
Developer: EA D.I.C.E.
Publisher: EA
Release Date: November 12, 2008
Genre: Parkour-Sim/First-Person Platformer

Mirror's Edge is one of those wonderful games that reminds me what true innovation is. This parkour-sim/first-person platformer is the love child of baby unicorns and magical rainbows. It's clear how happy I was when I saw this game. Playing it however is another story. I only owned Mirror's Edge for a total of one day. It made me so motion sick that I could only play it for roughly 30 minutes before becoming too sick to even look at the tv screen. That's OK though since the game is only seven hours long. For the time that I did play Mirror's edge though, I found it just a much frustrating as it was fun. The two button control is reminisent of the old days of video games but is so hard to get used to that I could see it turing away a lot of potential players. One button for up movements (jumping, vaulting) and one button for down movements (sliding, rolling). The problem with it is that in a game the needs to to keep moving as fast as possible this control scheme causes you to constantly get fingered tied as you roll off a building when you meant to jump up to a ladder.
Visually, the game is one of the most hauntingly beautiful games I've seen in a long time. In fact- I'd like Squenix to take a page out of Mirror's Edge book and make their next big name RPG more bright and colorful. The almost single color backdrop with bits of red hidden throughout can leave you breathless at times. For players that are not that good at the game though- this type of backdrop would make it very hard to play this game on higher difficulties when it takes away the red and leaves you to guess where all the steps are.
The story for Mirror's Edge is pretty fantastic. The government-conspiracy story may be over done and needs to be put out to pasture but every now and then a game like Mirror's Edge comes around and reminds me of why I love it. Actually, If I had to compare the games story to anything it would be the game Beyond Good and Evil, which is possibly the best game you've never heard of. It will keep you interested enough to keep you playing though all of the games chapters.
Overall: As much as I praise this game... it doesn't feel... right. It feels more like someone came up with an idea (first-person platformer) and then made a tech demo for it, albeit a long tech demo. This is a great step forward in the genre and I can't wait to see where it leads too. Maybe Sonic team will take the idea and use it for the next re-re-re-reboot of the sonic series.

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