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Playback: Mirrors Edge

Edging its bets.

It seems that no one bought Mirror’s Edge so how come everyone wants to see a sequel? The release of the game coincided with a boom in the thing developers appear to hate most – pre-owned game sales.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the number of trophies and achievements won in Mirrors Edge is more than double the number of copies of the game sold so it’s evident that players were not ready to gamble £40 on a new IP but were quite happy to grab the title, at a later date and a cut down price.

Those rascal gamers who dodged giving EA any cash include myself, as I bought a copy pre-owned off eBay, sorry EA.

Mirror’s Edge stood out from the crowd in 2008 thanks to its rather unique concept and setting. Writer, Rhianna Pratchett, helped EA created a shiny dystopian city ruled by a police-state dictatorship but rather than grabbing an Uzi and laying waste to the bad guys, you play a non violent heroine by the name of Faith.


This gleaming utopia is soon revealed to be an oppressive dystopia.
Faith is a runner, a courier, and spends her time scampering across the buildings and rooftops of the city. As the state are monitoring electronic communications, Runners are the only way to move information across the city undetected.

Mirror’s Edge is unique in that the free running occurs in first person rather than third person. All you ever see of Faith when playing the game are her feet and hands as you make her scramble across buildings.

As Faith’s speed builds up while running, the rate at which the camera bobs up and down increases and when performing a roll, the camera will spin to match Faith’s view.

The developers, DICE, took the unusual step of making players avoid violence wherever possible. If Faith is attacked then her best chance for survival is usually to make a run for it, picking up a gun will slow her down and she cannot climb whilst wielding a fire arm.

The plot finds Faith’s sister, Kate, framed for the murder of mayoral candidate Robert Pope. As she investigates, Faith will uncover ‘Project Icarus’. All is not as it seems, are some her own friends working for the Police state? Can you trust anyone?

Mirror’s Edge plays well but the lack of alternative paths to the destination seems very restrictive today when Connor can clamber over an entire forest in the recently showcased Assassin’s Creed III. Setting most of the action atop skyscrapers was also a bad idea, it may have served the plot but it does mean instant, squishy death on many occasions.

Graphically, the game looks fresh and modern but suffers from aliasing issues and for such a shiny, mirrored world we hardly ever get to see Faith, a shame when they had spent so long making her unique.

The in-game music is rather special and the theme, Still Alive, reached No. 26 in the Swedish top 40. Pop Fact Extra: The composer of Still Alive, Rami Yacoub, also wrote ‘Ooops I Did It Again’ for Britney Spears and recent top ten hit ‘One Thing’ for pop muppets One Direction.

Mirror’s Edge is a flawed gem, if a sequel is ever announced it should improve on the solid foundations set back in November 2008. EA were working on a sequel but it was sadly cancelled. EA say the franchise is ‘still important’ but have yet to announce a new game.

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34 Comments
  1. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    The most immersive game I’ve ever played.
    Absolutely fantastic, and the game that shows just how far we’ve come.
    Something like this wouldn’t have been possible on previous generations, whereas the so-called leading games such as Uncharted or COD were, only with toned-down graphics.

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 18:55.
  2. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    ME2 was cancelled!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO*rest of the no was last seen heading towards space*.

    I enjoyed ME but it didn’t have much replay value. The First Person didn’t cause any motion sickness for me. It’s a massive shame that we probably won’t see another game like Mirror’s Edge as it wasn’t a massive success. :(

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 19:00.
  3. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    I loved Mirrors Edge, I still sort of do when it’s not do infuriatingly punishing that I throw the controller out of the window. I have a spare used copy if anyone wants it for three quid?

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 19:08.
  4. maneorix
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    If you didn’t find any alternative path’s to the objective, you weren’t playing it properly ;)

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 19:23.
    • pvwradtke
      Member
      Since: Aug 2008

      Mostly, the game has very balanced areas that give us lot of room to play whatever way we want to. But some bad level designs do stand out in the middle, specially if you want the no gunshots trophy.

      Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 20:29.
  5. Ferrick
    Member
    Since: Jan 2009

    Absolutely loved this game. I recently got rid of my 360, all of it’s games (naturally), and a handful of about 40 PS3 games.

    I have just over 20 PS3 games left, and this is one of them.

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 19:38.
  6. pvwradtke
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    I liked it, but the execution is flawed at many points, so a sequel would be welcome if it addressed these small quirks. For instance, the full “non-violence” path (there’s even a trophy for that) is sometimes very hard, which seems like an after-thought, rather than an initial design choice. Getting bare handed through an armored guy with a chain-gun in the end of a hallway is an herculean task when compared to other sections, so a successful sequel should avoid these situations, maybe using an adaptive AI that reacts to the playing style to compensate unfair level designs.

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 20:25.
  7. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Brilliant game IMO. offered something new and unique. Shame they wont be doing a sequel. Could be huge.

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 20:46.
  8. JBoo
    Banned
    Since: Oct 2011

    This comment is hidden.

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 22:38.
  9. DixNeuf
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    I loved this game so much. I finished over a weekend (like I seem to do with all my favourite games), doing a no-guns play-through, and it was an exhilarating experience. I did go back to it some months later (after lending it to a friend who never actually played it) to go about pick up all the courier bags, but I just couldn’t get back into again, which in a way makes me glad there wasn’t an ME2 as I don’t know if I’d have enjoyed it….

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 23:05.
  10. Andrewww
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    I absolutely loved it, consider it one of my best gaming experiences ever. But it is also one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played, and I’m talking about the speedruns here.
    To all those whining about flaws and bad level designs: don’t blame the game if it’s too hard for you…! ;o)

    Comment posted on 04/04/2012 at 23:55.

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