This one is a little late, partly because of Amazon and partly because of Blizzard. I take no responsibility for my own actions here…
A friend of mine suggested that Mirror’s Edge was inspired by Hong Kong, but I think its Singapore The smooth, clean lines, spotless buildings, and dirt-free streets all call to mind the land in the Far East where chewing gum is a crime. I think my friend was thinking of Hong Kong action movies, where high-flying martial artists take to the roofs to avoid the mob or a totalitarian police regime. Hmm, maybe we’re both on to something there.
That movement, or parkour, is what Mirror’s Edge is really all about. The story, about couriers sticking it to the Man, is flat an generic. The combat, when you can’t avoid it, it tricky and annoying. It is as if you’re being stopped from doing the thing you really want to do – run. A a result, the star of Mirror’s Edge is movement itself. When you can perfectly execute a stage through running, jumping, diving, and sliding, you have it made, and you understand why this game feels so good.
You’d think a game that is all about real motion would cause motion sickness while watching it. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is as if the absence of a bouncing gun focus allows you to see through your character’s eyes, not her weapon, and rally creates the illusion of speed and force. That being said, it gets awfully annoying to watch your hands flail around like a bad Looney Tunes knockoff after the sixth of seventh time you miss a jump. Don’t miss time trial mode, though. There is something infinitely satisfying about shaving seconds off your best run-through a tough level, or finding a new route through you missed the first few times around.
It is a rare game in which the time trials are the best part and you still enjoy and recommend it to others. And yet that’s just the case here. Mirror’s Edge’s story is short, maybe 7-8 hours, and it has limited replayability. It is a thing best rented, rather than bought. That all being said, Mirror’s Edge really is something new and something fun, and isn’t that what games are about?
For being an fun and original game worth playing, while also being too short and sometimes deeply frustrating, Mirror’s Edge gets 3 Weiners out of 5.