Mirror’s Edge

Mirror’s Edge
Originally uploaded by kosmokomik.

Alright, I both procured and finished Mirror’s Edge yesterday. Despite running out of peas a couple of times trying to keep Sarah’s laptop from overheating.

It is a very interesting game. I have none of the common complaints about the game: too short, too much combat, too much head scratching trying to figure out which way to go rather than running.

The length felt just right. It felt like they wrung pretty much everything they could get out of the mechanics in that amount of time. More levels would have been pretty redundant. And you can always go do the hidden package/time trials thing to add another umpteen hours to your gameplay if you want more of what Mirror’s Edge is pushing.

Combat was solid and not very hard. Making mandatory combat an acceptable way to break up the levels and add a little depth.

Lastly, the “I can’t run everywhere because I don’t know where I’m going and I’m going to fall off a building” complaint. This I did not find. I was amazed how seldomly I got lost while running full-speed. With pain-stakingly crafted level wizzing past at one man-week a second.

This was actually a pretty neat part of the game. It’s one part follow the red things, one part route finding, and one part “guess what the level designer was thinking”. Taken in whole your first guess is usually right. And if you’re not sure there is this briliant little “point me to where I’m supposed to be going” button.

So you have all these little tools and clues to help you figure out which way you should be going, and after a while you’re just wizzing through the levels. But how fun is that wizzing? Probably not quite as fun as it should be.

Remember that this is Mirror’s Edge. Expectations are high. Expectations are through the roof.

I was utterly disapointed by it back when I played it at PAX. I thought it was going to be all “press the up button to go over obstacles, press the down button to go under them”. And so relegate itself to being a fancy game of simon says.

Then I played it a little bit at my little cousin’s place on his M$ Box. Asside from not being able to control it worth shit because console players are too stupid to use mice; I thought it was great. It seemed deep and rewarding. Not as good as I had hoped but still richer than I had thought.

Then I got a copy and played it through. And it _is_ just a big game of simon says. There are just more than the two buttons I thought there were. There are about four. So you run around pressing the right button to get over each given obstacle.

So I’m going back to my original PAX stand on the game: it fails to be great because it contains none of the fluid flow of movement or delicate balance of a human being actually running and jumping.

Which is understandable. Can I imagine how to make that game? No.

So Mirror’s Edge isn’t _great_ for a bunch of reasons. But it _is_ really fun and definitely worth playing through. Even if purisits might rather spend four hours in front of qwop: http://www.foddy.net/Athletics.html


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