Review by RogueJediX
A very good start
Mirror's Edge took everyone by surprise by its unique presentation of parkour in first person. Is it perfect? Not quite. Is it bad as everyone makes it out to be? Not in the slightest.
First, let's take a look at the part of the game that matters the most: the gameplay. The controls are very solid on the PC, so whatever mistakes the you make, you'll have noone to blame but yourself. Unfortunately, mistakes will be made. Quite a lot, actually. Although the controls are great, plummeting to your death will be a common occurrence. This can be attributed to two things: level design and the pace of the game itself.
The point of the game is to keep your momentum going. Not only is it imperative during run-ins with the law, but this is also beneficial because the faster the player goes, the quicker he can climb ledges, the further he can jump, etc. Unfortunately, this also means that during those times, you have little time to evaluate your surroundings and will make quite a few blind jumps. Most of which won't end well, trust me. At times, it is also unclear where you're supposed to go next, but thankfully, these moments are few and brief.
As the story progresses, the game seems to put more emphasis on combat. An odd choice, since it seems to stray from the original formula to the realm of standard first person shooters. This completely interrupts the flow of the game and also forces the player to adapt a different style of gameplay. An occasional disarming of a guard is fine, but when we're talking about dozens, it starts to feel a lot like, say, F.E.A.R. It's as if the developers forgot what the point of the game was.
The good news is, despite all these minor to mediocre flaws, the game is still very much enjoyable. The story, however, isn't. It's bland, uninteresting, doesn't go anywhere, not to mention it has quite a few prominent plot holes. And to top it off, the cutscenes seem to be made in Adobe Flash, which is just stupid. Here you have a highly stylized Unreal 3 engine, which looks fantastic, so why not use it in cutscenes as well? There's even a stunning in-game shot of Faith (the player's character) at the end, which makes you wonder why the whole game wasn't presented in such a way.
In conclusion I'd have to say that this was a superb first effort by DICE. There's definitely room for improvement, but the groundwork is already set and it's solid. I truly hope this game gets a sequel.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Mirror's Edge (EU, 01/16/09)
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