Review by TheUsurperOfAll
You should avoid this mirror like you were Rocky Dennis
Let me start by saying I was really looking forward to this game. When I first heard about a fast paced, first-person platformer my gut reaction was something like 'Oooo, cool'. Unfortunately, while the concept is definitely snazzy, just about the entire game was executed poorly.
Graphics = 4/10
Anyone that has played this already will immediately protest a 4 out of ten. Saying something like '4? What? The graphics are so polished and detailed, and the character design and the draw distance and blah blah blah...". Those people are absolutely right. The graphics engine is great, but that engine has not been put to good use. First off, the color scheme is awful. There are literally only about 10 colors in the whole game. While that doesn't sound inherently bad (you can do a lot with 10 colors) but by far the most prominent color is white and all the other colors mostly come in the form of random rooftop items painted in complete solids. I keep imagining someone at DICE just opening paint, clicking on the paint bucket thing and going ' Let's make this pipe orange, this wall will be green, and this staircase will be blue, and...that should do it. Next level.' The between-chapter cut scenes are just lame. They're done in Flash, that's right, the same stuff that crappy web-based games and crappier car insurance commercials appear in. The in-chapter cut scenes look great, if you can get past the colors.
Sound = 8/10
Tha audio in Mirror's Edge is great. The sound effects are good, the music is fantastic and often changes depending on the situation. The voice acting is also solid.
Story = 1/10
The story is weak, like a malnourished MS patient. The citizens of 'The City' are being oppressed by the government but there are a few rebels fighting back. How many movies/TV shows/books/games/plays/operas/dreams I've had after eating to much spicy food before bed has this story been in? The only other aspect of the story involves a loved one being framed for murder, yeah, we've seen that before too. Weak.
Gameplay = 5/10
Ah, the meat and potatoes of any game. This is where the game becomes a love-it or hate-it affair. While many people out there have labeled this 'groundbreaking' or 'innovative' I saw it as little more than Prince of Persia with a different camera angle. While that might not be totally fair, 'groundbreaking' is pushing it. The idea is sound but the execution falls short.
The jumping/grabbing physics can be touch-and-go leading to a few high speed concrete dives that didn't need to happen. However, if you want to get through this game you're going to need to get used to dying...a lot. The game has a hard time letting you know where to go and what to do. The 'Runner's Vision' is supposed to keep you on track but does an awful job most of the time forcing you to stop and look around quite often, which is kind of contrary to the point of the game. Running away fast and 'not looking back'. All this leads to a lot of trial and error, which can be frustrating since there is little to no room for error.
Much like Prince of Persia, Mirror's Edge offers a sprinkling of combat, but there tends to be some collision detection problems resulting in some whiffed punches and kicks. The disarming and shooting aspects aren't bad and some disarm animations are pretty cool. Since the main point of Mirror's Edge is running away the combat seems like more of an afterthought.
Replay Value = 4/10
There are a few alternate ways to make it through each level, I guess that could be considered 'open' by some. The time trials add a little more play time if you don't mind having zero margin for error, but the main story should only take a few hours to finish. Even die hard fans will be done with this game pretty quickly.
Overall = 4/10(not an average)
If you're interested in this game I strongly suggest you rent it first. You might love it, a lot of people do, but just as many people hate it. If you like games that offer a good challenge then Mirror's Edge could be right up your alley. While playing through Mirror's Edge you'll be treated to moments of perfect player execution where you can see where you're supposed to go, what you're supposed to do, and land the whole thing just right that can give you quite a rush. Unfortunately, unless you've played through the game already and know just what to do, these moments are few and far between. In the end, Mirror's Edge has a lot of unrealized potential. As much as I disliked this game though, I'm very much hoping for a sequel.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Mirror's Edge (US, 11/11/08)
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