Review by Lucid717
A Breath of Fresh Air in a Stagnant Industry
I will not be handing out 10's often. No game is perfect, nor is this one. But I wanted to make a statement here. I'm not sure I've ever been immersed in a game like I was with this one. First, allow me to explain my tagline... In my eyes, the gaming industry as a whole has become dull and unimaginative. And the first person shooter is to blame for this. Scratch that... the games themselves are just inanimate objects. The people that play them, and nothing but them, are to blame for the lack of innovation & variety that are currently plaguing the industry. It's just the same frickin game with different characters, different maps, and different guns. You run around shooting each other in the head, rinse... repeat. Personally, I become bored to tears after about 5 minutes of that. I need more variety in my gaming diet.
When this game graced me with it's presence, it was like a breath of fresh air. I thought to myself: "FINALLY! Now THIS is how you utilize the first person perspective... not to run around mindlessly shooting at each other, but to move through & interact with your environment." What an amazing, immersive experience it created. It was the most innovative, and beautiful game I'd played thus far in this millennium. I was hoping that it was the direction the gaming industry was going in... an evolution. Sadly, it appears more likely that it was a flash in the pan.
And today's typical gamer (described above) is to blame for it all. Money talks, and for that reason DICE will probably make a Battlefield 39 before it makes a Mirror's Edge 2. And that is so very unfortunate. Sorry DICE, but there is nothing special whatsoever about Battlefield. It's just another dime-a-dozen FPS... of which there are just too darned many of saturating the market already.
And the really sad thing is... I'll bet even they themselves know it, deep down. But their main motive is obviously to make money. They certainly can't be singled out, or vilified for that. But a true artist is more concerned with creating great art. Most of the best ones (artists) ended up broke. But, they created truly amazing works. And they are the ones that are still talked about hundreds of years later, immortalized by their work. Most of the time their work is not fully appreciated during their lifetime, because it's ahead of the curve, and people don't know exactly how to react to it. Mirror's Edge is such a work of art, IMO.
And so, I ask you, fine people at DICE... how do you want to be remembered? As a group that pioneered a new direction in the gaming industry. The ones that broke the mold of the tired, over-used, recycled FPS, and introduced something new? Something innovative. Something... more akin to being called art than a game. Something you don't merely play... you experience.
or... do you not want to be remembered at all? Just another dime-a-dozen FPS game maker, like everybody else these days. You may have to resort to eating New York Strip steak & crab instead of Fillet Mignon & lobster for a few months (oh, the horror)... but you will have done something great. You will be true artistes, and not merely game developers. And a time will come when the gaming public will catch up to your vision, and get bored with these regurgitated FPS's. And they will recognize the brilliance behind this (hopeful) franchise, and new sub-genre you have created.
An analogy that comes to mind is the film "Dark City". When it first came out, people didn't exactly know what to make of it. It didn't do well at the box office. Now it is a cult classic, and recognized as a great film. Afterwards films like "The Matrix" ripped it off, and cashed in on the vision it created... to a world now ready to grasp the concept. Mirror's Edge is to the gaming industry as Dark City was to the film industry. Just make sure you're the ones cashing in on your own vision once people do finally come around... and they will.
I was thinking about breaking this game down into criteria and rating it (Gameplay, Control, Graphics, Music, ect...), but I feel it's completely moot in this case. This is something that has to be experienced to be understood, and appreciated. You can't just put it in a vacuum and dissect specifics. To me, that would be disrespectful to the artists(?), and to this amazing piece of work they created. It may as well have been on canvas instead of silicon chips.
So, DICE... are you artists? or are you just like everybody else? I'm hoping for the former, but sadly, expect the latter. Please, prove me wrong.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Mirror's Edge (US, 11/11/08)
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