Its strengths far outweigh its many problems.
Or you can just watch my video review -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBdR-X3dj18
Yes, it is a shameless way to garner hits.
Mirror’s Edge is first and foremost, a platformer. Sure, you can shoot a gun, but for the most part, it’s all about jumping over and across stuff, hoping you don’t miss your mark and die. That pretty much describes what a platformer generally is, but DICE attempts to do it all in the first-person perspective. That is not an ideal viewpoint to do any kind of jumping, but for the most part, DICE pulls it off with a great deal of success. There are potential advantages in using this perspective in this genre and DICE fully realizes and utilizes said potential. There are a myriad of issues that could’ve definitely been given some fine-tuning, but for the most part, Mirror’s Edge is absolutely worth a try.
To give all the platforming and free-running some context, the game’s set in a totalitarian society, where information is controlled and sterility is an idealistic and aesthetic preference. The government is oppressive and the people conform. There isn’t much leeway for going against the grain. So, to circumvent Big Brother’s watchful eye, runners are tasked with transporting sensitive information by vaulting over rooftop over rooftop, sending information when needed. You’re one of them and you take up the role of Faith.
There’s a lot of potential with a setting like this, but it’s squandered. The game’s plot is largely concerned with a murder mystery involving Faith’s sister, Kate, as she is framed for a murder she didn’t commit. One uninteresting lead leads to another just as uninteresting, all culminating into an ending that doesn’t tie up any loose ends. A bigger, grander story arc does arise around the half-way point, but it’s just as uninteresting. Plot twists are easy to identify, the characters are flat and even calling them one-dimensional is a stretch. Even worse is how the story is presented; most of the game’s cut-scenes use what seems to be Flash. There are clear limitations when using Flash as a visual medium, like animation and Mirror’s Edge’s cut-scenes suffer from this. If this was a stylistic choice, then I think this was a mistake. On the bright side, the in-game cut-scenes are a lot better. Ultimately, the game’s story acts a vehicle to get you to the next level, but lacks the motivation to make you want learn more about the game’s character and story.