Mirror's Edge, underrated game of the year 2008

Mirror's Edge has been awarded with a lot of sub-par scores throughout the gaming world, often using words like disappointing and frustrating. I actually bought this game at almost half price, probably thanks to a lot these reviews. Although, of course I'm happy to have made a bargain, what bothers me a little is this rather harsh criticism which it had to suffer, given that it's all in all a truly excellent game. Perhaps not for everyone, but then again, no game is.

The primary criticism about this game is, as far as I can tell, the fighting. I have to a agree that, for a game which is not focused on fighting, there's a whole lot of it in there. What is often missed is the fact that, although the game describes it as a must, there is very rarely a situation where you have to take out the enemies. On harder difficulties, you're usually shot down if you try to climb a pipe or ladder with enemies around, but that's pretty much the only situation, the rest of the game (perhaps with the exception of the server room in the Shard, although I'm still trying to get them to destroy all the servers) can be played through, completely avoiding real fighting. You will need to do a couple of disarms (I can think of a couple of snipers), and you'll also probably want to do one or the other slide kick or stomping to keep up the flow.

Then there's the frustration part of missing a jump. This is where I really disagree, if you need to try a dozen times to make a jump, you're probably missing another way to reach your goal, and this is what I find truly compelling about this game. You're stuck at one point, look around, and realize there's another platform which seems oddly inviting, as if someone put it there to found. Or you see this corner, and say to yourself, if only I could wall run, turn and jump the next wall and do another wall run, and then you realize, maybe I can. During my second time through, I realized I could have just done a wall-climb, turn, jump combo instead of a wall run around the corner, but still, the enormous amount of options that lay before you even in rather cramped spaces, that's what I find truly exhilarating.

I've also read one or the other comment about the controls being too simplistic, and having only one button for both jumping and wall-running often left them jumping off the edge instead of wall running to the next platform, stating that you pretty much have to run into the wall to wall run. Again, I don't agree, I think the controls are remarkably well designed, and a really tip my hat to DICE for making them easy, yet very complete. Have you ever tried to wall run yourself? It's not impossible, but you do indeed have to run towards the wall at a rather steep angle to get any kind of friction force to hold you up. I'm not saying the game is realistic, by no means, It's still a game in all respects, I'm just saying that the controls make perfect sense.

I would also encourage anyone who've played through, found it boring, to go have a look at both time trial and speed runs, and run against the ghosts from the leader board, if nothing else, then just to be fascinated by all the routes you missed.

That's all for my first GB blog entry.

6 Comments