A developer’s video at E3 2007, and a two-stage gameplay demo released at the end of October 2008, worked me into a geek frenzy over Mirror’s Edge. The setting, a totalitarian society where packages and information you don’t want tracked are delivered by couriers called Runners, was intriguing. The graphic style, full of stark cityscapes and rooftops, was fresh. Best of all, the gameplay perspective was first person, but the focus was to be on running, climbing and traversing the city, rather than shooting. A fresh, innovative game coming out of the monolithic EA? Yeah, this had promise.
I picked up my copy shortly after the game released in early November. Did it live up to expectations? Well, sort of. Mirror’s Edge gets a lot right. The free-running areas, based on the martial art of Parkour, is exhilarating when you’re in a groove, and “Runner’s Vision,” a system that colors red specific objects that can help you find your way, is effective and unobtrusive. The combat, though, is an altogether different beast, the story is largely forgettable and the controls can be a bit fiddly. In the long run, your enjoyment of the game may come down to how well you deal with frustration. (more…)