|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA DICE||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 11, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
What's funny about these sticky portions is that they are often rather mundane skills that you have encountered time and again, but for some inexplicable reason, you just can't seem to make that wall-run. It seems as though the game may have some detection issues. I think the devs wanted to make the experience a bit more challenging in order to reinforce and heighten the sense of danger and precariousness of Faith's actions, but, as a gamer, I don't want to repeat the same gymkhana five times or more. All the same, if players stick with the game, there is a lot of rewarding gameplay to experience - gameplay that really shouldn't be missed.
Thankfully, the combat sequences in Mirror's Edge are very infrequent. I say 'thankfully' because using guns is not Faith's strong suit; she's a Runner, not a fighter. Moreover, I found even her disarming techniques and attack combos to be tricky. Pulling off sliding groin and flying face-kicks is very easy, but having to wait for your foes' weapon to glow red before you can disarm them is both difficult and time consuming. Hopefully, a sequel will make hand-to-hand encounters more user-friendly.
As far as sounds are concerned, Mirror's Edge draws from an original score that does a masterful job of setting the tone and mood of the game. The soothing Euro instrumentals heighten the intensity of gameplay with just the right amount of crescendo at appropriate moments. Also, ambient sounds such as sprinting footsteps, doors getting bashed open, the screeching of skin sliding on glass, etc. nicely capture the action onscreen. Voice acting is also very professional, but somewhat less engaging. This is mostly due to lackluster lip-syncing and somewhat pedestrian writing.
Outside of the Story mode, players can also challenge the Time Trial feature. I found Time Trials to be even more engaging and addictive than the campaign. Players will unlock levels within the Time Trial as they progress in the main mode. Tackling sections of the chapters like a race course, perfecting your skills, and truly feeling the flow was a joy. Plus, there are multiple paths you can take that will add or shave time off your score. What's more, Time Trial mode is backed by online leaderboard support. In other words, players will compete against folks around the world for the best times on a given course. This lends an addictive arcade quality to the game that is hard to beat. Finally, if you find yourself struggling to match (or even come close to) the top times, you can always load up the ghost of one of the leaders and learn their tricks. The Time Trial feature is as close to platforming perfection as I've found.
All in all, Mirror's Edge is a valiant effort to revolutionize gaming by a courageous studio. Largely, DICE pulled it off. But, there are several nagging spots that hamper the experience; repetitive environments and interactive elements, touchy controls and occasionally poor detection, and an uninspired story leave a significant amount to be desired. Even so, I found Mirror's Edge to be a truly unique and rewarding experience that I feel fortunate to have played.
CCC Editor / News Director