Sunday, January 25, 2009

Game Review: Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge is a curious experiment in first person shooters. Basically it opens a door where you can do more than just run around and shoot people.

The problem is it's unforgiving nature. Think you can jump down to the building below you? Nope and you just broke your legs, fell down head first to the street, or back to where you don't want to be. It's frustrating because it happens so often and it takes you out of the game. The fighting can be a problem because there is a tiny window to disarm someone.

The 2nd problem is the level design. From the demo you assume that you'll be doing running but a lot of it is "platforming" a.k.a. jumping from one post, and then another and then another and then another. Later in the game there's a 4 story area you have to get up. It's not fun, it's a pain in the ass! Another problem is the help. Early in the game everything is red, which is good. But later in the game things stop turning red. One time I tried for 20 minutes to wall climb up to this walkway, but couldn't make it. And this was during a police chase, so I had to pretend that they were trying to find the right keys or something. Talk about killing momentum. And as it turns out, I had to grab a vent which I thought I couldn't grab and jump to the walkway from there.

The game is satisfying at times though, when you're finally able to kick a cop in the face, disarm another and shoot a third in 20 seconds you feel like you've accomplished something (a life sentence sounds about right). One time I was being shot to hell and just got across a room just in time. What I like about this game is the Matrix, run from the police or fight them mentality. The story is okay and revolves around you trying to help your sister who's been set up for a murder.

In Mirror's Edge 2 multiplayer I expect: 6-player races. A runner vs. cops mode where the runners try to reach as destination and the cops try to stop them. And a co-op mode with some acrobatics. I also expect there to be some kung fu dammit!

Programming: 7/10 : No bugs but the disarming and jumping/falling to your death gets repetitive.
Graphics: 8/10 : The graphics are surprisingly sharp. Sometimes a little too bright though
Story: 8.5/10 : Pretty good I thought, at least for the first game
Atmosphere: 7/10 : The city is very nice and there are cameras everywhere
Multiplayer: 5/10 : Only able to compare time trials. However they didn't try to force a multiplayer on us in their first game which gives them a 5.
Overall: 7/10 : Although frustrating at times it can be very satisfying

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