Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Game Review - Mirror's Edge

So this was a neat little pickup I found on Sunday. I'd heard about it from my brother, who had given it a rather interesting review, and when I saw it at EB for $10, I decided, "Sure, can't not be worth that price." Thus far, though I've only played it twice as yet, it has not disappointed. Mirror's Edge is quite possibly the most unique game I have ever played; it's a new twist on the first-person game, but rather than being a shooter, it's a platformer. You play Faith, a Runner, who gets involved in investigating the murder of a prominent figure in the city, and are working to clear Kate, Faith's sister, and a police officer.

As for the gameplay, as I said before, nothing else quite like it that I've played. The closest thing, and this is a stretch, is probably the next-gen incarnations of Prince of Persia, but the freerunning in first-person perspective gives it a whole new twist and makes it very interesting, and exceptionally fun (if at times trying, but most games are). Figuring out all the platforming puzzles and learning all the moves and move combinations really makes the game, as well, and the time trial segment of the game is where that part of it REALLY shines.

The one downside I find with it thus far is dealing with the police officers and the combat system. Although the disarming is a neat idea, it's phenomenally difficult to get the timing nailed down, almost to the point where it's useless, and you get very little opportunity to recover from any kind of mistake. I think the idea was to add an element of difficulty and make it trickier and more fun, in that respect, but Tycho from Penny Arcade said it best, and I'll echo that statement (I may be paraphrasing): "I was already having fun." The police officers detract from the fun, rather than add to it, even if it brings an element of intensity to the game. On the upside though, there appears now to be a pure speedrun DLC for it on Xbox Live Marketplace, so maybe they had that idea as well.

Overall, Mirror's Edge may not be the greatest game ever made, but it's far and away the most unique, and it has a neat charm as a result of that. And if it's retailing for $10 now as opposed to the original $50, it's well worth the price to keep you entertained for a while.