Reli's Boredom Week Part 2: Mirror's Edge

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Relinquished, May 12, 2012.

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    Relinquished Veteran BOON

    When i first saw a trailer on Youtube with a presentation of this game I recall myself thinking "well, there's no way you can do these things in a game, but it looks fun". Could I have been more wrong? Hardly. One of the more pleasant surprises in my gaming history was this First Person View game that was not based shooting things.

    From EA Digital Illusions 2009, I give you
    Mirror's Edge
    I am not entirely sure about what EA was trying to achieve by developing this game. What I am sure about is
    that If i had to describe it using only one word, it would be "innovative". There is literally nothing about this
    game that seems like it has been done a thousand times before. Yet it is somehow familiar. Most players are used to the first person view, the conventional WASD+Space+Shift+Mouse controls and the level based gameplay. If nothing else, a game based on Parkour would be expected to have a wide array of controls at its disposal.

    The story behind it goes something like this. In a near future world controlled by Major Corporations (did you say "future"?) a group of independent package carriers, called "Runners", is used as a means of communication and top secret information trading between various contractors. These Runners are highly skilled athletes/acrobats that prefer the privacy of a rooftop to the noise of the city streets.

    Now, allow me to pause here for a second and pose to you, my kind reader, a question: What would you expect a typical mission in a game with this setting to be?
    If the answer is along the lines of "carry packages from one place to the next" let me inform you that there is not a single package, letter or other such item of interest in the entire game.

    The game starts with a vary basic training course to accustom the player to the dynamics of the game. And that's where it gets impressive!
    Running, jumping, climbing walls, walking up walls, walking across walls, wall-walking turning mid way jumping and grabbing on a ledge, crossing the vast chasms of the cityscape with amazing leaps of faith and everything else your mind can think of! The mechanics behind it are simply stunning. Of course in order to perform such feats one must train a lot and practice perfect timing. Otherwise you might find yourself stumbling like a hippo on drugs rather than climbing like a monkey on steroids.

    Once again I do not wish to give out any spoilers about the story. It is though an interesting one, revolving around a great chase through and above the city buildings with cleverly created cutscenes between levels in the form of nicely drawn animations.

    Where the game actually fails, in my opinion is the momentum factor. It is impossible to get build up serious momentum on the first runs of a level due to the fact that it is unknown what lies behind each corner or wall. As a result, plenty of times I found myself stopping and thinking about my next move. Jump here, grab there etc etc. What I really expected and would like to see was a more fluent system of motion. More continuous, that would allow small margins of error to the user so as to promote the feeling of non-stop motion. On the contrary, the game is designed in such a way that requires prior knowledge of an area before one is able to achieve any kind of pace.

    Mirror's Edge does not come with a minimap or an objective marker. In fact it has no GUI at all. It does not need one. This is where the graphics engine of the game kicks in. A modified version the Unreal Engine 3, specifically created to accommodate the needs of the player.
    Everything is bright and white as a general rule. Objects the player can interact with, such as rails, wires, boxes, all used to allow the player to perform an acrobatic move or give access to an area, become bright red as you approach them. A technique that is unique as it is beautiful. Safe zones are usually dominated by either blue or green colors and generally the world seems to be composed of 3D "materials" instead of 2D textures. Those who have worked with 3D software will understand what i mean.

    The sound of the game is very well made with the music always on the background to match each situation and the sound effects fill up nicely with the ambient wind howling on the top of high buildings, Faith's heavy breathing after a long run or even sounds from the street below. Voice acting is on par with the above and although it would not win an Oscar, it is quite attractive.

    Overall Mirror's Edge is one of the great ideas of the decade, that in my opinion could have been realized a lot better. It is a small game (finished it in 1 session) that does though hold replay value due to the extra modes it offers such as "Speed Run" and "Time trial". Even comes with a built in online ladderboard. I initially planned on recording myself playing, but after I saw a few speed runs on the web, I decided that I would not make the game justice so I picked what I think to be a characteristic of what this game has to offer for you to watch.

    Enjoy and give this game a try. It is, after all, unique.

    Please take note that this is NOT one of the World Record level speed runs. It's an average good run.

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    Karasu Community Member

    Oh man.. I loved this game. The clean environment and sense of freedom you have running around in there is pretty unique. Since it's basically always the same mechanic the short length of this game is perfect. As I tried to play as pacifict, there are too many encounters with Blues imo: they kind of break the momentum of the game.

    Pretty artsy. Highly recommended to fans of Portal and movie/comic/artsy types ;-)
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    Relinquished Veteran BOON

    You are in my head Karasu!
    I thought about comparing it to Portal but i didnt want to give the ppl who havent played it the wrong idea.
    Btw, the time trials are the real game :)
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    Tent Community Member

    You should turn this boredom week series into videos.
    Being lazy and all that wall of text is scaring me!

    The game itself never got to me.
    I think I stopped playing before the tutorial was over
    Maybe I'll try it again when I'm bored. I should have that game around here somewhere.
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    This tbh, would be funny to watch.
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    Relinquished Veteran BOON

    might give it a try.
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    Relinquished Veteran BOON

    and cheers for encouraging.
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    adagio Moderator

    I know most of that map is mathmaticall even but still that is one hell of a level design. Genius
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    Melody Community Member

    <3 Mirror's Edge, great Gameplay, great Soundtrack, overall everything feels perfect!
    Hope the rumors that they stopped developing Mirror's Edge 2 are wrong!

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