- Innovative in it’s concepts
- Interesting visuals backed up by PhysX
- Too many having to escape sequences
- Widescreen support only in 16:9
ME has been one of those games that had me excited from the word go, all the footage that was released to the press over the past 12 months was quite impressive and certainly fueled my desire for something new in the first person genre.
I briefly played ME on the 360 when the demo was released a few months back, just enough to confirm that this was indeed something I wanted to pick up and play once it had made it to the PC.
The PC is without a doubt the better version as it supports higher texture resolutions, nicely smoothens out all the straight edges with insane levels of Anti Aliasing available and as an added bonus also has a visual threat with PhysX support. The PhysX support doesn’t enhance the mechanics of the gameplay but it ads some very nice visual effects and knowing that they are there you can’t help but spotting them. The controls also nicely translate to mouse and keyboard, you also get an additional CD which has the theme song and a few remixes as a bonus, the theme song certainly tends to grow on you.
The game puts you in the athletic body of a female character called Faith who is known in the world as a runner, ME depicts a totalitarian society where the flow of information is restricted and runners are the only way get your messages across. Think of it as a world where Minister Conroy who wants to block the internet today becomes the next Australian Prime Minister. if you ever needed evidence that the first person genre can do more then just shooters Mirrors Edge is it
All joking aside (lets hope) if you ever needed evidence that the first person genre can do more then just shooters Mirrors Edge is it.
Ironically enough the one part that ME doesn’t do well is the shooting/action sequences, disarming an enemy can be quite tricky at times and when faced with multiple opponents it becomes pretty much impossible. All other game mechanics required to navigate this rooftop world are implemented very well with the right level of challenge. The game typically guides in the right direction by providing you with what is known as runner vision, this simply means that the objects you can use to jump, climb etc are highlighted in bright red there certainly are plenty of sequences where you are faced with a “how on earth do I get up there” feeling. So the difficulty level here feels just right.
Not all parts of the game are set outdoor either, you spend a fair bit of time inside buildings, industrial plants, subway stations etc so it strikes the balance of variety in its levels just right.
The major problem that ME suffers from an identity crisis as to whether it wants to be an action/shooter first person game or first person platformer set in this real world environment.
The latter is what works well, the latter is what is enjoyable, the latter is what you want ME to be, now a bit of a shooting here and there doesn’t sound like a bad thing you might think but you are confronted with these intense action scenarios so frequently that it ends taking away from that what makes ME so great. I want to be able to explore these rooftops, I want to be able to solve the puzzle as to what path I need to take to get across to the next roof and I want to immerse myself in this environment, take a breather and look around. Regretfully too often the game simply does not allow you to do this. Undoubtedly with the aim of keeping you on your feet and keeping things exciting it becomes a game where you are being chased by blues (the in game term for the police) and fired upon from a chopper, it just gets annoying and given that the combat itself when faced with an opponent is somewhat clunky doesn’t help matters. So rather then being stuck with solving puzzles you end up repeating the same action scene just that once too many as you get killed quite easily.
ME suffers from an identity crisis as to whether it wants to be an action/shooter first person game or first person platformer
I can’t help but wondering if this design decision was one where the game tried to appeal to the big FPS audience?
It’s not exactly a deal breaker in such a way where it ruins the game but its the game biggest fault.
The game’s story is driven forward through cartoon style animated sequences, the high contrast colour palettes uses through the game carry across here and whether this cartoon approach matches the games atmoshpere will probably purely come down to personal preference.
ME is for all intents and purposes a first person game that is easy to pick up and play, despite some of it’s flaws ME is a breath of fresh air and I have to applaud the team behind it for bringing something innovative to the gaming scene which sometimes feels so saturated with repetition.
So who should buy Mirror’s Edge, anyone with a fear of heights!
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