The entire point of runners is that they're the way you get information from A to B without it being snooped on. However, the runners are in constant communication with each other over headsets through Mercury. Which leads to the question: Why not just send the information over the secure channel they're using for voice? And if it's not secure, then surely it can't be smart to use it to broadcast the runners' locations to each other?
Not all information comes in the form of words. They could transport pictures, videos, even entire hard drives in those bags, and even if they're transporting written messages, some of those could be quite long. This troper is more concerned about the fact that they choose to move sensitive material by jumping across rooftops in broad daylight.
But we have a technology available today that can send convert any kind of info into sound, the modem. Some files might be slow to send if you are limited to 2400 baud, but still faster and more secure than having a Parkour courier deliver it.
Supposedly, the cops can monitor all electronic transmissions in the city. Aside from that being impossible with current or near-future technology, the runners are not quite in constant communication. The idea being that by the time the cops get there, they're gone. And it's better than running into them without info. Faith only had trouble because pretty much an entire company's worth of troops were sicced on her. If the package in serious danger of being retrieved, it can be destroyed, hidden, or dropped of a roof.
They're probably relying on a good radio encryptor and speed to avoid notice. Plus, blues don't generally go after Runners unless they're bored or if they're carrying something dangerous like a bomb.
I assumed that the police had a broad-spectrum high-power jamming system up outside of the public licensed spectrum. Combined with the idiotic amount of EM-reflective material in the real world, it'd make point-to-point wireless transmissions difficult to impossible without enough power for bleed to be detected. Monitoring wired connections isn't hard even in the real world, since you usually need .gov permission for anything crossing a street or property lines and that permission could be made dependent on allowing a CARNIVORE-like system to tap in. That leaves encrypted communications across monitored channels. In our time, SSH connections over AES is usually considered good enough, but there are already paranoids worried about attack vectors known by the government or hidden many-bit quantum computers. In three years, those could be fairly reasonable. Most of the methods that are secure against such are reliant on one-time pads or similar methods, which are meet 'perfect security' requirements (effectively unbreakable without capture of the pad or original source). Under this method, the Runners have nothing but completely useless and random data with no identifying information, and those employing the Runners do not. Mercury's audio link doesn't need to be nearly as well-encrypted; as long as the location information requires as little as a few dozen minutes to crack and messy enough that trilateration isn't viable (and little location data from near Mercury's pad is sent). That doesn't explain how Big Brother is supposed to sort through all this data, but that's usually a Necessary Weasel in disutopian societies.
This troper's Fridge Logic; IRL, investigators must spend exponentially more time going through recorded surveillance than is actually recorded. Thirty years ago, there were acres of computers monitoring all communications, but they only recorded conversations in which suspicious words were noted; Bomb, Allah, President, etc. Pattern-recognition software has advanced significantly since then, but until true A.I. is developed it still retains a fatal flaw - they need an actual person to study the context of the chosen recordings, or they'd be sending SWAT teams to teenagers' houses because they are talking about girls or movies that are "killer" or "da bomb", referring to money as "dead presidents", etc. while rebels using context-sensitive code words move about freely. Ergo, though it's suicide for groups to discuss gatherings online, it's still relatively safe for Runners to communicate by shortwave - there's so much junk out there that by the time they figure out a Runner's telemetry assistance, they're long gone. I bet Mercury moves around a lot, though.
And before people get started about encryption, well, what do you think the PATRIOT Act was about? "OMG! I can't understand what this private citizen is saying to his family! If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear! He must be planning an uprising! Kick down his door and beat him to death! Oops. He was a shy little dork talking with his wife about kinky sex. Ah... Good work troops! Another pervert dealt with!" Well, if they weren't planning an uprising before, they sure as hell are now. Security states make all intelligent people very insecure.
I hope all Real Life traceurs are listening! Keep practicing! One day soon, we'll need you!
Ah, the lovely Straw Man Political. Don't be so over the top. Even societies are reactionary and tightly-wound as the USSR and Hitler's Germany didn't readily send investigators out there for such reasons if better evidence could be obtained (and keep in mind that these were regimes that intentionally targeted people telling jokes or using disrespectful slang, for less insane or Type A governments/regimes, such issues can be dismissed after confirming the harmless nature of the discussion- which a few seconds of listening to should do-, as you would know if you have examined any intelligence "how to" worth its paper). And yes, unintelligible communications ARE a major source of worry, if for no other reason than because while it could be your local computer geek talking smack with the webcast model he is wooing today, it could also be Am. A. Nutjob planning to blow up something or other, which was a very real possibility decades ago, and certainly is now, with the birth of the modern nonstate actor. Yes, it SHOULD make you nervous, because such power can be readily abused, but even the SS and NKVD were not as hysterically stupid as you seem to think a totalitarian regime would act, and because a small google search for any Islamist hot word would show that at least having SOME idea of what is going around digitally is hardly unwise.
Even if you go by Faith being a terrorist the setting is more Nelson Mandela than George W. Bush's America. Her parents were gunned down in front of her before the dystopia was built.
Was going to comment on the old "don't be rude, it doesn't help..." guidelines but they seem to have been pulled. Rude away!
It certainly seems like Merc is getting a lot more information about faith than just a dot on a map. It's hard to imagine him saying some of the things he says without him having a full video feed to comment on.
I see what you mean:
"Did you just do what I think you did? God damn it, girl, I just spilled joe all over the keyboard!"
If I remember it correctly, wasn't that the scene where you cross the street with the aid of a few strategically placed cranes? They probably wouldn't show up on whatever map Merc was using, so to him it probably looked like Faith just ran like 50 meters on thin air. A bit oddly phrased perhaps, but that's how I've always interpreted that line.
Maybe the runners are transporting physical artifacts, like forged passports, or fake versions of other "official" documents. The specialized equipment required to forge these means they would need to be made offsite for any "legitimate" client, but would need to the transported through underground channels (e.g. Faith). Or they might just be transporting cocaine and conflict diamonds.
Another way of bypassing the need for runners. A laser and a light-sensitive diode. You flash the laser in a coded sequence, it's even better than electrical transmission. Who needs ones and zeroes when you have the length of the pulse and it's intensity? Granted, it's only good for point to point transmissions, but isn't that what a runner is anyway?
But that would be persnickety to set up and only good for permanent, long term communications. If you want flexibility and anonymity you need the runners. There's a reason governments still use couriers for sensitive packages in real life.
Perhaps in the world of Mirror's Edge, the government is known to use quantum computing to break asymmetric cryptography. While asymmetric cryptography allows two parties to communicate securely without a key known to both parties, breaking many forms of it rely on solving math problems that are impractical for normal computers but trivialized by quantum computers. If the other forms are compromised by quantum algorithms, the only secure communication method would be symmetric cryptography. In that case, the runners would be ferrying keys across the city, not the actual messages themselves. While the characteristic bag might seem a bit large, they may be carrying enough keys for months. This would explain why they can talk freely over the radio: they can just get the day's crypto key from their handler. It also explains why judging by their surprise in the first chapter, the police don't normally try too hard to catch runners: they're not actually carrying messages, just keys, so there's nothing to intercept. And if strict time limits for delivery are enforced (giving them a reason to be fast) the chances of tampering decrease, especially as the runner can verify the transaction in person with both parties.
What the hell is wrong with the Big Bad in this setting? I can understand Ropeburn, who doesn't strike me as the brightest bulb in the bunch, but you'd think someone else would stopped making the trains run on time for a few whole seconds and figured that perhaps ending up with helicopter gunships tossing hundreds of thousands of runs into office buildings was not the most effective law and order tough on crime campaign pledge? I mean, even assuming that Faith's disarms are non-lethal and the player's careful to not use guns or toss baddies off a ledge, we're talking at least a half-dozen PK troops, the leader of a major if not multinational conglomerate, a police LT, an entire warehouse, and any innocent bystanders. If the media's in the palm of your hand to wash that over, you'd think it'd be easier just to pick an already convicted and captured criminal to apprehend and just toss Kate out onto the streets. Nothing she learns or could learn changed the average Joe's support for the local Mussolini, and killing Pope was the entire point of this whole thing, with Kate just being a fall gal.
The point of a police state is that you can get away with anything to accomplish anything if you're in control. I think the implication of Mirror's Edge was that the police state wasn't 100% effective. Just the very existence of the runners is enough to show that there's a lack of control going on. However, because they are in control, they have no fear of using lots and lots of ammunition to take out anyone that threatens the police state, There Is No Kill Like Overkill.
The ideal police state has 100% control. An effective police state can get by with less than that. A cop running around loose saying "I was set up as a fall guy by the big bad to eliminate his political opponent" will spread as a rumor pdq. Gossip is the only thing in the universe that travels faster than light. Well, light in a vacuum. High energy particles can travel faster than light in the medium they're in, resulting in Cherenkhov radiation... :cough:
The reason they chose Kate as the fall girl is because she's CPF, not because she knows too much. Killing Pope wasn't the entire point of this whole thing, they also needed CPF to look either corrupt or inept so that PK could wrest power away from them and have absolute control over the city.
Because at that point the plot turned up and distracted the character from her usual routine by placing a close relative in personal danger.
This complaint seems to be annoyingly common - did people really want the game to consist purely of being a courier and essentially make the whole thing a long series of fetch quests?
Sure, why not? If you make the packages actually mean something, like leaked information of government corruption, or sneaking away evidence and publishing it through underground-favouring media, then the 'fetch quests' are meaningfully connected to the plot, and if you reward speed, peacefulness and finding collectables with more in-game references (maybe through a Blood Money-style newspaper report, or even actual fans appearing next to police), then you also have more explicit reason to do well. Maybe it's a bit much to ask of the developers given the time and money available, but it would certainly have been better for it.
As much as I loved the game, I took issue with this too, but I think there's a misconception that people think that fans wanted it to go too far. Of course I don't want the whole plot to be a series of fetch quests, but is having a few side quests involving package delivery too much to ask? You could make new minor levels out of it, and maybe add some specific conditions.
As sensible as Faith's outfit is compared to the typical video game heroine, I can't help but thinking that someone who makes a living doing what Faith does, with all the sliding and rolling and grabbing, would prefer some changes like:
Long sleeves to prevent abrasions
Gloves on both hands. I wince every time I see Faith break glass with her ungloved hand.
Maybe a lightweight helmet, just in case.
Long sleeves can get caught on things. Better to wear short sleeves and just be good.
A lightweight helmet would restrict her vision peripherally, and also expand her head size. While that doesn't sound like a big deal, it's more important for her to see than it is for her protect her head. If she does her job right, she doesn't need a helmet.
And if she doesn't, a helmet won't help against a 30 stores fall
Also, head injuries are actually extremely rare when free running.
A helmet also screws with your hearing. It doesn't necessarily have to cover your ears to do that, either.
Standard training outfit for most of us traceurs is a good pair of shoes, some kind of pants or capris, a t-shirt or tank top (at least in good weather), and no gloves. Many traceurs consider gloves to be a sign of weakness and against the principles of Parkour. Your callouses are badges of honor. (Or gross stupidity, since severe calluses don't help delicate motion, and they are ugly as hell.)
For traceurs who are doing it for sport, sure, but I'd hope my packages were being delivered by someone with an eye to "practicality" rather than "honor". The pursuit cops seem to get the idea, and Celeste at least wears gloves on both hands.
Actually, it could be an attempt at getting the best of both worlds. Apparently, gloves aren't usually recommend for another good reason: they can lack the grip of a bare hand. This is counterbalanced somewhat by helping prevent injuries and (guessing here) stopping sweaty hands from not having grip. So this way, she could very much guarantee to always be able to hold on.
That chopper Faith rides on in the first mission, who did it belong to? Merc? But she mentions later that only the cops (and, by extension, PK) get the choppers in the city. The news reporters? Same question as before plus why did it safely drop her off onto the next roof instead of flying her right back into the cops' hands?
The symbol on the side indicated that it was City Eye (news) helicopter which was presumably filming the confrontation on the roof. As for dropping her off safely, it didn't really move very much, she just saw that the next roof over had one of those soft landing areas on it and she jumped off. The copter didn't hold perfectly still, but it could hardly be said to be helping her all that much. Maybe pulling back to get the dramatic shot of the reflection of the runner hanging from a helicopter.
Ironic, actually. Merc mentioned that it was the news chopper that tipped off the blues, explaining why the buildings were full of officers. Now, this same chopper is the thing that helps her escape from said cops.
Could be that it makes for a better story. Not only they get the news at 12 but they'll probably have a follow-up in the evening news. Alternatively, the helicopter didn't want to be shot by the police. Those guys didn't stike me as the ones who'd hesitate much if asked to shoot at somebody hanging from a helicopter. And bear in mind how bad shots they are. I'd definitely try to avoid giving them a reason to even shoot close to me.
This one has bugged me since the release: why is Kate wearing her police uniform and even some of her gear even after spending several days in custody and then being captured by the PK at Merc's lair? I do realize that the correct answer is "Because the developers ran out of money on her outfits" but I wonder if there's still some official explanation...
Pure speculation, but since Callaghan was specifically trying to set up the CPF, maybe she was kept in uniform to continually remind anyone watching the news reports about her that she's a cop.
At least her gun holster is empty. That would have been hard to rationalize.
Her holster is empty when you first meet her, too. She was never modeled with her gun holstered. It is kind of a wall-banger, though, that the cops, who supposedly have her in custody for murder, not only let her keep wearing their uniform, but leave her truncheon and handcuffs on her belt. While I imagine they'd be very helpful in fending off prison attacks, they'd be equally useful in subduing a guard to facilitate a prison break.
Is there any proof outside of the conspiracy and the runners' bias that the totalitarian state itself is bad? We have only the opinions of the people who are against it.
Gunning down protesters, if not totalitarian, gives Faith every reason to think they are.
Suspicions were first aroused by the use of the word "totalitarian"
Unless it calls itself a totalitarian state, I don't think what its opponents call it is proof.
This troper got the impression that the government itself wasn't "bad," but the people running it were. You'll notice that the mayor employs PK(a private security group and the, to the best of this troper's knowledge, only mooks you fight), while Faith's sister and Miller both work for the official police(as evidenced by Miller gunning down two PK employees and calling them privatized). Both of them seem to be alright people, and it's hard to imagine they would work for the goverment if they're as ruthless as the mooks you fight.
Surveillance of all communications isn't automatically totalitarian, but certainly bad.
Not really. In fact, as Zero Punctuation points out in his review, they never really show enough of the totalitarian thing for it to be especially blatant... and we've got a bunch of people who the cops are decidedly after transporting packages which COULD be bombs. We don't know. The content of the first package could be a combination of ebola and cancer for all we know.
Uh... yes, surveillance of communication IS bad if you're someone who likes your privacy. Those of us who do will oppose any and all attempts to monitor our personal business, always. If you want to see what communication surveillance does, just look at modern Australia.
In developer interviews, DICE did say that the City was a "nanny state" and yes, most people who live there are happy and feel secure. However, they had to give up many freedoms to achieve that security, and not everyone was willing to make the same kind of compromises. Those people who would not were marginalized and tended to migrate to the outskirts of the City where government observation was most sparse, and the Runners provide a courier service for groups of these people.
Um... "Surveillance of all communications isn't automatically totalitarian, but certainly bad." That's a very serious matter of opinion. IMO, it's certainly totalitarian, but that's not necessarily 'bad' in and of itself. Personally I'd much rather have opression than anarchy.
Both the known history (especially as Faith was quite young when it happened) and the prevalence of cameras are ambiguous, and an example of corruption doesn't always mean the basic idea is bad. One thing I noticed, though. At the very beginning, when you're carrying that first bag and meet those first police, there is absolutely no amount of moving slowly, standing still, dropping or generally being unthreatening which will stop them from gunning you down, and there's no evidence that this society has seen the kind of super-soldiers (regular FPS protagonists) which would justify four police officers opening with lethal force against an unarmed, cooperative individual - in a normal American society, police are specifically trained to err in the direction dangerous to them, and society would expect them to disobey orders from above to the contrary. While this does not mean the society is bad for everyone, it is most definitely bad for Faith, and the game's so dominated by an intensely personal plot that we never get more general information. Shame the game probably won't be seeing sequels or add-on mission packs to get a taste of regular running work.
Sequel has been announced.
I do think the opening fire part is lampshaded by the characters themselves as the chapter went on. "Merc: Why the hell did they open fire? Faith, what did you do?" "Faith: Nothing! They just opened fire."
To be fair, the police do seem to be using some less lethal ammunition, maybe rubber bullets, which is why it takes so many hits to take a small girl down. Given that, their rules of engagement might be looser.
Two things that need to be kept in mind when considering the plot: first is the line in the opening animated cutscene where Faith mentions that the cops never bother runners. The second is the twist that you learn in Chapter 9 - none of the enemies Faith encounters are police. At no point in time do you ever encounter any police officers other than Kate and Kate's boss. They're all PK security guards (including the ones you encounter in the Prologue), and presumably by the point Faith first meets them they're already implementing project Icarus and wanting to kill off the runners. Telling a runner to halt and then gunning them down may be a way of being able to excuse any deaths as 'accidental' in case PK security ever has to answer to the legitimate police officers. It's implied that while the police aren't fond of runners, the cops have never actually done anything to seriously impede what the runners have been doing. The whole crackdown on runners is the result of Pirandello-Krueger getting paid to 'deal' with them.
I had the same reaction, one of the helicopters was chasing me and told me to stay still and I did, I waited a very, very long time, of course nothing happened though.
A sequel is actually in production but if it'll be longer and more expansive than the original and/or feature side quests is currently open.
There's a prequel comic book (which, given that it's written by the same person who did the game's plot, is presumably canon) that goes further into the backstory and shows us a bit more about why some people don't like the current system. Personally, I got the impression that the city is on the brink of totalitarianism- up until the start of the game, it's just been a controlling nanny state that's OK by most people (mainly the rich). Icarus is the first stage in Callaghan's push to act out his George Orwell fanfic.
There's also the fact that the debate about the morality of the system only matters to justify her illegal career, which has already been pointed out to occupy barely any of the gameplay. Most of the time ou're exposing corruption and uncovering the plot to frame an innocent person for murder. Admittedly, I haven't finished the game yet, but what I've seen so far hasn't asked me to do anything purely on fai- ouch, that could have been an awful pun...
The use of helicopter-mounted machine guns against an unarmed person, in a densely populated urban area, is evidence of a reckless disregard for public safety. I know the game never shows anyone other than Faith and her antagonists, but it's hardly credible that the entire city has been evacuated. What do the authorities think will happen to the thousands of rounds they fire at Faith which miss?
In the final level, Faith releases some inflammable gas near a sparking wire to create an explosion that blows out a barred door. Now, if I recall my physics lessons correctly, what she effectively created is an air-fuel bomb (a.k.a. "Daisy Cutter"). The main selling point of such bomb is that the aerosol explosive that gets spread in the air bypasses most covers and expands infinitely, as all gases do, as long as there's room for it. However, Faith is perfectly fine by hiding in a some hole in the wall about 10 m away from ground zero and can even clearly see the fireball. And then, assuming that that gas was lighter than air, so the main mass concentrated near the ceiling, another selling point of air-fuel bombs is that by reacting with atmospheric oxygen, it creates a low pressure area (that's why it's also known as "vacuum bomb") that literally sucks in everything still standing after the explosion proper. By that logic, you'd expect Faith being violently sucked out of her hide-out immediately after that blast, but she is perfectly fine, if she is not too obviously close to the opening. For a game that takes pride in its physics, God would have to postpone that catgirl's execution...
The Daisy Cutter wasn't a fuel-air explosive, but yeah, she should have gotten quite crispy there. Standard Video Game Explosions is clearly the culprit in her survival.
When the New Eden Mall opens, how many of it's retail spaces will be occupied by "La Dernière Mode" and "King Men's Fashion"? Not even Starbucks puts that many stores so close together.
Less than will be occupied by shattered glass and bullet holes... I don't think the stockholders will be to happy.
Glass can be replaced and bullet holes can be patched, but just try to get out of a 24-month commercial lease.
Seriously, no-one's mentioned the Goddamn combat system? You have a game which is all about conserving your momentum to get more power out of moves, and yet there's no One-Hit Kill moves from anything less than full sprint - instead you, a petite woman with bare hands, go toe-to-toe with the body-armour wearing Mooks and punch them? You can take their weapon, but only when they're Pistol-Whipping you - not when it would be much more useful, like when they have the barrel aimed at your head. Also, are all of the loading screen combos possible? I've never seen her do a spinning kick in the game...
Five feet nine inches isn't really "petite". Especially for an Asian woman.
For comparison, above five eight is considered a Statuesque Stunner. Faith being Asian makes her a giant in comparison to the 4'9 Rei.
Wall-Run Kick. She'll spin and make you spin, too, if you happen to be an opposing Blue. Try it in chapter 1, just as you come out the tail of Centurion Plaza, before you hit the L-Train tracks. Use the blue on the right as target practice, as he's next to the wall. Later levels, they seem to understand to avoid walls. (Slide and nutpunch does good on the less armored blues.)
Luckily, coming close enough to the cops automatically makes them stop shooting you at point blank range, and makes them decide to pistol whip you instead. Even if they have a heavy machinegun that needs a tripod. They're really gentlemen.
Considering the relative efficacy of pistol-whipping versus shooting the the Mirror's Edge universe, I would go for the pistol whip if she was in range for it, too. Those bullets don't seem to do much.
This troper finds the combat system rather refreshing. Fighting heavily armed mooks with a physique suited to running is supposed to be hard, and you're supposed to think very seriously before you do it, acting only if you can get the drop on your enemy away from his friends. Besides that, I don't know how you would take a mook's weapon without being in pistol-whipping range.
Plus you can jump on them from a height for a instant KO.
After extensive playthrough on hard and test of faith mode I can quiet happily state that YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO STOP MOVING IN A FIGHT. Never go toe to toe with people, use your surroundings to keep running, looping around behind them and smacking them on the way past.
The real trick to the combat is knowing when to fight, and when not to fight. There's a number of enemies who can't be lured into a disarm easily, can't simply be punched to death, and will automatically counterattack with a shove if you either punch or jumpkick them (the first enemies in the Prologue do this, and also drop ammoless guns if you manage to perform a disarm). Enemies with red auras are ones you're supposed to fight, and generally are much less intelligent. It also helps to know that slide kicks are the best attack in the game, since they are always safe and effective. You can't be counterattacked during a slide kick (enemy attacks like pistol whips will miss since you're sliding) whereas you can be hit out of a punch or jumpkick. Follow the slide kick with two punches and you've got an effective combo against every enemy. If you can wallrun kick, disarm or stomp an enemy, it's usually best to do so, but otherwise you can always rely on slidekick -> punch -> punch -> repeat as necessary. Stick with only two punches in the combo, as a third usually results in getting shoved back, and obviously try to lure enemies into fighting one at time.
Yes, because giving a petite woman with bare hands a bunch of One-Hit Kill moves TOTALLY makes sense. Combined with the unique and realistic 1st person platforming, this combat system fleshed out the feel of the game.
Is the entire country a totalitarian state, or just the city? If the game takes place in America, how is that even possible?
There's this thing called the future, and nobody knows what happens in it.
Is it that hard to imagine a radical decentralised government coming into force? I'm sure many people would welcome such an idea...and many people wouldn't of course.
Faith's fingernails are pretty damn long and neat for a person who hangs on them for a living. With nails that long she risks getting them torn off if she makes a wrong move while climbing, which is, needless to say, really unpleasant. All and all, her hands are like a model's, not a climber's.
Wait a minute...Faith stops the possibility of police having the same skills as Runners (for the time being), right? But isn't the whole point of having police who can do the same things as Runners so that they can...well, catch them? The normal police shoot because Faith has given them literally no other option. She won't stop, she can't be effectively chased, and if confronted in close quarters...
...if you're lucky, she'll knock you out.
...if you're unlucky, she'll inflict horrific bodily injury on you (I imagine the police force suffers quite a few ruptured testes and broken limbs).
...if you're really unlucky, she'll murder you in any number of horrific ways.
They literally have no options besides lethal force that wouldn't place the lives of numerous officers in massive danger. That being said, and getting back to the original plot point of police trained like Runners...didn't Faith just erase any chance that the police will have alternatives to guns? With the new police division, they could actually stands a chance of catching the Runners on foot, rather than the only status for Runners being "Confirmed Dead or At Large." Hell, it's as if she affirmed their use of lethal force by killing the shit out of the people trying to push this new plan of action. It's like shooting a government official for trying to pass a gun control law: it validates everything that they were saying and that you were trying to stop.
"Put your hands where I can see them or we will open fire!" *opens fire*
The only problem with this is that we're told that while the totalitarian government does not approve of runners, the police normally don't do much to interfere with runners (let alone shoot at them), and generally aren't considered a big threat. Faith says as much during the opening cutscene, and everyone acts surprised that the cops opened fire on Faith for no reason in the Prologue chapter. The reason they were shooting at Faith is pretty easy to understand though once you've seen the 'reveal' in Chapter 9 - they're not technically police, but rather members of PK, as Miller points out to Faith. If you replay the game, you can see that all the enemies in the game have the PK insignia on them except for the pursuit cops (who are cops specially retrained by PK, so they're also mostly guilty of being PK). By the time of the Prologue, they were obviously already willing to start implementing project Icarus, even if it meant trying to gun down runners indiscriminately in broad daylight. Considering everyone she fights during the game is involved in project Icarus in some way (whose goal is to eliminate all runners), she's quite justified in using lethal force.
Okay...so again, when the government resorts to what's essentially the only means of stopping Runners (shooting to kill), Faith responds by...killing people. Instead of, you know, surrendering or something.
They're not the government. They're a private security firm hired by the mayor in an attempt to greatly increase his control over the city in what is stated to be a hostile takeover of the CPF (hence Miller's willingness to help Faith in the final chapter). It's not like she's been necessarily involved in gunfights before and has been running around doing this all the time; remember that in the initial training chapter, Celeste shrugs off the idea of close quarters combat training and disarms as probably unnecessary, but something that Merc insisted on ("you know know how he is"). For all we know, this is the first time Faith's ever had to seriously fight back. Besides, where are people getting the impression that Faith is some sort of pacifist from? She's threatened to kill Miller when he pulled a gun on her, and she shows no qualms about gunning down PK when she's cornered by them during her confrontation with Celeste. They started gunning for Runners, so she fights back. Shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
So after making a first-person puzzle platformer involving a lot of jumping puzzles that stars a female protagonist and takes place in a futuristic environment where everything is shiny and white, was "Still Alive" really the most distinguished credit song name they could have chosen?
How on earth is Faith 5'9" and only 129 lbs? This troper has a nearly identical build and weighs the same, but is only 5'3".
The same reason Carol Danvers is 5'10" and 130 lbs: Most Writers Are Male and/or sloppy research. There seems to be this idea in fiction that a woman who weighs over 130-ish lbs is "fat" or "heavy", when in reality, a woman who is 5'9" and weighs 129 lbs is most likely drastically underweight and unhealthy.
Rhianna Pratchett is female and it has more to do with Faith being an adrenaline pumping, roof-hopping marathon runner who probably runs 15 miles per delivery and was homeless before she began running.
She's definitely not homeless when the game takes place; she looks healthy and obviously has enough to eat. Not to mention that with her physical activity, she should be a lot heavier, given that muscle weighs more than fat.
There are those of us in real life that have that kind of frame. 5' 9"-10" and 130 lbs, with a so-called slender athletic build, right here. Not to be cliche, but people do come in plenty of shapes and sizes.
This trope is male, taller, and lighter. Can't exactly run on walls, but I'm not super nonathletic. So yeah it happens.
So where in the game does it mention the mayor's sex? The IOS game say that she is female multiple times, but the Gender Bender trope entry says that the game mentions her being male once.
On one of the news stories, the mayor is called by the pronoun 'he' once.
Before Faith blows up the ship Celeste says "Sorry Faith... I didn't know she was your sister." The thing is, why even take the chance? The only qualification was that the person framed had to be a CPF cop. There were tons of policepeople they could choose, why pick one who even looked like someone who could bring the whole operation down? After all, they did an amazing job covering up all the other secrets of the project. The final step was picking a policeperson, and they had to pick one with a relation to Faith? Don't they do background checks on these things?
Most likely it was a golden opportunity (Pope calls up a cop to his office, no one else is around, Callaghan/PK orders her to carry out the hit with the cop's gun) and didn't realize the relation until Faith was already on the warpath.
According to the iOS prequel, Callaghan was trying to smear the regular police (which as mentioned above, you never actually fight) in an attempt to replace them with PK. Had this worked, the city would be controlled by a private security company whose loyalty is not to the people or the law but to the mayor's office. Then a Blue is supposedly caught murdering Pope (without a motive), and PK steals the case from the regular Blues. With all this, why aren't more Blues helping Faith out? You don't have to be an ace investigator to smell something fishy here.
The implication of the lieutenant of Police being the only person helping Faith out is enough to show that the CPF are suspicious, but they can't exactly do much about it as Pope's murder by Kate is enough to cast doubt on the CPF. And any affiliation with the Runners who are pretty much broadcasted as being worse than Hitler could make it worse for them. It was a lose-lose situation for them.