Reviews: Mirrors Edge

On the Edge In More Ways Than One

So: is Mirror's Edge a good game? You know, I'm still trying to figure that one out.

The main flaws of Edge are pretty clear from the moment you begin playing. It's a game where even the smallest collision detection error can be incredibly annoying, so expect to rage at your screen a couple of times. I generally found no problems with "first-person platforming", but not-unoften I would fall just short of a jump for unclear reasons. Combat iself can be more aggravating than anything else.

The plot and the characters are really nothing to write home about. Faith gets a lot of praise for her design, and credit where it's due it's pretty good at conveying her personality and bucks some gaming-female stereotypes, but as far as protagonists go she's pretty generic. Her central motivation throughout the game is essentially to save her sister, and as far as motivations go it's not exactly an original one. And ultimately, we don't get to know Kate that well to care that much (on paper, the whole cop/Runner thing may sound interesting, but it really isn't realized).

So where does Mirror's Edge succeed? From a gameplay perspective, the first-person perspective is really good at putting you in the shoes of the player character, and gives that sense of freedom as the wind rushes through the air (and you plummet to your death, whoops). The concrete thing to point to is its visual style. White, stark, and minimalist, the game's both pretty good at setting the mood for the story and is pretty interesting to look at. Colour's used well, those dashes of red, and importantly — it's unique. And I think therein lies the appeal of Edge, it's saving grace: there are few games like Mirror's Edge, if any with that exact experience. It's a first-person parkour game, it's a great representation of gloss over reality, it's cold and beautiful. You look at it, at any screenshot, and what will you see? Mirror's Edge. And ultimately, that might be enough for me to recommend it over any good typical FPS, RPG, or so on.

Mirror's Edge lies on that edge metaphor it uses — the edge between a great game and a pretty shitty one. I guess it's fitting.