Released in 2008, Mirror’s Edge was a game I was following closely. The concept of a game built around first-person parkour action seemed totally awesome and totally un-doable. Most first-person games don’t even let you see your own feet, control like you’re a walking turret rather than a person, and platforming elements more often than not are a chore. How could a developer pull off such acrobatics from a first-person perspective?
Well, the game turned out good, hitting 79 on Metacritic, but a few of the flaws I found in the demo (as well as a limited budget and other games to get) prevented me from “jumping in” (sorry for the pun). I thought that the parkour action at its best was exhilarating in a way a video game has never made me feel before. However, I felt like I was constantly fighting with the controls and the combat systems felt clunky. I would die repeatedly because of the controls not doing what I wanted, which either caused me to fall off a building or get shot in the face at point blank range.
In spite of all that, I still wanted to give the game a chance. Today, I finally bought a used copy of the game for $5. At that price, I think I could take a chance on it. I also got Crackdown for $5, which was a game I waited even longer on to try out, but I’ll talk about that another day.
I admit, I’m currently not that far into Mirror’s Edge. From what I’ve seen so far though, it’s kind of everything I hoped for (and feared) when I played the demo. The art style is awesome, the scenarios are exciting and the sensation of being a free runner flawlessly doing crazy stunts is incredible. But with all the awesomeness came dying. A lot. I must have died roughly 40 times in 60 minutes because I couldn’t get a grasp of the controls. I feel that the buttons by default are mapped weird, and don’t always respond the way I want them too. Also, the game really does fall apart when you’re forced to fight, because the hand-to-hand combat and shooting engine are pretty bad.
I really want to love this game. I applaud Dice and EA for taking a chance on this and am glad that a sequel is on the way. I’ll give the game more time and hopefully the game can change my opinion over the course of the game.