I have removed my words from this site.
I enjoyed reading this. It was well written and covered the aspects of the game thoroughly.
I was one of the people who loved it, and you helped to put the words into my mouth as to why. I've never really played anything like it, so the unnecessary combat and the lackluster plot didn't really matter to me, but I'd never been able to express why I enjoyed it so much... it was just fun.
I plan on reading the rest of your reviews, and I hope you find the passion to continue writing these. Oh and thanks for not having a numerical score... I hate them.
Nice review. I really enjoyed Mirror's Edge. But it took me a while to warm up to it. I'm not quite sure why but the first time round I was a little 'meh'. Only after I went after the speedruns and time trials, did another plathrough on a higher difficulty setting and generally stopped to engage with the game a little more did I realise how interesting and well, to steal your words, refreshing it was. I might regret buying it at the price that I did, but it's only the price that I regret.
And I totally agree with you on how hit-or-miss it is. I really liked it, but my friend with whom I bought it thought it was mediocre at best. It really is deeply flawed, and I guess it depends on whether you can look over some of its flaws to get to the really fun enjoyable parts. And it is totally acceptable to give up after some of the shitty gunplay, that aggravating QTE of sorts, and the "boss fight" towards the end.
I guess I fell under the few that didn't like the game.
I understood that the game put a lot of emphasis on the free running and parkour style of Faith, but overall, every other inch of it fell flat on it's face. It felt like while the Speed and game style was the star of the show, the Plot, Combat, Level Design and Characterization skipped the play. You can't run a circus on one simple parlor trick.
Overall, good review. I really enjoyed reading it.
Hey, obscure game reviews are my thing! It does show a lot that i've started earlier than you, but did less of them.
Anyway, good review and such. I have to admit that it's formated nicer than all of mine. I also see what you did there with the white text, and agree.
I have played Mirror's Edge, and found it playable. It does indeed have good aesthetics, but frustrating level design. Only thing you forgot to mention is combat, which can of course be summed up in one cutting word: asinine. I know what they must have thought: "but without the shooty bits it won't sell!", which is a reasonable approach... but it didn't sell that well anyway, so they might have as well kept the shooting out of a parkour game. I've especially hated that one bit when you have to stop a police van, and have absolutely no clue on how do you do that.
I have removed my words from this site.
Sorry old chap, but the position of obscure reviewer stuck in the past is taken.
Hey, no fair! :'(
(Also, you reviewed Just Cause 2).
Well, you've reviewed Mirror's Edge right here. And also Unreal Tournament 3 sometime earlier. And besides, Just Cause 2 is awesome yet not nearly as known as i'd like it to be. So it's all fair.
Anyway, if you want this to reach an agreement for mutual benefit rather than a long and bloody antagonism, there's always room for one more at the Obscure Games Group.
I may consider joining it then.
Mirror's Edge really is a gem of a game, and the best 3D platformer this gen. There's not much competition in the 3D platformer genre this gen, but the level design in Mirror's Edge is just plain fantastic and it's what makes the game. I enjoyed the combat overall, I played through the game twice, and I got really good at timing the disarms, which is really a joy to do. The shooting was definitely weak, but the game isn't a shooter. The story was fine in my opinion, the game probably should've had more exposition about the government and everything, the fact that the government was totalitarian (which never works in the long run) and had complete surveillance was enough for me to feel they were not good. With that said, I felt the driving force of the game's narrative was Faith saving her sister, and the whole government stuff really doesn't come into play much as Faith's goal is to rescue her sister, and I think the game works pretty well on that level.
Bottom line: Mirror's Edge is a deeply flawed game, whether we're talking aggravating storyline or mechanical trifles. But it also new, very refreshing and, in it's best moments, deeply entertaining. I'll admit that this game is not worth 60 bucks, but at whatever price you can find it right now, it's worth picking up for the uniqueness of the experience alone. You will love it, or hate it. There is no in between.
Lucky me - I bought it for £3.24 and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. It's worth twenty times that to me. For a fair while it was in my top five favourite games ever. I can't say the issues that bothered everyone else - pacing and combat being the most notable - bothered me. I liked the combat and the slower bits felt like a nice change of pace. It's the only game I've ever considered speedrunning. I can't think of any other game where'd I willingly perform the same task over and over again for no reward other than being able to do it slightly better. The platforming just feels that good to me.
Great review, really enjoyed reading that.
I found it to be, a beautiful, innovative and an incredibly fun experiance. Even though it has many flaws, I easily overlooked them because I was just having too much fun. So much fun in fact that I have completed the game four times. :)
I consider Mirror's Edge to be a noble failure.
On the one hand, the first-person perspective gave the chases a certain immediacy that would be lost in third-person, but the problem is there are simply too many complicated movements you need to master that are incredibly tricky in first-person, especially bouncing from wall-to-wall, which never felt natural.
Despite its flaws, I find myself wanting to fire it up and give it another go, because when you were flowing, there was nothing quite like it. You were in control of your movements (not simply pushing a button and pointing your character like in Assassin's Creed or Arkham Asylum) and it was thrilling to jump off a building and pull off a tricky maneuver.
But I find myself hoping that when the sequel lands, they go third person. I think there's room for a parkour game that doesn't use an auto-pilot, but the first person perspective is just too clunky.
I have removed my words from this site.
I enjoyed the combat, but only the first couple of encounters. When the enemies were so scarce and weak you could pretty much floor them without having to stop running. You say the game isn't primarily a shooter, but that makes the choice to send us threw narrow, baddie filled sections very logical. At a certain point in the game, depending on how good you are at melee combat, picking up a gun and firing from cover is the only viable option to progress.
As for the story, I don't think that it works to well on that level either. Since your sister has been captured by the government, any consideration past the immediate goal will inevitably lead you to their role in the big picture. I'm not saying they aren't evil, just that they aren't that evil. With the position of comically evil villain notably vacant, it's a lot easier for Faith to step up and actually end up being the bigger jerk. First she knocks out a few policemen, fine no lasting damage done. Then she kills a few. Okay, it was them or her, I would probably have done the same. But before long you're looking through the scope of a sniper rifle, pondering on how you'll stop that convoy when suddenly... "Wait, wasn't I supposed to be the good guy?". Again the whole thing isn't completely off, but couldn't they at least let Faith show some form of regret or remorse for what she had to do? As in, at all? As it stands her portrayal just reminds me of what Yahtzee said about the protagonist of Prototype.
The combat probably should've had more options to non-lethally take down enemies but you CAN beat the game on hard without firing a gun (I did it because I wanted to get that trophy on my hard playthrough), there's really only 2 or 3 tricky areas and that was on hard.
Back to the story, Mirror's Edge is like a good action movie (the gameplay is great and it's the equivalent to an action movie having good action scenes) where the plot is there get you from action set-piece to action set-piece. About 90% of the plot is Faith rescuing her sister from being framed for a murder she didn't commit; on that alone I'd say Faith is good by trying to right a wrong on her family. Games are a bit different than movies in the sense you almost always are killing tons more people in an action game than the main character of an action movie does; think Uncharted 2, Drake kills a hell of lot of people compared to say Indiana Jones. In the end, the game is aiming to deliver a fun and unique gameplay, and it does have a decent and very workable action movie type plot: rescuing a family member, you have to allies that turn out to be bad guys, and you have some political murder cover-up going on as well. It would be good for Faith to show some remorse and just get more dialogue overall but this wasn't the game's aim. And, Faith just doesn't like the system (people in power and the police since the police are an arm of the people in power) because her mother was killed while protesting the current people in power so I can see why she doesn't have much remorse. I think there's just too much criticism of the story here, I'd have no issue with this story in a good action movie, and I don't have a problem with it here because this is what the game is going far. I feel Faith and her sister's relationship is just good enough to work. Of course, if this were a movie, the characters definitely would've been developed more and had more scenes together.
As for the ending (some spoilers here but nothing you can't see coming miles away), never once does the game imply that you will be over throwing the government. The whole game is you rescuing your sister. At the end, Faith and her sister are back together and that's all that matters to them. And, the little snippet at the end about them still being wanted by the police is really just there to setup a potential sequel, I got plenty of closure from the end.