Mirrors Edge plot massacre.

Mirrors Edge story problems.

I played Mirrors Edge a good year or two ago, but the memories still burn fresh in my mind. I could go into all sorts of detail about the failures of this game, but I need not. There is only one aspect I feel like stamping all over today, and that's the plot.
I hear Terry Pratchetts daughter wrote Mirrors Edge, which is a good argument against the concept of hereditary traits being passed from parent to child if you want to disprove the theory of evolution I guess that that's besides the point. The point is the story of this game falls flat on its face so often its flatter than a polished monolith.

So lets start at the start. The game opens up with some back story of your main character, Faith (Oh I see 'leap of faith' fantastic work Ubisoft real clever, next thing we know your gonna start using bloody Greek mythology to name everything as per lazy writer tradition, oh wait...) who is a bitter, angry woman because as a child her parents were gunned down during a protest. Thus our first target of nitpickery stumbles into my iornsights, the revolution.
Now historically revolution tends to arise under only the most extreme class conflict. In Russia the people rebelled because their leader Stalin committed genocide and twisted the ideology of his nation for his own ends. In France a revolution sparked because the people were desperate and depraved while the Monarchy revelled in luxury and frivolity.

So why did the citizens of the nation in mirrors edge take arms against their rulers? Because of strict crime suppression and radical modernisation of infrastructure to make the city more organised and productive.
.....
I mean HONESTLY?
That's worth starting a bloody revolution over? Hells bells.
If you haven't played the game you may wonder if I am skewing the facts in favour of the government. Nope, no dice. In fact when it comes of government corruption I am the first to wish for drastic action. But if you see the city in Mirrors Edge- in fact bugger it just watch one of the trailers. Go do that right now, take a look at the city in game and tell me what you think. My thoughts? What a fucking fantastic job the government did! If only we had such vision in our real life leaders! The supposed "Orwellian regime" has converted a city that Faith herself called "Dirty and Dangerous" into a beautiful utopian metropolis of shining light and majesty.

And that brings me neatly onto why the main character is so completely infuriating. Its some of the lines she spits out. "Most people were content to live a comfortable life" Oh no! Really? I cant imagine why. Perhaps its because they don't have an instinctive knee jerk reaction against change. Maybe when they saw the first few lines of rioters get gunned down they realised their privacy isn't worth hundreds of lives. Best of all Faith is bloody vague about how the whole thing got started, and even on what went wrong in the riots. "I was too young to remember how it all started" and "Riots went wrong" WHAT?! What went wrong Faith? If you don't know why the riots started or how it all turned ugly then I would say there is about an equal chance that the rioters were the ones who tossed the first stone anyway. But screw that it feels much more heroic to fight against the man, yeah Faith?

Here is yet another hilarious moral ambiguity point for the cops, Faith says that they usually leave the runners alone!
Now let me explain runners to you, runners are illegal couriers who transport sensitive information or packages about for rebel cells across the city. And Faith is telling us the government are leaving them alone. I mean Jesus, does she hear herself? According to her the coppers are a bunch of fascist pigs who restrict everything like evil Nazi murderfuzz or something,yet somehow I think the whole "allowing terrorist cells to communicate without any trouble at all" thing not only diminishes her view but also suggests that the government either couldn't care a rats arse what a bunch of silly doomsaying freerunners do with their time OR that they are actually not nearly as restrictive as Faith keeps claiming.

Eventually the game starts and you spend a good few minutes jumping about in plain sight of large glass windowed buildings on rooftops. Oh yes the filth are cracking down on freedom so much they absolutely fail to track the movements of individuals who hop about in the view of every window of every citizen in the whole city, that's really tough going for those runners, yes siree. Then you come into contact with the fuzz, who dazedly glance down the corridor when you plummet in form a ventilation shaft. One of them commands you to put your hands in the air. You don't, they open fire.
I don't think I even need to explain my feelings about this other than yes its pretty extreme to open fire on somebody because they don't put their hands up, unless its a known member of what is essentially a terrorist organisation.

To be fair as you go through the rest of the game you do come across a number of hints that the men in charge are bastards. For one thing you meet a high ranking member of a government department face to face, and he has really bad teeth, which means he is pure evil no doubt. And then later on you find out their nefarious master plan, to take out all the runners to stop them transporting illicit material. Apparently faith and crew are so feckless they cant figure this out as soon as the cops start hunting them down and opening fire. Oh no, these guys need to infiltrate the factory of a weapons and munitions company, dodging and dispatching the trained snipers, guards and even bloody bleeding NINJAS in order to find our the plans.

And another thing! Who are the police that you fray with anyway? Because I have doubts that every last one of them is a ruthless propagator of the regime, most of them probably just wanted a steady job with a fair pension. Many of them probably don't know who you really are. I would expect the orders to be something like "A dangerous criminal is on the loose, weapons free" or even "A suspect, likely armed, is said to be heading this way, arrest on sight, if the suspect fails to comply then open fire". Your clichéd support character proudly announces in his last dying breath that he managed to take some of the storming cops out. Bravo man, good job spitefully taking some poor bastards with you. You deserve a medal.

The final criticism I have for the story is that the writer was under the false pretence that using Greek mythology to name your characters is totally original and clever. This individual having presumably ignored the plot of countless well known games. Deus Ex was the first to make it all trendy and now you can hardly swing a pair of cats without knocking over a game where Greek mythology is used to name central characters and reoccurring set pieces. In Mirrors Edge this very tiresome device is shoved in with no thought for the meaning of it all. The main evil plot is called "Project Icarus". ARGGHAAARG HATRED. Why would you name your frankly pathetic master plan after a boy who flew too close to the sun with wings made of wax and plummeted into ground, killing him. Thats like naming your plan "Project Titanic" or "Project Dreamcast" or something. What lazy ass writing.

And to finish off the game with a brutal fatality lets quickly smother the wheezing, pathetic gameplay with a pillow as well, because frankly I want to put it out of its misery. I know I promised not to do anything but the story but when the game first came out I knew that there could well be a place for a first person parkour game. And I still do. But Mirrors Edge fell short of the goal. And I know what you are thinking, is it the glitchy clipping, the forced and poorly executed fight sequences or the aggressively lacklustre length of a full playthrough? No. And I know what you are thinking now too "Well why not I would totally rag on all that stuff" well if you give me a moments fucking peace ill tell you what I mean! Blimey, some people...

Anyway yeah my problem with the gameplay is the level design. Its not the most obvious problem, until you play the game through again. You notice the filler, of which there is plenty. Its the same problem I had with LOZ Twilight Princess. You can just feel your heart sink when you come to a certain point. You see it and go "Aaaaw hell, its the really slow and boring bit again". In Mirrors Edge this happens more often later on. Near the start you are duped into the game by fast paced parkour segments where you slide under pipes, climb over fences and evade the filth which is all satisfying and very fun. But as you go through you start to notice the pace decrease. Your still outside, but now you climb lumberously up pipes and across ledges. You have nothing to do except watch the wall scroll by.

Finally, the pace grinds to a near halt as the level designers try every trick in the book to keep you playing as long as possible. The climbing now takes place in a tiny maze of the interior of a ship. Up a pipe, climb climb climb, across a ledge, shimmy shimmy shimmy, and now you turn backwards and jump. Oh damn! I gone too high so Faith skipped merrily over the thing, Time to climb back up again.
These points serve no purpose, no enjoyment or pleasure can be gained from this boring grindy shitty place. And your reward at the end of each of these levels is a cheap ass budget constrained cardboard cutout cut-scene where a cluster of characters take part in events you don't give a shit about. Its just what you always wanted, right little Jimmy? And I hope you didn't buy it for full price because I guarantee you will feel empty and unsatisfied by the end.

So anyway happy nearly Halloween everybody, I only make reviews about once every year so see you much later! And I hope my rantings haven't broken some sort of mirage of excellence you had over the game to convince yourself it was worth the money you could have spent on real entertainment such as Earth Defence Force 2017 or VVVVVV or Phsychonauts or Left 4 Dead 2 or Katamari or ect ect ect....

Edit: Sorry for the wall of text, I would have put up some pretty pictures but I couldn't be bothered just to add some colour variety to the page.

Sorry to be nit picky but I don't suppose you could do some titles to break it down. I find large loads of text on a computer screen to be painful on my eyes

Still interested in reading it though

Thanks if you do :)

Good points, I never really could grasp the story, the city seems perfect and Faith and her gang seems to be the only criminals in the plot.

And it just has a problem of switching off in the middle, it becomes unclear after you get thrown on the floor by that Wrestler.

Man I hate to say this but, I had already figured all that out without playing the game.

Read through it. I personally love the game, sure it has faults so does everything. I thought the gameplay was so fun and unique and the level design was just bea-u-ti-ful! I didn't pay too much to the story, all I cared about was doing awesome stunts in the most pretty city I have ever seen. So sure, the story was bad. So was Super Smash Bros Brawls story, but they both have such awesome gameplay I can forgive.

Uh, can you elaborate on the Russian rebellion under Stalin? Cause that's news to me.

But on the main point: Yeah, the story bugged me as well. It's one of those things where the player is expected to side with the characters based on preconceptions (I once wrote a lengthy post on that subject about witch trials in games). When you hear the words "oppressive government" and "rebel group", you are immediately expected to associate with the rebels. And the writer sees no need to elaborate on the reasons.

Wasn't there a lot of talk in the UK about the government getting access to more personal data around the time Rhianna Pratchett was writing the script? Because that would make it even more like that.

Yep, it's definitely got essflawcondodgeckindesimudstorliketersockity.

From Wikipedia:
Mirror's Edge takes place in a nameless dystopian city, where a totalitarian regime has taken over following the events of the "November riots", which took place eighteen years earlier. In Faith's own words, the city was once "dirty and dangerous, but alive and wonderful." The government implemented a policy of invasive surveillance, tracking all forms of electronic communication in order to reduce crime to nearly nonexistent levels and quelling any challenge to its power.

The reason why I feel Faith is indeed good is because I believe that everyone has their right to privacy, which I feel in an intrinsic human value. I don't care if 100% surveillance of everything will make a 100% safe city. Faith and the runners are providing people with piracy privacy. Also, a totalitarian government is in place, which NEVER works in the long term. Yes, there are a few people that have the ability to not be corrupted, not be greedy, and can always act in the best interest of the citizens. However, at some point, a there will be a person that takes over power (after a good ruler or series of good leaders) that will not act in the best interests of the society. A political system needs a series of checks and balances because of inherent human flaws. The current makeup of the city is bound to turn bad at some point. The rebels know this, and they know at some time a revolution will be required to give back control of the city to the citizens. Outside of all that stuff, the main driving force of the story is Faith saving her sister.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Fallen-Angel Risen-Demon:
Read through it. I personally love the game, sure it has faults so does everything. I thought the gameplay was so fun and unique and the level design was just bea-u-ti-ful! I didn't pay too much to the story, all I cared about was doing awesome stunts in the most pretty city I have ever seen. So sure, the story was bad. So was Super Smash Bros Brawls story, but they both have such awesome gameplay I can forgive.

Yeah I loved the gameplay too because it was flowing and satisfying. My favourite idea was that you were encouraged to avoid enemies instead of killing them which makes the game more appealing to less murdercrazy audiences and actually makes the game more tense. After all if you just run around shooting guys you feel pretty safe and relaxed, but hearing gunfire and shouting behind you as you desperately run for safety is exiting.

But then the game traps you in sections where you can't get out without beating up or killing people, which upset me. You feel less and less blameless as you hurt people. The cops have more evidence that you are a killer which doesn't help promote the revolution and shooting folks is less fun anyway. Im alright with the beating people up with cqc moves, but the guns were a foolish idea. And as I said in the review, the level design turns constricted and less parkour based. Anyway I had better stop now before I start going over the same points or even worse start ragging on everything else that got on my tits. Anyway thanks for the comment and I do agree with you nevertheless.

"So lets start at the start. The game opens up with some back story of your main character, Faith (Oh I see 'leap of faith' fantastic work Ubisoft real clever, next thing we know your gonna start using bloody Greek mythology to name everything as per lazy writer tradition, oh wait...) who is a bitter, angry woman because as a child her parents were gunned down during a protest."

Didn't bother reading past here.

If you can't even look on the game box to see who made the game, I don't see why I should put in the effort to read this.

Although the plot was shit.

keep in mind that a writer could write gold for a game but then it all might get taken out, like the original doom was actually a pretty story heavy game but the lead decided he just wanted a shooter so the story got condensed into the little blurbs you get at the end of a mission thing

Pratchett might have written a wonderful story for the game but it got mostly cut into the bare minimum

oh, and the revolution thing? keep in mind we have these tea party idiots who decided to mount their own revolution since we elected a black guy, granted its been rather nonviolent so far but no one said revolutionaries had to be smart

I quite liked Mirrors Edge, but nowhere near as much as games like Left 4 Dead, so I don't defend it that much. But it wasn't necessary to say what the people did't like about the government, it's up to you as a player to decide. Also, to be fair, most of what you wrote up there wasn't really to do with the plot.

However, I do agree that the game was slowed down towards the end with more bad guys with bigger guns to deal with (infer what you wish) and bits which were harder to figure out how to get through, but I guess that might be that they lacked imagination on how to make the game more challenging towards the end.

Phoenixmgs:
From Wikipedia:
Mirror's Edge takes place in a nameless dystopian city, where a totalitarian regime has taken over following the events of the "November riots", which took place eighteen years earlier. In Faith's own words, the city was once "dirty and dangerous, but alive and wonderful." The government implemented a policy of invasive surveillance, tracking all forms of electronic communication in order to reduce crime to nearly nonexistent levels and quelling any challenge to its power.

The reason why I feel Faith is indeed good is because I believe that everyone has their right to privacy, which I feel in an intrinsic human value. I don't care if 100% surveillance of everything will make a 100% safe city. Faith and the runners are providing people with piracy. Also, a totalitarian government is in place, which NEVER works in the long term. Yes, there are a few people that have the ability to not be corrupted, not be greedy, and can always act in the best interest of the citizens. However, at some point, a there will be a person that takes over power (after a good ruler or series of good leaders) that will not act in the best interests of the society. A political system needs a series of checks and balances because of inherent human flaws. The current makeup of the city is bound to turn bad at some point. The rebels know this, and they know at some time a revolution will be required to give back control of the city to the citizens. Outside of all that stuff, the main driving force of the story is Faith saving her sister.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

This a good point, and Franklin's quotes is certainly accurate (I believe it goes on to say they will have neither as well). The main problem though is that most humans aren't that foreward thinking and wouldn't start forming resistances until some time after a corrupt leader took power and society started to fall apart as a result.

Mr Companion:
Now historically revolution tends to arise under only the most extreme class conflict. In Russia the people rebelled because their leader Stalin committed genocide and twisted the ideology of his nation for his own ends. In France a revolution sparked because the people were desperate and depraved while the Monarchy revelled in luxury and frivolity.

Yeah, that's about the point I stopped. I'm fairly familiar with Russian history, and quite frankly this makes no goddamn sense.

I liked Mirror's Edge gameplay a lot, especially the fighting.

And while the government wasn't so "oppressive", they did start killing their political opponents and framing innocents. So, yknow.

Actually... Rhianna Pratchett didn't so much write the story as she did the script. There's a difference.

In the case of Mirror's Edge, the narrative was a product of the game design. Essentially, the developers started with a game concept. They put together a few mechanics, levels, characters and the like. Then they suddenly realised they needed a narrative to connect it all together.

Most modern games are made like this, and as a result, narrative usually suffers. Of course, it could be done the other way, with a game being built around the story, but this do exactly the same and make the game suffer. Or alternatively, the story would demand resources that the other designers and programmers struggle to produce. Of course, this is by no means the rule. Many games manage to do both, but it's not so easy.

They addressed some of this in the first episode of Extra Credits including the difference between script and narrative. I highly recommend you go and watch that simply because you seem to be making a few mistakes about narrative in games design.

As it so happens, I really liked Mirror's Edge. I thought it was a fantastic new idea, really helped to change my opinion of EA (not Ubisoft by the way). I mean, yeah, the story was fairly cliche. "Disutopias", as I think of them, have been common forms of literature since 1984. However, your own complains about the story have nothing to do with these and frankly are nothing more than your own nit-picking of pet-hates by the looks of it, rather than genuine criticisms.

archvile93:
The main problem though is that most humans aren't that foreward thinking and wouldn't start forming resistances until some time after a corrupt leader took power and society started to fall apart as a result.

The rebels and Faith's parents were protesting when the regime first took over. I don't think that once the regime took over they would be like, "Damn we lost, time to give it up and become normal citizens."

InevitableFate:
Actually... Rhianna Pratchett didn't so much write the story as she did the script. There's a difference.

In the case of Mirror's Edge, the narrative was a product of the game design. Essentially, the developers started with a game concept. They put together a few mechanics, levels, characters and the like. Then they suddenly realised they needed a narrative to connect it all together.

Most modern games are made like this, and as a result, narrative usually suffers. Of course, it could be done the other way, with a game being built around the story, but this do exactly the same and make the game suffer. Or alternatively, the story would demand resources that the other designers and programmers struggle to produce. Of course, this is by no means the rule. Many games manage to do both, but it's not so easy.

They addressed some of this in the first episode of Extra Credits including the difference between script and narrative. I highly recommend you go and watch that simply because you seem to be making a few mistakes about narrative in games design.

As it so happens, I really liked Mirror's Edge. I thought it was a fantastic new idea, really helped to change my opinion of EA (not Ubisoft by the way). I mean, yeah, the story was fairly cliche. "Disutopias", as I think of them, have been common forms of literature since 1984. However, your own complains about the story have nothing to do with these and frankly are nothing more than your own nit-picking of pet-hates by the looks of it, rather than genuine criticisms.

Exactly. Mirror's Edge didn't try to be some plot heavy game where if the plot isn't strong, it hurts the game. The game just gives you a quick and short intro to explain the setting and the characters' motives. Then, you are thrown into the gameplay because that is the experience that game is aiming to deliver, gameplay not story. Outside of all the government conspiracy stuff, the main part of the story is Faith rescuing her sister. And, the game does that very well in my opinion. At the end, when you save your sister, you really feel like that arduous journey was totally worth it as Faith and her sister hug and are thrilled to that they are together again. In the beginning, they don't really like each other much but at the end, they realize how much they mean to each other (standard action movie type plot). That's the important narrative stuff the game is trying to accomplish. The whole totalitarian government with invasive surveillance is just there to allow for the situation where Faith's sister gets framed and Faith has to rescue her. All that government stuff just has to work on the most basic level, and I think it succeeds on that level; there is nothing nonsensical about the set up where that it would ruin the fact that Faith is good and the bad guys are bad.

Mr Companion:
Mirrors Edge story problems.

Problems with Mirrors Edge story problems.

Mr Companion:
I played Mirrors Edge a good year or two ago, but the memories still burn fresh in my mind.

If its still burning after two years, you may want to seek a physician.

Mr Companion:
I could go into all sorts of detail about the failures of this game, but I need not. There is only one aspect I feel like stamping all over today, and that's the plot.
I hear Terry Pratchetts daughter wrote Mirrors Edge, which is a good argument against the concept of hereditary traits being passed from parent to child if you want to disprove the theory of evolution I guess that that's besides the point. The point is the story of this game falls flat on its face so often its flatter than a polished monolith.

As others have mentioned, Mirrors edge was well into production before a story was even scripted. So, on the face of it, I agree there are some pretty shoddy aspects in the writing, it is hard to lump this on one figure.

Mr Companion:
So lets start at the start. The game opens up with some back story of your main character, Faith (Oh I see 'leap of faith' fantastic work Ubisoft real clever, next thing we know your gonna start using bloody Greek mythology to name everything as per lazy writer tradition, oh wait...) who is a bitter, angry woman because as a child her parents were gunned down during a protest.

Because as we all know DICE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ubisoft and not EA in any way shape or form, regardless whose label is on the box.

Mr Companion:
Thus our first target of nitpickery stumbles into my iornsights, the revolution.

Not to nitpick, but, what revolution?

Mr Companion:

Now historically revolution tends to arise under only the most extreme class conflict.

Actually, that's not true. If you frame it from a Marxist perspective and look at the revolutions he had access to, then you can make this argument in a very limited venue. But, no modern revolution has been driven by class conflict. Sorry Marx.

While there are a number of models, the easiest one to explain is (I believe) Parsa's model. For a revolution to occur, a state must be an exclusive, repressive, and weak regime. Without any one of these elements a revolution is highly unlikely. While there are class elements involved in revolutions, it is not "class conflict" which drives them.

Mr Companion:
In Russia the people rebelled because their leader Stalin committed genocide and twisted the ideology of his nation for his own ends.

And when did this mythical revolution occur? Not in 1917 when Stalin was writing a newspaper. Not when the Soviet Union finally crumbled in the 1990s over thirty years after Stalin died. Not in the 1920s and 30s when Trotsky and Stalin were consolidating the Soviet power base by exterminating anyone who stood in their way. You see, the Russian state may have been exclusive and repressive, but it was also very powerful, and had the capacity to enforce policies.

Mr Companion:
In France a revolution sparked because the people were desperate and depraved while the Monarchy revelled in luxury and frivolity.

I'm sure there's some historical error here, but honestly my apathy towards the first French revolution renders any argument moot. However, this was one of the cases Marx looked at when he was adapting the Hegelian dialectic.

Mr Companion:

So why did the citizens of the nation in mirrors edge take arms against their rulers? Because of strict crime suppression and radical modernisation of infrastructure to make the city more organised and productive.
.....
I mean HONESTLY?

Nope.

Mr Companion:
That's worth starting a bloody revolution over? Hells bells.

Again, you keep running through this and calling it a revolution. The word you are looking for was riot. You do understand there's a difference, right? A revolution is the chaotic overthrow of a governmental system. A revolution is by definition successful. When an attempted revolution fails it is called something else, a rebellion, an insurrection or sometimes an insurgency.

Her parents were killed in a riot. Well, strictly speaking her mother was killed in a peaceful protest that the police decided to put down in the fine tradition of Kent State. It wasn't a revolution.

Mr Companion:
If you haven't played the game you may wonder if I am skewing the facts in favour of the government. Nope, no dice.

Ironic choice of words.

Mr Companion:
In fact when it comes of government corruption I am the first to wish for drastic action. But if you see the city in Mirrors Edge- in fact bugger it just watch one of the trailers. Go do that right now, take a look at the city in game and tell me what you think. My thoughts? What a fucking fantastic job the government did! If only we had such vision in our real life leaders! The supposed "Orwellian regime" has converted a city that Faith herself called "Dirty and Dangerous" into a beautiful utopian metropolis of shining light and majesty.

...where any dissent from the whims of one man are harshly and savagely beaten down.

Now, you're right, there is a philosophical argument to be made against the runners. Is it better that a few suffer so that the many can enjoy a peaceful existence, free from worry?

Mr Companion:
And that brings me neatly onto why the main character is so completely infuriating. Its some of the lines she spits out. "Most people were content to live a comfortable life" Oh no! Really? I cant imagine why. Perhaps its because they don't have an instinctive knee jerk reaction against change. Maybe when they saw the first few lines of rioters get gunned down they realised their privacy isn't worth hundreds of lives.

Here's a funny thing about enforcing power. A state, no matter how repressive cannot silence every dissenting voice. What they can do is frighten you into staying silent. The state effectively becomes a terrorist actor upon its own population. Examples of this include basically any secret police agency in the 20th century.

In this sense the game can be interpreted as a (relatively) elegant critique of the Bush administration (and it is in the right time frame for it.) The general population in Mirror's Edge was quite literally frightened into giving up their freedom in favor of security, echoing that oft misattributed quote about liberty and security that became a part of the American zeitgeist back in 2003.

Mr Companion:
Best of all Faith is bloody vague about how the whole thing got started, and even on what went wrong in the riots. "I was too young to remember how it all started" and "Riots went wrong" WHAT?! What went wrong Faith? If you don't know why the riots started or how it all turned ugly then I would say there is about an equal chance that the rioters were the ones who tossed the first stone anyway. But screw that it feels much more heroic to fight against the man, yeah Faith?

This does in fact get fleshed out. Peaceful protests against the new policies were met with gunfire. Think about it this way, you may take your six year old daughter to a protest march, but you're not going to take her to a riot. The later defies any kind of logical sense.

Mr Companion:
Here is yet another hilarious moral ambiguity point for the cops, Faith says that they usually leave the runners alone!

Ignoring a problem is not the same as condoning it. Law enforcement spends more resources trying to catch drunk drivers than it does trying to solve homicides. Does this mean that the police are more forgiving of murder? And, honestly do you want to jump from rooftop to rooftop for a government salary check when you could stay on the ground?

Mr Companion:
Now let me explain runners to you, runners are illegal couriers who transport sensitive information or packages about for rebel cells across the city. And Faith is telling us the government are leaving them alone. I mean Jesus, does she hear herself? According to her the coppers are a bunch of fascist pigs who restrict everything like evil Nazi murderfuzz or something,yet somehow I think the whole "allowing terrorist cells to communicate without any trouble at all" thing not only diminishes her view but also suggests that the government either couldn't care a rats arse what a bunch of silly doomsaying freerunners do with their time OR that they are actually not nearly as restrictive as Faith keeps claiming.

I hate to ask, but did you even finish the game? Because that is the entire fucking plot right there. The government has decided it is time to crack down on the runners, shutting them down, and finally has the resources to do so.

Mr Companion:
Eventually the game starts and you spend a good few minutes jumping about in plain sight of large glass windowed buildings on rooftops. Oh yes the filth are cracking down on freedom so much they absolutely fail to track the movements of individuals who hop about in the view of every window of every citizen in the whole city, that's really tough going for those runners, yes siree. Then you come into contact with the fuzz, who dazedly glance down the corridor when you plummet in form a ventilation shaft. One of them commands you to put your hands in the air. You don't, they open fire.
I don't think I even need to explain my feelings about this other than yes its pretty extreme to open fire on somebody because they don't put their hands up, unless its a known member of what is essentially a terrorist organisation.

Or they're trigger happy psychopaths. Which is somewhat plausible given the backstory.

Mr Companion:
To be fair as you go through the rest of the game you do come across a number of hints that the men in charge are bastards. For one thing you meet a high ranking member of a government department face to face, and he has really bad teeth, which means he is pure evil no doubt. And then later on you find out their nefarious master plan, to take out all the runners to stop them transporting illicit material.

I'll grant you that this is one of the problems. The game never tells us what the fuck you're carrying around. It could well be components for building a nuclear device. The game seems to intend for us to think it is information between various chunks of a resistance movement that's sprung up. But there's no actual confirmation of this.

Mr Companion:
Apparently faith and crew are so feckless they cant figure this out as soon as the cops start hunting them down and opening fire. Oh no, these guys need to infiltrate the factory of a weapons and munitions company, dodging and dispatching the trained snipers, guards and even bloody bleeding NINJAS in order to find our the plans.

It's been a while, but my recollection is, this is part of the murder investigation plot. Which means you break into the security company to go after evidence to clear your sister, not to find out why the police are after you.

Mr Companion:
And another thing! Who are the police that you fray with anyway? Because I have doubts that every last one of them is a ruthless propagator of the regime, most of them probably just wanted a steady job with a fair pension. Many of them probably don't know who you really are. I would expect the orders to be something like "A dangerous criminal is on the loose, weapons free" or even "A suspect, likely armed, is said to be heading this way, arrest on sight, if the suspect fails to comply then open fire". Your clichéd support character proudly announces in his last dying breath that he managed to take some of the storming cops out. Bravo man, good job spitefully taking some poor bastards with you. You deserve a medal.

So you'd rather have Merc weeping that he just shot six or seven cops when you come across his dying soon to be corpse?

You're partially right in that the game did pass up the opportunity to introduce some moral ambiguity into the content. But, seriously, they're fucking shooting at you, it's self defense.

Mr Companion:
The final criticism I have for the story is that the writer was under the false pretence that using Greek mythology to name your characters is totally original and clever. This individual having presumably ignored the plot of countless well known games. Deus Ex was the first to make it all trendy and now you can hardly swing a pair of cats without knocking over a game where Greek mythology is used to name central characters and reoccurring set pieces.

And that kiddies is what we call a critical research failure. So what was the first game to drag in Greek mythological references? D&D's got them. So that takes it easily a decade before Deus Ex if we're only looking at gold box releases, and... what, 25 years if we're looking at D&D as itself. In lit I couldn't begin to trace the origins.

Mr Companion:
In Mirrors Edge this very tiresome device is shoved in with no thought for the meaning of it all. The main evil plot is called "Project Icarus". ARGGHAAARG HATRED. Why would you name your frankly pathetic master plan after a boy who flew too close to the sun with wings made of wax and plummeted into ground, killing him. Thats like naming your plan "Project Titanic" or "Project Dreamcast" or something. What lazy ass writing.

Yes, why would you name your project aimed at ending the runners after the Icarian fall? Maybe because the entire point was to INFLICT an Icarian fall on someone?

In this sense, I'd have to argue with you that it is actually one of the better uses of the name Icarus in pop culture.

Mr Companion:

And to finish off the game with a brutal fatality lets quickly smother the wheezing, pathetic gameplay with a pillow as well, because frankly I want to put it out of its misery. I know I promised not to do anything but the story but when the game first came out I knew that there could well be a place for a first person parkour game. And I still do. But Mirrors Edge fell short of the goal. And I know what you are thinking, is it the glitchy clipping, the forced and poorly executed fight sequences or the aggressively lacklustre length of a full playthrough? No. And I know what you are thinking now too "Well why not I would totally rag on all that stuff" well if you give me a moments fucking peace ill tell you what I mean! Blimey, some people...

Anyway yeah my problem with the gameplay is the level design. Its not the most obvious problem, until you play the game through again. You notice the filler, of which there is plenty. Its the same problem I had with LOZ Twilight Princess. You can just feel your heart sink when you come to a certain point. You see it and go "Aaaaw hell, its the really slow and boring bit again". In Mirrors Edge this happens more often later on. Near the start you are duped into the game by fast paced parkour segments where you slide under pipes, climb over fences and evade the filth which is all satisfying and very fun. But as you go through you start to notice the pace decrease. Your still outside, but now you climb lumberously up pipes and across ledges. You have nothing to do except watch the wall scroll by.

Fortunately DICE seems to have realized this happened, and claimed they're fixing it for the sequel.

Mr Companion:
Finally, the pace grinds to a near halt as the level designers try every trick in the book to keep you playing as long as possible. The climbing now takes place in a tiny maze of the interior of a ship. Up a pipe, climb climb climb, across a ledge, shimmy shimmy shimmy, and now you turn backwards and jump. Oh damn! I gone too high so Faith skipped merrily over the thing, Time to climb back up again.
These points serve no purpose, no enjoyment or pleasure can be gained from this boring grindy shitty place. And your reward at the end of each of these levels is a cheap ass budget constrained cardboard cutout cut-scene where a cluster of characters take part in events you don't give a shit about. Its just what you always wanted, right little Jimmy? And I hope you didn't buy it for full price because I guarantee you will feel empty and unsatisfied by the end.

You may well have missed the worst part of that ship. The fucking key lime green pain that's sprayed over EVERYTHING. Seriously, dollars to donuts that's arsenic green. Faith could just munch down on some paint chips and die. Not only is it a pain in the ass platforming puzzle, but it is easily in the ugliest part of the game.

Mr Companion:
So anyway happy nearly Halloween everybody, I only make reviews about once every year so see you much later! And I hope my rantings haven't broken some sort of mirage of excellence you had over the game to convince yourself it was worth the money you could have spent on real entertainment such as Earth Defence Force 2017 or VVVVVV or Phsychonauts or Left 4 Dead 2 or Katamari or ect ect ect....

The only thing truly excellent about the game was the music.

Mr Companion:
Edit: Sorry for the wall of text, I would have put up some pretty pictures but I couldn't be bothered just to add some colour variety to the page.

I'll be honest, at first I thought your dig at the writer was to do with the fact Terry Pratchett has got Alzheimer's now and you was saying she must have it too. Realised that wasn't what you meant at all, but after that it was just too hard to get into your post.

The game definitely felt more like they had a concept for gameplay and setting, then made a story to fit. Rather than make a story, then create a world around it. Excuse plots are worse than no-plots if you ask me. So I agree, I guess.

Mr Companion:
Mirrors Edge story problems.

I played Mirrors Edge a good year or two ago, but the memories still burn fresh in my mind. I could go into all sorts of detail about the failures of this game, but I need not. There is only one aspect I feel like stamping all over today, and that's the plot.
I hear Terry Pratchetts daughter wrote Mirrors Edge, which is a good argument against the concept of hereditary traits being passed from parent to child if you want to disprove the theory of evolution I guess that that's besides the point. The point is the story of this game falls flat on its face so often its flatter than a polished monolith.

So lets start at the start. The game opens up with some back story of your main character, Faith (Oh I see 'leap of faith' fantastic work Ubisoft real clever,

This is as much as I read before I stopped. Simply because Ubisoft didn't make the game it was EA and DICE. You say that you can still talk about it years since playing it and yet you can't even get the developer right.

Krion_Vark:

Mr Companion:
Mirrors Edge story problems.

I played Mirrors Edge a good year or two ago, but the memories still burn fresh in my mind. I could go into all sorts of detail about the failures of this game, but I need not. There is only one aspect I feel like stamping all over today, and that's the plot.
I hear Terry Pratchetts daughter wrote Mirrors Edge, which is a good argument against the concept of hereditary traits being passed from parent to child if you want to disprove the theory of evolution I guess that that's besides the point. The point is the story of this game falls flat on its face so often its flatter than a polished monolith.

So lets start at the start. The game opens up with some back story of your main character, Faith (Oh I see 'leap of faith' fantastic work Ubisoft real clever,

This is as much as I read before I stopped. Simply because Ubisoft didn't make the game it was EA and DICE. You say that you can still talk about it years since playing it and yet you can't even get the developer right.

I made it as far as the bit about the Russian revolution that overthrew Stalin before I cracked up and stuck a pin in it. In fairness, I actually missed the Ubisoft thing on the first pass becomes somehow "leap of faith" cross wired Mirror's Edge with Assassin's Creed in my head.

This is super intresting and I'm glad I didn't buy the game when it came out. I hated the fighting in te demo so figured I could just skip people but never got around to actually playing it. Although I don't fully trust reviewers so I may still get the game for the $5 it is at blockbuster

spartan1077:
This is super intresting and I'm glad I didn't buy the game when it came out. I hated the fighting in te demo so figured I could just skip people but never got around to actually playing it. Although I don't fully trust reviewers so I may still get the game for the $5 it is at blockbuster

Mirror's Edge is a must play game if you like platformers, it has the best level design of any 3D platformer this gen. The only thing you really need to be able to do combat-wise is learn to disarm enemies and you'll be golden. The game is much more about the main character Faith rescuing her sister because she was framed for a murder than about the government and it's surveillance and whatnot, which is what the TC is complaining about. The government stuff is not at all developed, but it does make sense and there's no glaring holes in the plot.

I remember renting the game and insta-skipping through all the cutscenes. I knew that it had some kind of story or something but I just like the jumping around.

Mr Companion:
snip

The concept is suppression of the truth. As a Runner you combat that by distributing said information, seeing the world as less of a utopia and more of a totalitarian regime through the knowledge you deliver.

There's a reason the place looks so nice; there's no freedom. It's a pretty place to live in, but like hell if you can live in it.

And you'd best bet there ain't internet in that city. At least, not one without industrial-grade filters.

 

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