Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The reflection isn't always perfect.

Mirror's Edge was a game that impressed me with it's concept and I thought great now someone is finally trying to bring Breakdown to the next level. While I learned I was off the mark a bit I was still interested. Now that the game is finally here I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed.

First off I have to get this off my chest. Whoever decided that Mirror's Edge should have those Horribly animated cut scenes should be fired. No questions just gone. These cut scenes are the most horrible things I have seen in a game in a long time. They look cheap they aren't animated very well at all and they are just downright ugly. In fact they look so bad it's not a stretch to think that people may skip them and if they do this they will not get whats going on in the story. Not that that's a bad thing as the story is entirely forgettable. You play Faith who is a runner and your sister gets framed for a crime she didn't commit. Sounds like the plot of your average thriller no? Well therein lies the problem. The plot is so easy to read that you will see everything coming from a million miles away. There is one point in the game that I think was supposed to be a shocking twist however I already saw it coming about a hour before it happened so it was no shock to me. The whole game plays out like this so it's not really worth following the plot. The game is also tragically short about 5-6 hours depending on the difficultly.

When it comes to game play it's a bit of a mixed bag. When you are running the game is at it's best as running feels like it should and you feel like you can go anywhere and do anything. Until that is you find out that there is really only one path that works 90% of the time and it often comes down to trial and error. Will this path work? No? Ok how about this one? Yup. Ok that's the path you were supposed to take. Sure there are a few points in the game in which they will downright show you that there is more then one way to get to where you need to go but they are few and far between. If you can get used to this then the game is a joy to play. Until the last third of the game. You see throughout the whole game you are taught to always run from a fight and for good reason Faith isn't some superhero who can take down countless baddies with ease. She is just a runner and that's it. But then the game decides to throw tons of enemies at you and MAKE you have to beat them to continue. This is a chore because the combat isn't very good and is often times extremely frustrating.

What it comes down to is that most players will enjoy the first half of the game or so but when it comes time to be forced to take on the countless amounts of baddies the game throws at you players will either give up or get extremely angry. Either way it's a bad thing. Once you beat the game you don't have much to do either. Sure you can do the time trials and try to perfect your runs and there is the bags to collect throughout the story mode. However these offer little value to the overall package and clocking in at only 5 or so hours it just doesn't seem like a good value.
Mirror's Edge is definitely worth a rent if only to see how fun the running can be. But it's very hard to justify a purchase of a game this short and at the end of the day flawed. I would very much like to see a sequel to the game as DICE can easily fix the problems the game has.

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