- Mirror's Edge (2010 on iPad, iPhone, 2012 on Windows Phone)
Description official descriptions
Mirror's Edge is a first-person action game set in a dystopian society ruled by a totalitarian regime that exercises a high amount of surveillance on citizens. The city has a clean look, with bright cold tone visuals that are mainly white with hints of orange. Players control Faith, a female runner who transfers information by moving over the roofs of the city as all other forms of communication are monitored. She grew up alone in the streets when her mother died during the November Riots and her father deserted her shortly after. She was taught as a little girl by a man called Mercury, who caught her breaking in and was impressed with her skills. Hunted down by government agents, she needs to find a way to free her sister.
Based on the principles of parkour, the focus is on the freedom of movement. Although the game path is largely linear, the controls are largely context-sensitive and Faith needs to string up moves to build up a fluid flow of movement, by running up walls, sliding below fences, or by jumping, vaulting or climbing, using pipes, ramps or using objects as zip-lines. The emphasis on movement is enhanced through the camera, which spins, or bobs up and down according to the speed, and the prominent visibility of her arms, legs and torso. The game is also largely HUDless. When Faith is hurt, the city's colours desaturate. To assist the player in this fast-paced movement, the game applies Runner Vision where environmental pieces are highlighted when they occur to Faith as possible escape routes. In complex situations, Reaction Time, a form of bullet time, can be applied to slow down the pace without losing momentum.
Even though Faith generally needs to run from agents who chase her on foot or from helicopters, she can attack them using melee combat, or disarm agents to grab and wield their weapons. The game takes place both outside, and inside buildings and there are ten chapters in total. The story is furthered through animated films between the missions, not using the game engine. Next to the main story mode, there is a time attack mode with portions of levels and the fastest times are shown as red runners who act as ghosts. While playing, hidden messenger bags can be collected to unlock extras.
- 靚影特務 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- 3D Engine: Unreal Engine 3
- EA Classics releases
- EA Value Games releases
- Free Running / Parkour games
- Games made into comics
- Games with game altering copy protection
- Green Pepper releases
- HUDless games
- Middleware: Bink Video
- Mirror's Edge series
- Physics Engine: PhysX
- Protagonist: Female
- Xbox 360 Classics releases
Credits (Xbox 360 version)
458 People (424 developers, 34 thanks) · View all
|Senior Development Director|
|Technical Art Director|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 80% (based on 137 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 139 ratings with 4 reviews)
I'll start by saying I was very intrigued by Mirror's Edge when I first read about it in PC Gamer magazine. A game featuring a glorified courier service in a corrupt, semi-future city that uses the parkour as its base of action, you say? And it's a new intellectual property at that?
Sounded good to me.
The player stars as Faith, a runner who works with a network other runners who silently act as illegal couriers by using parkour techniques on the roofs of an unnamed city (though it reminds me a bit of Hong Kong for some reason). The time period isn't specified, but it appears to be the relatively near future. As can be expected, the plot is of a somewhat cyberpunkish nature, without being overtly cyberpunk in the classic sense. Without giving away too much, the city is run by a corrupt cabal of plutocratic fascists who invade its citizens lives through means of pervasive surveillance. A new mayoral candidate promises change, so naturally the in-power administration seeks to prevent this. Faith and the other runners, long able to avoid the regime, are suddenly being pursued more so than before. A few disappear. Faith is of particular interest to the regime, as she knows information that could destroy it. And away we go!...
I suppose I should touch a bit on the graphics. While I'm not graphics hound, in games such as this good, clear graphics are important because you obviously must see where you're going. And I must say they are very, very nice. They are not to the level of Crysis, but what game is? Both outdoor and indoor areas are a joy to look at. A good system is still recommended though. On my system, I didn't experience any choking whatsoever. The game also has animated cutscenes, the style of which reminds a bit of TV shows like Samurai Jack and some of Peter Chung's work.
The gameplay is a little reminiscent of third-person platformers like Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia, involving many death-defying jumps, wall-hangs, and the like to progress through a mission. The game however is in the first-person format, and though that seems a bit illogical due to the stunts the player is expected to perform, it doesn't deter. I was admittedly skeptical at first, but was pleasantly surprised at the fluidity of Faith's movement and the responsiveness of the controls.
The level design, while not absolutely spectacular, is among the better I've seen the last few years. The bulk of the missions involve running across skyscraper rooftops, looking for just the right pipe or edge to jump to while evading the city's security forces. Such scenarios are the game's signature, and will definitely get your adrenaline going, especially if you have a fear of heights like myself. However, there a few missions require you to enter a building, oftentimes a large office suite, but also a subway station, a mall, and even deep subterranean areas in the sewers. While I enjoyed the rooftop capers, I think the indoor areas were my personal favorites, due to the fact that the cramped quarters made Faith's parkour techniques more challenging to pull off, and also required the player to be very observant for the odd vent or narrow space in a wall. Also, the game has an option where objects that Faith can use to jump or grapple will shine a bright crimson color so the player isn't lost as to where to go next. The can be turned on and off in the menu settings.
But the game isn't just running, there's also combat involved. Typical security guards, armored paramilitary grunts, and choppers are all present to stop you. Faith has a small arsenal of martial arts moves at her disposal to incapacitate or kill enemies, including relieving them of firearms. While Faith is able to use the firearms she confiscates, pistols are the only gun she can carry while running or performing any stunts. The rifles are naturally too cumbersome and heavy for this, though there are times when they can be useful in mowing down enemies who are shooting at you while your trying to jump to that one particular platform. Much of the time though I didn't use the rifles, because the enemies would often just keep coming the longer you hang around an area, so it's best to just run while you can.
Another cool little feature is the option to run races outside of the game's story mode. Beating the game unlocks courses, and if you have an EA account, you can compete with people online. It probably won't occupy a lot of your time, but it's nice that it was included.
This title obviously has some good things going for it. But I know I'm not alone when I say that it does have some crippling elements that keep it from joining the ranks of my favorite games.
For one, the plot. The story to me felt very dry and underdeveloped. The game does delve a little into the background of the city's totalitarianism and how Faith became a runner, but I would like to have seen more. It didn't help me to understand her as much as it should have, but more of a tacked-on footnote. Also, the primary story I described at the beginning is a good narrative framework, if a bit on the hackneyed side. The way it's told to the player, the whole thing just didn't feel sinister enough to me. Apparently, this city's terrible, fascist rulers that killed many citizens are supposed to be something to be feared, but they came off as a two-bit operation that's about as scary as Bullwinkle's nemeses Boris and Natasha. Coupled with the aforementioned animated cutscenes (which feel out of place somehow), the game is attempting to have a cinematic feel, and just fails at it.. The ending also didn't really resolve the main story...I can only assume that it'll be picked up on later.
In my opinion, the game would have been better if it had taken a more RPG-like stance and focused on Faith delivering packages, aka her damn job. It felt more like the star of the game was the city itself, instead of Faith, as it should've been. An Elder Scrolls styled approach would have worked very well for this game. A semi-open world city where Faith must find her way over (and under) the rooftops to complete a mission would've been a much more satisfying experience. And still, the main plot wouldn't have been constrained by this and could have easily found its way into the fray. I can't for the life of me understand why the game didn't go in this direction. Overall, the game just does not convey the atmosphere it was supposed to. Or maybe it's the other way around. I'm not sure.
The combat was also very frustrating to me. I understand that the developers were trying to create tension during the runs, but there are times when it feels that enemies are just there to annoy me and nothing else. Also, Faith's self-defense techniques must executed on a dime, lest you be pummeled with a rifle butt and shot in the face. When you add to this the fact that speed and efficiency are key in this game, you may find yourself falling to your death...a lot...because you're just trying to escape bullets. As I mentioned before, although you can use the firearms, you may only get off three to six shots before the ammo depletes, and the pistol is the only gun you can run with. To me the mere fact that you're trying to jump and mantle across dangerous areas without making like Wile E. Coyote and plummeting into the ravine is more than enough to keep the tension going, without the generic paramilitary goons taking potshots at you. Fighting action is not this game's strong suit. Just run when you can.
The "runner's vision", wherein objects shine red to help you find your path, is also inconsistent. Some objects don't highlight until you're very close to them, and by that time, it may be too late to perform a stunt. I determined that it was useless and turned it off. That was even bigger mistake because objects I thought I could grasp or jump to didn't work and I ate the pavement as a result. It's no surprise that the player should be prepared for some of the ol' trial and error on the best route to take. And trust me, due to the lack of quicksave, you'll be running many of the same areas multiple times. The game is advertised as being short, but it won't feel that way.
I probably shouldn't neglect to mention any technical errors. The main problem I had was random menu lock-ups and the occasional desktop crash while in-game. And because there is no quicksave, the game's checkpoint system didn't save in time, and I'd have to do a whole part of the mission over again. The patch seemed to fix it though, so definitely download it before playing.
The Bottom Line
I know it probably seems like I just tore the game a new one in the previous section, but I'm honestly not trying to steer anyone away. I just want everyone to be aware of the downsides to the game. It just could've been so much more than what it was; there was ample material here that wasn't exploited to its full potential. In fact, many problems could simply be solved by the addition of a quicksave feature. That said, the game for all it's faults was actually quite fun. Even with the frustrations, the jumping, mantling, and grappling is too entertaining to pass up, especially for its current bargain price of $20. If a sequels arrive down the line, hopefully it will be the game that this one should have been.
Windows · by HandofShadow (49) · 2009
Look Amazing. Inspired by Yamakasi. City has color tones which feels great and even helps in guiding You trough.
Feel Amazing running, jumping, "diving", rolling. being chased, kicking door, wall sliding, "skying".....
Originality Main idea is nice. The rest is taken pretty much verbatim from parkour. I have no problems with that. In fact just existence of this game means that there is something more than brainless shooters and mmorpgs.
I thought I have a gem until the flaws have surfaced......Flow which You create blurs all the mistakes for some time.
Story. They shouldn't have included it. It is a pain to watch. Story about bad government, who keeps the city clean(!), and few runners who bring end to it. I don't buy it. It has some potential but the presentation feels like déjà vu of some fps-like z-movie story.
Most of time You don't know where to go next. Although it might seem to be real just kills flow. I replayed it and was lost several times because I just didn't see where to go. If You ever played adventure game then it feels like exactly like that. Certain places are unreachable and they don't look like they are. Certain places are reachable and they look like they're not. And I am not talking about jumping puzzles.
Controls aren't good. I am comparing this with Prince of Persia series, which had very good controls. The way they did jump from wall (sequence of [special key][jump key]) gets too much time to get used to. Why it is not an arrow (or arrow and jump key), which is more obvious. Wall run / climb might have been better done by having separate key instead of relying on angle towards wall. Human have problems with recognizing angles in 3d.
Game is being anal at wrong places. Jumping. Which is one of key elements. Having to time the jumps, like it used to be in tomb raider, so You won't miss the ledge by one inch is painful. It happens only at those long-jumps and Your keyboard is so scared of being punished that she bring even more punishment upon her because of her trembling. And that's not only jumping. Also the way how hero grabs ledges - sometimes it is sometimes it is not automatical.
User interface / menu.
Can't be controlled just by keyboard.
List of levels without any aid of how they actually look. Yes there are 3d models at one place but it's like telling a difference between grey box and grey box.
The Bottom Line
You'll have great time feeling like one of Yamakasi. Unfortunately start and end of a jump feels like throwing a dice .............. It's shame they polished just how the gem looks and didn't even think about the one who's gonna wear it.
Windows · by hribek (28) · 2009
Close your eyes and imagine feeling a breeze run across your face, the sun shimmering and reflecting off the hot concrete roof below you, flexing your right foot and feeling a tight shoe across it, and open your eyes to see a white painted metropolitan city touched with slight colors here and there but only accenting the white. Hear the sounds of the downtown rustling, an occasional siren, perhaps a helicopter flying above you.
The so-called Mirror's Edge, where all the buildings reflect your desires and let you freely fly, running forward using all objects on the roof top to your advantage like a gold medal gymnast. Imagine being able to run as fast as the fastest man in the world and maintain it for as long as you wish to go. This game captures this feeling, yet doesn't lose you with too much fantasy. It doesn't quite hit the Matrix feeling, it cradles these realistic emotions hidden inside you and lets you feel it as if it real. Then it takes it a step further and gives you motivation to run.
The police are after you for a reason you are innocent for, so you are free to run away, to flee, and you are equipped with the ability to make it. So why don't you? Afraid of missing a step and falling to your death? Don't worry, such a blunder is only a scary fall, followed with a relapse of time putting you a few steps prior, allowing you to repeat your steps again, this time, executing it with the grace only you are able to do.
As great as experiencing such a surreal game may be you may be prone to headaches with prolonged exposure. There is also the possibility of feeling the urge to go out and try these stunts in real life. I do warn these urges should subside with time and probably should not be acted upon, especially while drunk.
The Bottom Line
Experience it, is all I have to say. If it doesn't capture your imagination and allow you to get lost in its beauty, then that is too bad. I will be there running as fast as I can for you to reach me when you can.
Windows · by Xackery (26) · 2009
The game does not use the in-house developed Frostbite engine, as work on the game was started before the engine was completed. Instead, UnrealEngine3 was licensed, along with a new component (co-developed between EA Digital Illusions CE AB and Illuminate Labs) to accentuate the different art style, and allow for the reflection of colours and light.
- 2009 – #9 Best Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
Related Sites +
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Sciere.
Windows added by Picard.
Game added November 23rd, 2008. Last modified November 13th, 2023.