NOTICE: SInce this is my first video game review as part of this series, I'd like to take a moment to tell you a few things you'll probably want to know. First of all, if I'm going to give away the ending or something I'll warn you and put it in Spoiler tags.
The second thing is more obvious, which is that this series contains my opinion and thus I'm not claiming that you won't enjoy games I find bad, everybody's taste is different.
Alright, so today I'm going to be reviewing Mirror's Edge. For those who don't know what the game is about, basically it's a game about parkour and combat. Here is the E3 Demo, to help those who don't know understand what the game is like.
This is Mirror's Edge's strong point, the gameplay. The maneuvering is fun, the combat is intuitive and the game feels great. For example, the fact that enemies can actually block your attacks if you just button mash makes strategy required. Disarming an enemy is really satisfying.
The movement fills me with adrenaline and the various ways to go through the levels give the game a high replay value.
But it could have been better.
Let me point out a few flaws.
First of all, the game is too short. The game is WAYYY too short. I have beaten it two times (Once on Medium and once on Hard) in a matter of seven hours of gameplay. That is a hint that a game is too short. A better direction for the gameplay style would have been open-world. If the game was open world, with simply the option to do the missions, it would be perfect.
There were several points where the movement was glitched/unpolished to the point that certain pipes would not be grabbable (Or even solid, with Faith flying right through them like some kind of Spooky finger puppet parkour ghost).
Over all, I'm happy with the gameplay mechanics but I'm not happy with how little gameplay there actually is.
Let's just say that the game looks way more interesting in the trailers than it is once you actually get your hands on it and play it.
Story (All Spoilers Contained within Red Lines)
This game is truly lacking in story, it really is. That is perhaps the game's biggest weak point. It just throws characters at you and expects you to care about them even if you only interact with them for say, twenty seconds, In addition, the whole background abut why the city is totalitarian, what exactly the oppressive laws are, and other seemingly crucial details are left vague/not mentioned at all.
The next part contains spoilers, but if you don't read it you won't quite understand how I'm going to rate this segment of the game.
SPOILERS IN THE PARAGRAPHS BETWEEN THE RED LINES
For example, Merc. Sure, he was the guy talking to you, but beyond that, there really is no emotional attachment. You don't go through anything emotional with him. When he dies, my reaction was "Who cares", when a "pivotal" plot point yields no emotional reaction at all, something is horribly wrong.
In addition, Celeste betraying you is not foreshadowed at all, not once. The saddest part is that even once it's revealed, that's the last goddamned time you see her! It would have been a great plot arc to explore, but nope, just "I betrayed you" and that's it.
Then, don't get me started on the ending, oh that ending. This ending is so bad that it makes Mass Effect 3's ending look like Pulp Fiction.
That ending isn't just bad, it's pathetic. It doesn't even seem relevant, it doesn't even seem finished. Endings are supposed to make you cry, this made me cry, but not because it was emotional, but because it was bad enough to send me spiraling into depression from my loss of faith in humanity.
You rescue your sister, and kill another guy (Who's working with the antagonists is ALSO not foreshadowed). There's no dialogue, no loose ends being tied up. Just kicking a guy out of a goddamned helicopter while touching music plays in the background.
I dare say that this ending is so bad that even if you haven't played the game it should be glaringly obvious that this ending was beyond disappointing.
This has to be the worst ending in history. This game has one of the worst stories ever. I think that this game's story is worse than if it had no story at all, it's just horrendous.
I'm torn on this one, the harsh colors are unique but bore me. I mean, the environments are not at all varied, to that extent that if I had mashed up a video of my playing experience it would be hard to tell which level is which.
This game needs more varied graphics, I know the city is supposed to all look similar, but they at least could have had some unique-looking interiors. The laboratory-like place under PK was a great opportunity that they turned into a three minute long hallway.
As for the quality of the graphics, meh, they're not the best, they're not the worst. I'd say they're fitting for the game.
Mostly just ambience, doesn't suit my tastes but on the other hand I can't just flat out call it bad because it achieves the ambience level it was meant to. I'd say that to improve the sound track it would need more variation, much like everything else in the game, the soundtrack is repetitive and by the end of the game it's just plain boring.
The soundtrack isn't memorable at all, and once more, don't get me started on the ending song. If I had uploaded the ending video was "Mirror's Edge has a shitty ending while I play unfitting music" nobody would be any the wiser, if they hadn't played it, they might not realize I had not edited it at all.
It's not at all memorable in any way, I don't think anybody would go out of their way to listen to this and I think that if the Mirror's Edge soundtrack was on DVD only Hipsters would buy it.
The controls are responsive, the player moves at a good speed, I did not find myself having any trouble doing anything, there isn't much to say about these, except that the game is well-programmed. If I had one complaint it is that sometimes when trying to jump over a railing, you'll instead end up stepping over it and falling to your death. While you could back up and curl your legs up upon jumping, this is not always an option on smaller areas like say, a fire escape.
This game was okay, that's all I can really say about it. Let's just say that it had potential but it really failed to reach that potential. The game looks way more interesting in the trailers than it is while actually playing it. While you will find that it can be a fun way to waste a few hours, I wouldn't recommend checking it out if repetitive gameplay and environments are something that really gets to you.
If you're looking for something new and unique, this is a place to find it, but if you're looking for a game that will blow you away, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
Mirror's Edge is really a swing and miss game, I mean, somehow, they managed to take an incredibly unique concept, and make the game in such a way that even with unique gameplay, Mirror's Edge is nothing special. It has it's fun moments but the game was so repetitive that anything interesting was grinded out in favor of more copy and pasted environments.
This is not to say that I dislike this game, in fact, quite the opposite is true. What I'm really getting at, is that Mirror's Edge could have been so much more than it ended up being. Let's hope that Mirror's Edge 2 fairs better.
Don't buy this game if you're expecting it to be the best thing ever made.
That isn't to say that you won't enjoy it if you're looking for something unique and adrenaline filled. This game might make you happier than Snoop Dog if it was raining Cocaine, nobody knows.
Final Rating: 7.5/10