Mirror's Edge Review
|ON OTHER PLATFORMS: Xbox360, PC|
genre: Action Adventure
PIV 2400, 1GB RAM, 256MB video card
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jan 13, 09
|» All About Mirror's Edge on ActionTrip|
With Mirror's Edge, DICE finally turns away from its traditional multiplayer shooter series Battlefield. Striving to bring the urban sport of parkour closer to gamers all around the world, DICE created a truly unique experience. That's what we felt when we played the Xbox 360 version. After a few months of waiting, we sit down to give the enhanced PC edition a go.
Looks just like my backyard.
Where the hell am I supposed to go now?
Okay, when we say enhanced, there's really not much to it. You can expect the usual clean, crisp and sharp visuals, higher resolution and all together a better looking game. Above all, the developers incorporated a number of effects to employ NVIDIA's PhysX technology. In this case, the improvement helps spice up the overall visual appeal, though nothing more than that I'm afraid.
The game has a surprisingly steady frame-rate; at least, until you arrive to specific locations where it doesn't quite work as it should. We experienced serious frame-rate issues when running the game on a modest rig, equipped with a GeForce 8800 card. Certain areas became rather choppy and nearly unplayable. Shutting off, the PhysX elements considerably improved the situation. When installing the latest Mirror's Edge patch, along with the recently released NVIDIA Forceware beta drivers, some of these problems persisted. Again, as much as the PhysX features make the game look cooler, they can cause problems. When playing the game on a high-end rig (Intel Core Duo 6600, 4 GB RAM and a GeForce GTX 280), Mirror's Edge ran perfectly.
The game plunges players into a futuristic backdrop, depicting a character named Faith, a runner who gets framed for murder. Struggling to escape the police, Faith attempts to solve the murder and in the process assist her sister Kate, who also winds up in the middle of this mess. The idea of the story is to keep you on your toes the whole time, which it does, successfully.
The cops are relentless and won't stop chasing you. The opponents often take advantage of the environment too. Most of them are heavily armed and carry heavy armor they'll usually keep their distance and try to take you out using machine guns, uzis and assault of rifles. Faith's agility helps to move towards enemies quickly and with effective use of the environment. Now, this is the key part of the gameplay. You'll either outrun your opponents or stay and fight. In order to take enemies down, you're gonna have to lure them and fight them one at a time. Otherwise your chances are slim. Disarming is the safest bet, although (just like in the 360 edition) we felt this portion of the game needs a bit more work. While grabbing a weapon from a policeman can be done smoothly and without hitches, it can also be very frustrating. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to perform a well-timed disarming move, it cannot be done. At least not without using Reaction Time, which represents Mirror's Edge version of Bullet Time.
Aaaarghhhh! I mean, weeeeee!
I have an itch right here... oooh, yeah, that helps, thanks.
First-timers might easily be discouraged by the fair amount of trial and error. It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll dash across the tops of skyscrapers with grace and ease. If you don't know where you ought to be running, just press the 'Alt' key and the game automatically faces the character in the appropriate direction.
The greatest flaw of Mirror's Edge is the extremely short single-player mode. I've finished the game on the Xbox 360 (twice, as a matter of fact) and I completed the PC edition in a single evening. Even so, this is a game we enjoyed playing more than once and we recommend you give it a try as well.
Mirror's Edge is still an extremely fun game, treating you to adrenaline-pumping chases and solid action. The slick, colorful design and the nearly spotlessly clean city areas mark a nice change from gritty GoW 2 style shooters, which have flooded the market.
Although there's always the prevailing thought that DICE could've done so much more with the combat. What we would really like to see is more chapters, wider urban districts to explore and perhaps some extra work poured into the story and characters. Again, the PC version itself is entertaining. Still, it would've been even better if the developers put in additional content - a bonus chapter, anything really.
8.3 Very Good
A fun, engaging single-player action game, with an incredibly compelling atmosphere, great soundtrack;
Short, combat is a bit awkward, the PC version brings nothing new aside from the PhysX features.
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