[PS3 Review] Mirror’s Edge

Mirror’s Edge, developed by DICE and utilizing the Unreal 3 Engine
along with a dynamic lighting engine in Beast, is set in what seems to
be a beautiful and utopian city. But all is not what it seems, and the
city is actually heavily controlled and monitored by a totalitarian
regime. To evade the watchful eye of Big Brother, runners are employed
to relay information. This is where the main character, Faith, comes
into the story. After her parents were killed by the government for
actively protesting against the regime, she grew up on the streets.
During an office break-in, she was caught by a man named Mercury, who
then trained her to be a runner. Faith’s sister becomes framed in the
murder of a mayoral candidate, and while confronting her sister at the
crime scene, she becomes caught up in the murder herself as a suspect.
Thus, Faith is thrown head first into clearing her sister’s name and
find the true killer in the murder.

Mirror’s Edge takes your typical platforming adventure and injects it
into a first-person view. Instead of utilizing the typical first-person
camera setup, DICE gives creates a much more realistic style. By
allowing the player to see from Faith’s eyes exactly as you would in
real life, you can get a better visualization and sense of freedom in
her movement.  When you look down, you actually see Faith’s torso and
limbs.  While in full motion, as you pick up speed, the camera moves up
and down as it should. When you jump, you see faith extend, flail and
cycle her arms and her legs. Slide, and you will see her legs extended
in front of you, roll and you see her body as she tucks and rolls out
safely as she lands a jump.

To traverse the rooftops, buildings and other areas of the game,
Mirror’s Edge gives the player Runner Vision, which allows the player
to see the environment as a runner would. Pipes, ramps, ladders and
doors will show up as red for helping the player progress through the
game. Reaction Time, similar to Bullet Time in other games, is another
system put in place to help the player maneuver through the game and
help in confronting enemies. The game’s combat is very basic and is
meant to be utilized sparingly. When confronting an enemy, it is best
to try and run away than fight. If necessary, you can disarm an enemy
and take their gun and use it against them, or just throw it away. 
Shooting in the game is necessary at times, but most of the time is not
needed. To make sure the player doesn’t spend much of their time using
weapons, ammo is very sparse.

After you’re done the main storyline, you can test your skills in Time
Trial runs, which are sections of each chapter, or see how fast you can
make it through an entire chapter.  The game keeps track of your best
times, as well as your friends and the world’s best. See how good you
can get, and how quickly you can beat the next person’s time.

Graphically, Mirror’s Edge is absolutely gorgeous in presenting the
city and environments. Majority of the city is draped in the color
white, and features many blues, reds and oranges. This helps give the
city that look of serenity, free from corruption. While climbing,
jumping and running through the city, the detail of the environment and
Faith’s torso and appendages is stunning.  When close up on objects, or
just seeing Faith’s hands and arms as she pulls herself up or climbing
a pipe, shows the amount of work DICE put into this game and her
character. The other characters in the game are well designed, but
usually lack the detail and effort put into Faith. Also, some may enjoy
the cut scenes being done in 2D animation, and they are done well, but
I found myself disappointed not seeing them in 3D. Seeing more of Faith
as her 3D model in cut scenes would have made it that much more

The sound in this game is also done with amazing accuracy in sound
effects, and some very good voice acting.  Every step, landing, gun
shot, and breath is perfectly orchestrated and helps the player feel
fully immersed in the experience. Later in the game when you are being
chased by enemies similar to the runners, you can actually hear them
running behind and around you and can even tell how far from you they
are. The voice acting in the game is solid, but not perfect. I thought
Merc’s voice actor played the role perfectly and is the standout
performance in this category. Faith is also very solid, and gives faith
the edge and attitude DICE was looking to portray in her character. 
The one drawback in the voice acting is for the basic enemy characters.
They are very limited in their lines and you can’t really differentiate
the voices. It would have been nice for them to mix up different voice
actors randomly, and not just utilize the same ones throughout the

Mirror’s Edge is a game about patience and trial & error. This game
is definitely not for those looking for an easy pick up and play, and
will cause many moments of frustration. I chucked my controller a
couple times while trying to make that crucial jump, so be prepared to
love this game, or hate the game. But when you finally make that jump,
take out the guards or cops, and finish a chapter in the game, you feel
a great sense of satisfaction.  It was that feeling that kept me going
after each death, or missed jump. This game is full of moments of
brilliance and showcases what will definitely be the new model in
First-Person gameplay. This is a game that truly shows the power of the
Playstation 3, and a must own on the platform.

Rating: 9.0/10

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