Have You Played… Mirror’s Edge?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Some people install the latest Crysis game whenever they buy a new PC, to push their upgraded hardware to its limit. I install Mirror’s Edge. If I want to feel good about my purchase, then Mirror’s Edge succeeds by being as unfailingly gorgeous now as it was six years ago. Better still, its mechanics – about movement and speed and grace – leave me just as breathless and uplifted as its pristine cityscapes and colourful interior design.

You’ll have heard plenty about Mirror’s Edge by now, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a beautiful world which was lousy to play due to its undesirable combat. That’s unfair. The combat doesn’t work as well as it ought, but I still find so much of Mirror’s Edge fun. Steering protagonist Faith across rooftops by stringing together first-person leaps, climbs, shimmies and slides is exhilarating, requiring precision in ways most other parkour-sporting games don’t, and therefore making you feel connected to its world and rewarded for putting in practice.

I also love the puzzle environments. There are times when you are being harried and hurried by guards with guns, but there are also plenty of moments when you’re left alone in a six-storey atrium and challenged to reach the top. Leap over here, pull yourself up there, wallrun on this to reach that pipe – each individual movement is simple, but the process unlocks a new method of looking at the environment.

Despite lackluster sales and by now infamous combat, Mirror’s Edge has endured in the minds of those who played it, I think, because there’s something spirited and poetic about it. It’s a game set in a dystopian future under the thumb of an oppressive regime, but its city is clean and beautiful in a way that makes you want to live there. That’s more frightening than videogames’ traditional, Blade Runner-inspired vision of bad futures.

Its story is also bunk, told limply through comic-style animatics, but it doesn’t matter because its free-running movement mechanics are already a perfect expression of Faith’s power as someone able to break free from the oppression of the city and fly above it. At a time when Gears of War’s shoulder-padded marines and crunching cover-system seemed to reign supreme, Mirror’s Edge had a lightness of tone that made it – makes it – a joy to inhabit.

Cripes, I think I’ve convinced myself to go play it again, and I haven’t even mentioned the soundtrack or the impressionistic time attack challenge levels. (I also haven’t mentioned the shoddy quick-time events, checkpointing or boss fights). Its £10/$20 on Steam.

[The header image on this post is from comrade Duncan Harris’s Dead End Thrills, of course.]

91 Comments

  1. Fenix says:

    I am always surprised to hear people complain about Mirror Edge’s combat… it wasn’t very prominent nor forced upon you much (there’s even an achievement for beating the game without shooting a gun).

    The story was a pile of steaming horseshit though. Which is a shame because I really liked the setting.

    • Tomo says:

      Agreed – I found the combat absolutely fine and have always been baffled by people who said it was rubbish. All I remember is sprinting at people and basically kicking them in the face. No problem whatsoever.

      Mirror’s Edge is absolutely, bloody fantastic. The best first-person platformer bar none. It deserved to sell bucket loads and be ripped off by countless other games.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        Yeah, exactly. I don’t think I ever really used a gun in that game. I either punched people or ran past them.

      • DrGonzo says:

        No, it was a bit shit. It had amazing graphics, but it was all style over content, the controls were awkward and the platforming repetitive and unsatisfying all wrapped up in a crap story. I’ve always wondered if anyone would like it at all if it wasn’t very, very pretty.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Disagree :)

          • The First Door says:

            I disagree too! I don’t like it because it’s really rather pretty. I love it because it has some of the best first person movement and controls I’ve ever played in a game. It’s like Prince of Persia: Sands of Time in first person but with some amazingly satisfying nods to speed running which challenged you to explore the environment and work out the best lines as you get faster the more you pull of moves well.

        • TimePointFive says:

          Agreed.

        • RaoulDuke says:

          +2

          The end boss fight was a pile of poo, the whole game is a shiny, beautiful chore and I was glad when it was over. I got bored around the *Spoiler Alert* *Spoiler Alert* server farm bit *Spoiler Alert* *Spoiler Alert* but continued because I thought the boss might be good, I was wrong… *facepalm*

          p.s – Fancy an ether-binge, Oscar?

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Even if Mirror’s Edge’s only strength were being very, very pretty, it’s a far bigger deal than it just having a fancy graphics engine.
          Let’s humour you for a second and pretend that the only thing it has going for it is visuals. Let’s examine those visuals.
          Mirror’s Edge isn’t pretty in a particularly conventional way, first off. It’s very stylised, very minimalistic. It focuses on clean, distinct shapes and careful use of colours. The style is lovely. It already stands out from the crowd just because of HOW it’s pretty.
          But the prettiness really stands out because of how it’s used. The way they use visual cues – constantly – to guide the player.
          Red means runners. You’re basically flat out told this, bluntly and with no subtlety, at the start of the game. And this is true. Red is good. Follow the red. Clever enough in itself.
          But then you’ve been playing for awhile and realise what the other colours mean.
          Blue is the police. Blue is bad. Whenever you see anything blue, a sign, a wall, whatever, you find yourself instantly being on guard. And they never bluntly tell you that.
          And then of course, when you’re hours in and those visual cues are burned into your brain, they start using them to mislead as well as lead. We all remember the room full of red doors, but there’s other examples too if you look hard enough. You’ve spent hours playing, and when you move at such hillarious speeds you don’t have time to look at details so, whether you’ve consciously noticed it or not, all you look at is colours. And every now and then the game throws a total curve ball and you hit a dead stop and go “oh crap, I messed up.”
          And then there’s the rats. I wonder if you even noticed the rats? If you didn’t, go back and play it again.

          I’m not articulating this hugely well but my point is, quite simply, that even if Mirror’s Edge was ONLY good at being pretty, at the visual, it would still be terrific.

          But it’s not. You’re wrong.

          • TimePointFive says:

            You sure wrote a lot of nonsense that I (and I’m sure most) didn’t read to come up with a stupid thing to say. Opinions are, like, subjective.

          • montorsi says:

            Nicely said.

          • AyeBraine says:

            Good job, you wrote an smart and interesting text, I enjoyed reading it. And TimePointFive is starting to look like a fool.

          • Esteis says:

            I really enjoyed reading that analysis. It’s people like you that make me love comment sections like this.

        • Baboonanza says:

          I played through Mirror’s Edge last month and I have to agree. Some of the levels are spectacular but some are dull and repetetive corridors. The combat is both tiresome and pointless. The controls and general fluidity aren’t quite at the level they should be, the player often ends up feeling clumsy due to the timings demanded by the game being too precise.

          However, it is still stunning and worth playing through just for that. I played at 2560 downsampled from 4K and it’s the still stands up as one of the best pieces of visual design in the medium.

    • Aninhumer says:

      One of the loading screen animations in Mirror’s Edge features Faith knocking out a few guards and immediately dropping their guns. So I was quite surprised when I took out the first guard to find I suddenly had a gun in my hand, that I had no interest in. Dropping the gun seemed like a completely pointless extra step, when otherwise the melee combat was just another action which fit quite nicely into the overall flow of the game.
      Later on though, I found the combat timing harder and harder to get right. Maybe I’m just bad at the game, but I felt like it was completely random whether a given attack would land or not, and in a few areas, missing even one attack meant certain death. So eventually I just gave up and used the guns, so I could get back to the fun part of the game.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        You don’t have to use the disarm button when dealing with guys with guns. Aside from being able to run away from all of them (I remember 2 areas of the game where doing this was difficult) it’s much more effective to just use your hand-to-hand moves (say, a good slide kick followed by a lot of punching) or, if you’re lucky, use one of the launching pads to launch yourself on top of them, which is probably the fastest way of dealing with guys you can’t avoid. There are a few great areas where you can quickly dispatch all of the enemies with nothing but those launched jumps if you pay attention to the environment.

      • RARARA says:

        I tried to avoid shooting whenever it was possible to run away… until I met the ninjas with tasers. The moment I got a pistol when two of those bellendes were chasing me, I unloaded a full clip on both with much relish.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        “Dropping the gun felt like a completely pointless extra step.”

        Nope. That ‘extra step’ is really important. Think about this for a second. How many games do you know that have a “shoot” button.
        Now how many do you know that have a “don’t shoot” button?

      • AyeBraine says:

        I really dug exactly that in Mirror’s Edge. She’s a runner, high speed low drag and so on. When she gets in a fight, it’s whatever gets the job done quicker: a stunning blow, quick disarm, knock out, a fast flurry of shots to keep their heads down, throw away the piece (unwieldy, limited, messes with balance, I’m not well-trained with firearms anyway), run away. You’ve denied the weapon to your enemy, disabled the enemy, you don’t need the weapon (especially since using it can land you 10x legal charges than a simple assault). It was so cinematic, and natural.

        Besides, it really makes you feel the weapon as a tool that has ammunition, not a bullet hose. Every other game has adopted the unlimited magically filled magazines that sorta grow on your chest, ready to be inserted into any gun you happen to pick up. In real life, most of the time, you’re stuck with what you’ve loaded into a firearm. Maybe, if you trained for years, and this is YOUR own weapon, you can do a quick reload or two.

        • JimboDeany says:

          Aye, I’ve also always found it odd that not only can you pick up about 10 magazines with no issues carrying them but they are also all magically fully loaded…..

    • oohshiny says:

      The story would have been better if they had 1. brought Rhianna Pratchet in sooner (and not as a “oh, we need a plot, better hire someone” afterthought) and 2. kept Faith’s level dialogue. The whole Runners storyline ended up feeling like just an excuse for “Parkour: The Videogame”; it was a brilliant setting and they let it go to waste.

      • DrGonzo says:

        I think I’d have preferred a silent protagonist, no dialogue from anyone in fact. Very clean, very simple just like the game itself.

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      The problem I have with the combat in the game is that it exists at all. I’d much rather be running, jumping, and parkouring without any enemies. Just me and the environment. I imagine that’s most people’s problem with it – that it even exists – although I could be mistaken just as easily.

      • Llewyn says:

        It’s certainly mine as well. It’s a game which requires – which really is all about – environment learning, and does its best to make that learning as unenjoyable as possible for me.

    • Wulfram says:

      The combat isn’t forced on you, but it’s a lot harder to avoid the first time through when you don’t know where you’re going

      • Laurentius says:

        Exactly, and if you aren’t very skilled with controls and movement, and on your first playthrough it is hard to be, enemies are stoping your momentum and the flow fo the game, forcing errors, making game even more trail and error. Game would be better without combat as Cosmo Cohen said above or at least limited to max two opponents at time. Btw to all who says that combat is aviodable tell me how to avoid combat in Pirandello Kruger factory, on the ground where shutter door open and four SWATS are spraying bullets in your face and you have no idea where to go.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          for me, the enemies were just another part part of the puzzle, finding efficient routes round them or through them without slowing down was a blast.

    • Great Cthulhu says:

      I liked the game well enough, until one level decided that it couldn’t possibly run at more than 1 fps. No idea why. My pc was plenty powerful and the rest of the game ran perfectly well.

      Kinda hard to progress after that, so that’s when I put the game away. :(

      • Lilliput King says:

        I had this too, stopped when I turned off PhysX, might be worth a go.

        • Great Cthulhu says:

          Considering the size of my backlog, I’m unlikely to go back to it. But if I ever do, I’ll remember that tip. Thanks!

          • TheLetterM says:

            I’ll second what Lilliput King said, it’s definitely PhysX. For some reason, the default option is to animate glass shattering with true physics, even when you have no PhysX card, which kills pretty much any computer ever.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I am always surprised to hear people complain so vehemently about the plot to be honest.

      It’s pretty straight forward ’90s action cop movie type fare which is pretty rare in games and a I found it a nice change of pace. As a distinction from most action games also, the plot was paced nicely in conjunction with the game, moving forward all the time as you progressed through the levels.

      It wasn’t Shakespeare but I found it thoroughly enjoyable

  2. The JG Man says:

    The combat commentary I always find amusing. What they tried to do was successful; Faith does not use guns, so she’s bad with them, ergo when you try to use them they’re difficult to use. The problem is, we’re so trained to be proficient with them in video games that when we’re handed guns and they’re not great to use, it’s a problem. Now, thematically, I don’t think this quite worked in ME, as combat overall was both a pace killer and largely unnecessary, but I liked the idea and if the whole thing was more fluid, I think it’d have been fine. As it goes, the best way to play the game remains to be the no guns achievement on the hardest difficulty, as the game’s best sense of movement and athleticism comes from you running around evading bullets, disarming but not firing and knocking down, but not out.

    Having not played any Matrix games, Mirror’s Edge feels to me the closest analogy to a Matrix game I would envision. It’s not about the fighting, it’s about the fleeing. It’s not about simply moving, it’s about moving whilst looking ridiculously cool. By the second half when you’re fleeing from the *spoiler enemies* there’s a frantic pulse which really makes you want to move.

    With the sequelrebootmathingy, I’m not averse to them maintaining combat. Interwoven with fluidity in mind, I think it can be fine (so long as well as there is the option for simply dodging and avoiding action) which they’ve hinted at with the few pieces of footage they’ve put out. I really hope they get what Mirror’s Edge had right working for it and I don’t just mean the movement. The presentation remains one of the most effective I’ve played in any game, with the music being almost as effective as the colours. You know the sounds are there, but they play on the edge in the background just keeping things moving.

    • LaurieCheers says:

      Obligatory soundtrack link. Doesn’t it just feel like the wind in your hair?

    • zarnywoop says:

      Totally agree. I really liked this game. It needed gun combat as much as Donky Kong or Pong.

    • Slow Dog says:

      It wasn’t that the Guns were difficult to use. The problem was that they were:
      Not well implemented, but
      A darn sight easier to use than unarmed combat.

      I wanted to sweep past three armoured guys with assault rifles, I really did. And I tried. But failed. What I could do; what was far easier, was to shoot the first, take his gun; while plodding forward shoot the second; take his gun, plod on and murder the third. And so on.

  3. Sihmm says:

    While the combat wasn’t great, it also wasn’t terrible most of the time and only harmed my enjoyment of the game on the couple of occasions where it didn’t seem ‘reasonably’ possible to proceed without pulling off a series of combat encounters that seemed prohibitively difficult. On reflection, they were probably no harder than some of the hardest platforming sections in 2- or 3-star time trial runs, but the time trials were optional and you had plenty of chance to practice the routes and techniques. It just wasn’t possible to practice and master combat in the same way.

    What did work really well was the sequences where you were able to avoid the bad guys through running. Sprinting along rooftops with bad guys breaking down doors as you pass and gunfire echoing in your wake is great atmosphere and adds some welcome time pressure to the platforming. And all to such brilliant soundtracking too!

    I also don’t think the story was as bad as its reputation implies. It’s certainly no worse than most vidyagame stories, and did actually ‘work’ with the sense of place you were in – the spotless exterior of the city hiding corruption and conspiracies – and the way it was personalised to *your* sister, *your* friends did ‘work’ for me emotionally. The ending, while easy to pick holes in, also succeeded in really resonating with me emotionally.

    I remember thinking when I finished the game that something closer to the original story of couriers carrying secret bags may well have suited the game better, but I really did love that final scene as the credits roll. The story made me care about the city and care about my sister, and that was cool.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      While there maybe could have been a few regular courier jobs in the beginning, I thought the “swept up into a conspiracy targetting your sister” story was great and I’ve never really understood people’s complaints with that aspect.

    • Muzman says:

      Spoilers within

      Who the Runners are and what they do isn’t implied very well. Sure you could read the comic for some help, but that’s not a good way to write. There’s little to go on as to why the cops are shooting at you right from the word go. Trespassing is a capital crime now? There is presumably something else going on, but damned if you can tell what it is from the actual text.
      The beginning of the frame up is ok I guess, but after a certain point it ceases to make any sense why Kate is so important the villains have to keep snatching her away. They presumably have all the evidence they want to use against her. They don’t even need her anymore. Faith has no evidence. Ropeburn’s dead. Assassinating Kate would make more sense, if they are so ruthless. Or just let her go and let the pliant press do the rest. Where’s she gonna go? Instead she becomes this maguffin to chase around and actually rescuing her is heroic but meaningless if you think about it.
      And in a town where everything is authoritarian and corrupt, supposedly, what is the big conspiracy to be uncovered? Pirandello Kruger Security are taking over more and more from the police (ok, contemporary social commentary there. Hardly seems a crime so large that Miller would kill PK officers in cold blood, but y’know, videogames I guess) And the cops/city has a new division who are to hunt Runners by Running.
      …oookay then. Doesn’t really seem all that scandalous to me. Seems more like they’d trumpet a new division from the rooftops if The Runners were such a bunch of reprobates they need to be hunted down. (of course, there one would think police work might do the job before you need to train elite athletes, and they already turned Jacknife and Celeste. But they can have a videogames pass for that one I guess) And hey, if you controlled the media this would be an easy impression to give, one would think.
      Again, why do they hate the Runners? Is it a crime? Is it the scuff marks and ramps they leave everywhere? Nobody knows.

      This is to say nothing of the way its put together which lurches from one red herring to another, characters that are hard to get a bead on etc. You’re right to say that videogames and lot of movies and TV shows employ writing this confused, pulling drama not from logic and emotion but from assembling drama tropes and hoping the audience goes along. Mostly people can ignore it if there’s enough of a thread to hang on to.
      ME, unfortunately manages to be more lumpen even than a lot of games, to the point that people notice. The impression I got was that the writer was given a pile of plot points, set pieces and character notes and asked to construct a narrative for the level order they had (which probably got cut and changed along the way). It really shows, despite a very cool world they managed to create.

      (incidentally I’d love to know why this post tripped the censor. Bad grammar?)

  4. Jason Moyer says:

    9th favorite game of all time. It combines so many of my favorite things: a distopian cyberpunk setting full of conspiratorial intrigue, strong female characters, bright/colorful environments (even the sewers are sexy), full first person immersion, racing, hand-to-hand combat. It also gets extra credit for being a tightly focused experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome. If it had a stealth system or a malleable narrative it would probably be in my top 3.

    • Fenix says:

      9th? That’s pretty high! I really enjoyed Mirror’s Edge but I wouldn’t even put it in my top 50… can I ask you what your top 10 are? (I’m honestly intrigued)

      • Jason Moyer says:

        1. Deus Ex
        2. Thief Gold
        3. No One Lives Forever
        4. Fallout New Vegas
        5. Alpha Protocol
        6. Dishonored
        7. System Shock 2
        8. Mass Effect 2
        9. Mirror’s Edge
        10. Borderlands

        • Fenix says:

          Thanks! I could guess #1, but not much else beyond that heh.

          Curiously I have only played 4 of your top 10, and it’s 1, 8, 9 and 10. Plus about 10 hours of New Vegas, but I only played that to write a review, so I plan to revisit it sometimes.

  5. Tom Walker says:

    Maybe I was just bad at it, but I never found I got the level of fluidity I wanted from the movement in Mirror’s Edge. I always felt like I was having to overcome a slight awkwardness that got between what I was trying to do and what actually happened.

    Obviously in any platform game worth playing you will fall off a ledge and die from time to time, but critically in this it didn’t always feel like it was exactly my fault.

    • TimePointFive says:

      I agree, the free-running felt more like a prompt-less QTE as opposed to an organic mechanic.

      • Thirith says:

        Wow… My own impression couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s also why I liked the DLC levels as much as any of the in-game ones – they showed that this was a game you could master, like a racing game. QTEs are generally binary: you either succeed or you fail. Mirror’s Edge allowed you to learn and become better to pull off that perfect run.

      • Mman says:

        “I agree, the free-running felt more like a prompt-less QTE as opposed to an organic mechanic.”

        This is about as wrong as an opinion can be. Outside a couple of questionable elements (namely pipes) every move is fully in the player’s hands and has several degrees of success depending their intentions. Even simple actions can have multiple ways to do them, and due to the way the momentum works, each one of those splits out in multiple ways that may be better or worse depending on what you want to do.

        • TimePointFive says:

          Not the best analogy, but I sure don’t remember much room for error. So this game was just a trial for me.

          • montorsi says:

            There was a lot of room for error. Odds are very good that you were absolutely awful at the parkour yet still managed to progress, somehow.

      • aoanla says:

        This entirely – I got Mirrors’ Edge in whichever of the Humble Bundles it was that provided it, and was looking forward to playing it, given that it sounded like it would be right up my alley.
        As it was, I found the timing of “actions” to get the parkour to work to be apparently random (or, at least, I couldn’t reliably perform a lot of the techniques on the tutorial course even after repeating the problematic sections individually a couple of dozen times), so after experimentally trying the first proper level and finding I still didn’t get the flow at all, I reluctantly put it down.

        (I am glad that some people (most people?) got more out of the controls, but to me, it did just feel like I was having to perform QTEs in a sequence without prompts at all.)

        • AyeBraine says:

          Just for the sake of people who are on the fence, and not to spite you: it’s not so.

          The proof is the fact that Mirror’s Edge has timed challenges. You can beat any one of those the regular way, but you can master the moves, invent/reveal half a dozen alternative solutions throughout your path, and beat the challenge twice as fast, or even three or four times as fast.

          If the game was an exercise in pushing buttons at the right time to progress, you couldn’t implement those challenges. Mirror’s Edge is, indeed, a sim and a freeform puzzle, with a lot of room for skill and serendipity.

          • aoanla says:

            I note that I, Tom Walker and TimePointFive have all allowed for the possibility that we’re just terrible at the game ;)

            It is certainly the case that after trying the sort-of-bounce-off-a-wall-then-flip-around-to-grab-a-ledge thing from the tutorial, I managed to get it to work the first time after around 8 or 9 failures. So, I decided to practice it a bit after completing (read: kind of managing to get things to work by luck until I got to the end) the tutorial course through. After about half an hour of just trying that manoeuvre, I still had around a one in 8 success rate, and no understanding of what it was that I was doing right the times that it worked.

            The same thing applied to (as I remember it), jumping from the swingy trapeze thing to pipes, getting the timing of rolls when falling to absorb damage, and something else that I really can’t remember because it was a while back (might have been one of the other wall-jumpy-things, or maybe the timing on running-slides, which I think I found a bit tricky).

            It was, shall we say, a very frustrating experience.

            So, for the sake of people who are on the fence (!), if you are the kind of person who feels like this might be the experience you’d have, then Mirror’s Edge might not be the game for you…

            (Edited to add: I very much enjoyed *watching other people* play Mirror’s Edge, btw, so I do appreciate the aesthetic and design elements of the game too. It’s just that I have no idea how you actually learn to play it with any degree of reliability or finesse.)

  6. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    Yes, I played it. No, I did not like it at all. I found it annoying to play, with no rewards, no sense of achieving anything and with a visual style that looks miles more appealing in the screenshots than in the actual game. Thanks for asking.

  7. DrGonzo says:

    I have, and it was a bit shit.

  8. DrScuttles says:

    During my first hour or so of Mirror’s Edge I decide to be a pacifist; we’re Runners, not murderers. Don’t stoop to their level.
    I’m getting to grips with the flow of movement when I find myself in a chase, bullets exploding around me, men hot at my heels. Running at full pelt up some scaffolding, a copper dashes around a corner. My instincts have me jump, plant both feet square on his chest. Disable. Never kill.
    Whump.

    As he went flying off the scaffolding, he looked surprisingly calm. Like he was expecting to hit the cold blue planks, same as me, but either hadn’t or wouldn’t process that he was plunging to his death, 50 floors down.
    I was mortified.

    • cai says:

      Ah, I had just this experience too, almost certainly with the same guy! For the rest of the game I felt like I’d already failed; that cop hadn’t fired first, he was just doing what cops do, and now he was dead through my lack of self-control. Every cop I would encounter thereafter would know I was a cop killer, even though I’d always had peaceful intentions. It totally changed how I interpreted the rest of my play.

      What a brilliantly placed enemy.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Yeah, I know the guy you mean.

      And this is why the people who cry “No guns in Mirror’s Edge!” are wrong. If the ability to kill people weren’t there, you wouldn’t be making the choice to not kill them, would you? And when the ability to kill them IS there, and you DO make the choice not to, it means that you actually have to work – sometimes go out of your way, even – not to.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        One of the wisest things said here for a long time…

      • cai says:

        I absolutely agree with you there. The guns were an invaluable.

        For me, the freedom, and movement and fluidity were irresistible. You always have to keep running; any time you are forced to stand still you feel helpless and vulnerable, yet when you run you can practically fly. But (iirc) you can’t run with a gun. The transition of holding a heavy gun, cowering and firing at a concrete ceiling to draw guards out of hiding, then throwing it down like “no, I don’t NEED this” and bursting out unencumbered into the air and the sunlight felt fucking fabulous and redemptive.

        I hope Mirror’s Edge 2 has guns so that I can not use them.

  9. Pich says:

    every day i pray the EA doesn’t fuck up the sequel/reboot.

  10. baozi says:

    A world with a flawed Mirror’s Edge is better than one without any Mirror’s Edge.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Oh god lord yes, exactly this.

      There are some terrific-but-flawed games out there, the almost-but-not-quite-failed experiments, that are so important to gaming. Your STALKERs and your Vampire:Bloodines and, yes, your MIrror’s Edges. I’ll play a game that shot for the moon and missed over a game that played it safe and boring anyday.

  11. Geebs says:

    Is anybody going to get upset if I bring up NaissanceE again? You should buy it.

  12. lowprices says:

    It’s a game I always drift back to, sooner or later. The music, the feel, the levels; there’s really nothing quite like it. It is pretty flawed though. It feels like Dice couldn’t decide what sort of game it should be, and were worried a pure parkour game wouldn’t sell. They should have taken a hint from Prince of Persia: Two Thrones, and built the game so if you did the platforming right, you could one-shot enemies (preferably without losing much momentum) or avoid them entirely.

    • AyeBraine says:

      I think you can do both in Mirror’s Edge. As I remember, the only way to pass the enemy-heavy spots in the game is 1) run, jump, slide and kung-fu through these guys like you’re the wind of fury, never losing momentum, maybe sometimes unloading a mag to keep them back, then quickly running ahead; and 2) simply evading and outrunning them, maybe knocking a few off-balance, never stopping for takedowns.

      I think I remember one heavily shooty part, in the proccessor core, but it was a welcome distraction and an opportunity to turn the tables, I thought. An elusive guttersnipe finally takes up a SAW and opens up on armor-clad operators. Especially since you could maneuver in those stairs and pillars to flank them.

  13. Eery Petrol says:

    I can’t seem to like the ‘Have You Played’ column. Many of the featured games so far have had extensive coverage on RPS already to which the column does not tend to add new perspective. I’d be interested to hear what people find in these articles, but for me personally it’s mostly become something I don’t leave the homepage for.

    • TimePointFive says:

      The reason is because you’re looking for content in the post, while it’s all down here in the comment section.

    • Oozo says:

      There are often people who have comments in the line of “never heard of this game before, looks interesting”, or “oh, I have bought this in a sale ages ago, thanks for reminding me to play it”, or even “oh, I liked this, I should go back to playing it again”. It’s not so much there for putting a new spin on classic games, I guess. (For that, the brevity of the format would be kind of contraproductive.)

      Plus, there are the comments.

      I don’t read all the articles in the series, either, but I can see the value.

  14. edwardh says:

    People complaining about the combat probably think that run & gun is the only way to play a game. Or that because you have an option, you HAVE to use it.
    Personally, I didn’t fire a single weapon throughout my playthroughs (except for trying it out once). Kicking people in the face was all I needed and that sure felt damn right! Nothing awkward in terms of controls there.

    The only thing that bothers me is indicated by the picture you chose. That the time trials are only available via Origin is a damn disgrace! I loved playing them on my 360 but ever since I archived that and only play on PC any more, I also have to miss out on the time trials just because I bought the game on Steam. I can’t begin to describe how much I despise EA because of that.

    • lowprices says:

      Is there no way to link the game to your Origin account? I bought the Ultimate Edition of Dragon Age: Origins on Steam, and in getting the dlc sorted out the game ended up being registered on Origin, and I can download it from there (I don’t remember how this was accomplished, sorry I can’t be more help).

  15. Crusoe says:

    Sorry to nit-pick, but “colourful interior design”

    What? Please explain that; the interior design was boring, and certainly never ‘colourful’

    Red and white, fine. But by that logic I could argue Quake is like hopping across a muddy rainbow, instead of just brown, which it was.

  16. Darth Gangrel says:

    I haven’t played it, but I intend to do so, even if its premise doesn’t fit into what I usually play, FPS murder fests and RPG’s. As a practioner of parkour for four years this game is special to me and other parkour people. It’s the most focused game when concerning efficient, graceful movement, although I’m grateful that there are other games as well that offer parkour movement. Certainly beats only being able to run, jump and crouch.

  17. CelticPixel says:

    Of course I have, how dare you, Sir!

  18. Urthman says:

    For me, the right way to play this game was to do all the time trials until you can get at least 2 stars in each of them. That’s where you role-play Faith growing up, hanging out on the rooftops, and learning parkour instead of going to school or whatever.

    Then play through the campaign and feel like a total boss.

  19. twaitsfan says:

    There was just way too much trial and error for me. I hated getting to a place, and having no idea what to do. Now, a runner might not know what to do everywhere they get to, so I can see if they were trying to evoke that feeling. But for me it felt like I couldn’t really get creative. Everything I tried was obviously against the game-rules/script. So eventually I felt was just looking for the scripted place to go.

  20. vahnn says:

    I swear I’m the only one who ABSOLUTELY LOVED the combat in this game.

    Sure the combat controls were a little wonky, but the sweet acrobatics and quick counters which left your opponent down and you with a gun in your hand allowed for some incredible melee battle moments that I still remember with a teary to this day. I must have played the section which requires you to go from the top floor to the bottom by descending a large, square spiral stair, with various platforms and crossbars for you to use in between the stairs and a central pillar. Oh yeah, the entire stair was defended by at least a dozen fully armed guards, including two big guys with light machine guns at the bottom.

    Being approached by three guards, I would sprint along the wall and do a turning jump kick to spin the first guard around and disorient him, nail a 3-hit combo on the second guard, then counter the third guard’s melee attack. Then I’d spin around with his shotgun and finish off the first two guards, drop the gun, jump over the railing and grab a bar, swing across to the other side of the spiral stair, land in a roll, sprint towards Guard #4 and stun him with a sliding crotch kick, finish him with a combo, take his pistol and continue running down the stair in a rampage.

    Or the scene in the subway tunnels where you eventually run down a train track and have to get into a side door, narrowly missing a crushing death by a speeding subway train… Before that you have to run through the terminal and waiting area past 6 or 8 armed guards. Lots of great moments for incredible combat moves here, one of my favorites involving launching off a bench, flying through the air and landing on a guard’s chest, taking him out and breaking your fall.

    Stringing series of moves like this together turned stale 1v1 combat into incredible movie-like fight scenes that made it worth it to get the hang of the combat. At least for me.

    • jonahcutter says:

      I thought the combat added to the game as well. It made Faith feel even more athletic and remarkable, but it also added a sense of danger.

      If the police/ninjas were fated to only ever burst into the room just as you run out of it, they might lose any sense of lethality. After a while, you know it’s just scripted events. Basically, in-game cutscenes.

      Having to physically interact with them, or change your preferred path to avoid them if going non-lethal, makes them more “real” within the game. They’re no longer just window dressing, but actual obstacles to navigate. It gives them weight, while adding to the tension and overall atmosphere of the world.

      That there were only a few set-piece battles was good. It didn’t need to take over (and I hope it doesn’t in the sequel), but they added a nice change-up of the pacing and interaction with the environment.

      So yeah, I think the combat elements were important to how much I enjoyed the game.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Is that the orange/white area where you’re trying to get to the doors to exit the building on street level? If it is, there’s actually a fun way to do that without touching a guard, by zig-zagging downwards using the glass in the middle of the staircase. I dunno how optimal it is (don’t think I’ve watched a speedrun of that section) but it’s fun.

  21. Muzman says:

    Testing to see if I get automatically put in the moderation queue.

    ed. Hmm, I don’t. OK then

    • TechnicalBen says:

      No, but we are all tempted to flag you for spam now…. oh wait, now I’ve done it!
      Quick, run!

  22. Eight Rooks says:

    I’ll just add my vote to those people saying they hated it, partly because I’ve spent a sleepless night being ill and need to vent, but partly because I seriously felt it was one of the most over-rated games I’d played in the past decade. Lazy, slapdash worldbuilding and godawful story spouting trite, nonsensical platitudes about sticking it to the Man, yeah, none of which is remotely believable, horrible level design (the colours are absolutely terrible) hellbent on getting you lost, disoriented and disempowered at every turn, glitches and bugs, a terrible attempt at working combat into a game where it flatly did not belong… wanted to love it, absolutely hated it.

    Seeing speedruns of it just cemented my distaste – oh hey guys look I cut thirty seconds off my time by jumping backwards off this potted plant to this wall lamp and glitching over this obstacle here while staring up at the ceiling aren’t I the coolest parkour ninja ever? Nope – no you’re not – you just broke the damn game, is all. It has two – two! – boss fights which you win with a QTE. I cannot stress that enough. I lost count of the number of times I thought “What am I twiddling my thumbs in this elevator/firing this gun/falling off this ledge for the millionth time for? I should be running, very fast, with no restrictions on where I can go.” Crackdown’s foot races were like soaring through the clouds in comparison.

    Still, it did introduce me to Solar Fields, so there’s that.

    EDIT: Oh, and just in case anyone accuses me of not liking it because I wasn’t very good at it/don’t like that sort of game etc., etc., I doubt I’d play Cloudbuilt if you paid me – I think you can argue a game like that is far, far too difficult – but I can still instantly see why some people would love it to pieces. Not so Mirror’s Edge.

  23. spectone says:

    I got to a certain point early in the game and there was a jump I could not make no matter what I tried, the game gave no reason for why I failed so I just quit there.

  24. Tams80 says:

    I love Mirror’s Edge, but the controls felt a bit off to me. Also PhysX is a dog in it. Even with it turned off the particle effects take a huge toll.

  25. Asurmen says:

    Ugh. Mirror’s Edge. I’ve only played it on 360 (although did buy it during Steam Summer Sale). I enjoyed all aspects of the game until one level made me rage quit. No 360 game has made me throw my pad across the room. Tried to go back to it several times and same result.

    *Spoiler*
    It’s the one where the levels starts with you getting out of the back of a van. Just couldn’t go passed that area. Too many guards.
    *Spoiler*

  26. Enkinan says:

    Played it, beat it, loved it.

    It’s one of those games that has a pretty steep learning curve, but is very rewarding once you start getting the hang of it. It takes time coming from so many FPS shooters to get the difference in pace that makes it fun. It definitely becomes a first person racer/platformer.

    The music and sound were great, I can still hear that “whoosh” sound as you get up speed and launch yourself out into what should be sure death but ends up being a adrenaline rush of acrobatics. Also the sound of the cops starting to kick in doors and open fire rarely failed to get me nervous and speeding up my progress. Some of the best moments come in areas you haven’t been in, where you just haul ass with the cops on your tail and pull off a crazy escape your first time through off of sheer instinct.

    The environments just had the right feel to them, even though they were so minimalist. Great game, hope they don’t hose the sequel.

  27. TomxJ says:

    I beat this in one sitting on hard without firing a shot and it was one of my most memorable gaming experiences yet.
    Love the world, the movement, and the soundtrack, but most of all I appreciated just how much design theory had gone into wayfinding. Subconsciously guiding you through the levels at speed mas a master stroke in level design.

    Just re-installed.