Mirrors Edge – XBox 360

I haven’t posted anything game related in a while, mainly as I’ve been playing Pro Evo 2009 (more on that later!) but since I got a couple of games for Christmas I’ve spent a bit more time away from the football!

I saw a couple of reviews and screenshots of Mirrors Edge and added it to my Amazon wish list as a reminder to take a better look at it at a later point

Since it was on my wish list my good wife picked it up for me and i’m glad she did

First up I’d like to congratulate EA and DICE as publishers and developers for trying something a bit different

The main theme of Mirrors Edge is that you are a “runner” whose job it is to deliver information for an underground organisation

The term runner nods to “free runners” (see video below) who jump across buildings and climb over obstacles using various acrobatic means. I’m sure you’ve all seen this sort of thing?

The game is played from a first person perspective (like Halo, Call of Duty, etc) and when I first realised this I was a bit concerned because if you’ve tried to do any sort of jumping and climbing in a first person shooter you’ll probably understand my frustration as it rarely works all that well (mainly because your view means you can’t see the floor and where you going at the same time) so I was pleasantly surprised that the controls are pretty easy to get to grips with and before I knew it I was sliding under barriers and jumping off walls like a good ‘un

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Graphically it’s amazing and any screenshots you see don’t really do it justice. Once you’ve mastered the controls and you’re stringing together jumps and slides, the action moves at quite a pace and the feeling of speed is very realistic

I read in a review (somewhere – can’t remember where it was sorry) that the combat sequences feel “tacked one” like an marketing afterthought and I can see where this view is coming from. Your character doesn’t carry a gun and is generally expected to run from the bad guys using her skill and speed to get away. You can take weapons from the bad guys but this isn’t all that easy and there are actually two achievements (XBox) you can obtain by not using any weapons. However, every so often the game forces you stand up to the enemy and go toe to two with them and the game wont continue till you have knocked them out whereas in other sections the point is to get away. When there is four of them and they all have machine guns it can get a bit frustrating!

My only real gripe with the game is sometimes it isn’t immediately obvious what you have to do next. You’ll be trapped in a room and the only way to advance is to find a way to the air conditioning vent high up in the corner of the room. (I think these are generally called “puzzles”!)

If you don’t have a lot of patience I could see some gamers giving up in frustration.

I finished Chapter six last night and according to the achievements list I’ve got two more to go. Other than the main story mode there are also time trial and speed run modes which will be also be worth a look once I’ve got tired of all the difficultly modes

There also isn’t any online functionality other than the time trial leader boards. It would have been cool to maybe race against friends across a level but maybe there will be scope for this in a sequel?

When I was talking to someone about this I compared to playing a first person version of Jet Set Radio Future (can we have a new version of that please??)

In summary I’ve really enjoyed playing this so far and the small annoyances wouldn’t stop me from recommending it though the lack of online features make me wonder about how often you would revisit this after completing the story mode and getting some decent times on the trial mode

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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