Mirror's Edge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Silver Sorrow   
Sunday, 25 October 2009 21:19
Article Index
Mirror's Edge
Is a story really necessary?
Next movement...
It's raining pigs
Look on the bright side...
Now that I've won
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This Next Movement Will Be Gassy And Semi-Solid

There are many different types of movement keys and combos to remember, far more than any sane person would ever care to commit to memory (but spartan, when compared to wretched "games" such as Crysis). For a totally godawful in-game acrobat such as myself, all of these tricky combos end in the same place: death.

There's also a sort of bullet-time feature ("Reaction Time"), but they didn't elaborate too much on it in the tutorial, and I was always too busy to resort to cheap tricks** to give it much thought.
[** Didnt I, didn't I, didn't I see you cryin'?]

I speculate that this might be a much more manageable game with a simplified controller, but I don't have the means to find out for myself right now. All I know is that I get confused, I hit the wrong key, and I need to try that again. One might wonder why I don't just fling myself off a ledge and be done with it, but I'm getting plenty of that here.




Is It A Fear Of Heights...Or A Fear Of Falling?

Acrophobics need not install this game. There's a lot of running directly at high ledges, jumping off those ledges, and, more often than not, completely failing to live through the irritating agony of having your shins rammed through your collarbones, because you didn't grab the thingy you were supposed to grab in mid-air. A giant eagle is not your deus ex machina, you don't have a parachute, grabbing all the birds you can on the way down isn't useful, and madly flapping your arms will not help you one bit. Well...it'll probably amuse onlookers.




Why Don't You Reload Me, Reload Me, Why Don't You Reload Me, Reload Me, Reload Me NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!

You will repeat the same sequence over and over and over again until you get it right.

Does that bother you? Because it bothers me. This is alleviated somewhat due to the autosaves -- there are no manual saves in this game, of course -- being placed well (mostly), not forcing you to start all over from the beginning of a mission. The monotony is kept to a minimum, sort of. But the process can become tiresome after a while, so I recommend taking a break between missions if such things get you down or frustrate you. And you'll be taking quite a few breaks between sessions, as the developers are a bunch of...of...never mind! Ha-ha! Almost got me to call the devs a bunch of jerks, didn't you? But I'm smarter than THAT, y...

...wha...aw, crap.

I am hesitant to mention this, but initially, I found the lack of manual saves somewhat liberating, actually. How could this be?? I, the Compulsive Quicksaver, finding an autosave-centric game worthy of my attention? Yes, I admit it: I didn't find the lack of manual saves all that bad. Until the later stages of the game, that is, when difficult jumps were attempted and failed repeatedly; and, when finally accomplished, were needed to be attempted again, as the subsequent chunks of acrobatics were failed too. After one particularly frustrating session wherein I attempted to transcend my lack of manual dexterity...and did so! HA!...I stopped for a moment and remarked to no one in particular that THIS would be the perfect spot for the game to autosave my progress. Or, failing that, LETTING ME SAVE THE [censored] GAME MYSELF. But none of these things happened, I failed to reach the next platform, and Faith died messily. As she died messily many times thereafter.



"Deja Vu" Doesn't Even BEGIN To Cover It

See, the innovation in this game is, of course, the running and jumping and general monkey-bar antics, but in first person. Interesting enough in itself; the transition to first person is useful for immersing the player in the game more fully, as you really do feel like it's you jumping off the ledge. But this attempt is kneecapped horribly by the constant retries you'll go through.

This whole thing brings up a particular peeve of mine: the multiple death scenario. Theoretically, I theorize, I should be able to get through a specific sequence the first time (if a little ragged, worn, and torn by the experience); it ruins the immersion somewhat (understatement) if you have to try again and again to get through something. At that point, I'm not Faith anymore...I'm someone with a sour gut being irritated by a game.

While I think there's a special place in Hell reserved for all of the antagonists involved in this repetitious torment, I can't quite escape the feeling that this is just another sign that I'm already *in* Hell.




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