Mirror's Edge Print
Written by Silver Sorrow   
Sunday, 25 October 2009 21:19
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Title: Mirror's Edge
Alternate Title: Ker-Splat!: The Game
Developer: DICE
Evil Overlords: Electronic Arts
Official Site: EA: Mirror's Edge
ESRB Rating: T for Teen [Blood, Language, Violence, Furries On Trampolines (or not)]
Reviewed By: Silver "Telescoping Spine" Sorrow
Catering By: The Lard Shack (right next door to the Bean Bag Emporium)
Score: 7 out of 10

Note: On the official website, you're supposed to "Select Your Country." I'm no geographer, but I believe North America isn't a "country" so much as it is a continent.

Legal Note: Despite the advice of my lawyers, I have eschewed the usage of the confoundingly-ubiquitous trademark symbol (TM) that is apparently required by the thralls of Satan EA to follow all instances of the registered name "Mirror's Edge." No longer is it enough to simply place the title in quotes in these days of sports arenas named after cutesy office supply stores. However, I will not be cowed -- or even bulled -- by the megalomaniacal whims of a filthy corporation. Further inquiries will be handled by  Mr. Snurgle, of the law offices of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Drow.

Grammatical Note: Yes, sometimes I switch between *me* doing something and *Faith* doing something. Deal with it.

Screenshot Note: Since I'm running on an LCD at 1280x1024 (so far behind the widescreen curve am I...), the entire game was letterboxed for me. That is, black bars at the top and bottom. I removed these in the screenshots. You're welcome.


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Abstract
I'm sitting there at the Metallica concert...with my parents...in a high school auditorium. It's early; no one's taken the stage yet. The guys lounging in the row in front of me are obviously Hetfield's speech writers; they're counting the number of f-bombs he's supposed to drop into his between-song patter, just to keep him "edgy." There's a very thin, very nervous black man who is supposed to be the emcee, but he's almost catatonic from stage fright. I drag him to the stage, and I notice that a ladies' church group is backstage offering free skin care makeovers. Maybe a chemical peel will do me good, I think. So the lights go down and there I am, one of several shining green faces in the crowd. It doesn't last too long, and soon it's time to grab our things and go home. My dad has a ton of stuff and it takes him forever to gather everything up. "Did you ever notice that dad's a nester?" I ask my mother. It only got worse and worse until I woke up. And since my next dream featured me...uh...getting to third base...with a pretty brunette woman in a church, I concluded that I really don't need a drug problem with my own personal chemicals hard at work. Really, I don't think I need sleep so much anymore as I need total, undreaming unconsciousness. To this end, I have bought a heavy mallet...

Onward!

This game is a capitalization on the bizarre "sport" of Parkour, which is a French word meaning "dumbass." Apparently, and I'm only going by remote-hand information here, the idea is to run everywhere all willy-nilly and leap across rooftops and obstacles and eventually end up in traction. I wonder: whatever happened to just sliding down a metal railing and mangling one's balls beyond all recognition? If it was good enough for the morons of my teen years, it's good enough for today's morons. But no, when one's addicted to their own adrenaline, none of the past's extreme sports will ever satisfy. Flagpole sitting, base-jumping, and mass genocide have been left to antiquity, replaced by receiving tramp stamps in suburban tattooeries, stalking Miley Cyrus,** and Tweeting how much they "heart" something while stumbling off particularly high curbs and falling down open manholes without even a tried-and-true Acme umbrella.
[** Personally, I'd rather stalk a fat hairy biker with hemmorhoids and a withered hand than look at Miley Cyrus.]


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Recycling: Not Only Good For The Planet, But Required For The Likes Of You, Carbon Suck-Point
Although Mirror's Edge has nothing to do with Assassin's Creed (another EA game), the game's menu seems somewhat similar. But understand that my brain is mulch (see the Abstract for irrefutable evidence), and therefore I am unreliable.



Is A Story Really Necessary?
Your name is Faith, and you're a young Eurasian-ish woman in an unspecified city. You're sort of a messenger. You run from building to building, flitting from rooftop to rooftop...because you can, I suppose. You're a Runner, and I'm guessing took six weeks of bitter, internecine fighting amongst the devs to coin *that* phrase. Instead of wasting my valuable meth-cookin' time (it's the official state hobby of Oklahoma!) to come up with my own way of describing the story, I'll just quote the DVD case. You're welcome.

And I quote:

"In a city where information is monitored, messengers called Runners are the only way to communicate freely. You are Faith, a skilled Runner who's uncovered corruption at the city's core, and now you are being hunted."

*hic* ssank yoo berry muchh 'lectronical artsh...! lov youus mannn.,,,,,,ad......d2


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But Wait! There's More!

Faith has a sister. Her name is Kate. She's a cop. She's Eurasian-ish, too. She's featured early on in a scene where Faith hugs her. I think I held the hug just a little too long.

 

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...Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister...

There's no real point to this section; I just thought I'd mention that. Most people would be ga-ga over Faith. As for me? Kate could beat the hell out of me any ol' time she pleases.

Yes, I've been seeking help. But not the good kind.

The Cast, As If It Mattered

Faith: your character.
Kate: Faith's sister.
Merc: Faith's boss.
Celeste: Faith's co-worker.
Jacknife: Who the hell knows.
Ropeburn: Who the hell cares.
Burnside: inventor of sideburns.
Weenieburn: too much self-abuse.
Supposedly Important Named Characters: I don't care enough to make the effort.
Random Cops: whatever.
Evil Runners: Reborn Jedi.

 

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Expanded: Merc (a truncation of "Mercenary," I guess) is the guy who's always giving you helpful and not-so-helpful advice (thus earning my nickname for him, "Captain Obvious") through this Uhura-like thing jammed in your ear canal. Celeste (heir to the Celestial Seasonings herbal tea empire) is a marginally-presentable blonde woman who's also a Runner. Kate (a nickname for "Katarina," I assume) is Faith's cop sister (oh sweet heavens pull out those kinky little cuffs and ARREST ME) who is framed for the murder of politician, and Faith (short for "Faitholomew") has to run and jump and fall to her death repeatedly until YOU get it right, to get her out of this mess. No one else made the least impression upon me, so to blazes with them all.

Revelation: The story is played out in cutscenes. The game itself is Faith trying to get from Point A to Point B, usually while being chased or harassed in some way by the minions of GenericEvilCo. I eventually got the feeling that the story was some sort of reward for suffering through the agony. "Praise Cthulhu, a cutscene!" I'd growl after surviving yet another gauntlet.

Normal Recipe: Chapter's beginning, cartoon-y cutscene. Running. In-game Cutscene. More running. Chapter's ending, cartoon-y cutscene. Some mixing up is to be expected. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serves one.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.
 

 

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"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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It's Rainin' Pigs...Hallelujah

It stands to reason that suffering is not complete without some form of motivation to get you to panic and make rash decisions. In this case, while running you're often accompanied by incredibly unfriendly fire, courtesy of the CPF (which stands for...um...Civil Protection Fornication?) and other bad guys and such. Although Faith can take a few high-caliber rounds, with no HUD to speak of, don't count on lasting too long against the bacon boys. Sometimes there are snipers, sometimes there are guys with riot guns, and sometimes...sometimes you have to deal with them. You can disarm them (I, with my tangly numb fingers, have a hard enough time getting the movement combos right, let alone remembering how to disarm someone) and use their weapon or toss it away or whatever. I found it easier to just run around them, most of the time. Sometimes you're required to fight -- ha ha ha...JOY. -- which is always fun, if you're a raving lunatic.

Sometimes the pace was a little too frenzied for me, someone who is on way too many antihistamines to be able to puzzle out complex escape plans. "What now??" I'd ask no one in particular, after having (seemingly) exhausted all of my options. Then, after the third or sixteenth reload (either due to missing a critical jump or being surrounded by the oh-so-brave boys in blue and having Faith murdered most horribly), I would see my exit route and get out of the area.

This game has pretty much depleted my self confidence. Have I mentioned that? It has. I am a shell of a jester because of this game. "Why do I even bother to play games?" I wonder. "I suck at everything!"

One of the most delightful (read: eye-gougingly frustrating) aspects of the running game is the timed door conundrum. You perform a series of acrobatics to get to a switch, punch the switch (because Faith seems intent on hitting everything with her fist or her foot...such a hostile young woman!), and then perform a series of acrobatics to the door/giant whirling fanblade/etc. before it can close/start whirling/whatever again. As if the utilize-your-surroundings-while-under-intense-gunfire problem weren't enough...

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So: this is not a game to be played when you're tired or distracted. For example, it took me perhaps ten tries to get through one section in particular, and I only got through the frustration bottleneck (so to speak) by referring to a guide. I try not to spoil anything for myself, but this was driving me beyond bananas into the land of hostile plantains. (See? I'm tired *now*.) The guide said something about breaking through a window...and I asked (plaintively), "Can I do that??" Turns out, I could! And I did...and then Faith met her fate...once again...by failing to wall-run to a far platform, plunging to the floor painfully (hey, it's only, what, three stories; I'll just shrug off the agony of my ankles disintegrating and try that again!), and then was shot to death by cops.

Furthermore, this is a game also not to be played when your stomach feels like something -- such as a rabid wolverine -- is trying to claw its way out. (I have no explanation as to how I came to have a rabid wolverine -- metaphorical or not -- in my stomach; that's not the point of the illustration.) I attempted to get through the subway system while trying to keep the ravening beast inside, and let's just say that it wasn't a pleasant experience. For one thing...okay, let's take a look at the scenario:

Cops chased me into the subway tunnels. I'm playing chicken with trains -- and the trains always win, señor -- just trying to get to a...well, a certain spot, I guess. I don't know where I'm going, I just follow the linear path to get to the next chapter. So I get into the maintenance tunnels and I'm told that there are further tunnels accessible beyond some vertically-spinning Giant Whirling Fan Blades Of Death. "Great," I think, "I've always wanted to change my name to Julienne." The way to do this is YET ANOTHER TIMED PUZZLE, wherein you have to climb a ladder up to a catwalk, jump to a crossbeam above some horizontally-spinning Giant Whirling Fan Blades Of Death. swing over to another catwalk, wall-run to a third catwalk, punch a button (again, Faith is incapable of subtle manual manipulation and must punch the crap out of everything; it makes me nostalgic for Quake, for some reason), then wall-run back to the second catwalk, slide underneath the temporarily-stopped Giant Whirling Fan Blade Of Death, and eventually into a small area. This area is a catwalk above the subway tracks. I notice a door that has curiously-sparking edges--

--back up a moment. It took me quite a few tries even to get to the button, let alone into the fan blade shaft. And I wondered, as I tried the sequence again and again and again, if there was some reason why the shut-off button only stopped the fans for a few seconds. Wouldn't it make more sense, I asked reasonably as I missed my jump again, if the fans shut off completely until the button was pushed again? Certainly,** I reasoned further, such a setup is the mark of purest evil? If the rat-bastard devs wanted to torture me, couldn't they have simply Fed-Exed me a Ziploc baggie full of festering diseased organs with a note falsely claiming that there's a gold nugget hidden inside?
[** While I applaud the brilliance of Airplane!, I curse the writers for making it so that no one could ever use the word "surely" again without some ass-hat saying "Don't call me Surely, dude!" And people wonder why there's so much violence in the world.]

Back to the sparking door. I noted, with some surety, that doors usually don't spark around the edges. "Aha!" I aha'ed, as the rabid wolverine took a short break from shredding my stomach lining, allowing me to formulate a coherent thought, "this means that the cops have almost caught up to me -- ESP being a common thing in law-enforcement, after all! -- and are cutting their way through the door." This also meant that I'd have to find a way...oh, no.

The sadist in my ear told me to jump onto a speeding train below.

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So I suffered through the train sequence that followed a few times. I think it's amazing how Faith can take a chunk of machinery to the face at high speed without being dismembered. It was inevitable that, while dodging obstacles while on top of the train, I'd have to jump to another train -- Faith's frequent (and potentially very messy) deaths not pleasing to the rabid wolverine, who had finished his break -- and dodge random pieces of jutting junk there, too. After six hundred thousand attempts (slight exaggeration), Faith was rewarded with a concrete wall to the face as the train entered a low tunnel, only to be halted halfway through. This didn't bother her so much...I guess the idea was to see the tunnel ahead and run backwards, or something, until the whole clanking dirty mess screeched to a halt. But I didn't see the tunnel, so distracted was I by the wolverine who had broken through my peritoneum and was gnawing its way to my pericardium, that Faith more or less face-planted into the wall and sorta ground it in until the train stopped. She grunted painfully. I snarled, scaring the wolverine, who gnawed faster out of reflex.

And then -- oh, and then!! -- I had to leap from the back of the train and bust my way through one of those oh-so-convenient red doors. Because, I was informed, that there was another train a-comin'! Typical. Of course, the stupid door wouldn't open at first. It finally relented to Faith's brutal caress, but it was all for naught: the train left nothing more of Faith than a bloody smear on the wall and chunks of steaming guts all over the tracks.

It didn't *show* such a thing happening, but such is the curse of an overactive imagination. Even the wolverine threw up. The second attempt, thankfully, worked. I stumbled through the level exit, and was congratulated by Merc in my ear, who told me I did a good job. My real-world reply was and will forever remain unprintable.

 

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As bad as this was, I had no idea of the colossal crapfest this game would have in store for me later on. In particular, the very last chapter, featuring a delightful dance across the rooftops where several snipers wait to turn Faith into swiss cheese should she make one misstep. Yay! Are we having fun? Because I thought we'd be having fun by now...

Anyway, the final sequence of events following this lighthearted traipse across the rooftops was actually eminently playable. I was pleasantly surprised, as I expected some satanically-difficult ordeal that I would have to attempt a kazillion times. I guess others less-FPS-oriented in their gaming makeup would find the penultimate fight difficult, but I'm far more comfortable with firepower at my disposal. Slowly squeeze the trigger. Feel the power.

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Look On the Bright Side Of Your Contents Splattered All Over The Pavement Far, Far Below

The only true happiness I discovered in this game was when I -- miraculously -- would disarm a machine gun-toting cop and then use my not-too-bad aiming skillz to mow down the bad guys. Killing the Reborn Jedi Runner cops (or whatever) with a burst of machine gun fire was a healing moment for me. I think this game could have been much better for someone of my base preferences by adding in a really good arsenal to Faith's bag of tricks. Of course, someone would pop this happy little bubble with the inevitable stupid question: where would Faith keep her guns while she's performing acrobatics?

Skul-gun, dammit. Gunther had the right idea.

Style! Flair! Anime Hair!

Mirror's Edge vacillates between cel-shaded and engine-rendered cutscenes (or "cinematics," if you like); in-game movies that interrupt the action are in the style of the game itself, while movies between chapters are cel-shaded. For the graphics alone I applaud the devs, as they are really very good...

...if a little bright.

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I See A White Light And My Dead Relatives Frantically Boarding Up A Pair Of Large Pearly Gates

Why is it so bright? I suspect that it may be a metaphor for how "clean" the city is, but I also suspect that no one at DICE has any sense of proportion when it comes to gamma settings. (I had the same problem with Assassin's Creed, another EA game that had an unnatural fetish for overcontrasted environments.) I kept fiddling with the gamma between indoors and outdoors, and I never found a happy medium: glaringly bright outside, damnably dark inside.

To the devs: for future consideration, try two sliders: one for brightness, the other for contrast. This makes it easier on those of us who have a little trouble with bright lights. Better yet, why don't all of you just bite...again, never mind. Staying PG...staying PG...mustn't hate...musn't hate...calm...calm...

There's an .ini fix for the brightness, fortunately:

Find the TdEngine.ini in C:\My Documents\EA Games\Mirror's Edge\TdGame\Config\ (or the equivalent under Vista, etc.); find the line "TdTonemapping=True" and change it to "TdTonemapping=False" (no quotes). There you go. And who said that you couldn't learn anything useful from my reviews?

...oh, right. That was me.

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Nvidia Can Suck It

Besides the growing monotony of repeating an action over and over until I get it right (or quit in disgust), the worst thing I faced in this game was: PhysX. That's right, Nvidia's little program that...does...something. Hell if I know what it's supposed to do, but I know what it *actually* does: it screws up the game. Early on there's a point where I had to escape an office building (yes, that happens a LOT in this game: gunfire, running, screaming, falling, reloading...I just can't stress that enough, can I?) and my framerates hit the floor.

I'm talking about single-digit fps here, people; and it didn't get any better, just worse. So after three tries to get through that section (lots of stuttering, frame jumps, and bullets perforating Faith), I killed the game and did a little research. Medium story short, it was the fault of PhysX, which could very well be used as evidence against Nvidia when the video card war crimes tribunal is convened. Disabling it caused the game to work beautifully, which was kind of the point of my buying a higher-end video card in the first place. Too bad the very same company is working against me in my quest for excellent graphics and excellent performance.

Still, the game ran smoothly enough after killing PhysX. And then...nearly at the end of the game, after a lengthy sequence in which I was required to climb to the top of a very, very tall atrium via scaffolds -- if I wasn't keen to rip out the throats of the devs with my bare teeth before, I certainly was after that particular little jaunt -- I was told to pick up a sniper's rifle and somehow deal with a certain convoy, which was convoying...conveying, I mean...a certain character's sister...oh, blast it all. I was tasked with shooting out the engines of the convoy that held Faith's sister. Fun enough ("That one looks like one of the devs!" >POW!POW!<), but it was at that point the entire game turned into a slideshow. Despite this, I somehow managed to stop the convoy, sorta, but then I was told that the cops knew where I was and I had to...hooray!...run away through yet another frantic sequence of gunfire and missed falls and autoloaded retries. It's not like this was new, or anything. But this time...ah! This time, the entire game slowed to a crawl! YAY!

And *why* did this happen? Simple, really: my computer BSOD'd earlier in the day (it was my video card's fault), and for some reason the PhysX option was reenabled. Turning it off again resulted in a return to smooth gameplay.

Note to Nvidia: I hate you and all your kind.

alt <---- Crushing Nvidia. Die! Die! Die!

The [Nine] Hells Are Alive With The Sound Of Torment

The music was fine, really. The ambient and background music wasn't irritating, the action music didn't make me reach for the Options menu, and the so-called "theme" song did not make me want to jab an icepick into my eardrums. In short, the music did not inspire in me the irresistable urge to mutilate my sense of hearing and/or the corporeal forms of others, which is all you can ask for in a game these days, I'm afraid.

In detail:

The menu music was pleasant, with blips and boops over a tranquil...whatever. I'm not a music critic, I'm a music *enthusiast.* But I liked it anyway. It went quite well with the clean white of the menu itself.

The action music provided a sense of urgency without being an ordeal of nerve-jangling torment.

The "theme" song, "Still Alive"...well, it was adequate. It's puzzling to me why they named it that; as a developer/publisher/evil corporate wretch, would you *really* want your product's theme song to be confused with Portal's funny little tune of the same name? I don't know who Lisa Miskovsky is and I really don't care (I would urge her to change her name to something snappier and easier to spell, such as "Cher" or "Lipps, Inc."), but she's competent, I guess...although not as good as GLaDOS. However, considering the overbright/washed-out nature of the colors, I think Vienna Teng's "White Light" would have been far more appropriate for the soundtrack. But that song is way too good for the likes of this game, and I apologize to Ms. Teng for the unfortunate association.

Speaking of the soundtrack (or whatever they might call it), there was a bonus CD titled [b]Lisa Miskovsky** Still Alive [The Theme From Mirror's Edge] The Remixes[/b], which is a workmanlike and informative title, unlike -- for example -- the J. Geils Band's "Piss On The Wall," which left so many questions unanswered. For example: which wall? Whose wall? Is it a command or merely an observation? Sadly, I have no curiosity left in my soul to warrant any further investigation into the matter.
[** aka, Chaka Khan.]

However, if you sorta liked the "theme" song (really, it's just the contemporary pop/rock/pseudo-indie noise that blares over the beginning of the credits, present in most forms of media released since Al Jolson's theme song to the Jazz Singer, "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta") and want to stuff your ear canals with variations, then you're in luck. "The Remixes" is not just a clever ploy to sell off disguised copies of Mariah Carey's latest crime against humanity, "My Face Is So Goddamn Weird," no...it is, in fact, chock-full of remixes of the theme song. And that is a lot more impressive, considering that chock-full is a deformalized mutation of the original phrase "choke-full," which means that you'll have had it up to here -- pointing at neck -- with the Remixes before long if you have any musical taste to speak of.

alt <--- Shoe-gazing. Get it? Never mind.


Now That I've Won, I Would Say "I'm Goin' To Disneyland!" But They Banned Me Last Time After I Hijacked Dumbo And Tried To Ram Him Into Sleeping Beauty's Castle

I suppose, even after this virtual representation of having each one of your fingernails slowly ripped out, you might want to peruse the Extras on offer. And it has those: a batch of concept art, all the cutscenes in the game including a couple of promo vids, some music, and the ability to play each chapter's run either solo or online. There's plenty of urging on the part of the game for you to compete online, etc., but that's only if you don't have a pathological intolerance for all things multiplayer, like I do.

You can also buy the Time Trial Map Pack DLC, if you're into that sort of thing. Me, I think EA has far too much of my money as it is, and I'd rather not waste any more of it on DLC for a game that I suffered through just because I was bored out of my mind.

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All Right, All Right...Just Tell Us What You Thought Of The Game, Pinhead

I liked it. Sort of. Maybe. Okay, I sort of hated it. Actually, I hated it so hard. It's not in my top 10 and it's definitely not in my top 50, but I could safely say that it's in my top 10,000. I was initially put off by some reviews citing frustration with the game, but I reiterate: I was so bored that I gave this one a try. And I'm glad I did...because I feel that up until I played this game, I hadn't truly suffered as a human being should. I thank DICE and EA for giving me a catalyst for the personal affliction I so desperately need in order to grow. Sure beats the hassle of carving out my own liver with a shard of broken glass like I had planned. And much more painful, too!

That the game didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped is a bitter thing, as the presentation and the overall stylish hipness of the game begs you to love it, to place it a special coolor-than-thou cubby hole in your heart. Sadly, I could not do this. I admit that perhaps I've judged the game too harshly here due to my own failings, but I do think that the level design and general flow could have been a little more forgiving. Still, I place this game squarely above a few of the older games I've played recently, such as Neverwinter Nights 2 (*blech*). Hey, at least I finished this game, which is more than I can say about NWN2. However, keep in mind that I finished Mirror's Edge purely out of sheer bloody-mindedness.

Would I play it again? Hell, no.
 

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However, I'm not going to give this game a really low rating. Most of the problems I had with this game were connected directly to my own shortcomings: constant-effect drowsiness, trouble remembering movement keys and combos, slow reaction time, an almost visible aura of irritation surrounding my being, the stomach wolverine, an intolerance for new things, an indifference to change, and one of those fun little 2AM acid bubbles that go right up your throat and lodge in the back, causing you to bolt out of the covers (interrupting that always pleasant recurring dream wherein you're losing your teeth one by one) while gasping/gagging mightily, to spend the next hour coughing so hard that you think you're going to throw up if you don't cough up a lung or two first.

So the game wasn't at fault most of the time.

What I do blame on this title: the generic background story and setting, the complete lack of manual saves, the tiresome running through a hail of bullets most of the time, the tedium of endless repetition for a job well-botched, the inconclusive resolution (a set up for a sequel if ever there was one), and the fact that there is Mirror's Edge fanfiction freely available on the 'net. Normally I wouldn't say a game itself is responsible for the social cancer that is fanfiction, but I'm hurt and angry, and I'm lashing out.

I will say that the game is stylish and attractive to the eye, and I'm sure it has a substantial fanbase. Then again, so does American Idol.


Score
7 out of 10.


Annoyance Rating
Medium. High. Well...very high. Incredibly high. Astronomically so.


Special Thanks To...
Vienna Teng, Steve Hackett, Bolt-Thrower, and Bat For Lashes for keeping me sane throughout this ordeal.

And Kate.

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Oh me, oh my.


Game Rated 7.0/10


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Good night, Grace Nakimura...wherever you are!