Home > Demo Impressions, Gaming, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 > “Mirror’s Edge” Demo Impressions

“Mirror’s Edge” Demo Impressions

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New IP are often the toughest games to sell, but at the same time, they can be the most successful. Take last year for instance. Never before had the world seen anything related to Assassin’s Creed or Bioshock, but by the end of the year, almost everyone knew of their prestige. EA hopes to create a similar situation this holiday season with Mirror’s Edge, a highly original title that will probably either sell like crazy or fade quickly into obscurity.

The first-person genre has never been known for its good platforming mechanics. Anyone who has tried the “Miles” map variant on Halo 3 can instantly recall the kind of frustration I’m talking about. Mirror’s Edge, on the other hand, focuses not on gunning down your opponents, but racing past them through the rooftops of skyscrapers. As a result, the controls and gameplay mechanics have been designed to make running, jumping, and sliding your way through the city as easy as possible.

The game follows a simple “get from point A to point B” structure, and in the demo level there only seemed to be one way to get to the end. If the game is to really offer good replay value, it’s going to have to give the player more than one way to reach the end of the level. Yes, I know the game is already out, so it’s possible that the real game actually is less linear. I just can’t really tell you about that, though.

The story is only briefly touched on during the demo, saying in the animated intro that Faith, the main character of the game, delivers secret messages along with other members of the underground “Runners” between rebels refusing to accept the drastic changes made to the city by the oppressive government.

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The graphics are very stylish. The character models are surprisingly good, and there is a fine amount of detail on all the surfaces. The screen blurs when you’re moving fast or turning suddenly, and it shakes around when you land heavily or get knocked down. One of my favorite parts of Mirror’s Edge is that sense of speed and panic that could only be done in a first-person perspective. The city is a glimmering white, but certain objects and surfaces on the rooftops of the skyscrapers are highlighted in a different color, helping you to see where you should be headed in your run. “Runner Vision” is what they call it, and I’m thankful that it’s in there, or else this game would be a lot harder.

The game was still a little difficult when I played through the demo, but that was mostly because I was still getting a feel for the controls. The opening tutorial (which is longer than the actual level) has you being taught the basics by another Runner. The Runner will go perform some specific trick, and then you have to mimic it. The turorial teaches you well, but my only gripe is that everytime you mess up on something you have to watch the other Runner go through the motions again. I wish it was skippable, because there were a few tricky jumps that I knew exactly how to complete, but just messed up on. Even so, I had to watch the Runner go through it again and again.

Occasionally you’ll encounter some cops, and they’ll begin to chase you down. As I found out quickly, fighting them is not necessarily the best thing to do. If one cop stands in your path as you’re running from building to building, a slide tackle or jump kick can take them down quickly. However, in a group cops become much more formidable opponents and can easily overpower you. You’re left to defend yourself with your fists because Faith doesn’t carry a gun. You can get one if you steal one from a cop, but carrying a gun with you as you run slows you down, so don’t expect to be spending much time shooting.

The demo level was ultimately too short for my tastes, but one side effect of that is how now I’m eager to try out more of Mirror’s Edge. This probably won’t make my Christmas list with Gears of War 2, Call of Duty: World at War, and Fallout 3 looking so amazing, but I don’t think Mirror’s Edge is a bad game after my time with the demo.

By Josh60502

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  1. November 15, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I loved the demo and I can’t wait to try out the full game. I played the demo over and over.

  2. Sweety
    November 16, 2008 at 2:07 am

    oh, left 4 dead demo impressions next? the demo goes offline soon though, so I’d make it a priority

  3. November 16, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I was planning on doing a Left 4 Dead demo impressions actually. That demo was pretty fun. I was going to play it again today, but Xbox Live had some major crash and a lot of people, such as myself, can’t sign on to the service. Still, I might get to that soon, Sweety.

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