Sometimes a game comes out that changes the field just enough so that it becomes a reference point for other games. When I saw James, a good friend of mine who used to write reviews for a now missing website, started playing it I couldn't help but look on and wish I had time to play myself. I like what I had seen of it, and wanted to know more so he took the time to write a review that was good enough and fair enough to post here.
Without further adeu, let's see what he thought of the PC version of this game that's not about guns, but running and jumping at such a height and speed I was white knuckled just looking over his shoulder.
Mirrors Edge (PC)
Well its been some time now since EA put out Mirrors edge on the consoles and we all know that the reviews have been by and large, mixed. Why is this? Many reviews cite control issues, and of course the tendency of Faith to watch idly as you deftly jump her within arms reach of an object, only to ignore the instinct to live, and plummet to her oh so wonderfully squishy end.
Kudos to Dice for coming up with so many varieties of squishy death sound effects.
So has any of this changed on the PC version? Well, by and large Faith still acts very much like we were always told lemmings did. Then we found out it was just horrible horrible acts of animal cruelty. Much like this game.
Don't get me wrong. I find it amazing fun and innovative. It's not quite perfect, though it is going in the right direction, but it still doesn't excuse the fact that there are many game breaking issues that occur in mirrors edge.
Faith frequently will stop dead in her parkour practitioning tracks for what seems like no reason at all, then you look down and notice, quite possibly way too late, that your stuck on the miniscule edge of some other object that Faith for some reason, despite her obviously extensive training, does not seem to want to step over. Or the occasional leap that lands you in a spot which causes faith to float in mid air until you either reload the game, or a passing police chopper peppers you to death.
For a game that is supposed to emphasize speed and flow, it breaks it far too often.
Controls are not bad however, this might be an improvment over the consoles, but, being that it is a First person game, it is almost made for PC controls to begin with. If you have ever played a round of any fps of the past decade you'll find the controls fairly farmiliar, WSAD is your running, left shift your duck, space your...well you get it. The only control that has me annoyed is the magical "which way do I go" button. For some reason the default for this was chosen as left alt. Now, left alt is heinously close to the ever present ever annoying windows key, and I can't count how many times I've ended up pressing that instead, which usually ends up with my corpse on display on the games oh so pearlescent streets.
Which brings me to another point, the visuals. This is a very simple, yet visually appealing game. The dystopian future is very well presented, even if it does seem a bit odd that there is piping, cranes, ropes, chain fences, unused bricks, mortar, and arbitrary though conveniently setup plywood boards for jumping off of, onto, or otherwise.
All in all mirrors edge is not a bad game it just seems to be riding the "innovative game" coat tails a bit too much as an excuse for lacking polish. I would recommend waiting till it comes down in price, especially for PC users since EA seems intent on loading all of their games with Securom and other DRM up to wazoo despite the fact that it is 100% ineffective at doing anything other than annoying the crap out of its legitimate users.
[The news about Spinward Fringe Frontline is coming soon, don't worry.]