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Kara the Hedgehog here with a review on a game I've rented recently:
It's been a while since I last recall satisfaction in a video game - besides Rock Band and Halo, of course. Mirror's Edge is simply a running and jumping game. And especially since we Sonic the Hedgehog fans have been wanting to stab Sega and Sonic Team in the face for their decade of (for the most part) awful games, this game is a wondrous and much needed breath of fresh air. No extra, dull-natured characters that fade after the end of the game. No alternate, snail-slow monster forms. No super annoying Navi-clone sidekicks. Not even any extra bloody pointless sidequests. Just a running game.
As for the storyline, it's... not very well known. Nor is it the most mind-blowing story out there, either. But who cares! That means we won't have to think too much of it! The story takes place in... a distant future of sorts, where the government is watching everyone 24/7, because... that's not really explained why. They hate these messengers/delivery people called "runners" (since they're skilled at running- clever, eh?) because... maybe they're on Eggman's side and want to kill anything speedy? (that'd at least give meaning to the constant surveying) The main character, (whom you play as) named "Faith," has a cop sister who has been framed for shooting the Mayor because... maybe the suspect had nothing else to do in this boring city. Nothing's really explained well.
So, what do you do each level, you may ask? Run from point A to point B. Simple. Constantly you're running on the rooftops and jumping between them to reach your destination. Oh, and there's actually real gravity in this game; you can't pull off stunts of landing from 500 feet without breaking every last one of your bones. There's also no need to worry about "where do I go next?" moments, as objects will literally point you toward your next area to run to by turning red. Stairs, boards at the edge of buildings, poles to swing from, pipes, even elevator buttons. Lost in a certain location? Just search for red! Nothing else is ever that color in this game!
Speaking of which, that's one of the unique touches to the visuals of Mirror's Edge: often a color such as green, blue, yellow, or orange is set next to a uniform white wherever you go. It may sound odd, but it definately stands out more than the boring greys and browns commonly used in games. However, this can somethimes become rather annoying, as the glare from the sun can cause you to be enveloped in a total white abyss, wondering where in the world that next red object is.
You also go through Mirror's Edge entirely in first-person perspective. I think it's executed rather well. Rather than control and watch behind a character running, you ARE the runner. Some may say this makes jumping at the right time frustrating, but if you play a first-person shooter or two that involves jumping here and there (like *cough* Halo *cough*), then you probably will find the jumping just fine. The other awesome touch is that the programmers have it where it's like you're looking through actual human eyes. Whenever you land on the ground too hard or get shot, your vision actually blurs and even greyscales a little. Sure, this feature does add on to the insane blurring on your view of shiny whitesville, but it adds to the realism.
There is a melee feature in this game, but it's pretty scarce and not really encouraged to always use. Usually you just fight soldiers or fancy-dressed clones called "Blues," who seem to look like Neo from The Matrix (they even have the sunglasses!). You can punch or kick them unconscious (even in the happy sac! I'm not joking), or steal their weapon (when it flashes red, of course) and shoot them. If you can't seem to steal their guns fast enough, you can press X to go in slow motion (though if you still fail to steal the weapon, you get to die in slow motion).
The soldiers seem to suffer a stupidity illness, though , as they just want to shoot you rather than arrest you, and even then they're pretty slow with shooting; they'll fire two or three bullets, then stop for a moment before realizing that, no, you didn't die yet, and are about to get karate-kicked in the face. On top of that, eight or more usually want to shoot you. The best part though is that they are sometimes severely focused into their scripted orders. For instance, in one level where you eventually are running around in a mall, I was trying to find a place to possibly hide, when I literally ran past all eight soldiers as they were entering. It took them a few seconds to realize, "Oh shoot, that's not a lost little girl!"
So is Mirror's Edge a good game? I say, "sure!" It's a short-lived game, being only 9 levels long(called "chapters" in the game), but they stay interesting throughout. Mirror's Edge is a game that stands out from most others with its unique features. If you can find a copy, give it a try.