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Mirror's Edge 360 Review

21/05/2010 Thinking Perpetual Gamer Review
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Mirror's Edge 360

Mirror's Edge



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Mirror's Edge create tense first person platforming. But it was the way my mind kept the experience alive me between games - wrestling with the architectural puzzles - that I most enjoyed. I had been infected with parkor visions where the architecture I passed through was no longer practical but instead now offered a puzzling play space.

Prior to my time with Mirror's Edge, architecture was little more than the marriage of metal and mathematical precision. But after exploring the white-washed, politically oppressed world with my parkour protagonist Faith, every building, walkway, bridge and stairway became a means to end. It became second-nature to analyse each to see how I might use it to reach our destinations.

Mirror's Edge was a difficult beast to tame. It taught me a brutal lesson in trial and error. For every successful leap across a rooftop, there'd be more than a handful of failures. The first-person perspective, which could make an otherwise simple jump relatively tricky, was also often frustrating. Finding exactly where my feet where planted prior to a massive jump or wonky wall run was often guesswork.

If this guesswork happened to pay off, however, a once frustrating experience would instantly be transformed. It's not that my last guess was the luckiest, it just happened to be the most educated. As I played I slowly improved, and my parkour skills with it.

I'd become engrossed in the residents of this desolate world.

Yet even as I became an expert, I'd still encounter obstacles too difficult to tackle in a single sitting. I'd return to Mirror's Edge hours, days, or even weeks later in attempt to conquer it. But strangely it was the time between these sessions that stayed with me. I'd rehearse the jump in my mind, over and over in the hope that I might stumble onto an effective solution. My day to day life became a perpetual parkour practice zone.

In the game, armed guards are also littered throughout the city, strategically positioned to stop you in your tracks. You have a choice: disarm them and use their weapons against them or discard their weapon and disable them by less lethal means - or I guess ignore them altogether. Because Faith's ability to handle weaponry was limited, I usually employed the two friendlier approaches.

Thankfully, the world in which I ran was accommodating to Faith. Anything that suggested it was of use - such as a pipe, a platform, or a vent - was highlighted by a red overlay. Although this was the game's suggested route, it wasn't always the most efficient, or the most fun. In fact, most of my time was spent finding routes that deviated from this set path. The best of Mirror's Edge was discovered through exploration - the more time I was willing to invest, the more efficient my routes would become, and the faster I'd become.

An experience that colours how I see the world I walk around in.

Mirror's Edge wasn't real parkour. It was better. A fall or a fracture in the real world was nothing more than a checkpoint or retry in-game. Effectively, I wasn't putting my life on the line but Faith's. My mistakes meant her death - a luxury that real practitioners of the sport don't have. And after returning to her shoes almost two years later, it's obvious that Mirror's Edge was an anomaly. Since then, no game has been willing to take such a risk - mechanically or artistically - to introduce such an innovative and immersive experience.

It's still an experience that colours how I see the world I walk around in.

Written by Dom Roberts

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Dom Roberts writes the Perpetual Gamer column.

"Welcome to my perpetual gaming reviews. My quest is to look for that one Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS lite and PSP game that links my own ongoing life to it."

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