Yep, that’s right, get used to looking at air vents and dingy enclosed areas if you’re going to play Mirror’s Edge. In my older post I wsa very impressed with the Mirror’s Edge demo, it looked and felt brilliant. However the full game for me was a big disappointment;
Firstly you can forget leaping from rooftop to rooftop with grace and a feeling of ‘flow’, after the first few levels you’re pretty much confined to subways, sewers, air vents and cramped buildings full of the worst AI EA have on offer. The game seemed to tout this ‘flow’ thing as a way to enjoy the game, using runner vision to guide you effortlessly making you feel free. That would be great if runner vision actually worked but after the first few levels on rooftops it’s mostly lacking, obvious anyway or completely misleading. For example, there was on [cramped] bit where runner vision indicated I should go up some pipes, after a good while trying to make the jump from where the pipes were I had a good look around and found it actually possible to do it another way. Nice.
The other major problem is the margin for error, after I had played the demo I conluded it was me being a noob that caused me to drop off rooftops like a lemming, alas the entire game is filled with relentless and unforgiving jumps. There are places where you could make is straight away but they were trumped by jumps I had to try more than 3 times, there was even one instance where I had to try a jump way over 50x and when I finally made it i had done nothing different than the million times before, yet somehow made it with room to spare. This leads me on to another problem: Consistency the game seems to decide on it’s own which jumps are high enough for you to have to make a hard landing, which falls mean you “die” and normal landings. There are many examples throughout the game where I could fall from a really high platform and land fine and ones where I jumped from a low platform and either did a hard (ow it hurts) or it all went dark and I had to start again.
The other major problem I had with it is combat, it was completely and utterly superfluous. I can count the times I had to actually fight anyone on my fingers, having guns was completely pointless and the AI for the most part was just the following algorithm;
10 Get closer
30 Goto 10
The bits I found good were the first few levels where Faith was placed on rooftops and where they deployed unarmed enemies that could jump across rooftops after you. That’s it really.
If you liked the demo of Mirror’s Edge then keep that, do not buy the full game because you’ve got some of the best levels right there. Rent it maybe, but you won’t rent it for long either because the game is so short. As in my first post about Mirror’s Edge I applaud the uniqueness of the game, but I feel that something went wrong right around the time the developers decided to swap beautiful outdoor cityscapes, leaping from roof to roof with dark, sewers and enclosed spaces.