Platforms: Windows, XBox 360, PS3
Somehow, Mirror’s Edge never got on my radar until people started talking about the sequel – Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – that came out this year. Still I held off because I couldn’t justify paying $20 for a game that was 8 years old and is essentially a first person 3D platformer given my difficulties with platformers. However, when I saw the price fall to only $5 during the recent Steam Autumn Sale, I knew the time had come for me to see what Mirror’s Edge was all about.
So far, for me, it’s a combination of absolutely fascinating game play and frustrating repetitive failure. I contemplated playing the game on easy, but was warned that the easier difficulty only really applied to the combat in the game, and went with normal. There is a hard difficulty that is unlocked by completing story mode, so to start out, easy and normal are the only options.
I knew almost immediately that this was a game that would take a lot of willpower for me to finish; I was failing pretty miserably even in the tutorial level. However, in the prologue, I started to feel like I was getting it – sure, I wasn’t moving as fast as the game seemed to want me to, but I wasn’t really struggling too much either. Until the end of the level, that is. It’s amazing how much more difficult it is to figure out the correct route and complete parkour challenges while there’s a whole bunch of people shooting at you.
The cutscenes are fairly frequent, and are really the only way the game has to build up the story. Thankfully for those of us who are likely to die – a lot – all the cutscenes can be skipped by pressing the space bar so you’re not stuck watching them over and over. The art of the cut scenes is fantastic, and I don’t really feel as if the age of the game is particularly evident due mostly to the decisions make in regards to artwork.
Although most reviews will cite the story as the weakest part of the game, I still found it fairly captivating, and when combined with the satisfaction of getting through a level by doing everything just right, is certainly going to be motivation enough for me to keep pressing through the frustrating bits. In fact, I would argue that the combat is the least impressive part of Mirror’s Edge, but at least so far, is infrequent enough for me not to care that it’s not all that interesting.
Overall, I think Mirror’s Edge is definitely a game that has weathered the years pretty well, and is unique enough that it still merits playing without any nostalgia attached. It is fairly short, however, and I’m not sure that the $20 price point has weathered the years nearly as well. For $10 or less, it’s worth picking up if you enjoy platforming mechanics. For $5 or less, I’d recommend it for anyone.
Starting tomorrow (December 1st), and through the remainder of 2016, I will only be playing games that have a 90% or higher positive rating on Steam. I currently have a list of almost 70 games that fit that criteria that I haven’t talked about yet, so it looks like the biggest challenge will be choosing which of these classics (and modern classics) to play first.
On January 1, 2017, I will be retiring this blog, and moving to a new domain – Completion Chronicles, in which I’ll revisit some of my favorite titles from this year. I hope you’ll find that as just as interesting.