Demo Impressions: Mirror’s Edge by Ryan Gray
November 1, 2008, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Impressions | Tags: , ,
Don't look down, don't look down, don't loo- oh crap.

Don't look down, don't look down, don't loo- oh crap.

[By Ryan]
I’ve recently downloaded and played the Mirror’s Edge demo. When I first saw this game I was skeptical about the how the controls would work, and if this was just another gimmick to sell a game. Hit the jump to see how this demo has changed my mind. Also, this is just a demo play-through, so come back soon for Anthony’s full hands-on with the game from his visit to i35.

When the demo first starts up, you are greeted by a menu that has either Story, Race, Options or Extras. Basic stuff. Obviously, I played the Story (demo) part. When the demo begins you are greeted with almost pop-art like cutscenes. During these cutscenes you learn about these group of people known as “Runners” and what purpose they serve. Your main character, Faith, is a Runner. Who would’ve guessed. After these cutscenes you start your training.

Insert corny kung-fu movie line here.

Insert corny kung-fu movie line here.

Now this is was really make-or-break for me. I really wanted to know how the gameplay would hold up to the hype it was given. This game truly delivers on every aspect it promised to. The gameplay is extremely fluid and overall controls incredibly. Every jump, slide, grab, kick and punch felt very natural and made for a wonderful experience. I was overly impressed with the job DICE has done here. This engine also makes perfect sense for a kung-fu action or ninja type game. Just throwing that out there.

Anyway, during the training, you follow another one of your fellow runners named Celeste, who is there to teach you the basics of running and fighting. You are put through a series of obstacles in order to test your understanding of the control scheme. It really boils down to 2-3 buttons and the analog stick. L1 and L2 are action buttons. L1 is a high action (jump, grab onto a ledge.) and L2 is a low action (slide, low punch). It is very easy to tell where to run and jump because everything important is colored a vibrant red. When you are done learning to navigate around the obstacles, you quickly learn how to fight. R2 lets you throw punches and kicks and what not. If you time it right, you can grab a gun right from someones hand using Triangle. Such a simple control scheme is really what this game needs. The controls being so simple lets you focus on the action and beauty Mirrors Edge has to offer.

After training you are thrown right into a real scenario. You quickly realize this game is all about speed, fluidity, and momentum. You run on roof tops, escape enemies, a little fighting if you absolutely want there to be. You are told that you should really run away from your enemies, but in one or two cases your “Runners Vision” will alert you to as which enemy you should kill. It’s really a simple game mechanic and works near flawlessly.

It's quite obvious that Mirror's Edge is a technical triumph.

It's quite obvious that Mirror's Edge is a technical triumph.

The graphics and style of the game are fantastic in my eyes. Everything looks sharp, character models look great, and it all runs at a very smooth frame rate. Games like this demand a solid framerate and Mirror’s Edge delivers. The style of the game is undoubtedly unique. Everything is kind of bland, mostly yellow and white from what I’ve seen, but the vibrant red parts of buildings and such bring color to the game and that really works well. The absolute-first person perspective of the game is not anything new (Far Cry has done it and it works well), but Mirror’s Edge might have just perfected it. Everything looks like you are the eyes and ears of Faith. Your head turns with every action. You can see your arms and legs when jumping or sliding. There’s just so much about this game that you cannot help but like.

Like I said before, this was just a demo play through, so stay tuned for Anthony’s much more in depth hands-on with the game from i35. Mirror’s Edge releases on November 13th in the US and November 14th in the UK. I highly reccomend trying out this demo, even if you were skeptical like I was. It will change your mind near instantly.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Totally agree Ryan, I too was skeptical but after a quick playthrough of the demo it’s defintely a game I will be picking up. 🙂

Comment by Ad's

I’m getting a full hands on with this on Sunday and will be posting my impressions on some of the later levels (hopefully).

Comment by Anthony Barlow

This is a more in depth preview than I would’ve got. They basically downloaded the demo and showed that. Pretty shitty of EA really.

Comment by Anthony Barlow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: