Friday, 6 May 2011

Mirror's Edge

I promised more than a month ago to write about Mirror's Edge, but got distracted by something. Now, I don't really remember much about it, but here's a very hastily put together quick review anyhow.

Mirror's Edge is a lot of fun, much more so than what you'd think just by looking at somebody's walkthrough of it. Seriously, the concept of a game being about running in first-person sounds like a ridiculous idea suitable for some budget title, but in the end I liked it so much that I really hope they're making a Mirror's Edge 2, just with a little more length and much more freedom.
The running is very down-to-earth and dare I say realistic, but thoroughly exhilirating, and the hand-to-hand combat is, as far as I can tell some of the best first-person melee combat ever seen. It's a lot of fun disarming and beating the heavily armed opponents up like some martial arts master whenever they're blocking your path and what's really amazing and what really makes the running and combat work is the fact that the controls don't suck at all. The actions are mapped to what feel like just the correct buttons for them and although every now and then there's a section where you may need to do a few actions in quick succession it always feels doable, at least when you're just playing through the story mode. In the time trial challenges not necessarily so much, in fact I personally found some of the stuff downright impossible, but then again I never learned how to use the R2 and L2 triggers on the PS3 controller with my middle fingers. My ring fingers just aren't mutated enough to provide the needed amount of support to hold the controller steady if I try applying pressure to the front triggers with my middle fingers. I can't even finish the Office time trial level at all, it's just way too tricky with it's perfect angle jump crap and jump-coil-wallrun-turn-climb bullshit. I call hax on people who claim to have passed it! DAAAAMN YOUUU!
The game gives you an option to use the enemy's firepower against itself by allowing you to pick up guns after dispatching the opponents but it doesn't force you to use guns if you don't want to, oh no, you only have to fire one single bullet in the entire game and even that shouldn't be aimed at a person. This is a really fresh and nice new idea, having the gunplay for once truly be the very last resort if you suck instead of making it an occasionally mandatory part of the gameplay. I think the devs had some balls to not force in shooting levels and props to them for that.
The storymode is a bit short, in fact so short that if you could perfectly copy the world record speedruns of the chapters the entire game would probably be much less than an hour long and there aren't any optional tasks other than to collect a couple of packages while you're running, but I guess a more average gamer will have a 5 hour game here. The story is incredibly predictable and you'll be able to call out the so-called mystery bad guys and surprise good guys the second they are introduced in the story, and quite frankly the story is so weak you probably have the same problem I did and won't actually consider the cutscenes to have any significance in your adventure to jump over fences and slide under pipes. I honestly couldn't even relate to the main character Faith despite seeing the game itself through her eyes, the character development is that thin. I just imagined I was running across rooftops purely for fun.
Due to it being so short and offering little else to do when the story is done I can't recommend everyone to buy it this instant (although it is dirt cheap now), but thanks to good production values and developer's effort I CAN recommend everyone to try it if possible as it is a refreshing experience. If you find yourself to belong in Mirror Edge's hardcore target audience then you'll spend countless days trying to beat your own and other people's time trial and speedrun results.

I also played Assassin's Creed 2 more than a month ago and I think I'll just skip writing about it for now. Not because I wouldn't have anything to say, but because I think I'd have too much and I just can't find the energy to monologue about one single game as long as I think I could. If you're interested in knowing my general opinion on it, though, in my eyes Assassin's Creed 2 definitely made up for the huge mistake known as Assassin's Creed and I have to hand it to Ubisoft, despite the first game being a lousy tech demo and not an actual game, I honestly think they have a hit series here thanks to AC2. I'm glad I took the plunge and paid the high price for it, Assassin's Creed 2 is a very, very enjoyable game and I recommend buying it. Never, ever, however, put money into the first Assassin's Creed if you can still avoid it, it didn't even have any story in it so it's not needed to understand what happens in AC2. Bring on Assassin's Creed 3, Ubisoft.

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