Mirror's Edge PC Review

Score: 89 / 100

*Good:* Beautiful scenery and graphics, innovative gameplay, fun urban climbing and gun play

*Bad:* Climbing pipes slows things down, the storyline is terrible, game mechanics can be wonky at times

Ever since I played Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, I wanted to be able to climb anything I saw in a video game. Then I was given the opportunity to truly do this in Assassin’s Creed and I was in heaven. Now, having played Mirror’s Edge, I think all my urban climbing video game dreams have come true. I have also never wanted to get on my roof and jump off more so than after I play Mirror’s Edge for a few hours.

Mirror’s Edge is one of the most unique games to hit the industry in a while. With that said, it is refreshing to see companies taking a chance on new titles and new types of gameplay. But the question on everyone’s mind is if it's any good.

My answer to that question is not simple and will probably be vastly different than most of the things that you have heard about Mirror’s Edge.

Let’s start with what is great about the game. Firstly, the urban climbing and running is fantastic. You honestly feel like spider-man jumping from roof top to roof top. I mean what other game is based on running and jumping in first person from a pipe to a roof top and then a zip down a power line?

Secondly, Mirror’s Edge sports some of the best and most beautiful environments I have seen in a game. The vibrant colors of red, yellow, orange, and blue that make up the city really capture the ‘too clean’ setting the game is going for. I really don’t know how many times my breath was taken away as I burst through a bright red door to be confronted with a landscape of shinning buildings, spotted with some of the most beautiful shades of color I have seen.

Thirdly, the hand to hand combat is amazing. While the urban climbing and running in this game held my attention, the combat kept me playing. Every time the guy in my ear guiding me around the city would tell me I would soon have to fight, a big grin swept across my face. Besides Assassin’s Creed, Mirror’s Edge is a powerhouse when it comes to hand to hand combat. And, on a side note, there ARE guns and you DO get to use them.

I would also just like to mention that finding which way to go while running around the environments is not always that easy. There were plenty of times that I had to stand and look for a while just to get an idea of where I needed to go next. There were also plenty of times where I didn’t have the luxury of standing around for a while. Another great thing this game does is keep you on your toes by being chased ALL the time.

Now let’s move on to the problems with the game. To begin with, climbing up pipes and along vent shafts gets really old really fast and you get to do your fair share of it. In fact, doing this so much really killed a lot of the game for me. While I loved running along the tops of buildings, hitting a pipe to climb up just slowed it way down and killed whatever adrenaline rush I had going.

Also, the storyline is terrible. So much so that it detracts from the entire game as a whole. While you can usually ignore a storyline and just enjoy the gaming mechanics of a game, Mirror’s Edge throws and holds the storyline in your face through the entirety of the game.

Lastly, the climbing mechanics can be pretty wonky at times. I can remember a few parts where I had to find a ledge to glitch or fall on just to get past some of the climbing puzzles.

Now I want to talk about the PhysX portions of the game. For all who don’t know, the PC version of Mirror’s Edge is the only version to support Nvidia’s physics processing hardware / software called PhysX.

One of the best parts of this game is really feeling like YOU are flying through the air or zipping down a power line. But when you throw PhysX into the mix, it takes it to a whole other level. The bullet and glass physics are just a couple of things that are completely changed in the game by the PhysX processing. But the moment my jaw really dropped was when a helicopter fired through canvas at me on a catwalk. Not only did the fabric explode, it did it as if I was really watching a real .50 cal blast through canvas at me. PhysX really does add an outstanding level of immersion that I wish could be implemented into tons of game titles.

The bottom line is that this game is good. Not an innovative industry giant like Little Big Planet, but good. A chance was taken to produce this game and I think the PC version really succeeds in providing a great immersive urban exploration game.

While I can’t recommend Mirror’s Edge for everyone, those of you who love running and climbing through a giant vibrant city need to get this game ASAP. You won’t regret it.

- Tyler (Chiko)

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