Mirror’s Edge: Death Avoidance Simulator
On Wednesday I picked up a copy of Mirror’s Edge while I was down at the EA campus. I didn’t slot it until early Thursday evening, just in time for Kristen to come over and get queasy watching me fall to my death repeatedly.
Mirror’s Edge is a “first person parkour” game. I would say “first person shooter” but honestly if you pick up a gun in this game you are an idiot. It’s not designed for that. How the hell are you going to be jumping around and grabbing on to pipes and crap while holding a gun anyway?
Which is an awesome idea: Create a first person “shooter” where you don’t engage in combat. At all.
I loved this idea, and that’s what sold me on the game. A first person version of Prince of Persia without tedious fight sequences. A series of maps where you can experience the adrenaline thrill of leaping over 40 story chasms to grasp a small handhold on a pipe! Wall run over gaps, slide under railings, etc., etc.
In many, many, disappointing ways, Mirror’s Edge becomes a “Death Avoidance Simulator.” It is Paperboy at 40 stories.
The running, the jumping, all of the parkour controls, the level design? This is phenomenal. Brilliant.
And then they fuck it up. They add in a bunch of crap which I’m certain seemed like it was needed at the time: cops shooting at you. SWAT officers in your path. Arbitrary time limits. Pick it.
They made it Nintendo Hard in places for no goddamned good reason.
Consider: at one point, I have to pop over a rooftop. No biggie. But they drop three (count ’em, three) SWAT guys with submachine guns onto the area. My “handler” says “looks like you have to fight them.”
“WTF?” I think. I have no weapons; my character is not designed for combat on any level. Eat a choad; I’ll figure out a way to get past them without combat.
Well, I tried. For about 15 or 16 deaths and reloads at a checkpoint, I tried to find a way through. Then I tried fighting them – disarm the guy and beat him senseless (there is a button for this). I tried that for another 10 deaths and reloads at the checkpoint. Again: failure.
Then I dialed the difficulty down to “easy” and it still took me another 10 tries to get through the section.
Dude, WTF? That’s not “fun”. That’s tedious.
The next level contained a “boss” who was able to instantly throw me off a building to my death unless I pressed the “Y” button at a specific, .25 second long point in a cut-scene. The number of reloads on that was fun, I’ll tell you.
Maybe I just suck. But I don’t think that’s the case; I’ve got a bit of skill with games like this.
I am in the middle of level 5 (out of maybe 11?). I have paused the game because I got frustrated.
I’m not sure I will unpause it.