Make no mistake - Mirror’s Edge will captivate you. Its central theme revolves around different worlds that exist both above and beneath our own. From the game’s very first chapter your preconceptions will be shattered in such a way that you’ll find it impossible to tear yourself away.
You control a ‘Runner’ called Faith. She is your eyes and ears in a society that has been vigorously regulated by the authorities – a future where people are criminalised for not conforming to the new world order. ‘Runners’ are elite couriers who serve the non-conformists and are the only way to ensure that sensitive information reaches its intended destination. It’s your mission to deliver your packages safely, while staying alive and helping your sister uncover a deadly and sinister plot.
Mirror’s Edge is unlike any game I’ve played before. At first the feeling of falling repeatedly made me feel queasy, but I eventually got used to it. As a Runner, you view the world differently - walls are just another surface to scale; crates, boards, pipes, air vents and anything that you can cling on to could potentially provide an escape route. You will discover a newfound appreciation for heights and will have to unlearn what you thought you knew about guns in video games. You see, your body and your mind are your primary weapons against the enemy. Of course, you can use guns if you really need to, but disarming pursuers with hand-to-hand combat is more effective than shooting at them. Avoidance and stealth are also key survival skills.
Training at the beginning of the game will help you master some of the basic movements. Learning to roll correctly when you land by holding down the left trigger will prevent you being hurt. Falling will kill you instantly and getting shot too many times isn’t good for your health either. That’s why it’s better to avoid assailants, but if you can’t avoid a confrontation, Faith is pretty handy in a scrap. She can punch, kick and throw sidekicks (using a combination of the L1, L2, R1 and R2 keys) as well as being able to disarm opponents with the square and triangle buttons. At certain times you can slow the action down (similar to the ‘Bullet Time’ effect in The Matrix) by using the square button. This comes in extremely handy for disarming opponents.
Above all, Mirror’s Edge is a game that requires you to think on your feet. It’s jam-packed with action sequences, but the main objective is to survive by running and outwitting your opponents. And if the running and combat aren’t enough for you, there’s an enthralling and immersive storyline to fill in the relationship gaps between chapters. Although the primary focus is on Faith’s role as a runner, you will find yourself being drawn into a deeper plot thanks to the beautifully constructed storyline. The cutscenes between chapters reveal a deeper emotional level as they slowly uncover details about Faith’s extreme and somewhat obscure lifestyle. Her relationship with her police officer sister seems turbulent at best, even though Faith has an urgent need to protect her from sinister and unseen forces. The interesting thing about all the characters in Mirror’s Edge is that you can’t really be sure who to trust. Who is friend and who is foe? Only time and a slowly unravelling plot will tell. But Faith isn’t taking any chances and does what she does best when in doubt – she runs.
A great storyline, characters you care about and fantastic action. Who could want more? Living on the Mirror’s Edge is something I would highly recommend this Christmas.