This blog post is dedicated to the memory of my dear Xbox 360, who sadly Red Ringed this afternoon. Although a new one that I purchased at a heavily discounted price from eBay is now on the way, I will always remember you buddy! You were there when I jumped into my first haystack with Altair. You played the carnage that I unleashed with Niko, Trevor, Michael, and Franklin. I guess loading the breathtaking first-person world of Mirror’s Edge was finally too much for you. Rest in Peace.
I think my video game swag addiction may actually be a blessing in disguise. When the Collector’s Edition of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was plastered across an online retailer’s website, I couldn’t help but notice the awesome 14″ statue of the protagonist. I had only vaguely heard of the game Mirror’s Edge prior to seeing this. I decided to take a closer look. After some research, it seemed like a gem that I had missed out on. A quick scan through eBay soon followed which resulted in me purchasing a cheap copy. I’m glad I got the opportunity experience this special game, and I owe it all to my crippling plastic statue addiction.
How Far I Got
I’ve beaten the main story several times, and managed to get the speed run achievements for the first two chapters. I was planning to go for all of the achievements. Unfortunately, my Xbox 360 decided to go all Red Ring of Death on me. I’ll take this as a sign from the almighty Spirits of Gaming that it’s time to move on.
Completion Progress: My First Hour Falling of Buildings & Running From Blues
In two words: simply stunning. Despite the cruel totalitarian regime that rules the utopia, the city itself is surprisingly bright and sparkling. This free running game takes place from the first-person perspective, and it is quite a feat of graphical brilliance for its time. It’s truly something special to witness wall running, death defying jumps, and challenging hand-to-hand combat in this perspective. The developer’s have also included several minor details that add to the immersion factor. You can see Faith’s arms wildly move when sprinting, her reflection in some surfaces, and the satisfying first person view of a flying kick to a guard’s face.
For the most part, the music is more of a low key ambiance that adds a mystical the vibe to all the city top traversing. The pace picks up during frantic combat situations. The soundtrack was developed by a Swedish electronic music artist, Solar Fields. I’m a fan of the genre so I enjoyed it overall. The voice acting felt a little forced in some of the characters. I was entertained the lighthearted banter between Faith and Merc throughout the game.
Sort of like a Prince of Persia/Assassin’s Creed First-Person mashup. The majority of the game takes place on rooftops. Your goal is to freerun your way through each chapter, while taking out/avoiding the various security forces in Faith’s way. On the easier difficulties, objects you can use to advance are highlighted in red. Combat takes a long time to master, but it is rewarding when you finally get the hang of it. I found the crotch punch was especially effective. The story wouldn’t win any literary awards, and some of the plot twists were predictable. I did respect Faith’s overall mission against her oppressive government. It took me about 10 hours to get through the main story the first time. There are various difficulties, speed runs, and time trial modes that help add more game time.
My Overall Biased Opinion
If a certain console would have stayed alive for a bit longer, I would have gladly invested the time required to get all the achievements. This game definitely has that special magic that makes for an overall great gaming experience. Once I’m done with Fallout 4, I will be playing the sequel on my much healthier PS4.
SPOILERS AHEAD!! You have been warned.
Favourite Story Moment
Kicking Jacknife off the helicopter at the end of the game, and thus saving Kate. I had to run away from two angry security guys, jump off the roof of the Shard, and grab on to the side of a hovering helicopter. All that while dodging a flurry of bullets. It was a truly epic way to end the game!
Honorable mention goes to Faith’s last goodbye to Merc. I almost shed a tear…
Disarm. It took me a while to get my timing right, but once mastered, it is quite satisfying dropping an enemy to the ground, and then using his weapon against his evil friends.
Favorite “Oh S@#%” Moment
At the end of the game when Faith’s sister falls off the crashing helicopter. I thought that she had actually fallen to her death. Good thing she managed to grab on to the ledge of a building, despite her hand restraints…
Honorable mention goes to running into Ropeburn. I was casually running up a staircase to the roof. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, this big muscleman shows up and throws Faith down to the next roof level. That definitely caught me off guard.
The Shard.The final chapter really stood out for me. It was filled with action packed combat situations, daring jumps through elevator shafts, and an awesome final kick off a helicopter to the bad guy.
Faith, the woman whose eyes you look through for the entire game. She has badass martial arts moves (in a similar style to what I’m personally taking in real life), a lung capacity that would put any Olympic athlete to shame, and an admirable desire to save her sister at all costs. She constantly cracks sarcastic statements, and has a very imposing personality. She is actually quite similar to my all time favourite character, Lightning from the FFXIII trilogy.
Most Tedious Gameplay Moment
Besides my many attempts to get those shiny speed run achievements, waiting for those slow building elevators to get me to the next section of the level. It was entertaining reading some of the news articles on the screens inside of them though. One about how to tell if someone you know is a Runner actually made me chuckle: “If they have a fondness for the color red” for example.