Choosing flight over fight for a change
Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., Dec. 12, 2008
Mirror's EdgeElectronic Arts, $59.99
PlayStation3, Xbox 360, PC
With a main character named Faith, a pacifist idealism, and gameplay based on the French street sport of parkour, in which running is tantamount to flight, Mirror's Edge is a game for the new era of hope (thank you, Obama). That's not to say that anxiety-inducing, death-defying acts don't proliferate – Mirror's Edge was developed by EA's Swedish arm, DICE, which was responsible for the überviolent Battlefield franchise. However, what sets Faith and her rooftop world apart from the rest is Mirror's Edge's attempt to divert violence with disarmament and escape. Shooting is optional.
Set in a future of New World Order, this is the definitive first-person game: Seeing little but Faith's hands and feet and hearing only breath, distant warnings, and an electronic soundtrack à la Run Lola Run, the player speeds full-force over electric fences, AC ducts, water lines, and scaffolding, catapulting up and across walls to reach the final destination, while constant gunfire rains down from the blues. The graphics are awesome, and despite a few bouts of vertigo, lots of repetition, and a weak storyline involving Faith's twin sister who's been framed for murder, the game is addictive. Because of the breadth of options (there are a million ways to get from point A to point B), frustration is imminent (best to have a walkthrough nearby), but somehow falling to one's death 20 times in a row is no cause for ceasing.