Mirror's Edge - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Mirror's Edge
PC Games, XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
EA Dice
Publisher: EA Games
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     
Innovation is a huge buzzword in the game industry these days. Almost instantly after a new game is announced, the question quickly turns to "Does it move the medium forward?" Perhaps the question shouldn’t be if a game innovates or not – but does the innovation make the game more enjoyable?

 At its core, Mirror’s Edge is not innovative. It’s a platformer. You’ll run and jump across platforms, carefully timing each motion so you don’t fall just as you’ve done for years. What is innovative though is the way EA Dice chose to present these tried and true elements. Rather than the standard third-person view of the action, you’ll view the art-deco world Mirror’s Edge portrays through the eyes of the game’s protagonist -- Faith. While this technique is novel and adds a completely new feel to the genre – it does feel like it puts unnecessary limits on itself from time to time.

Faith is a runner, a sort of courier carrying messages to a specific destination or person while attempting to avoid agents of the oppressive government that has taken control in this futuristic society. Through running, Faith hopes to find out who framed her sister for the murder of a Mayoral candidate promising to bring an end to the totalitarian government’s reign. The story is full of ongoing twists and turns that should keep you interested throughout, though there are times when you have to wonder how your actions, more often than not jumping from building to building, are going to help your cause.

"Some of the jumps you’re expected to make are rather tricky..."

 
   
Like the newest Prince of Persia, Mirror’s Edge is at its best when you’re in a constant state of motion. You’ll start off slow, doing simple button combinations with small jumps, but just as you start to get comfortable, you begin to pick up speed and unlock new, more complicated maneuvers. Moving almost weightlessly through Mirror’s Edge by stringing together a fluid chain of acrobatic movements is incredibly rewarding – when it happens. You’re going to fail in Mirror’s Edge; in fact, you’re going to do it over and over. Some of the jumps you’re expected to make are rather tricky, and come with complicated button combinations, making it quite tricky to nail most spots on the first try. Sure, it’s rewarding when you finally succeed, but is it worth it when you’re more than likely going to slam your control down in pure frustration?

Mirror’s Edge’s first-person system does a great job making the player connect with Faith more than they would in a standard platformer. With the classic third-person view, it’s easy to feel detached from the action; all you’re doing is moving a character from point A to point B, but Mirror’s Edge feels different; you’ll find yourself actually caring about what happens to Faith. You’ll feel what it’s like to balance on a beam 1,000 feet over a major city. Mirror’s Edge creates quite the feeling of vertigo when looking down; you know the consequences of falling onto the street below and care enough to not want to see it happen. Though with the unique movements Faith pulls off, you can’t help but feel like you’re missing out on some great animations.

The visuals in Mirror’s Edge are a mixed bag at best. That’s not to say that it’s a bad looking game, it’s just that some of the art choices tend to interfere with gameplay, and go against what the game is trying to accomplish. From a truly aesthetic standpoint, Mirror’s Edge is quite fascinating. Bleak, white and gray worlds are dotted with sparse amounts of color (almost like Sin City), making for an interesting artistic approach. The cut-scenes are even done in a strikingly vibrant animated format and are so well done – you’ll actually care to watch them.

Sadly, these visuals are completely for show and not function. Since you see the world through Faith’s eyes, you see the world as she sees it. Anything you may be able use, whether it be a beam to run across, a ledge to land on or a pipe to climb is illuminated in red, at least it should be. Often times you’re moving so fast through the world that the game isn’t able to keep up with you and illuminate your next object in time, causing you to either slow down or fail. With a title that preaches velocity; why are we forced to slow down so the game itself can catch up?

"Faith is extremely vulnerable to most attacks, especially gunfire..."

 
   

Mirror’s Edge isn’t all running and jumping though, there is quite a bit of combat – and it’s the game’s weakest point. You’re meant to approach combat similar to the rest of the game, with speed and momentum, but more often than not, that’s nearly impossible due to a number of factors that slow down gameplay. If you don’t have excellent timing while attempting to take out your enemies, you’ll find yourself on your knees fast. Faith is extremely vulnerable to most attacks, especially gunfire, making battles with multiple enemies quite frustrating.

Undoubtedly, where Mirror’s Edge shines brightest is with its time trial like speed-run modes. Once you get comfortable enough with the worlds and movements in Mirror’s Edge (the campaign levels are more or less identical), you’ll find yourself racing through each area trying to beat your own record. There are online leaderboards, and it’s quite addicting trying to find a quicker path through a particular puzzle in an attempt to improve your time.

At its best, Mirror’s Edge is a thrilling and unique mix of motion and speed. At its worst – it’s a mixed up and confused attempt at redefining a genre. If you can stomach the frustration that’s bound to ensue, Mirror’s Edge is worth a look, if just for its unique feel.

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: God Mode, Float Mode, Super Damage, Unlimited Ammo, No Clipping

Mirror’s Edge preaches a mixture of speed and exploration – two motives both aided and deterred by the game’s cheats. Sure, the God mode, float mode, and no clipping codes allow you more freedom and may lessen some of the anguish you’re bound to sustain from the game’s trial and error gameplay – but at what cost? Do you really want to constantly stop moving to use your free cam to look where you want to go? The object is to get more comfortable with your flow  of motion as you progress through the game, so you don’t have to think about you’re next move, it just comes instinctively.

While playing through Mirror’s Edge, I found myself wishing I could bypass the combat entirely. It was tricky, confusing and felt tacked on all together. While I may be wishing for that for quite some time, the cheats and trainers for Mirror’s Edge do the next best thing -- make combat somewhat enjoyable (or at least make it easy to get through quicker). Using a mix of the unlimited ammo, god mode and super damage codes makes defeating your enemies quite easy. At the very least, these codes don’t punish you immensely for messing up on your timing by a split second.


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