Electronic Arts & DICE’s Mirror’s Edge isn’t an easy game to grasp by watching trailers or gameplay footage. I know it is a first person parkour game, however how does it control? How easy it for the player to control Faith and pull off all those acrobatic moves? You certainly can’t get all that info from a piece of game footage. Thank goodness for demos. If there was any game which needed a demo this holiday season, Mirror’s Edge takes the cake. Now the question is: Did the demo help or hinder Mirror’s Edge?
The first thing I tend to do when I start any game is to visit the options screen and familiarize myself with the controls. Mirror’s Edge control scheme, at a glance, appeared unwieldy; I was skeptical. It didn’t matter, though. It’s all about how the game will work in practice. The 900+ MB demo came with an easy to follow tutorial and by the end of it, I was able to vault over fences, climb rails and slide under vents with incredible ease. Judging distance and when to make a giant leap seemed natural and second nature to me. I didn’t miss a single jump. Was it just because the demo was easy? Perhaps. I guess I would have to try the final version to find out.
I’m a fan of the sparse and clean look of Mirror’s Edge — it’s different and easy on the eyes. The highlighting of key obstacles (also known as Runner Vision) may seem like “easy mode” to some, but for first time players, I can’t envision the game without it. Combining the clean look and the Runner Vision enabled me to go full tilt and not worry about wondering where to go. It felt like a giant obstacle course and I was acing it.
There was very little combat in this demo; especially since it encouraged fleeing over fighting. The tutorial allowed me to try out a few punches and sliding kicks, but I didn’t get many opportunities pull off many flying kicks or fancy disarms.
After playing through the Mirror’s Edge demo, I was sold on DICE’s vision. After the brief tutorial, I felt in control of Faith and embarked on quite the exhilarating ride. It’s been a long time since I felt such a rush and excitement for a game due to its demo. If you haven’t done so yet, go on the PlayStation Network Store and download this demo. It’s most definitely worth trying!
Mirror’s Edge debuts on November 11th, 2008 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. For more information, visit the official website.