Playing to Perfection in Mirror's Edge

As with Ashcraft, watching Mirror's Edge has great potential to make me motion sick. In fact I was so worried about it I told the design team that I thought playing it would spur an instant need to run to a bathroom. But they insisted I wouldn't feel any queasiness when actually playing, and they were right.

What first struck me about the game was just how pretty it is. Mirror's Edge using the Unreal Engine but it does so to create something so unfamiliar, a first-person perspective in a bright, crisp world. Matching the simple aesthetic, the games controls are very straight forward. Granted I only had a chance to run and interact with the environment, so I'm not sure how combat will hold up.

The thing about this game is that it creates the sort of environment that makes you strive for perfection. You can run through section of the city pretty much anyway you want. I could, for instance, while tearing across one roof section, run between the slanted solar panels, and around the raised roof in the center of the building. In fact, there was no incentive for me to do anything else. I suppose it was a little slower to take the mundane route, but there was no score involved, no bad guys chasing me.

Despite that I ended up circling back three times to do it the parkour way, to leap from roof to roof, scale a fence, roll on my landing and use the momentum to quicken my run up a solar panel and leap to the raised building. It was the sort of feeling, I bet, that skateboarders or skiiers get. You want to do a trick and you want to do it just right.

If the brief snippet of the game is any indication of the rest of the title, than I can see myself playing and replaying levels until I land my runs, my leaps, my rolls just right. And I'll do it for the sheer joy of pulling it off. That's what all games should deliver.