Imagine this – There you are, standing on the rooftop of a building 40 stories high. You walk up to the edge of the building, look down, and all you see in the ant-size figures of people just routinely strolling by. One mistake, one slipup, and you’re swallowed by the vast oceanic pavement below. The sky is bright blue, the wind in your hair and the sun glimmering in your eyes. Merely several feet away to your right stands the next building. The rooftop is maybe just one, maybe two feet below you. You ask yourself – “If I jump, would I make it?”
Taking imagination aside – would you jump? Probably not.
But who are we kidding. This is the 21st century – unless you’ve trained your whole life in the art of free-running or parkour, why risk your life when a simple mistake could possibly mean broken bones DEATH. (Who am I kidding – you’re jumping from 40 stories up!)
EA’s 2009 PC release of “Mirror’s Edge” lets you experience the above in a simulated virtual space, whilst sitting in the comfort of your lazyboy while you repeatedly commit suicide attempt your daredevilish leaps from building to building.
If you’re a critic rating junkie, you probably would’ve noticed this top-rated game back in its day. Top game review websites such as IGN and GameTrailers gave outstanding praises, rating the game a solid 8/10 and 8.3/10 respectively. Metacritics have given Mirror’s Edge a hefty 81% overall rating.
As for me, it wasn’t until a couple months ago when I was introduced to the counterpart Mirror’s Edge iPad app. You see, I had just watched the Tempest Freerunning Academy viral video, and the concept of freerunnning was appealing enough to bring up and talk about in numerous social activities. Whilst expressing my interest, I was shown the game and had a waft of its brilliance if only for a couple of minutes.
I was intrigued.
I installed the PC version of the game onto my computer, and within the first level of the game I found myself basking in glory at the sheer brilliance of Mirror’s Edge gameplay and its user-experience.
If you’re no stranger to first-person shooter games, Mirror’s Edge is not at all harder to learn than any other FPS game available. In fact, the fluidity and familiarity of the user control and gameplay makes it far more appealing than you’d expect.
Besides the building-to-building soaring capabilities, Mirror’s Edge extends itself with FPS basics of fire-arm equipment, which is only available when grabbing one off an enemy NPC. This is then normally followed up with a sequence of over-the-arm tuck, roll, SLAM manoeuvre performed by the main character. That shit never gets old.
Obstacles are not scarce. More often than not, you will find yourself jumping wall to wall whilst search for possible routes of escape. The only available directors are colored red or blue objects scattered around the terrain, signalling a possible jump ahead.
Words cannot describe the insatiable heart-thumping fear you experience through the virtual window of your PC as you leap over walls and across buildings.
The visuals, as well as the surrounding audio (not forgetting the awesome soundtrack!), takes you on a journey of excitement, anxiety and entertainment that thrill-seekers can enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
This is definitely a game worth playing at least once in your life.
Still not convinced? Watch the trailer video of Mirror’s Edge below.
Available in single player & multiplayer online. Rated ESRB [T] suitable for teenagers 13 and above.
Mirror’s Edge is also available on iOS devices, but contains a completely separate user experience from the review above.