Mirror's Edge

I mentioned that I would be playing a whole bunch of shooters. Actually typing that made me depressed, so I decided to take a detour and play a not shooter instead. Parts of it ended up being creepier than F.E.A.R. if you can believe it or not. But honestly, that's not a tough thing to do.

You may ask, "Andrew, how on earth can a bright mundane world be creepy?" Well, I'm glad you asked. The game titles open up saying that government surveillance kept increasing until riots broke out on the streets, then everyone was brutally cracked down on. Given what we now know about the NSA, I realized that we are living through that scenario, but we haven't reached that breaking point. Then not long into the game, I ran across a certain Snowden Plaza.

Screenshot from Mirror's Edge, showing Snowden Plaza

This game has a very stylized, sterile look, with a few flat colors and not much dirt. It's not what I call cartoony at all. It came out in 2009, and I think it still looks good, but I noticed some round things being not so round. As you run through the levels, a few objects start to glow red, orange, yellow, blue, or green, indicating the way forward, and what I think is game pacing: whether nor not this is a calm moment or an active one. City signage is in English and Chinese, but I also saw ads with Cyrillic text.

The gameplay consists of running and jumping around the city, and fighting cops, often in the form of private security. It gets really annoying halfway through when that's about half of what you're doing. You need to disarm them, take their gun, and shoot the others. Here I was thinking that this was not an FPS. That, and there is plenty of vent crawling. Later on in the game, you pretty much have to wall run jump to get anywhere.

I will call this an obvious console port, if only because it has unskippable logo videos (which can be deleted to not run) and a title screen with the "press any key to get to the menu" nonsense. Come to think of it, most AAA multiplatform games do this. At least it doesn't tell me to not turn off my computer while it's saving the game.

Its a good diversion from shooters if you don't get nauseated easily.

Posted under Gaming.

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