When I played Mirror’s Edge on PC for the first time I had literally zero experience with first-person video games, nor I knew about Parkour, a key point in this and many other installments. Mirror’s Edge is a game developed by Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts (EA) in November 2008 for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. In January 2009 it arrived for Microsoft Windows as well.
The whole game is based on acrobatic jumps and fast runs set in different areas suitably structured with pipes, wooden boards, ladders and support objects to help you climb and move around. The environments costantly show bright reds and yellows in contrast with the blue insigna and the white buildings.
The story takes place in an unnamed ‘utopian’ city, where life is comfortable and crime almost non-existent. But the city’s state of bliss is the achievement of a domineering and totalitarian regime, which monitors all communication, controls the media, spies on its citizens and has policies which include the outright prohibition of smoking and alcohol. The City also operates sham trials, and runs on a sham democracy. Eighteen years before the events of the game they had opened fire on a protest against their rule, killing many civilians.
As the story begins the mayoral elections are near and a new candidate, Robert Pope, is challenging the incumbent Mayor Callaghan on a platform of deregulation.
The protagonist of Mirror’s Edge is Faith Connors, a 24-year-old woman with a distinctive tattoo around her right eye (imitated by the game’s logo). Faith earns her living as a “Runner”, a courier who carries physical communiqués around the city, her services retained by revolutionary groups who avoid communicating via highly monitored telephone and e-mail channels.
When my old computer with Windows XP and 3 GB of RAM could barely run The Sims 2 and nothing more than that, I used to spend a huge part of my free time on YouTube, looking for interesting 3D videos and cutscenes from games. Mirror’s Edge captivated me for Faith’s Asian features and the saturated colors in its sceneries.
The game per se is not particularly long and it can be completed in a few days or even less than 24 hours if you are an avid gamer. Sometimes you could get lost in the dungeons wondering what are you supposed to do and where to go, other times you may just replay a specific part over and over again because of its complexity, where you need to study your surroundings and find the correct path to follow using Faith’s Parkour skills. Overall this is a very fun and quite unique title.
Instead of pre-rendered footages the developers opted for animated sequences resembling the ‘Anime‘ style a little bit, which maintains the same colors and contrasts you meet in the playable world. A few people seemed to dislike the choice, finding this type of animation terribly ugly and inappropriate for a video game. Other players actually liked it and considered it a peculiarity.
Dice released the first and only Mirror’s Edge DLC on January 29th 2009 called “Pure Time Trials“. According to Owen O’Brien, Senior Producer for DICE, “The freedom of movement and control in first person has been the most popular aspect of Mirror’s Edge, so we decided to distill these down to their purest form for this map pack. We deliberately chose a more abstract aesthetic that is still within our distinctive art style and then focused on flow and gameplay to create a very different experience.”
The time trials DLC has proven to be incompatible with versions of Mirror’s Edge purchased from Steam.
The album was composed by Swedish electronic musician Magnus Birgersson (also known as Solar Fields) who stated that the music should reflect the environment, the story, the gameplay, Faith’s mood and that the soundtrack is a mixture of electronic and ambiental music. On October 7 2008, EA announced the release of a remix album featuring the Mirror’s Edge theme song “Still Alive” by Swedish musician Lisa Miskovsky.
Official video for the main theme:
If you love taking screenshots in games there is an easy way to activate a sort of free camera mode in Mirror’s Edge, where you can explore the environments and even play the game in third-person (Even if the animations will result quite clumsy and funny to watch).
In order to activate this option you need to modify a configuration file called TdInput.ini located in Documents > EA Games > Mirror’s Edge > TDGame > Config. Open it in Notepad and under [Engine.PlayerInput] you will find a few lines with the ‘Bindings‘ code.
You have to add this text before the Bindings=(Name=”D”,Command=”GBA_StrafeRight one in order to make it work:
It should look like this:
Once you open the game and load your currrent level, try pressing the F4 key a few times to load the free camera mode and the third-person point of view. In case you don’t see any difference, you probably need to press FN + F4 if you’re using a laptop or CTRL + F4 if you have a desktop PC.
If you want to go back to the original first-person view keep pressing F4 until everything goes back to its initial state.
Hotkeys for the camera:
W – Move forward
S – Move backward
A – Move to the left
D – Move to the right
Mouse – Move the camera around (like you normally do while playing the original mode)
A second game was officially revealed at the Electronic Arts’ press event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013 to be released at an undetermined time. The game has been confirmed to be a prequel/reboot to Mirror’s Edge showcasing the origins of Faith, it will be an open-world action adventure with more refined combat mechanics and it’ll use the new Frostbite 3 Engine. It looks like they got rid of the 2D animated sequences using the common 3D rendered scenes this time.
The upcoming Mirror’s Edge is now known as Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and it will be available on June 7th in North America and June 9th in Europe on Xbox One, PS4 and for digital download on PC.
You can purchase Mirror’s Edge and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst on Amazon by clicking on their covers here. I honestly feel excited about the new game and I can’t wait to play the finished product, since I got the chance to try the closed BETA for 60 minutes and I can already say I love it! The fact that it became an open world adventure attracts my attention even more, since I personally love this game mode and fully enjoyed Mirror’s Edge despite its limitations in terms of exploration.