"Stylish But Short"
After nearly five months since the iPad version was released, Mirror’s Edge has finally been released on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Much like its larger cousin, Mirror’s Edge offers intuitive controls, stylish visuals, and a vibrant soundtrack that’s sure to impress despite its lack of content.
Mirror’s Edge has players guide Faith Connors in sidescroller fashion across precarious rooftops, through extensive corridors, and other futuristically dangerous environments whilst overcoming obstacles, avoiding enemy gunfire, and pummeling enemies in order to reach the end of each stage. The controls are intuitive and easy to pull off. Simply swipe in the desired direction and Faith will keep running forward until she meets an obstacle or falls off an edge. Need to jump over an obstacle? Swipe up to jump. Need to slide under an obstacle? Simply swipe down. Swiping in the opposite direction causes her to turn around and tapping on her stops all movement. These inputs can be used in conjunction to execute high kicks, wall rebounds, wall runs, and more.
- Controls are occasionally troublesome -
The main focus of the Mirror’s Edge is to get from one end of a level to another. When the controls work, traversing a level for a long amount of time without stopping is exhilarating and rewarding. However, the touch controls are spotty at times and can break up the momentum. Changing directions and stopping are particularly difficult, and the animation timing for these actions are too long and lessen player control. Moving or turning around on a small platform or performing subtle movements is impossible because Faith can only run or stand still. These design issues aside, the controls become second nature and executing stylish maneuvers is usually simple.
The biggest problem with Mirror’s Edge is that the story mode can be completed in about two hours. Although the levels are expertly designed and offer branching paths, different ways to overcome obstacles, and collectables that unlock artwork, there are only a handful of levels, and the storyline is presented through scrolling text. There is a Speed Run mode where you simply run through the single-player levels in order to get the best time. Speed run scores are displayed on online leaderboards, which adds some replay value for competitive players. At the time of this review, Game Center support was not implemented although the game has its own achievement system.
- The visuals are often beautiful -
The visual design of Mirror’s Edge is both stunning and innovative. The game offers a unique visual style that incorporates Futurist design and overexposed textures and lighting. Most everything in the game is composed of clean, straight edges casting surreal shadows and creating foreboding manmade vistas. The color design is bold and effective, and each level is composed of greys or whites and two or three primary or secondary colors, creating a nice contrast between interactive obstacles, the foreground, the background, and black-clothed Faith. Environments and characters are modeled expertly and the whole visual design screams unique.
The techno-pop and moody, ambient music is reminiscent of WipEout and fits the visual and game design of Mirror’s Edge well. The limited use of lyricism is punctual and poppy. Unfortunately, several tracks have unnecessary audio gaps or repeat too quickly. Sound effects suit the onscreen action, but the enemy cops voice tracks appear to be at a much lower bitrate.
Mirror’s Edge is an excellent execution of great gameplay, visual, and audio design. For $4.99, however, the story mode should have been twice as long and offered more challenges.
GameDynamo's Score for Mirror's Edge (Mobile)
He's always enjoyed the artistic craft of video games and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts for Animation. He also creates his own games!
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