Beyond the Mirror’s Edge

And, on top of everything else, I’m a gamer as well…
I finished a game today and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. It’s called Mirror’s Edge and it was released in 2008 though I only managed to get my hands on it now because the second hand game became affordable (I use PS3). Having grown up with Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, I’ve finished every single one) I can be quite critical on my games. I realize that there are many other great games out there, but for me – the busty Tomb Raider will for ever be the standard to live up to. Generally, I like a strong female character to be present in my games, I like good puzzle solving, a good story line, good graphics and good music. If you give me three out of the five, I’m pretty content.
Mirror’s Edge provided four.
The story line’s basic but unique (which in my book would make it good). You are a runner called Faith in a supposedly perfect city where people have given up their freedom and privacy in exchange for a utopia like world. They are monitored everywhere by CCTV cameras and police in order to assure that everything runs smoothly. Faith works for a firm that opposes this perfect world and who uses runner’s like her to exchange messages with other revolutionaries who distrust electronic communication. When the mayor of the city is killed, Faith’s sister (who works for the police and doesn’t approve of Faith’s way of life) is framed for the murder and Faith has to find a way to not only clear her name but save her from an unknown third party with a hidden agenda.
The graphics are great and expansive and although the world isn’t very 3D (bit of a linear playing style in comparison to something like Assasin’s Creed or Tomb Raider Underworld) it’s still amazing just to see. The music is also great, providing a nice background atmosphere without distracting you. There was sadly very little puzzle solving, but in hind sight, you don’t really have time to do much of that as you’re always being chased. You need to be able to think fast though and always think of alternative ways to get around so I guess that in a way, that ‘replaced’ the puzzle solving aspect. The down side is that it made the game very ‘easy’ to finish. Although the combat becomes more intense and the stunts harder to perform, one you’ve mastered the basics it’s just a question of applying it.
The thing that attracted me to this game in the beginning though was actually the theme song called ‘Still Alive’ by Lisa Miskovsky. I heard the song on a trailer for another game and, after some searching, discovered that it was mainly used in this game. It’s a haunting song, that (in sharp contrast to most songs out there) doesn’t go about love, but about life and how to survive. It’s also perhaps the theme of this game as one of the characters say at some point – there’s more to life than just surviving. The story’s not fuelled by passion or obsession, rather one character’s struggle and strives to keep her sister alive. It showed that, no matter how opinions can differ – at the end of the day, family is family and you should do anything to protect it.

Although it didn’t provide hours of engrossed playing, I loved this game – and can highly recommend it to anybody else. The thing is that I’m not just in it for the gaming, I’m in it for the story and how the characters can teach me something about myself or other characters I have. Mirror’s Edge did just that for me. And, it provided a great escape.