Video Game Review: Mirror's Edge

Acrobatics and running replace gunplay and combat in this genre-bending shooter.

Nov. 28, 2008— -- "Mirror's Edge" is a totally fresh approach to the somewhat tired first-person action genre, replacing gunplay and tactical combat with fast-paced action in the form of acrobatics and free running.

Players take on the role of Faith, a woman who's part of an elite group of message-carriers or "runners" who move around information their underworld clientele would rather keep secret from the prying eyes and ears of the game world's pseudo-fascist government. Racing across the rooftops of the sterile urban landscape of an unnamed city, Faith is a master of perpetual motion and uses the vents, fences, ledges and other features of the city's buildings to dodge police and complete her missions.

When Faith's sister is framed for murder and captured by the police, she must fight to free herself and clear her name. But in the process, Faith uncovers a wide-reaching and sinister plot that puts her life in jeopardy and her sister's involvement into sharp focus.

There's very little actual combat in "Mirror's Edge." In most cases gunfire means "start running faster." In fact, direct attacks on the few enemies you're challenged with dispatching are incredibly difficult to pull off given your lack of fighting prowess.

Run Faith, Run!

If you're a fan of the "jumping, running, climbing" segments of some video games, "Mirror's Edge" is the game for you. However, if you'd rather stand and fight than run and jump, it may not be the best use of your time and money.

In the effort to redefine the genre, "Mirror's Edge" game-play can be described like this: "Where do I go?" "How do I get there?" "How many times will I fall or die before I get to the next checkpoint?" Though the game gets progressively more fun as the controls become easier to manage, the play is repetitive and the novelty quickly wears off.

In addition, Those who suffer from motion sickness may want to steer clear of "Mirror's Edge" -- or pop a couple of Dramamines before playing, though we're not recommending that. The camera mimics the movements of Faith's highly agile and acrobatic moves and can be both disorienting and, at times, potentially nauseating.

Online, players can compete against themselves and others in races through the game's various boards. Making your way through what amounts to an urban obstacle course for better times to rival the competition.

"Mirror's Edge" is a refreshing new take on the first-person-shooter game. It has a lot of personality and style, but in the end it'll be up to players to decide if they want something new, and if "Mirror's Edge" is it.

"Mirror's Edge" is rated "T" for "Teen" and is available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game consoles and Windows PCs.