Just as a quick disclaimer, I realize that this game is not that obscure as many gamers know the name, but it is largely overlooked despite its positive reception. That is why I decided to categorize it as a Hidden Gem, but I could say that it is also a Great Games category contender. However, since I haven’t done a Hidden Gem game in awhile this one will be used and if there are any objections this is my blog, my rules. On that note, let’s dive into talking about this sleeper hit from 2008.
Mirror’s Edge is a first-person action-adventure game set in a dystopian society, where you pursue the role of Faith Conners, a courier that works to transfer data without the government’s interference. While this game boosts elements of a first person shooter, like many major titles of its time, this game is set apart by the movement elements found in the gameplay. Inspired by real world free-running and parkour, players are able to perform a variety rolls, jumps, wall-runs, and the like to navigate this urban environment. The art direction for this game is minimalist as players are not going to pay much attention to their surroundings as they have to flee from the police and other pursuers. However, the choice of using stark white mixed with other colors creates an atmosphere that feels very futuristic, while retaining elements that still keep it relative to a current time period. As I mentioned previously, you are able to fire weapons in this game, but there is a hand-to-hand combat system that the player can use to disarm and neutralize their targets. The level designs and platforming segments create a sense of uniqueness to each area you visit and present players with various avenues for progressing forward.
Personally, I feel as though this game doesn’t get the credit that it’s due. Considering that most major titles at the time of this game’s release were FPS games shows that this one stuck out among them. The concept and execution were done very well, but it feels as though other titles by DICE, such as Battlefield, overshadowed the potential that this game had. Though their was a subsequent reboot of this game that release in 2016, it didn’t have the same effect that this game bolstered when it released. Besides these things, I really enjoyed my playthrough of this game, even if I had times when I just couldn’t stick the landing. The feeling of being free and jumping between rooftops is invigorating and learning about Faith as the game progresses and her relationship to the other “runners” felt very natural. Honestly, I would have rather seen this game get an HD re-release in favor of an overall reboot, but a boy can dream.
To anyone who has a Steam account, PS3, or Xbox 360 on hand, I highly recommend playing this title if you happen across one. Having games that are still ripe with potential as this one, nearly 12 years after it’s release, is quite a feat considering how ever-evolving the games industry is.