Not even a week in to the new year, and I have already discovered this years biggest disappointment (Such a quaint way of opening a game review yeah?).
(Yes it came out in 08, but I didn't play it until January. So shut up)
I recently rented mirrors edge (Actually my buddy rented it, and we played it through together. But whatever.), and as it was my most anticipated game of 08, needless to say I was looking forward to finally getting to play it (Yes it's been out for a while on the ps3 and 360, but as I don't have either of those, and the PC version got pushed back (Thanks EA), I had no way of delving into its warm parkour goodness). But soon after inserting the disk, my hopes were dashed, like winning ten grand on a lottery ticket, then turning it over and realizing that all the people pointing and laughing at you haven't collectively lost their mind, but are in fact laughing at your idiocy in thinking that life decided to stop hating you for the day, and allowed you to win something.
The first 15-20 minutes were a saucy mix of orgasmic pleasure, and devising the existence of the universe while juggling flaming bowling balls and water skiing frustration. The game is beautiful, no question. Even the cut scenes (Which I've heard many complaints about), fit just fine in my opinion. They do their job of breaking from the intensity (Or annoyance in most cases) of police trying to perforate you with hot lead anytime you so much as try to take a piss. But the controls are the first trip over the long line of game play hurdles.
Who ever decided the left shoulder button (Keep in mind this is the 360 version. So the PC and PS3 versions will no doubt be different) should be the jump button, should be punched in the god damn throat. So as they either die a slow death, or survive. Either way, learning the valuable lesson to never to make stupid game design decisions ever again. What's worse still, is that the left trigger button is the button you use to roll, and drop from a ledge. And switching from the two, while trying to control where you're going on the joy stick becomes what can only be described as a "Complete cluster fuck" when you're running you life, while getting shot at from the a fucking helicopter. Yeah, a god damn helicopter shoots at you. A LOT!
Another throat jabbing control fuck up. Is a tie in to what I just said. The roll button, is the same as the drop from the ledge button. This may not sound like a big deal. Until you realize that much of the game is jumping from high places, and just making it to the edge of the next roof top. And if you don't want to take any damage you have to roll. But oh no no. If you landed one millimeter back, and hit the ledge, when you quickly hit the roll button (Still running from a god damn helicopter I might add) expecting to make a stylish action roll to safety, and go on to later brag about your action rolling skills to all the ladies (Which totally works by the way). You instead hit the ledge, and as there's a delay in the animation from, landing to hanging on for your life, you may be hanging with out even knowing it. So what happens when you hit that styling action roll button? That's right, you fall to your fucking death without even knowing you were hanging in the first place.
Fault number two in this hurdle race to rage induced aneurysm town. Comes from our old friend, out of place game mechanics, which comes to us this time in the form of combat.
Nothing breaks flow more in this game, then having to stop, fight, die, and re do the same annoying fight 50 times before you hit that right button arcade mortal combat-esc configuration to magically squeak your way through getting shot at by about a dozen swat officers with sniper aim from across the map even when using shotguns ('cuz that makes perfect sense). The guy who ate a bad taco can seem to hit everything but the toilet he's aiming at, but you guys can hit me from 500 feet away. Sorry Mr. logical physics, you have no place here. (Sorry to anyone who was eating chili while reading that, or anything with nuts really)
That said. You know that old prince of persia adage "When in doubt, wall run"? Well this game adopts its own variation. "When in combat, slide kick" Less you will get your shit rocked. After discovering this magical move that can best even the top shotgun sniper dickheads out there. So long as they aren't being their dickish self's, and killing you from a football field away, while snickering, sipping tea and saying "Quite" a lot.
The other half of the combat system they implemented for no god damn reason in and of it self. Is gun play. Why the fuck, are guns even in this game?! Yes I understand that faith is essentially fighting a war, and anything goes. But for that matter. Why the fuck are the cops even firing every bullet they have at you to begin with? The game starts with you delivering a package and using your parkour skills to traverse the city, which is some of the most game based fun I've had in years. But then the cops pop up out of now where, and before even checking to see if you're a wee little orphan who wandered in looking for some scraps of food. They unload their entire clips in your direction. But they never once actually explain WHY their desire to see you dead is so strong. I can't tell if the police are trying to kill faith because she did something actually deserving of a bullet induced death. Or because they really hate orphans, you decide. And while this can be slightly brushed off when you realize that the game is in fact going to be 3 games, and they'll no doubt explain it down the line. But given there was no solid plan for any sequels when it was initially made. This is what they intended to leave us with.
I can't decide if this is a plus for EA in that they foresaw that people would collectively go "....The hell?" and decided to continue the story to appease the fans. or. In a more EA like fashion. Decided to half ass a potentially ground breaking game, and give that over used EA brand middle finger to anyone who actually buys their game.
If you're saying "But this game IS ground breaking". I agree with you, -ish. It is ground breaking in many ways. Hell, damn near the entire game is ground breaking in its own ways. But as every ground breaking aspect is flawed to the point of the ground breakingness being drowned out by the pure shittieness of its lumped mass of flaws. They only get partial credit at best.
In the end. This game was a colossal disappointment for me. The very thing that made it seem fun (The freeness of being able to do fast paced parkour without having to risk the skin on my ass by doing it my self) was thrown out in the first fucking level. And they just kept packing on the annoying bits, to the point where I honestly didn't even want to finish it (At that point, my buddy took over and kept us rolling). I'm very glad I rented it, and didn't buy it for the PC as I had originally planned to do. Because I really couldn't bring my self to pay full retail for this game. It just isn't good enough. And as there isn't any real replay value (Save time trials. Woo....), if you're still on the fence as to whether buy, or rent this game. I would say, 100% rent. Granted, the DLC coming for it looks entertaining to no end. But the day I buy a full retail game for the download able content. Is the day I eat my own ass.
~ lycao out