Arts & Entertainment

'Mirror's Edge' an innovative rush

Mirror's Edge has players running to the stores to pick up a little Faith.

The much anticipated first-person action adventure game stars Faith, a "Runner." Set in a totalitarian society where the government listens to every electronic channel, the innocent and guilty alike must use sprightly Runners as ways to communicate with others.

When Faith's sister is framed for murder and Faith gets caught up in a series of events, the government soon is after her, forcing Faith to run ... and run ... and run.

Mirror's Edge is by EA DICE, best known for the successful Battlefield series. Instead of the smoky grays and mossy greens of a war-themed game, the color scale in Mirror's Edge is oversaturated with lucid whites, silvers, blues, yellows and oranges. The designers left out deep colors to create a pristine mirrorlike Utopia. This ties in perfectly with Faith's health; the weaker she gets, the less vivid the colors become.

The simulation of actual running in the game is perfected with the realism of seeing Faith's arms pumping while sprinting or her legs flailing when leaping off buildings. Whether jumping from a skyscraper or sliding underneath large ventilation pipes, the viewer gets a heaping portion of adrenaline-pumped eye-candy and a taste of what extreme free runners must experience.

The faster she runs, the shakier her vision becomes. This is where the game may lose people. Those suffering from motion-sickness can either take a Dramamine or opt for Runner Vision.

RV highlights specific items along paths and routes, hinting for the player to head in that direction. Some may see this as cheating, but it also serves as a focus point for the weak stomached, hopefully eliminating the need to keep a wastebasket nearby.

For most, players will lean and tilt along with the screen as Faith tumbles through the aesthetically sterile environment.

The key to accomplishing long leaps or climbing up tall obstacles is momentum. Players must master the flow of combining separate moves to keep Faith's momentum going. The introductory tutorial helps refine their skills and prepares them to accomplish specific goals. Otherwise, Faith will figuratively and literally fall short.

The game has been described as a first-person shooter, which is only true in sparse segments of the game. After disarming enemies, Faith can pick up their weapon and use it. However, lugging around a Benelli M3 Super 90 will slow Faith down and oftentimes players will opt to use her speed and agility over heavy artillery.

For being a game that is all about rushing from one point to another, the game's length is relatively short. Similar to Heavenly Sword, a revered game that clocks in at about six hours, a player can reach the end of Mirror's Edge with a mere 12 hours logged in or less, depending on which routes they take throughout the game.

However, players need not be disappointed. Senior producer Owen O'Brien revealed that Mirror's Edge will be developed into a trilogy. So fans can look forward to tweaking of the game's few flaws and to more sliding through the city's fingertips.

Mirror's Edge takes a new spin on what vigilantes look like and how developers look at first person character movements. The game encourages players to step out of their world and onto the Mirror's Edge which, from what we've seen, is an incredibly innovative place to be.

*Bethany Lee: 582-1465; blee@tricityherald.com

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