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Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge is a single-player, first person, action-adventure platform video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game was announced on July 10, 2007, and was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in November 2008. A Microsoft Windows version was released on January 13, 2009. Mirror's Edge is powered by the Unreal Engine 3, with the addition of a new lighting solution, developed by Illuminate Labs in association with DICE.

The game has a brightly colored style and differs from most other first-person perspective video games in allowing for a wider range of actions—such as sliding under barriers, tumbling, wall-running, and shimmying across ledges—and greater freedom of movement; in having no heads-up display; and in allowing the legs, arms, and torso of the character to be visible on-screen. Mirror's Edge is set in a futuristic dystopian society, in which a network of 'runners', including the main character, Faith, are used as couriers to transmit messages while evading government surveillance. In the style of a three-dimensional platform game, the player guides Faith over rooftops, across walls, and through ventilation shafts, negotiating obstacles using movements inspired by parkour.

Mirror's Edge has received mostly positive reviews, with the PC version garnering a Metacritic aggregated score of 81%. The game's uniqueness and its expansive environments have received praise, while criticism has centred on its weakness of plot, trial and error gameplay and short length. A soundtrack featuring remixes of the final credits song "Still Alive" by Swedish singer Lisa Miskovsky was also released. A side-scroller mobile game, also titled Mirror's Edge, was released for Apple iPad on April 1, 2010 and for the iPhone on September 2, 2010. A port of the game was released for Windows Phone on July 13, 2012, with an initial exclusivity period for owners of Nokia Lumia phones.

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013, a second game was officially announced.

Mirror's Edge Plot

Mirror's Edge takes place in an unnamed 'utopian' city where life is comfortable and crime almost non-existent. But the city's state of bliss is the achievement of a domineering and totalitarian regime which monitors all communication, controls the media, has policies which include the outright illegalisation of smoking. The City also operates sham trials, and runs on a sham democracy. Eighteen years before the events of the game they had opened fire on a protest against their rule, killing many civilians.

As the story begins the mayoral elections are near and a new candidate, Robert Pope, is challenging the incumbent Mayor Callaghan on a platform of deregulation.

Mirror's Edge Gameplay

In Mirror's Edge, the player controls the protagonist, Faith, from a first-person perspective as she is challenged to navigate across a gleaming city, by jumping between rooftops, running across walls, and gaining access to buildings through ventilation shafts. This is accomplished by use of techniques and movements inspired by the discipline of parkour. According to senior producer Owen O'Brien, Mirror's Edge aims to "convey strain and physical contact with the environment", with the goal of allowing a freedom of movement previously unseen in the first-person genre. In order to achieve this, camera movement pays more attention to character movement. For example, as Faith's speed builds up while running, the rate at which the camera bobs up and down increases. When a roll is executed, the camera spins with the character. Faith's arms, legs, and torso are prominent and their visibility is used to convey movement and momentum. The character's arms pump and the length of her steps increase with her gait, and her legs cycle and arms flail during long jumps.

A uniformed soldier, standing on a rooftop, falls back after being kicked. Two arms and a leg belonging to the player's character are visible.

Mirror's Edge features a realistic first-person view, with the character's limbs visible during hand-to-hand combat.

In gameplay, the character's momentum becomes an asset. The player must attempt to conserve it through fluidity of physical actions, encouraging the creation of chains of moves. If Faith does not have the momentum required to traverse an object, she will fall off or short of it. Controls are simplified by being context-sensitive; the "upwards movement" button will cause Faith to traverse an obstacle by passing over it (i.e., by jumping, vaulting, climbing, or grabbing set pieces like zip-lines) while the "downwards movement" button will cause her to perform other manoeuvres like sliding, rolling, or crouching. To assist the player in creating these chains of moves, the game employs a system called "Runner Vision", which emphasises environmental pieces useful for progression. Certain pipes, ramps, and doors are highlighted in red as Faith approaches, allowing the player to instantly recognize paths and escape routes. Further along in the game, the number of these visual hints is reduced to only the end goal, and the player can opt to turn off this hint system entirely. It is also used to create puzzles in which the player must figure out how to combine the highlighted set pieces into a chain of moves in order to reach the target. Another means of assistance to the player is a system called "Reaction Time", a form of bullet time activated by the player, slowing down time and allowing the player to plan and time their next move without losing momentum or tactical advantage.

The player character can hold weapons, but O'Brien stressed that "this is an action adventure. We're not positioning this as a shooter – the focus isn't on the gun, it's on the person." Gameplay in Mirror's Edge focuses on finding the best route through the game's environments while combat takes a secondary role. Completing the game without shooting a single enemy unlocks an achievement for the player. Consequently, guns may be obtained by disarming an enemy, but when the magazine is empty, it will need to be discarded. Additionally, carrying a weapon slows Faith down; the heavier the gun, the more it hinders her movement. This introduces an element of strategy in determining when to trade agility for short-term firepower.

Along with the campaign mode, Mirror's Edge features a time attack mode, where the player must try to complete one of a set of special maps in the shortest amount of time. Best times can be uploaded to online leaderboards, where players can also download ghosts of other players to compete against. The maps are unlocked by playing through the campaign mode. According to producer Tom Ferrer, the time trial portions of Mirror's Edge are "bite-sized and short so you can grind them and play them and get faster and faster. It's not like playing an entire level."

Reception
Mirror's Edge has received mostly positive reviews, with score aggregator Metacritic reporting scores of 81/100 for the PC version and 79/100 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. Official Xbox Magazine gave the game 9.5 out of 10, praising its "brilliant sense of motion and gameplay". Play awarded it 9 out of 10, while GameTrailers.com gave it 8.3 out of 10. Computer and Video Games was also positive, calling it "A brilliant and unique experience, even if the small shooting parts aren't quite up to scratch." IGN awarded the game 8.3 out of 10, calling it a "thrilling and stylish venture", but "the first chapter of a franchise that's still finding its feet." GameSpot praised the immersive gameplay environments, but criticised the inconsistency of gameplay speed. Ian Bogost of Gamasutra commended the game for being unconventional, calling it "a shooter that makes you hate to shoot".

An Asian woman wearing a black shirt is visible in the right-hand side of the image. She has tattoos around her left eye and on her right arm. White buildings and a red construction crane are visible in the background beneath a dark blue sky.

Instead of computer-rendered or live-action cutscenes, Mirror's Edge uses animated sequences to move its story along. Reviewers were divided in their opinions of the stylistic choice.

Edge gave the game 5 out of 10, stating that the levels felt contrived and that there was no true freedom through the levels, merely multiple preordained paths. The Guardian noted the game's short length, and many reviews criticised the "trial and error" nature of the play. Despite giving the game a score of 8 out of 10, Eurogamer dismissed the storyline as rambling, adding that " is going to divide audiences down the middle... Some will be able to overlook the gaping flaws, but others will never appreciate its moments of brilliance, and both positions are justifiable... " Other issues raised were the stylistic choice of animated cutscenes, and the "cramped" feel of some of the levels.

The developers initially projected a total of three million copies of Mirror's Edge to be sold, but in February 2009, Electronic Arts reported sales of over one million. According to an October 2010 court document pertaining to the legal conflict between EA and Edge Games (see Mirror's Edge#Development and release), Mirror's Edge has sold more than two million copies worldwide, with more than 750,000 of those copies having been sold in North America. The iPhone-compatible version of the game has sold more than 37,000 copies. In June 2013, the executive vice president of the EA Games revealed the game has sold "about 2.5 million units".


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