Mirror’s Edge Impressions: Free Running Bliss

So last week, the Mirror’s Edge Demo dropped with a mighty splash on Sony’s PSN as well as XBox Live, bringing with it the stylized First Person Platformer that we’ve been catching tantalizing glimpses of for months.

The demo comes with a trial mode (if you’ve pre-ordered the game) as well as a tutorial and a small bit of the single player campaign. Having been excited about this one for a few months, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and give it some control time myself. So how does it hold up?

The game starts with the tutorial, teaching you the ways of the “Flow”, explaining the game’s UI as a kind of focus that the runners get, seeing the city landscape in a different way than normal people. What’s really cool is how the objects of interest appear in oranges and reds, directing your eyes to them naturally rather than through a complicated HUD. It’s a cool feeling and very organic in its design.

The fun part of the game comes after you learn the moves and the controls, and you are unleashed on the rooftops. While the controls can be complicated for those that really want to go nuts, there’s a certain freedom to them that let’s players do what they want. Basically, the tools are there to string together some crazy jumps and wall kicks, but it probably won’t always be necessary to run up a wall with the left bumper, pop a 90 degree turn with the right bumper, and then jump again.

Pretty soon, I was running across rooftops, diving over pipes, sliding after huge falls. And then something weird happened. Something about the controls just clicked for me in a way that I haven’t felt since I’ve played a game like Mario 64. You know the kind. Where you feel like the controller is an extension of what you’re doing, and you can string together all kind of stuff with ease. You get into kind of a zone. I think this game is going to be huge for time trials for that reason, because of some of the options available to the runner.

Anywho, the demo was simple enough, taking Faith across a few rooftops and even past a few guards before performing a leaping grab onto a helicopter to end it. If there was anything I can really fault the demo for, it’s that it was so teasingly short. I really just wanted to keep playing it.

All in all, Mirror’s Edge, from the demo, seems like it’s going to be a blast to play when it comes out, though I hope that it offers a robust enough campaign experience to deliver the fun for more than just a few short hours.

How many of you guys got to play this demo? What are your thoughts?

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

15 thoughts on “Mirror’s Edge Impressions: Free Running Bliss”

  1. I agree, the controls were highly intuitive. I just knew what to do instantly!

    I like the idea of speed running b/c that was my favorite way to play Super Mario Bros. So this is pretty awesome.

  2. I thought the demo was great. The controls felt natural, and felt a very frontal experience. Definitely gonna buy.

  3. I want this, Cod:WaW, and Fallout.. .but I can’t buy all 3 but only 1 :(… and I’m a big fan of COD… Curse my young years! If I could, I would buy all three 🙁

  4. I’m really excited for this game. EA has been going in a fantastic direction lately because I was reading they’re actually trying to make people happy and do unique games that stray away from their mainstream norm such as all the licensed games.

    The first two of this new phase is Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space. I’ve played about 3 hours of Dead Space it is one of the greatest gaming experiences i’ve had in a long time. It is such a great and well polished game so I cannot wait to see how Mirror’s Edge turns out. Especially on PC because of all the added buttons for controls, should be quite interesting.

  5. Dl’ed for PS, and the controls are natural and simple, and the platforming and speed. Great that you can climb up walls and pretty much go on EVERYTHING- saw it on the trailer and was skeptical but they actually managed to do it! 😀

  6. Loved the demo. I was playing it while a friend of mine watched, we were both tensing up every time I made Faith take a huge leap over a chasm.

    DICE definitely nailed physicality of the perspective.

    In a way, I wish the demo hadn’t been that great….Oh well, looks like it’s going to be a very self-centered Christmas….

  7. I’ve been paying attention to this game for well over a year now. The demo was very dissapointing. IT WAS TOO SHORT! Stupid DICE not giving more to play and teasing us ever so much 🙁

  8. it’s interesting to see a different perspective on free running. assasins creed was too easy. a game specific to free running may be better. where free running was just a cool feature in assasins creed, in mirrors edge, it seems to be the main feature so i guess that’s why it’s so awsome. shame that it’ll probably detract from other features…

  9. I played the demo. Very, very interesting game.
    Way fun, and it looks mighty fine.

    Indeed they better have a huge, HUGE singeplayer, to keep us going.

    I was discussing this with a friend.
    And were basically just naming stuff that would be cool to do, if this game was Online.

    And oh my god they should have done that.
    I swear to god.

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