A little Faith goes a long way
It seems like an age since Mirror’s Edge was announced for the iPhone, but the game that once graced the PS3 and 360 is now here on the small screen.
Set in the near future, corporations have taken over and made the city their own, controlling media and government. Only the runners, illegal postmen and women who use rooftops and Parkour style antics to deliver messages between those who prefer their freedom, are outside of the new regime, helping pirate radio stations to keep broadcasting and generally fighting back against the system.
You play as Faith, one of the Runners, delivering information and trying to avoid the corporation’s heavy handed police force. The story takes you over beautifully crafted rooftops and through the underbelly of the city, teaching you new tricks along the way.
Starting your journey on the rooftops, swipes and taps allow you to duck, jump and wall run with ease. The controls are certainly intuitive, more so than the console game, and by the time you get to the soldiers you’ll have full control of Faiths actions. Where the game really scores points over its console counterparts, though, is the combat. Disarming the police and knocking them down takes precedence over grabbing guns and you can slide tackle, high kick or perform takedowns with ease, relying on timing rather than complicated routines to gain the upper edge.
Obviously something had to give when building a console game for a phone and that’s the 3D environment. As Faith almost always ran in a straight line anyway it makes far more sense to make the game more of a side-scroller like Canabalt and it does at first feel very similar, albeit with more control and no random backdrops. However, Mirror’s Edge feels far more polished, coming at you in a 2.5D environment rather than flat 3D. Combat adds another layer to the action and helps ensure Mirror’s Edge stands out among the other run and jump games on the App store.
Despite the 2D design the game looks stunning, keeping the same pristine white buildings with the red interactive environment that worked so well. Characters are well animated and small touches, like seagulls flying off the roof as you get near make it feel very polished.
Unlike the earlier iPad version there is no multiplayer, split screen is un-surprisingly absent but unfortunately there is no sign of local or WiFi multiplayer to replace it. What is there, though, is a ghost mode which lets you download other player’s efforts on the free run mode and play against them. In a way this is a form of multiplayer, but it feels like a bit of a sacrifice.
With the main game over pretty quickly, Mirror’s Edge needs to rely on the time trials to keep it going and to some extent they do, but it would be a shame if EA don’t update this title with extra levels for practicing times (as they have done on consoles) or even a proper multiplayer mode.
Mirror’s Edge is a very enjoyable experience and one that you’ll keep coming back to in order to beat your best times. With just a few additions it would be perfect, but as it stands the game is still recommended for fans of Canabalt and the original console game.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 7
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