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Review: Mirror's Edge

April 19, 2010


Mirror’s Edge for iPad is one of the most anticipated titles for the device as EA brings the game that didn’t quite work in 3D on the consoles to the iPad as a 2D game. You play as Faith Connors who is a runner in a world of closed information, and strict watch by the government. Runners are the only way to transport information privately, but the government is looking to take them out. The government is also trying to make the police force look bad to hire private mercenaries to do the job. In an attempt to do so they stage a attack, and blame it on the runners. Now it’s up to Faith to defend the survival of the runners.


14 levels are included in the campaign mode with each one lasting between two and five minutes. Also included are speed runs to play previously beaten levels going as fast as you can to earn stars based on time. Each level not only has a path to completion, but also has bags with some in the main path, and some off of it. The game features online high scores for the speed runs, as well achievements in the form of badges. The controls are straight forward and intuitive with every action a swipe away. Simply swipe up to jump, swipe down to slide, and swipe left or right to run in that direction. While in a slide, swipe up to pop up, while in a jump swipe down to roll on landing. You can also swipe in a jump to do a jump kick on an enemy, and there are other swiping mechanics included. Two types of multiplayer are included giving you race or rival mode via a split screen. In race you play one of the campaign levels, and the first to the finish wins. Rival mode gives an abstract map you’ve never seen before, and the first to collect five bags wins.

The Good

This may be the most amazing action experience on the iPad. It’s just a wonderful experience swiping to run, jump, and slide across rooftops in this 2D side-scroller. You get to jump over gaps, slide under tubing, take zip lines, slide down glass windows, make huge leaps, and run across billboards. From the first jump you’ll be hooked as the fast paced action is still so smooth and graceful. The game is set up to be totally immersed with the movements of Faith, and it’s a connection at your fingertips like very few in video games. The difficulty from level to level increases nearly perfectly and the set up of the checkpoints allows you to never get stuck playing the same frustrating action over and over. Once you get into the higher levels it’s not simply going straight forward to the end as you will need to cross back and forth reaching higher buildings or sliding to lower levels to reach the end. You will also come across armed guards firing at you where you need to jump kick or slide into them to knock them down, and survive. The game slows down when you reach an enemy to highlight the action, and then you will need to slide or jump over an obstacle right after. The multiplayer is definitely unique for the iPad giving you the head to head swiping experience on the same device. If you have someone else to play with it makes this game of higher value. It’s great to race right on the same level as your opponent, or try to collect bags in brand new abstract levels. It’s super simple to control Faith with everything a swipe away. It’s completely intuitive, and so seamless that your fingers just move on the situation you run in to. While you’re playing, despite your fingers swiping on screen you never miss a second of the action by your finger cluttering up the screen as would happen on smaller devices. The game is simply beautiful as you see the amazing looking 3D landscapes in full resolution on the iPad right in your face. The animations of the actions of Faith are mesmerizing to watch as it's concrete gymnastics to the max. The game offers total immersion in the world of Mirror’s Edge.

The Bad

The major downfall is that the game is relatively short, which is maximized by it costing $13. There are only six chapters, and each chapter only has two levels rather than the full on nine chapters of the 3D console version. In total there is only about an hour to two hours of gameplay with no incentive to ever play again. Another problem is that once you completed the campaign there really isn’t much to do unless you want to find bags in levels, and collect badges. The online high scores currently don’t work so there’s no speed runs to compete globally. The game is so much fun from start to finish, but that finish comes so soon.

The Verdict

Mirror’s Edge is one of the best experiences on the iPad totally immersing you in the world while connecting you with actions of the runner. It’s amazing to witness the concrete gymnastics in the beautiful landscapes so close to your face with such easy movements right at your fingertips. This is a game you will absolutely love if you like action games, even slightly. With that said it will be so disappointing when this mesmerizing experience comes to such a quick end. Then there really isn’t much to do unless you can grab a friend for the local multiplayer or like collecting achievements. For $13 the game does go by much to quickly to be highly recommended. This is quite a dichotomy where the gameplay, visuals, controls are simply outstanding, but the price of $13 and length of the game makes it worth considering. It’s one of the best games on the iPad, but it costs too much for what is provided.

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