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Forums > Submission Feedback > zippdementia's Mirror's Edge review

This thread is in response to a review for Mirror's Edge on the PlayStation 3. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 15, 2008 (10:50 AM)
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Here you go, a free line crit that you didn't even ask for!

Throughout, you say 'first person perspective' when you need a dash between 'first' and 'person' since you have an adjective modifying an adjective.

Also keep in mind that you have to control, from a first person perspective, a character who can literally run up a wall, turns around mid run, and leap for a distant ledge.

turns = turn

That Mirror's Edge isn't a complete disaster, let alone an intuitive and easy to play experience, is an accomplishment of gameplay that deserves applause.

This doesn't work as you have it phrased. It's clear that you're saying it isn't a complete disaster, but it also seems like you're saying it's not an intuitive and easy to play experience.

Also, the developers choose to make their city the blandest city ever.

This transition from the previous paragraph doesn't seem to work. You finished up the last paragraph by talking about how the game deserves praise, so 'also' seems like you're going to continue in that vein... only you clearly don't (at least not at first). The points transition okay, but 'Also' just seems like the wrong word.

They never cease to be cool moves (the first person view keeps things consistently exciting), but the formulaic design spills over into the platforming so that you can almost predict which each room will look like based off of the previous mission.

which = what

I'm glad that you reviewed this game. I was extremely interested in this and have been for awhile, but Electronic Arts refused my request to send a copy (mostly because everyone and his dog wanted one). So I'll have to buy it when I play it, and this review gave me lots to consider.

If not for the bit criticizing other sites, I'd probably be bugging you to become a freelancer and let us upgrade this to a freelance staff review (we need a Mirror's Edge review). It's exactly the sort of piece I like to read because it gives excellent analysis and is interesting reading without going off on tangents. You really know your audience and you made me feel almost as if I was playing the game and experiencing your frustration and disappointments right by your side. The way you described it, I have every confidence that my experience will likely match yours. To me, that type of approach is one of the best a review can employ and you did so wonderfully here.

Keep up the good work!


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 15, 2008 (10:51 AM)
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Hey, thanks for taking all this time with my reviews, HG! I would LOVE to make this a freelance staff review. I can take out the quick blurb about IGN and Yahtzee if it will lift it to that level.

As for the other issues, I'm going for a bike ride this morning, but I was planning on touching up my reviews when I came back, so I'll fix up everything you mentioned. I really appreciate the feedback.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: November 15, 2008 (02:48 PM)
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Haha. Nice review. I'd actually been looking at this game since I saw a trailer/demo for it on some site somewhere... It looked really neat, but at the same time, I had some doubts just from watching it. A lot of what I was thinking about how the game would be shows up in your review in a clear, well-explained manner, too, so I'm glad I read it.

I still might check this out if I ever get a PS3... it still seemed like a neat idea despite the flaws you mention.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 15, 2008 (02:52 PM)
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Do you have AIM, zippdementia? If so, I'd want to talk to you about a few things before posting this as a freelance review. There are some administrative things you'd need to know about. You can reach me using my name (Jason Venter) in all lowercase letters with no spaces or underscores or anything. I'm on right now and otherwise will be checking periodically. If that doesn't work for you, let me know here and I can HG Mail you info.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 15, 2008 (03:20 PM)
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Thanks, Woolfy! I'm glad the review was helpful. It was a tough one to write, I have to say. First of all, I was writing it at 2:00 in the morning. Second off, it was a tough game to review, because there's a lot of great things on the surface that make you think you're crazy when you check in with yourself and find you're underwhelmed. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what was the real problem and put it into words.

I tried to be brief, which didn't leave me space to talk about some of the other things I would've liked to, but I really wanted to focus on what I thought the main innovations and failings were.

If I were to summarize even more, I'd say that the problem of the game lies in losing sight of the freedom and speed that, when it's present, makes the game innovative and fun.

@HG: message sent


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: fleinn
Posted: November 16, 2008 (10:25 AM)
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Good review - share your feelings about the game somehow not delivering on the strong points, and becoming extremely frustrating sometimes. Still, there's one thing most reviewers haven't said much about - how they're managing the immersion so well. It's rare to play a game nowadays that keeps letting you believe you're actually playing the character, instead of just controlling it by remote control. For example on the bit where you tear across a huge gap between two buildings across the two cranes is pretty memorable - I really can't remember the last time i held my breath like that when playing a game.

So if they kept those critical junction points when designing the levels, and had spent more time creating alternate routes around the scenery - that would've made the game unbelievably good.

Another thing - the game does look more healthy on a HD screen. It was the same in the demo - in SD things would disappear into a blur, and the screen- tearing is constant. It's not entirely gone in HD, but I think there are some downscaling issues going on here.

..Oh, and what's wrong with the animated story- boards? ;) I thought they were brilliant. Contrasted the playing well, and is a lot easier to create well than a full render - specially when you want to have faces and small expressions, or changes in the angles and so on. All kinds of movie- tricks just wouldn't work otherwise.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 16, 2008 (11:08 AM)
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Glad to see you disagree with a few areas, Fleinn.

For immersion, I totally agree that the game is immersive. I think I stated something to that degree in the review. But this immersion is lost every time I'm forced inside to stand in a room for 20 minutes figuring out what to do next. Then I remember I'm just a player in some developer's level, and the exhiliration is lost.

I figured the game had to look better on HDTV. I'm still a few months away from getting HD, but I have a pretty good idea of the differences. When I review these days, I'm tending to look more at graphical style over resolution because of this. Even so, I was a bit surprised by the screen tearing. I mean, Far Cry 2 is much more demanding in terms of the amount of objects on screen, the detail of those objects, and the distance you can see, and I didn't get any screen tears.

And speaking of graphical style, I just couldn't stand the cartoon network cutscenes. Forget the terrible story they portray, they lost the good design and fluidity that the characters had in game. I said I hadn't seen such bad cutscenes since XIII, but now thinking about it, I'm reminded more of Red Steel. Here you are, in a highly immersive game, and then suddenly the graphical style changes on you and you're watching stiff animation. It's just a poor design choice from my standpoint.

Had I gotten to the developers before release, I would've suggested that they take out all the cutscenes and instead present all those moments in-game. It would have catered to the real strength of Mirror's Edge (immersion) whil also increasing the length of a woefully short game. Again, like most everything I think they did wrong, they seem have known that they SHOULD be doing this. I complained about the elevators, but one of the little things I didn't get a chance to mention was the text inside some of the elevators that tells you the background of the city, simultaneously giving you a bit of story and occupying you during your ride. Of course, only a few elevators did this, so it didn't really gain the game enough for me to feel obligated to mention it.

Mirror's Edge... so much potential wasted right in front of my eyes.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: fleinn
Posted: November 16, 2008 (02:19 PM)
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lol. Yeah, the elevators. Full stop.. I don't know - I run a lot, and when you stand there stuck moving fast without running, high on endorphines, gawking at the stupid scrolling text - that was the perfect allegory for the dystopia you're in to me. ..What kept pulling me out was the constant rain of bullets at every turn - and all the bullets miss. Should've been less of that, and more troop movements. Might not have been very easy to do well, but I keep imagining how you'd outrun a slow- moving cop in riot gear trying to get a fix on you from the roof across the street. But instead you're invulnerable as long as you're running. Poetic, but silly.

...One thing I really liked about the review is that you can tell where you go from opinion to analysis, though. So you don't have to agree on the whole package, and still get an impression of what the game is like. Well written, that. Keep it up.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 16, 2008 (03:59 PM)
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"Despite its bland environments and simple cell shaded style, Mirror's Edge looks beautiful."

It does indeed look beautiful, but it isn't cel-shaded at all. It's just incredibly stylistic.

I also don't think the environments are bland... what did you mean by that exactly? They're drawn rather artistically.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 16, 2008 (04:01 PM)
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Hey Lewis, how's it going?

I didn't know the game wasn't cell shaded... it certainly looks it. That's how well they pulled off the style.

I don't know how much clearer I can be on the environments. The color scheme is basic, the design of buildings is basic, there isn't much movement... but like I said, I love the graphical direction (except for the cut-scenes). I think they really pulled off something unique and innovative.

If only it hadn't been buried under a pile of bad level design.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: November 17, 2008 (10:32 PM)
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I briefly considered getting this game, and hell if I even know why (maybe it was the stylish cover), but you've just saved me a bit of money. And with everything else coming out this holiday season, I appreciate that. The main thing that turned me off was hearing how the game cuts itself off at the knees with the indoor scenes. Sometimes it seems like a game has a good idea, then loses sight of itself somewhere along the way.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 17, 2008 (10:39 PM)
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I hate having to warn people off this game. It really is a good idea, and I want them to make the proposed sequel... but I want them to make a better game, and you're right... with $60 price tags, you've gotta be careful these days.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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