GSQ4: A failure of perspective

Mirror’s Edge: A Failure of Perspective
There are, to my way of thinking, a handful of game writing crutches that need to go away. The phrase “mixed bag” is one of them. It’s fine if you’re talking about Brach’s Pick-A-Mix, but seems a lazy way to express ambivalence about a game’s merits. That being said… this article makes a pretty good case for Mirror’s Edge being a mixed bag. I guess there are no absolutes.

10 thoughts on “GSQ4: A failure of perspective

  1. I disagree with the very nature of this article. Mirror’s Edge as a game is absolutely meant to be in the first person perspective. It is after all the most immersive perspective. The problem is the home console’s interface which has been historically incapable of offering an effortless and precise way of controlling a character in the first person perspective.

    I’m accusing the writer of using such home consoles because he brought into question the “180 degree turn” button which is not present in the PC version AFAIK.

    Playing the PC version everything feels absolutely natural. Except the 2d cutscenes, I agree that this is a narrative faux-pas.

  2. I also disagree. Mirror’s was brilliant because of it’s first person view. I pray the sequel (if there is one) retains this.

  3. Mirror’s Edge is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s a whole new genre, and it works shockingly well. And that’s not even taking into consideration the beautiful aesthetics.

    A sequel would be so amazing.

  4. Ugh, yeah, sorry to dwell on this, but even the first paragraph is off the rails. Sounds like “Making games different is hard, best not do that.” I don’t even know what the Indigo Prophecy mention has to do with anything at all.

  5. I enjoyed the game a lot. Granted, I didn’t pick it up initially, but got it on the cheap, but it was a lot of fun. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of another attempt to go FPS in a game that wasn’t really a FPS, Breakdown. Where this is a first-person-platformer, that game was a first-person-brawler, and a darn good one at that (although balance issues at the end spoil the fun).

    Anyway, I’m sure there’s probably ways to streamline the control scheme. But most of the time, the game played very well.

  6. How could you possibly streamline the controls? It’s no small feat that the developers made not only platforming feel natural in a FPS, but also running along walls and sliding under obstacles while going full speed.

    I’ve convinced myself that I need to beat it again. Thanks guys. :I

  7. I thought Mirror’s Edge played like a dream on the pc. That is, until about a quarter of the way through when the game decided to give my hardware the finger and the framerate tanked to single digits no matter how low I put the settings.

    But I realize that pc players are ultimately in the minority and that most did their time with it on the 360 or PS3. All I’m saying is that control issues mentioned like the “tripod head” more or less don’t exist on pc.

  8. Copying this comment so it doesn’t disappear because the poster didn’t sign it:

    I mostly agree with what JP is saying here. Mirror’s Edge is a novel design idea that just doesn’t “work” on a standard console controller. Saying First Person Shooters don’t work on consoles isn’t a sound argument either; there have been plenty of examples of the contrary. They just require a different design approach to accommodate the inherent limitations of a controller for this sort of game. Metriod Prime is a great example of this.

    Mirror’s Edge feels like a game that was meant to be played on a PC with a mouse and keyboard. When a game has sudden changes in camera angles and frantic gameplay, you need a way to respond to the action in a responsive way. A 180 turn button is a gimmicky solution that that felt rough in execution.

  9. Unlike most of the folks above, this review resonated with me. I really loved what Mirror’s Edge was *trying* to do, but kind of hated the actual execution. I did find myself wishing for a 3rd-person option, even while admiring the audacity of the 1st-person parkour setup. It felt like maybe 1st-person running and 3rd-person climbing could work, sort of like Samus transitions for morph ball segments.

    Disclaimers: I haven’t played to the end of ME, and I”m not really a big FPS genre fan to begin with.

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