Updated. I remember a couple of years ago when a little game called Mirror’s Edge came out for the Xbox 360 and PS3; I also
remember the flash game that came out shortly there after and was vastly superior, and free to play. Well EA has realized how good the flash game is and decided to bring it to iPad and iPhone, with a few tweaks and improvements of course.
Mirrors Edge is a high seed side scrolling platformer. You play as Faith, who is a free runner trying to fight the power, and you do so by running. Kind of a odd premise, but whatever, there have been weirder games so I’ll let it slide. In the game you generally run from point a to point b while trying not to die.
What makes the game interesting is that it’s based on momentum, so rather then stopping and planing your next jump, you just keep moving. This keeps you on your toes as stopping can often mean death, either from a helicopter shooting at you, or the fact that you won’t have enough speed to make your next jump. This style of platforming makes for some really awesome moments where you are just like, “how the hell did I pull that off.”
The game indicates where you need to go by making objects red. So if you are running left there may be a red box you need to jump over, followed by a red zip line. This is great for keeping you on track, and making sure you don’t accidentally run the wrong way in a level. It also let’s you clearly see objects that need to be avoided and/or interacted with.
The control scheme used in Mirrors Edge is nothing short of genius. The whole game is played with nothing but swipes. For example, swipe left, and Faith will run to the left, swipe up, and Faith will jump, down and she will slide, and so on. It is implemented so well that I can honestly say that there was not a single situation where I messed something up because of the controls. There are not many games on a touch screen platform that I can say that about, especially not one that is this fast paced. I give EA a ton of respect for not coping out and using an on screen joystick and a jump button. They really came out with something that works for the platform.
A major problem with the console mirrors edge was the combat. Fortunately, they kept combat to a minimum in this version, and there are no guns. You simply take your opponent out using one of Faith’s various take downs and keep running. In a momentum based platformer nothing would be worse then having to stop and fight, and the developers realized this, and developed the game accordingly.
There is a good amount of game to be had in Mirrors Edge. The main campaign took me a couple hours to beat, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. What keeps me coming back to the game is the speed runs. These are all the levels in the game, with time goals. They are all rated on a 3 star scale, and earning 3 stars is incredibly challenging. Of course there is online leader boards to compare your speed runs to other players around the world.
There is also same device multiplayer, which works shockingly well. You simply set the device on the table and you and a friend each man one part of the screen. There are 2 multiplayer modes. The first is a race from point a to point b. The real fun is that you can use Faith’s attacks to take your friend down while racing. The other mode is a collection mode, where you each have to try to pick up items around the map and whomever has the most when time runs out wins. Of course, if you take your opponent out, you steal one of his items.
The graphics are insane in Mirrors Edge. It’s on a 2d plane but with 3d graphics. There is something about the color pallette used in the game that is incredibly pleasing to the eyes. I could stare at the levels all day and my eyes would thank me. Adding in high definition on the iPad screen definitely doesn’t hurt the look of the game either.
The sound is up there for the best I have heard on any idevice. It has great music that is incredibly catchy and sound effects that really add to feel of the game. There is enough variety in the music of the various levels to make it not at all repetitive.
The only negative of Mirrors Edge is the story. They kind of shoehorned the story in with text between each level. I would have rather not a had a story at all. If they were going to put a story in the game they should have gone with a comic book style or short cut scenes. I really don’t want to spend 10 minutes before each level reading about why I’m playing that level.
I honestly can’t recommend Mirrors Edge enough, if you have an iPad it in an absolute must own game. The only thing that keeps the game from being a 5 is that the campaign is short for the high price tag, and the story is weakly implemented.
Mirror’s Edge for iPad is out now for $12.99
UPDATE: Mirror’s Edge is also now available for iPhone for £2.99 (US version to come), including retina display support. Get it now on the