Mirror’s Edge is an interesting game. There’s part of me that wants to love it to pieces and there’s another that makes me wonder why I haven’t thrown it into the Satan’s pit that is the Recycle Bin. On the one hand, it does what it does well very well. On the other, it does the bad bits very badly.
What I realised while playing it this week was that it was Tomb Raider in the city. And much prettier. I spent a good 20 minutes working out how to get to the top of a room using my mad skillz*, and loved every second of it. Even the deaths weren’t those bad sorts of deaths where you want to kill someone because of how unfair life is to you. That was the best bit of Tomb Raider, not the shoddy combat, and anyone who tells you otherwise needs to be shot in the face.
And by God, Mirror’s Edge has some godawful combat. I didn’t mind it at first because I believed that lie that there was always a way round it, plus it was fun at first. I felt very impressed with myself when I disarmed someone. I enjoyed beating the crap out of a guard by sliding and kicking him in the bollocks. If that isn’t fun, nothing is.
What ISN’T fun is that if you walk round the corner and there’s a bunch of them waiting. With shotguns/heavy machine guns/fluffy kittens that are all itching to take your entrails and make them your new clothes. I’m all for the brilliance of a melee combat system, but they have guns for chrissake while you don’t!
Once you’ve cleared it you know where to run and can usually ignore it, but that’s not the point. It shouldn’t be so difficult to avoid combat like that first time, especially in a game where they tell you over and over again that you can play through the whole game without using a gun stolen from the guy you just beat to kingdom come.
If I had a sense of pride, I’d prevent myself from getting mad about the fact that I spent the whole of yesterday trying to do the next checkpoint. At least the joys of playing the same thing over and over again are made slightly less annoying because there are checkpoints, but I’m deadly serious: I spent the whole of yesterday trying to work out where I’m supposed to go, while avoiding the stream of death that is a machine gun. Seeing as I do, I shall.
I don’t like the fact that it’s so difficult for me to see where I should go and not die in the process. It does the parkour so well, but forced combat has never made me happy (See the Hitman Playthrough). The option for you to perform any action should be there, but none of them should be forced.
*Don’t worry, I hate myself much more than you do at the moment. Then again, I have skills that mildly injure. Return to reading.