As I posted in my last blog, I have decided to rent Mirror's Edge. My decision was based mostly off of the reported length of the game, so it came as no surprise to me that I finished it in it's entirety within the first day.
Mirrors Edge is set in a city where all information is closely monitored and it is the goal of the "runners" to deliver data in a confidential manner. You play as Faith, and after your sister gets framed for murder you have to find out who's behind it.
The controls take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of things you'll be going with the "flow" in no time. Or, at least that's what I'd like to believe. I can't even tell you how many times I painted the sidewalks with blood. Since the game is centered around running, I found myself being careless for the sake of momentum. You can go around carefully calculating the route you're going to take, but this more cautious approach just doesn't seem as intense. You'll find yourself screwing up jumps time after time, resulting in a whole lot of frustration. I've even got stuck in a couple of spots where I was left scratching my head, running around aimlessly trying to figure out how the fuck to progress. Once you do manage to get through a level quickly and efficiently, it can be incredibly satisfying.
Now let's talk combat. Aside from a couple of parts, you can simply run away from enemies rather than going toe to toe (or should I say fist to nutsack?). Should you choose to beat people senseless, though, the combat works well enough. The encounters can be handled a number of ways. You can slide kick, drop kick, punch, as well as disarm your foes. To disarm an enemy, you have to get right up in their face. Once they go to smack you with the butt of their rifle there is a brief moment where the gun turns red and you have to quickly mash a button. Failure results in ownage of your face. I found the whole thing quite annoying at times, but if you practice you should be able to pull it off successfully nearly every time. You also have the option of pressing a button to slow down time, making it a lot easier (this can be done outside of combat as well). The system can't be abused, though. Apparently you have to run to make it available (your reticule turns blue when you have the ability, white when you don't). As for gunplay, I didn't shoot a single enemy the entire time so I can't really tell you what I thought about the shooting mechanics.
Once you've made it through the nine-chapter story you have the option of speedrunning each level or shooting for target times in time trial mode. There's also a good array of concept art to look at, which is unlocked by progressing in the story mode. The bonus content doesn't stop there, folks. You can also view all of the games cutscenes and listen to songs from the game's soundtrack. So the game may be short, but you will spend a lot of time with it in the long run.
All in all, it is truly a unique experience. I loved everything about Mirror's Edge. The story was good, the gameplay was fucking exhilarating and there are tons of things to do after the credits roll. While I rented it, it's easily a buy if you'd like to spend time perfecting the art of free-running.