Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3G
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Better late than never. Mirror’s Edge has been a long time coming for the iPhone, having finally been released almost 4 months after the iPad version was released. Mirror’s Edge is an adaptation of the eponymous console game, which has you playing as Faith, a ‘Runner’ who deftly navigates urban landscapes trying to get to her goal. There’s a storyline similar to the console version, but it is largely irrelevant here, as the only hints of it are in the scrolling text sections between levels. All the levels largely only differ in setting, as the goal in each level is the same – get to the end without dying from falling, bullets, or high-temperature steam. Of course, getting to the end of each level means performing acrobatic maneuvers to get over or under obstacles, stringing together wall runs, trying to discover the hidden messenger bags spread throughout the levels, all while trying to complete the levels as quickly as possible.
Mirror’s Edge’s platforming is fantastic. This was the strongest element of the console version, but now that the game is a 2D sidescroller, you can now enjoy the experience of the game without the nausea of the first person view, which makes this game feel far more like the pure parkour platformer that it can be. The striking visual aesthetic is also perfectly represented, with the city scenes all looking amazing. The game also runs very well, even on the iPhone 3G on iOS 4.0, with only minimal slowdown. The controls also are based on swiping gestures, not tapping virtual buttons, and while the running is often frustrating if you’re trying to stop to stand still, it makes chaining together long runs very intuitive.
Mirror’s Edge’s crucial flaw? It is very short. How short is it? My iPhone 3G’s battery wasn’t even halfway drained when I finished playing in a straight through session. There are only 12 short levels, with the only replay value coming from completing the levels for speed runs. As well, while combat is a lesser focus than it was in the console games, it’s still incredibly annoying, as it largely only breaks up the pace of the game. Also? The game ends on an incredibly anticlimactic note, similar to Splinter Cell: Conviction. Look, I know that you’re bound to what the console game’s storyline does, but that is no excuse for such an abrupt and unsatisfying endpoint to any game.
Mirror’s Edge may be short, and not fully rid of the horrid combat that has brought its other incarnations down, but it still is a fantastic agile urban platformer that shines more than it ever did on the consoles. It needs more content and more tweaking, but as far as it stands, Mirror’s Edge is a fun albeit brief platformer for the iPhone. Even it did take a while to finally hit the smaller devices.
Tagged with: $4.99, console port, EA Mobile, iPhone & iPod touch, mirror's edge, platformer