Mirror’s Edge iPhone Review

As posted on Videogame Jungle.

Some of you may remember Faith Connors. She has short jet-black hair, a strange eye tattoo, and red gloves and boots. She starred in the 2008 first-person parkour game Mirror’s Edge. Faith is a “runner”. She delivers packages and information in a dystopian world where her government has imposed strict enforcement on civilian life, including all communications and the media. Faith returns in EA’s handheld game by the same name. Originally appearing on the iPad early last year, the game finally found its way to the iPhone and iPod Touch. While it’s very similar to the 2008 game in many ways, there’s one important difference: This is a 2.5D side-scroller. No first-person here.

Mirror’s Edge plays a bit like Sonic the Hedgehog crossed with Canabalt. You must guide Faith through industrial levels by quick swipes of the screen. An even easier control system than Perfect Cell, which I thought was pretty good to begin with. Yet a little more advanced than Canabalt’s one tap gameplay.

Swipe up to jump or wall run. Swipe down to slide or roll after a long drop. Swipe across to launch a mid-air attack. And with a horizontal swipe of the touch screen you make Faith run. She will keep running in one direction until she hits an obstacle, you make her stand still, or you change her direction.

The music makes a big appearance including the main theme which I adore, “Still Alive” (not to be confused with the Portal song of the same name).

There’s not much in the way of story this time around except for the elevator displays during load screens. But it’s not much of a problem since the story from 2008’s Mirror’s Edge wasn’t that brilliant to begin with.

While the game is confined to a 2D plane, so that it’s much harder to get lost, the red highlighting of certain objects is back. It was a rather distinctive feature of the first game, well needed in a first-person world. Here it’s used mostly just to look nice.

Faith will run into the odd enemy along her tricky navigation of rooftops and subways. You have the option of a satisfying flying kick to the face, or a slide tackle. If you don’t make up your mind in time, you’ll slam into them and fall to the ground. You are able to pick yourself up again and carry on running. But those government officials also carry guns, so it’s probably best for safety’s sake to reduce your amount of holdups.

There’s also other runners who for some reason want to trip you up or get in your way. A competing courier business? Who knows. But they’re usually easy enough to jump over.

Mirror’s Edge is a platformer through and through. Your main objective is getting Faith to the end of the level. You’ll encounter beams to balance, walls to climb, ziplines to zip, gaps between buildings to jump, and other such obstacles to traverse.

Featuring 14 levels, it’s not such a big game. But with speed runs, racing against leaderboard ghosts, badges (achievements), and collecting special hidden bags, there’s plenty to come back to.

Mirror’s Edge iOS is the perfect companion to the console game before it. But even if you haven’t played it, I’m sure you’ll still have a lot of fun with this one. For the most part it’s a stress-free run through, but there were still a few sequences I found challenging. A fun, rather nice looking, and easy to control platformer. Try and find something else like this on the App Store, I dare you.

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