Why Mirror’s Edge remains a cult classic

DICE and EA mirror edge was released in 2008 and, despite the best efforts of its disappointing successor, still enjoys special reverence among certain corners of the gaming community. The game followed Faith, a live wire free runner and member of a resistance group. She and her compatriots spend the proceedings fighting a totalitarian government that tries to appease divisiveness and bring the citizens of its glass city to heel.

The game was released at the height of the parkour craze of the 2000s, which had already bled into the gaming world via titles such as Prince of Persia, Unexplored and Assassin’s Creed. mirror edge could easily have fallen into the trap of becoming derivative – of being a game that chased a zeitgeist in order to make a quick buck by exploiting a fleeting trend. Yet despite some of the game’s undesirable issues, DICE’s high-octane parkour sim has truly established itself as a cult classic – a game that many consider one of their favorite and most popular titles. criminally underestimated of his time.

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What will first strike gamers unfamiliar with the slick, glassy sights of mirror edge‘s City of Glass is the quality of the game after nearly 15 years. While many titles try to force and stretch the capabilities of their graphics engines, the designers of mirror edge understood that much of the effect can be rendered through the pursuit of a concept or design rather than busy streets or dense environments. The game pursues a vision, choosing futuristic glass towers punctuated with bright, vibrant colors that draw the eye amid their monochromatic surroundings. This perfectly complements the smooth, fast-paced yet intense gameplay of the game.

It’s this gameplay in mirror edge which truly marks him as an icon of the genre, albeit an underrated one. Many games before and since have utilized the first-person perspective, and many have incorporated aspects of parkour and free-running in order to give players more diverse and exciting ways to traverse the environment. The joy of mirror edge is that it allows players to inhabit a master of his craft, its slick and sleek control scheme giving a feeling of freedom of movement as Faith glides, scrambles and sprints through her shimmering surroundings.

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It’s at the heart of what makes mirror edge much loved: it is the culmination of a vision that materializes for the pleasure of the player. AAA games are often ridiculed for being too derivative, superficial, or too generic, but DICE’s ongoing, almost forensic focus on gameplay and player enjoyment runs through the entire title. mirror edge is not so much a game to be played as a game to be felt and inhabited – an experience that wants its players to be part of it.

This attention to detail creates a huge amount of replayability. the original mirror edge isn’t necessarily open-world, but its brilliantly designed layout and structure means there’s always room for improvement, for smoother traversal of the map and better prediction of hazards and obstacles that might slow you down Faith. Finding shortcuts and detours, seeking out smarter and bolder jumps, and reacting instinctively to the challenges of the lovingly designed cityscape are all ways players can enter the much-heralded “flow” state for which mirror edge has become iconic.

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Admittedly, the 2008 version of DICE has its fair share of flaws. Combat, whether melee or ranged, is severely underdeveloped, in that most players simply avoid it whenever possible. The game’s story, especially as portrayed in its cutscenes, often ends up detracting from the experience rather than improving it. In fact, every time mirror edge does anything other than the hardcore, frantic parkour it specializes in, it feels like a much different and much inferior experience.

Still, the quality of what’s on offer is more than enough to make any potential limitations or detractions mere trivialities rather than major red flags. Because mirror edge is so inherently immersive and focused on what it does well, it’s easy to overlook the game’s flaws as you re-enter the thrilling, visceral, and immensely satisfying free-flow state.

Which makes mirror edge so beloved to date is that it has a vision – an overarching theme and a desire to give players an experience they would cherish and, ultimately, remember. Considering the fact that players always speak with reverence and affection of mirror edge even today, it’s fair to say that DICE and EA have succeeded in their vision.