Free Running: Mirror’s Edge 2D

Faith is something of a two-dimensional protagonist. Har-har.

Free running: there’s an odd hobby. Hey, I know – let’s go throw ourselves off buildings, but annoyingly, instead of falling to our bone-crushing demises, we’ll do a flip, bounce off a wall, and then high five each other and put footage of it on Youtube. It looks undeniably cool, but you have to wonder how many broken limbs, noses and faces there are for every clip on youtube where someone manages to successfully jump up a wall or something. Hopefully: lots. Idiots. Waste of time, I say, especially when you can get all your free running thrills from computer games these days – namely, the Prince of Persia series, and Mirror’s Edge – without risking your health in the process, or looking like a tosser on Youtube.

I personally never got around to playing Mirror’s Edge. Between lack of moneys, and lack of time, buying it just never seemed appropriate, especially given the middling reviews it got. So, lucky for me, Borne Games have seen fit to design a free, 2D, online version of the game. Always intrigued by free things, I’ve given it a shot and shall tell you my findings beneath the jump.

It’s great. Stripped of the full game’s need to redefine people’s expectations of the need for guns and stuff within a game with a first person perspective, it distils the game down to its platforming core, keeping nothing but the basic concept – free running in a dystopian metropolis – and sense of speed and motion. It’s infuriating at times, just like all good 2D platformers, but its also addictive, and intuitive. The control scheme is thankfully minimalist – the arrow keys, and “s” to jump. And that’s it – it’s you, five keys, and a city. It sort of ties into what I was talking about in my Prince of Persia post – it feels like Sands of Time, in that you’re constantly looking for ways to use the design of the city to your advantage, rather than feeling like you’re hitting buttons to keep a whirlwind tour of the city in motion. When you throw yourself off your first ledge, it’s a genuine leap of faith, rather than a leap to the next  platform.

Excellently, it also takes a page out of Valve’s Steamworks book, and allows you to create a profile that will keep your progress stored online, meaning you can always pick up where you left off, no matter what PC you’re on.

What’s perhaps most intriguing about the game – which is still in beta – is the fact that it’s being designed in association with EA. Not a big deal in and of itself, but it does contribute towards EA’s recent shift towards consumer-friendliness (DRM aside) and interesting development and publishing choices. As Activizzard move towards a yearly production line ethos, EA seem to be shifting away from it, or at least shifting towards doing other stuff too, and it can only mean good things for gamers.

So, y’know, go play. Go on, get.

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One Response to Free Running: Mirror’s Edge 2D

  1. Thanks for your post! I like it

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