Mirror’s Edge came out amidst great excitement a while ago. While many people were keen to play this game, and enjoy the new atypical gameplay experience, the most common criticism is that overall it’s simply too short – almost a tease. Most people who played the game ended it hungry for more and with this downloadable expansion pack, that is finally satiated.
For about $10 (CAD) Fans of this game can extend their experience devoid of urban form, replaced by an abstract geometric playground reminiscent of Tron. The core gameplay mechanics are still in effect and players still take control of the same protagonist, Faith. So not too much is changed, except for the abstraction of the environment for an altered surreal art style through seven different settings; Chroma, Flow, Razzmatazz, Velocity, Kinetic, Acinto and Reflex.
“The freedom of movement and control in first person has been the most popular aspect of Mirror’s Edge so we decided to distill these down to their purest form for this map pack… We deliberately chose a more abstract aesthetic that is still within our distinctive art style and then focused on flow and gameplay to create an experience and challenge very different from the main game.” says Senior Producer Owen O’Brien.
The abstract environments actually help divorce the gameplay from story. You are no longer trying to race from A to B in order to accomplish C. Now you are just traversing these environments for it’s own sake. It’s distilled down to making that jump, or improving that time rather than narrative issues or random antagonists trying to shoot at you (the second most common criticism of the original game). Interestingly, this new abstraction can actually effect gameplay as some players will find it more difficult to recognize best routes while others will find it free of distraction.
One disappointment is the lack of musical enhancement provided by this expansion. With the wonderfully executed audio and finely implemented soundtrack work from the original game, it would have been great to see this pack expand upon that further too, perhaps with some new remixes for us to enjoy. Its not that the soundtrack work in these new maps is lackluster but that expanding on the wonderful start from the original game would have been a very welcome addition. Perhaps they could have done some work to remix the title track to a more downtempo abstract style, echoing the stripped down abstraction of the new visuals.
Overall this Map Pack expansion is recommended for anybody who enjoyed Mirror’s Edge. It gives you more of what you love without simply being more of the same. It definitely won’t feel like repetitive rearrangements from the campaign. Its a refreshing remix of the experience you enjoyed from the original game and can really help to alleviate that nagging feeling that the original was too short. It strips the game of a lot of the aspects people originally complained about, providing a fresh playground for players to explore.
Create and send downtempo remix of music from Mirror’s Edge to email@example.com and you could win a special Mirror’s Edge prize. Winning remix will be selected on March 17th, 2009.