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 Mirror's Edge

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AutorMesaj
Cristi
Sysop
Sysop
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Numarul mesajelor : 21
Data de inscriere : 18/06/2009

MesajSubiect: Mirror's Edge   Vin Iun 19, 2009 11:56 pm





Like its heroine, Faith, Mirror's Edge tries to hurdle some significant
obstacles, but unlike Faith, it can't always make the leap. No doubt,
this fascinating action platformer possesses its share of innovations,
from a first-person perspective to a clean and crisp visual style, yet
it looks to the past more than you may initially notice. This is a
modern-day iteration of an old-fashioned platformer, in which you're
meant to play and replay sequences of jumps, grabs, and slides until
you get them perfect, or at least perfect enough to continue. But
unlike its ancestors, Mirror's Edge is more about speed and momentum,
and when you can connect your moves in a flawless stream of silky
movement, it's eminently thrilling and satisfying. Unfortunately,
Mirror's Edge has a tendency to trip over its own feet, keeping you
slipping and sliding blissfully along, only to have a tedious jumping
puzzle or hazy objective put the brakes on. Leaderboard chasers looking
to set a speed-run record will find Mirror's Edge to be pure gold.
Others will give up, alienated by the inherent trial and error of the
game's basic design. At the very least, there's nothing quite like it,
and it deserves a cautious look from anyone who appreciates games that
hew their own path.


No matter how fast she runs, Faith can't always escape danger.

Faith is a runner, in more ways than one. In the oppressed society
of Mirror's Edge, runners are an underground network of couriers,
carrying sensitive information and documents from sender to receiver.
The content of these messages is never clear, and it doesn't matter
much; rather, the story's conflict revolves around Faith's sister, a
cop who is framed for the murder of a mayoral candidate who promised to
bring change to the totalitarian government and bring hope to the
runners living on the fringe. Soon, Faith is running for a different
reason: to uncover the conspiracy at the heart of the murder and clear
her sister's name. The story is straightforward, but it's interesting
enough to keep you involved, and though it ends with a sequel-hinting
cliffhanger, it wraps up things enough to feel fulfilling nonetheless.
More intriguingly, the story plays out between missions in stylishly
animated cutscenes, as well as scenes within the game engine itself,
which also look attractive but feature a completely different art
style. Both types look good, but the disparity is a little odd.
And so you run, across rooftops, through train stations, and
along walls. As you run, you pick up speed and are able to string a
number of moves together in rapid succession. You can slide under
pipes, bound over railings, and leap across impossible-looking chasms,
among other techniques. Of course, the most obvious twist in Mirror's
Edge is that you do all of this from a first-person view, rather than
with the typical third-person camera that we've come to expect. It's an
interesting spin, if not wholly new, and it has a way of immersing you
as you speed toward your destination. Actions such as balancing on a
narrow beam, sliding under a ledge at top speed, and tumbling when you
land a long jump are fun to execute and look neat, but it may also make
you wonder how much fun it would be to see what Faith looks like when
she pulls off these neat stunts, which isn't possible in this game.
Nevertheless, Mirror's Edge excels when you hit that snappy
stride, and once you've found the best route through a particularly
tricky scenario, it's exhilarating to rush through it without a care to
weigh you down. But this doesn't happen the first time you do it, or
even the fifth time. You will need to experiment and hone your skills,
given that a simple mistake can send you plunging down onto the street
below, or will at very least interrupt your stride. You're expected to
play each level multiple times to learn the routes that best propel you
along, which is great the 10th time around but is often an infuriating
series of false starts, mistimed jumps, and full stops during the first
few attempts. If you need a hand, you can hold a button to activate
runner vision, which turns the camera toward your destination, but it's
an imprecise solution that sometimes points you toward a short-term
objective and at other times points you toward your long-term goal.


Geronimo!

Another inconsistently helpful tool comes directly from the game's
impressive art design. Mirror's Edge is a game of visual contrasts, in
which stark white environments contrast with vivid colors. It looks
beautiful and clean, and it's a great way of demonstrating both the
bleakness of an authoritarian society and the unique manner in which a
runner would see the world--as an array of landing points and jumping
opportunities. Important ramps, doorways, ladders, and other points of
interest are painted in a vibrant red, which is an important visual cue
in some of the broader levels. However, this element too is delivered
inconsistently; in some cases, the red hue may not fade in until you
are close to the pole or vaulting point in question, and in other
cases, Mirror's Edge expects you to figure things out without this
visual assistance.
For a game that relies on so much forward momentum, Mirror's
Edge has a way of bringing the pace to a halt. Sometimes this is
because of the nature of trial-and-error gameplay: fall, die, reload
checkpoint. At other times, it's because you're faced with an intricate
jumping puzzle that eschews the sense of speed entirely, such as one
that has you descending into the depths of the water-supply system and
then up again. These aren't bad, but they're not particularly engaging,
either; you're likelier to feel relieved rather than fulfilled when you
reach your destination. Or you'll be zooming along, only to find
yourself in an elevator, reading the news crawl on the wall's
electronic panel while the level apparently loads in the background. In
all of these cases, you're torn from the experience and reminded that
this is, after all, just a game.
Armed enemies further complicate matters. It's best to run
right past them when possible, but their bullets have a way of bringing
you to your knees as you rush around looking for the best escape route.
Some foe-heavy scenarios are particularly annoying, such as a
sniper-loaded sequence in the final level. You can confront the threat
head-on in some cases, but it requires careful planning and excellent
timing. You can perform some close-combat moves such as jump kicks and
punches, but these are best when used as hit-and-run tactics; trying to
engage in melees with more than one or two enemies at a time is a quick
path to the most recent checkpoint. Conversely, you can disarm an enemy
in a quick-time event, pressing the disarm button when your foe's
weapon flashes red. If you want to hold on to it, you can fire off a
few shots until the clip runs out. However, Faith is ultravulnerable to
gunfire, and the gunplay is loose and unfulfilling. If you have trouble
keeping things in check (it takes some split-second timing to land a
pitch-perfect disarm), you can enter a limited-use slow-motion mode,
which comes in handy and makes some of these action-focused moves look
cool, though it ultimately doesn't add much to the gameplay.
If you can overlook the array of quirks long enough to find
your stride, you'll want to check out the beat-your-record races and
level speed runs. Both modes feature online leaderboards, and both
cater to the players likeliest to get the most out of Mirror's Edge. In
a sense, the single-player story is simply a practice run for being a
virtual show-off, yet the players repeating these levels (who will
learn them to perfection) are also the ones likely to see Mirror's Edge
at its most thrilling. You will want to break out an Xbox 360
controller if you want to get the most out of the experience. The
keyboard-and-mouse setup is decent but occasionally awkward, and it
can't compete with the interesting (but intuitive) gamepad controls.


You'll be seeing red, both literally and figuratively.

The unusually crisp visuals have seen some nice additional touches on
the PC, such as fluttering industrial plastic over a few doorways, and
symbolic flags undulating in the wind. The audio also deserves high
praise. Sound effects such as Faith's breathy heaves and plodding
footsteps are authentic touches that heighten the sense of speed and
tension. The voice acting is equally terrific, but it's the pulsing,
driving soundtrack that impresses most. Its rhythmic flow augments
Faith's most fluid runs, whereas subtle ambient chords fill in the
silence during downtimes. The superb musical journey culminates in a
fantastic vocal track that plays during the game's final credits.
Mirror's Edge is many things: invigorating, infuriating,
fulfilling, and confusing. It isn't for everybody, and it stumbles
often for a game that holds velocity in such high esteem. But even with
all of its foibles and frustrations, it makes some impressive leaps; it
just doesn't nail the landing.

Sus In jos
http://rogames.playogame.com
 
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