(EA for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
We can’t say we weren’t warned. For decades now, songs and books and movies and comics have told us that if we don’t fight for our freedom, the government and Halliburton will snatch it away. And so it is in Mirror’s Edge. The city where the game takes place is a spit-shined, IKEA-furnished police state where unrest and free expression are not tolerated. The only way that unfiltered information (and weed, one would assume) gets around is through runners, who navigate rooftops on foot by hurling their bodies through scaffolding and over barbed wire fences in one graceful burst. As the runner Faith, you’ll feel a satisfying sense of speed and tangible interaction with your environment during the game’s missions. Doors and bullets will make you cringe as they slam into you, and only the most cold-blooded won’t feel nervous when they peer off the side of a skyscraper for a safe landing zone. By discouraging gunplay in a first-person game and crafting a bright, stunning art style that is miles away from the go-to grimy grays of most big-budget titles today, Mirror’s Edge easily gets a pass for its shortcomings, like its lack of truly free-roaming areas and its too-brief, underdeveloped story. It plays so well that you’ll want to spend some time perfecting your speed runs in time trial mode, free from police pursuit, but not from the feelings of inadequacy brought on by the inhuman times displayed on the online leaderboards.