Mirror's Edge is a first-person action-adventure game developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 11, 2008 (later released for the PC on January 13, 2009). Set in the futuristic dystopian cityscape, players take on the role of Faith, a master courier and part of a network of "runners" (couriers used to physically transmit sensitive information while evading government surveillance), as she investigates the murder of a mayorial candidate (Robert Pope, a friend who supports deregulating the totalitarian government) in which her sister, Kate, is framed.
While technically a first-person shooter, Mirror's Edge focuses on an acrobatic parkour style of movement that is more focused on platforming than combat. Faith can use firearms from fallen and disarmed enemies, but cannot fight efficiently with them.
The story was written by Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of Terry Pratchett.
Mirror's Edge takes place in a dystopian, unnamed futuristic city. The people of this time have given up many of their freedoms to attain a state of peace and comfort. More specifically, since the flow of information is mainly technological, it is easily monitored by the totalitarian government. That's where Faith, the main character, and the other Runners come in.
A certain group of people didn't like the way things were changing in the city and were pushed to the fringe of society. Instead of communicating by more modern means, they hire Runners to get information from one place to another without "Big Brother" seeing what's being passed along. Runners are usually left alone, but at the beginning of the story, the government begins to criminalize the Runners and hunt them down.
The game starts off with Faith having to deliver a package to a fellow runner, Celeste. She is guided through this level, as she is in most others, by a man named Merc. He keeps in touch with her from a distant hideout (aptly named Merc's Lair), gives her assignments and often relays information to Faith. The first level mainly serves as the tutorial and has Faith being hunted down by the police. She escapes and returns to Merc's lair. She listens to the police radios and hears that shots have been fired in the building where her sister Kate, a police officer, currently is. Faith finds Kate in the office of a politician named Pope. When Faith arrives, she discovers that Pope has been murdered and that Kate has been framed. While looking for clues, Faith discovers that Pope was clutching a piece of paper with the words "Icarus to the highest" written on it. The cops arrive and Kate surrenders herself Faith can escape. Faith escapes by sliding down the side of a building while dodging helicopter gun fire, jumps onto train tracks, crashes through a glass ceiling and then meets with another runner.
Faith makes it back to Merc's lair alarmed and wondering why the cops are on high alert. Despite Faith not wanting to meet him, she comes into contact with Jacknife, a former runner now turned informant for Merc, who tells Faith that he has intel that might link Pope's murder to his security guard, an ex-wrestler named Ropeburn. Before paying a visit to Ropeburn, Faith meets Lt. Miller in a parking lot to try and convince him to help Kate. Lt. Miller, also Kate's superior, knows that she is innocent but because of pressure coming from his superiors, he is powerless to do anything. Faith knows that Kate doesn't stand a chance in jail and questions Miller about Icarus who doesn't give her an answer. After this, Faith runs off.
Faith infiltrates Ropeburn's office and overhears him on the phone, realizing that he's the one who framed her sister and that he's setting up a meeting downtown. Faith once again meets Miller to tell him this. Miller pulls a gun on her, telling her that he's being pressured by private firms who want to install more security on the city and that the only way he can get them of his back is to hand her over. Faith escapes and goes to the meeting. She gets the upper hand and interrogates Ropeburn. As he's hanging off the ledge of the skyscraper, he's shot by a masked sniper before he can tell Faith any pertinent information. She later intercepts Jacknife, convinced that he was the one who tipped off the cops that she was coming. He rejects the accusation, saying that if he had wanted her dead he would have done it himself.
With Ropeburn dead, Faith is out of leads. She decides to investigate Pirandello/Kruger, a security firm that provides the city with its security and is also helping the police fight the runners. While investigating in their offices near the docks, Faith discovers that they are the ones behind Project Icarus, which is meant to train the police forces in parkour to fight the runners. She also discovers that Ropeburn's killer is hiding in the docks, and after fighting him, it's revealed that it is Celeste, who has been a part of Icarus. She chose Icarus to keep herself safe and strongly advises Faith to do the same. She also reveals that she killed Pope because he was beginning to question the security firms.
Faith escapes and discovers that Kate has been tried and found guilty for the murder. She's being moved to prison by convoy which Faith promptly intercepts. She saves Kate and leads the police away to allow time for Kate to get away. After losing the cops, Faith makes her way to Merc's lair. The lair has been raided by the police, taking Kate and killing Merc. With his last breath, Merc tells Faith that Kate has been taken to the Shard, the city's highest tower. The Mayor's office as well as most of the city's security is headquartered within the building. Faith manages to destroy the servers housing security information thanks to the help of Miller. She then makes it to the roof where she finds Jacknife holding Kate at gunpoint. Jacknife reveals that he's been with Icarus all along and was being used as bait to lure out the runners. As he is about to escape with Kate on a helicopter, Faith jumps onto the helicopter, kicks Jacknife off the helicopter and to his doom. Faith and Kate both escape safely and stand atop the building, overlooking the city.
Despite taking place in the first-person, Mirror's Edge takes the emphasis off gun wielding and focuses more on movement and momentum. As Faith runs she continually picks up speed. This speed allows her to pull of some of the more difficult acrobatic maneuvers, as well as perform the simpler ones without losing much momentum. Finding ways to retain that momentum is one the main challenges of the game.
On the consoles, the game is controlled by a combination of three buttons and the left stick, making the controls rather simple, although there are layers of complexity. Jumping and climbing over objects is done with the left bumper (L1 on PS3), while ducking and sliding under objects is done with the left trigger. The right bumper (R1 on PS3) allows you to perform a 180 degree spin, for quick turnaround. Those three buttons in combination with the left thumbstick can control most of the gameplay, with other buttons related to combat and Reaction Time (bullet-time).
The game's producer, Nick Channon, said in an interview with Gametrailers.com that each level of the game will present the player with a few ways to get through any given area and it's up to the player to find his/her own fastest way over/under/around each obstacle laid before him.
To aid in this decision making process, the game uses a color coding system called "Runner Vision." Objects in the environment necessary to complete certain areas or perform certain movements are painted red, though this can be turned off on higher difficulty settings.
Faith is not armed by default. She can remove guns from enemies by force, but is unable to run while wielding them.
The melee combat system in the game is based on momentum as well. The more speed you have going at an enemy, the more effectively you'll be able to disarm and remove the enemy from your list of troubles.
Despite the fact that Mirror's Edge is primarily a "free running" game, there are still a variety of weapons the player can use to dispose of opponents, if he/she chooses to do so. There is one specific achievement in the game that encourages players to never fire a single shot during an entire playthrough of the game.
Mirror's Edge story is divided into 9 Chapters plus a Prologue.
Prologue - The Edge
Chapter 1 - Flight
Chapter 2 - Jackknife
Chapter 3 - Heat
Chapter 4 - Ropeburn
Chapter 5 - New Eden
Chapter 6 - Pirandello Kruger
Chapter 7 - The Boat
Chapter 8 - Kate
Chapter 9 - The Shard
The normal first-person controls are mostly intact, but there is one major difference. The left bumper and left trigger (or L1 and L2 on the PS3) are designated as up and down, respectively. These buttons control all of the player's acrobatics. This control structure is designed to give the player ease of control while still leaving skill in the mix, mostly in terms of timed button presses. For example: when taking a leap over a gap to a lower platform you have to press down right when you hit the ground to do a roll to maintain momentum and save your knees.
Mirror's Edge also takes advantage of the PS3 Sixaxis controls, with various motions corresponding with actions. Rolling the controller can be used to roll after a long fall, and twisting the controller can take an enemy weapon.
When faced with a waist-high obstruction you can press up to vault over it or, in the case of there being a hole underneath, down to slide under.
While Mirror's Edge's main focus is on the single-player campaign, there is "a semi-multiplayer" component. Time Trial levels are unlocked through progress in the story mode and the idea behind them is to complete a section of a level (not necessarily taking the same route as the level it was lifted from) going down a prescribed route in the fastest time possible. If connected to PSN or Xbox Live, the completion time is uploaded and can be used by other players to race against. In turn, their ghost times can be downloaded for your use.
The player sees a series of red checkpoint markers that tell them where they're supposed to go, and a red figure represents the ghost data that gives you an indication of how well you're doing in any given Time Trial level. Loading up ghost racers can also give you a chance to see how others managed to get their times and how they handled certain sections of a level, a very useful feature for those trying to squeeze out the best time. Each Time Trial stage has a qualifying time, which if achieved, grants the player one star. If even faster times are achieved then two or even three stars are awarded for the level.
There is also a Speed Run mode, in which one is tasked with completing a whole chapter of the campaign under a stringent time limit. It usually requires a flawless run with no falls to finish them under par time.
Mirror's Edge downloadable content is available for purchase for all three versions of the game. The new content was originally scheduled for release on January 29th, 2009, but later delayed until February. Players are challenged to achieve the fastest times possible on nine races, across seven all new Time Trial maps with an all new, abstract design. There are no guns, police, or city environment. The pack is available for US $9.99 or 800 Microsoft points, and all PlayStation 3 owners are able to download an additional, exclusive map for free.
EA teamed up with Timbuk2 to create the "Limited Edition Mirror's Edge Runner's Bag Bundle," which included a copy of the game with a Timbuk2 brand messenger bag. The bag has the Mirror's Edge logo on the front and an image of Faith printed on the inside. Only 200 were made, and the bundles were sold for $130.
DICE announced during Comic Con 2008 that it would create a limited comic book, together with DC Comics division and WildStorm. The comic is a prequel to the game and is is drawn by Matthew Dow Smith and was written by Rhianna Pratchett.
Two soundtracks were released for the game:
Released November 11, 2008, this Mirror's Edge soundtrack is a remix album featuring the Mirror's Edge theme song Still Alive by Swedish musician Lisa Miskovsky and five remixes of the song by Paul van Dyk, Benny Benassi, Teddybears, Armand Van Helden and Junkie XL. The theme song was made available as a free download on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live shortly after the album's release.
Released May 19, 2009. Unlike the previously released remix album, this album features in-game music by Magnus Birgersson (Solar Fields) as well as the original "Still Alive" by Lisa Miskovsky.
Mirror's Edge requires 5.7GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.
Shader model 3.0 required. Video card must have 256 MB or more memory and contain one of these chipsets: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or better.