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Mirror's Edge gives a new twist to the first person shooter/stealth game by putting the focus on speed and the motion of the player, rather than concentrating on dodging, taking cover and shooting. Mirror's Edge puts you in the shoes of a runner falled Faith - a courier who carries confidential information in a future where information is a highly prized resource. Runners have to get from point A to point B without being intercepted and stopped. And there's always someone who wants to intercept or stop you.
You need to use "The Flow": the layout of the rooftops, walls, fences, pipes and ducts to facilitate your peregrination across the city. Faith isn't heavily armed, but her opposition often is, so her best method of survival is flight, stopping to use force only when required. Faith can run, jump, wall-run, boost and vault over things. She can shimmy along ledges, she can shin up pipes, she can zip down wires. She can use her Flow Vision to see which things are usable and which ones are not. It's no good taking a swan dive off the edge of a building if there is nowhere to land on the other side. Faith needs to use all these skills to keep moving and keep avoiding danger.
If you do get cornered, Faith is not helpless, she packs a mean punch. She can use her skills to outfox an opponent and disarm him. Yes, in this dystopian big-brother future, gender stereotyping is still prevalent, although Faith's a heroine, her opponents are male to a man. And once she has captured a weapon, she can use it in good old fashioned third person shooter style.
The city of the game is bright and sterile, a shocking contrast to the cities of the William Gibson novels, and Johnny Mnemonic movie from which it clearly draws its inspiration. It is rendered in a sharp technical style, and the characters are manga-like. This gives Mirror's Edge an incredible visual appeal, which is quite unlike any previous game.
Mirror's Edge is different enough to be of interest to most action gamers, but it will be particularly of interest to those who love cyberpunk and the works of William Gibson.