Category: Long Form

Mirror’s Edge EP6: Who Runs the Runners?

Many of the combat encounters in this game really do feel very poorly thought out. In a lot of them, it seems like the intention was for the player to take out a guard and get his gun, then shoot everyone else. Except enemies are often placed with long open spaces between you and them, meaning you’re likely to take some damage just getting close enough to attack. And then to get a gun, you have to wait for the guard to enter a melee attack animation, which doesn’t always happen immediately, and then catch the weapon within a very small window. Worse, the weapon will turn red, indicating you can grab it, before the actual grab window seems to open. And if you miss, you take about half your maximum health in damage.

What results is a lot of what you see in the video; ducking and hiding behind cover and trying to sneak around to get a good approach at an enemy, and then flailing while you try to guard or punch the enemy to death while everyone else shoots you. Incidentally, you tend to die a lot.

Later fights in the game against the runner cops get it more right; since they move like you do and don’t use guns, so you can try to run away from them and the game doesn’t put any artificial walls in your way to make you fight them. The game’s chase sequences also work pretty well, like in the first level where you’re being chased by cops and can stop to fight them, but you can also avoid them and continue freerunning. But these forced arena fights where it’s almost impossible to evade and escape them as long as anyone is left standing? Well, that was the whole problem everyone complained about in this game’s combat. Unfortunately, while Catalyst makes the arena fights somewhat more bearable, it doesn’t remove them or make them any less frequent, which is one of my main criticisms of the game.