Mirror’s Edge iPhone Review: Free As A Bird

Mirror’s Edge iPhone Review: Free As A Bird
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Mirror’s Edge on iPhone may be a completely different game to its console and PC sibling, but it still shares all of its joys (and all of its flaws).

Already out on iPad, Mirror’s Edge has recently been released on the iPhone, specifically to take advantage of the increased resolution of Apple’s new iPhone 4. Sadly, some of the iPad version’s more notable inclusions – like multiplayer – have been cut, but the core story and speed run modes remain.


Gotta Keep Runnin’You ever play Canabalt? This is a little like that, as you’ll mostly be guiding star Faith as she runs from left to right across the screen. Instead of forcing a clumsy d-pad control system on the game, EA has wisely decided that a 2D game about running only needs a few elegant commands, all of which – movement and combat – involve a simple swipe of the screen. It’s fast, easy to use and responsive; three things you don’t often see in action games on the iPhone.

Show Off – Mirror’s Edge looks great on an iPhone 3G or 3GS, but on an iPhone 4 or a new Touch – with their ultra-crisp “retina” displays – the game looks better than you’d think the machines were capable of. Textures are crisp, colours pop off the screen, and while we’re sure games will come along in the future that will look better, today, this is the game to show off your new iPhone 4 or iPod Touch.


Indoors, Bad – How funny that the one thing that let down the main Mirror’s Edge – clumsy indoor sequences – are the same things that mar this version, a range of underground and office levels and even some scaffolding sequences in the outdoor stages proving too confined for Faith’s large jumps and slides.

Mirror’s Edge on iPhone is a great portable title, which makes the most of the strengths of the platform and also makes for a nice nightcap for fans of the game on console or PC, as it’s an all-new title with the same city, same characters and even the same soundtrack.

Perhaps the only thing to be cautious of aside from the point raised above is that, sans the multiplayer, this is a short game – you can finish it in half an hour – so it’s really aimed more at Mirror’s Edge fans and those wanting something to show off their new hardware.

Mirror’s Edge was developed and published by Electronic Arts, released on the App Store on September 2. Sells for $6. Purchased copy myself for review purposes. Completed story mode and all speed-run stages.

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  • Setting the play time at half an hour is selling the game far too short. The real meat of the game is in time trial mode after you finish the story, and time trial also brings in one of the best features of the iOS version: just like the console version you can race against your own ghost data or even download other ghost data from the global rankings. I really wasn’t expecting that in the iOS version, and it adds a ton of replay value. I’m as surprised that Luke didn’t see fit to mention that as I was to find the feature itself as it’s definitely a major selling point.

    Also – and I don’t mean to sound so negative, because I agree with everything else Luke said – Epic Citadel is the ultimate “show off your iPhone 4” app. Granted, maybe Luke didn’t include it because it’s more a tech demo than a game, but it’s hands down the best-looking game-type-thing on the iPhone. That said, Luke’s right that Mirror’s Edge is gorgeous on an iPhone 4, and is worthy of being used to demonstrate the platform’s capability. The beautiful, clean aesthetic from the console game has been translated excellently to the new viewpoint.

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