Love and Hate on the Edge

I have mentioned in a previous blog the odd effect that Mirror’s Edge can have on a person, however, that is not the subject of this piece.  We have love/hate relationships with many things: films, songs, people, and games and Mirror’s Edge is no exception.  It is by far one of the most breathtaking, innovative and immersive games that I have enjoyed, but on the flip side, it is the most frustrating, angering, hair tearing experience that I have endured for years, possibly since the days of wanting to throw my Spectrum through the window as a Crocodile steals Dizzy’s last life or Jack the Nipper’s rash-meter reaches it’s peak before I can max my ‘naughtyometer’.

Love is easy to cover…the stark beauty and potential of the city’s rooftops, the initial rush of the free flowing running, the motion blur in her peripheral vision, and the sound of running feet and panting exertion serving to immerse the player in Faith’s skin, in her world.  Hate comes in other places – last level aside, it is the Speedruns and Time Trials.  Now, perhaps I should hold my hands up and explain first…it is kind of my fault.  No one forces you to do these, they are entirely optional…unless of course you succumb to the lure of the achievements with which they reward you.  How hard can they be once you complete the game? I ask myself.  That was back in January.  So far I have completed a paltry two Speedruns by the skin of my gritted teeth  and scraped up a handful of Time Trial stars totalling the grand sum of twenty.  I need thirty more.  There are also eight more Speedruns.  I could weep.  The focus of my hate? I have struggled with one particular run on and off for weeks: Jacknife.

With 11 minutes as the deadline, it is the most angering experience I think I have had this generation.  Every night and at stolen moments during the day, I pour over You Tube videos of routes and tips and the dashing Speedruns of others who can complete it and go and make a cuppa while I’m plunging to my death for the millionth time and vowing to carve up my Xbox360 with a steak knife.  You Tube videos however, just don’t cut it.  Don’t get me wrong, they are brilliant – they show shortcuts, alternate routes, and things you wouldn’t have considered.  They are also absolutely irrelevant, as when you press start, it matters not a jot – it is down to skill, or lack thereof.  They don’t solve the game for you or take the sense of achievement away because due to the nature of the game, it is solely your own ability and sense of timing that will win it – they merely point the way, like smug signpost gods.  So, when I flunk a simple jump, or mess up a shortcut which ends up costing time as I redo it over and over, or suffer one of the many glitches which has me sail through a pipe and fall or get cut to ribbons by a chopper which should have long since pulled away further up the storm-drain, I could scream.  And have done.

I have been told that I don’t have to do it, but I do, because I love it as much as I hate it.  I hate the glitches, I hate the nasty checkpointing, the tight time limits, and how many stupid mistakes that I make, and hate that when I do rarely make it to the end, I have somehow managed to take more time than other You Tube show-offs who didn’t use any of the shortcuts.  This need is not just one of compulsion, or desire for completion, or snaps because of the tough nature of the achievements, but also the fact that the number of hours that I have now invested would make it gut-wrenching to walk away from.  I can’t.  It would be like Waterhouse walking away from painting The Lady of Shallot and leaving the boat empty. 

Fall…you know you will, just to spite me.

So every night, like a mournful phantom, I drift upstairs and perch on my bed, ready to traverse the storm-drains, avoid choppers, and chase down the elusive Jacknife in under 11 minutes.  If Ready Up goers across the country should hear a distant scream of ecstasy, it won’t be your neighbour hosting an Ann Summers party…it will be me, finally beating the time limit.

Additional:  The night after I wrote this, I only bloody did it…you heard the scream didn’t you?  Everyone else did.


8 responses to “Love and Hate on the Edge”

  1. GamerGeekGirl avatar

    Rant removed.

    Don’t get me started >.<

    (I want to Love it, it’s just so damn frustrating and I don’t have the patience for poor executions of great ideas)

  2. Tiq avatar

    Well done, Lorna!

    I really do need to pick up mirror’s edge at some point…

  3. Lorna avatar

    Cheer Tiq 🙂 Well worth picking up and it supports new IP, espeically with EA whinging that this and Dead Space didn’t do as well as they expected…hmmm…don’t release them in the run up to Crumpletime with the likes of Fable 2 and Fallout 3, etc etc, then.

  4. Eleanor avatar

    I guess I played about 3 hours of Mirrors edge before trading it in so I never had to look at it ever again. It was most certianly hate for me!

  5. Michael avatar

    I started playing it last night… so good! 😀

    Sorry but it is. Obviously I haven’t done the speedruns etc or I might not be saying that but… so good! FACT.

    You’re wrong El. Wrong in the head.

  6. Snozzeltoff avatar

    Well done!
    I managed to pull myself away from the speed runs. I haven’t touched the game since Decemeber because of that pesky speedrun challenge 2.

    I want to go back to it now, i’m the same, it’s a love hate relationship with that game.

  7. dante76 avatar

    I think by the time I get round to playing Mirror’s Edge, you might have got round to doing 4 levels by then…. 😉

  8. Lorna avatar

    I’ve completed it I’ll bloody have you know! :p

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