x360a Review: Mirror's Edge Pure Time Trial Pack
Written Monday, February 23, 2009 By Dan WebbView author's profile
One of the latest premium downloadable content packs to hit the Marketplace was for the Marmite title, Mirror’s Edge. For those not familiar with Marmite, it’s a food that is available in the UK that you either love or you hate, and it’s a great way of summing up the first person action adventure title that hit our consoles last November.
Me? I was one of those who loved it (Mirror’s Edge, not Marmite). The liberating feeling of scaling the rooftops picking up speed and momentum as you jumped from building to building. The Pure Time Trial however is nothing like that and the caption for the pack “leave the city behind” is an understatement.
The downloadable content pack which only weighs in around a modest 200 mega bytes and can be purchased for 800 Microsoft Points, offers gamers the chance to play across 9 more time trial courses plotted across 7 new and obscure maps. So that’s the chance to get yourself another 27 stars and rip your hair out trying to work out the perfect route and execute it flawlessly.
Ever wondered what our Faithy dreams about? Well, the 7 new levels are supposed to represent just that. The new levels can only be described as floating abstract architectural blocks freely suspended above an endless abyss of water. Each of the 7 levels has its own colour and style, and thanks to a clever colour system with an indirect arrow system, you’ll never get lost, but as you’d expect with a load of randomly placed blocks and what not, there are a few different routes you could take, although it still feels linear. Some of the maps are easier than others, but there thankfully is still plenty of diversity, believe it or not. Kinetic seems to be a load of random floating cubes, Flow has an abundance of slopes and Chroma for example, feels more like a Krypton Factor assault course. Like the main game however there is plenty of guesswork and “scouting time” in your first few runs as you try to determine how to get somewhere and the best way to get there. The real fun comes after you’ve worked that out and you try to put together a good run.
Whether you like or buy this downloadable content should be indicated with the answer of one simple question; did you love the time trials in the original game? If you did and enjoyed the challenge, then the new downloadable content pack is for you. The imaginative and expansive environments breathe some new life in to the game and make it feel fresh and exciting again. If you thought the time trials were ok, or pretty lame, then 800 Microsoft Points for 9 races is going to feel like a waste of cash ... and it probably will be if you fall under that group.
It all ultimately comes down to how much time you will spend perfecting these 9 new races. Some people could spend 10 minutes on each race, racing it a few times and have spent 800 points on an hour’s experience, whereas someone like myself, could spend hours on end trying to perfect the routes and what not. Even then, it may seem like an expensive investment
As far as the achievements go, they really represent who the DLC was aimed at; the hardcore Mirror’s Edge runners, the ones that like to get 3 stars on everything and constantly improve their times. This is because 100 of the 250 new points are allocated to a 90 star achievement which requires you get 90 stars out of a possible 96 ... Ouch! So that’s 3 staring all but six maps! As for the other 150 points, the 120 of those are fairly straightforward and reward you for doing certain combos, so once you find the best spot to do them they’re pretty simple, with the other 30 given for 70 stars ... which is no easy feat either.
Part of the problem with the new DLC for Mirror’s Edge will undoubtedly be its length. We all know of the quality of the game and the new time trials is more of the same, only in a more inventive and futuristic environment, but after being spoiled recently with the sheer length and amount of content Rockstar and The Lost and Damned threw at us, you can’t help but feel like the Pure Time Trial pack is a bit light for 800 points. If you’ve got plenty of Points lying around and you were a bit of a Time Trial junkie, then snap this up as soon as you can. If not, you’re not really missing much and you’d be better off saving the points for a DLC pack with a little bit more substance.