by Matt Puddy
Back in 2008 Electronic Arts released a game which made a fairly large crater when it landed. That game was Mirror’s Edge.
Released a year after Assassin’s Creed, another game which heavily featured a free running aspect, Mirror’s Edge was built around parkour and set the interest level high for players. The game and comic setting mirror (no pun intended) each other exactly, and both are set in a near future dystopian setting. Information is crucial in this day and age, and also easily stolen when transmitted digitally. This world uses "Runners", old fashioned human couriers who skip across the skyline, building to building, passing, collecting or even stealing secrets. Our main character Faith is one such runner - and a very fast one at that.
This first issue opens with Faith aiding in a data theft, acting as a decoy for the actual heist. While skillfully running across the rooftops, goading her Krugersec pursuers, she runs right into an even more illicit meeting resulting in gunfire and her capture by one of the biggest local crime bosses – Dogen. A brief conversation and a balcony escape later sees Faith return to her crew, who are more than worried about who she met. Things certainly take a darker turn for her, and they don’t seem to be letting up as a rival crew shows up to challenge their authority.
The challenge, although exhilarating, does stir something within Faith as she finds herself back at Dogen’s place, potentially accepting a job she shouldn’t even consider.
Christofer Emgård heads up a very interesting team of Mattias Häggström and Robert Sammelin. Combined they work very well, but it is their credentials that paint the more obvious picture. Häggström has an artistic background in video game development and creation which makes him ideally placed for this comic. Emgård is also well known in the industry, and received honours at the 2007 Writers Guild of America Awards for story design on World in Conflict.
Working together they have created a fun, fast paced story with some very pretty images too. Visually it is very clean and minimalist on the artwork, giving a suitably airy feel to it all. The line work is fine and well structured on the buildings, but does wane a bit on the facial features.
The quick pace of the story can sweep you along with it, on a slower read it is a little thin. By expecting most readers will know the game, there is minimal back story and introduction to the premise, but new readers will still enjoy the fun element.
Put all together if you are looking for a quick shot of entertainment in a video game story adaptation then you won’t go wrong. As a new story on its own, it does need to do a little more, and the cliff hanger “job” offer at the end does mean you need to continue on to issue two. This is definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of the game (and impending sequel in February 2016) and still worth a peek if you’re not.
Matt Puddy has Faith that Mirror’s Edge can really take off.