I’ve already touched lightly on the subject in the past, but a comment from CrashT sparked my interest in the Mirror’s Edge DLC again:
I’m likely in the minority but I find the entire concept of the Mirror’s Edge DLC bizarre. Fluid movement and free running feel most interesting when you have some kind of environmental reference point. For me the thrill came from moving through a realistic city, using pipes, boxes and chairs and other mundane objects to aid my acrobatics. It taught me to look at the world in a different way, almost to develop my own “runner vision”. Strip that out and I fear it’ll lose a lot of its appeal.
I find the DLC charming, precisely because it’s bizarre, but I see his point. What I was trying to say in that post was that Mirror’s Edge suffers a lot when it’s trying to be what it’s not. It’s a racing game, you have a set of preset paths and you must reach your destination as quickly as possible. When I think of the story that EA shoehorned into the game I have to ask myself “Why did they bother?”, it detracts from the mechanics and worst of all, it doesn’t make any sense.
With that said, the story is a minor nitpick, the real problem with ME is the use of guns. It’s fine if you have to run away from the police while they shoot at you, it makes sense, running away is what you do. But as one gets closer and closer to the end, there’s more and more focus on the awful, flawed and pointless melee combat and that’s exactly why I think the DLC is what Mirror’s Edge should have been, there are no guns, there’s no story, it’s just you, a landscape and your parkour. It is unfortunate that the landscape is bizarre though, as CrashT said: A lot of the appeal of the game came from the suburban scenery.
Anyways, what I was trying to say is that the DLC is a step in the right direction: two steps forwards and one step back. It avoids many of the flaws of the main game but at the same time loses the appeal of the city landscape.