Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Orwellian Freerunners

"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

A few years ago, a rather obscure game called Mirror's Edge was released. It was one of those games that was a bit difficult to fit into one genre but managed to carve a niche for itself. Mirror's Edge was a first-person game that placed heavy emphasis on freerunning as a core gameplay mechanic. Players would have to find the most creative or efficient routes (or both, in many cases) to complete each level.

I never did have the patience to finish Mirror's Edge, partly because I only borrowed it for a couple of weeks and partly because I refused to engage in combat because I felt that it beats the purpose and the flow of parkour as a whole.

Anyway, I've downloaded a game called Vector on my phone a few days ago and after playing it for a few hours, I could say that it reminded me of Faith's adventures, premise and all, albeit in 2D format.

The game's setting was pretty interesting. The protagonist is a deliberately anonymous drone who lives and works in a futuristic Orwellian society reminiscent of Nineteen Eighty-Four. He manages to break free from what I assume was a mind-control device and each level's premise was that the player must navigate through an urban landscape to evade pursuing enforcers under the command of a Big Brother-esque figure.

Like Mirror's Edge, being successful in Vector requires a lot of trial and error, as well as plenty of repetition and rote memorization. There are points where players must decide between speed, accuracy or practicality to get a perfect rating for each level. Some levels suffer from a bit of lag - although it's a good thing in my case since those same levels require crazy timing to pull off.

All in all, Vector is a solid title (for a free release with payable options). It's not for everyone, but the unique concept works well for a mobile game.

No comments:

Post a Comment