Modern video games are incredibly complex creations, more so than we give them and their countless programmers, artists and exploding barrel technicians credit for. The feelings video games elicit, however, can be simple. Mirror's Edge is a complicated bundle of codes and clauses underneath its bold exterior, but its joys are immediate and primal. It's the game that made jumping exciting again.

And jumped we did, breathlessly across, under and over an urban race course, our persecutors mere steps behind us. Mirror's Edge cuts to the chase, here a vertiginous sequence of elegant platforming and a ruthless hunt for efficiency. It's absolutely thrilling, presented in a perspective usually reserved for blundering man-tanks. Yes, there are cumbersome guns -- a literal throwaway element -- and yes, there's fist-to-face combat that's more than a little challenging. How many controllers would have been spared had the "Test of Faith" Achievement been removed?

Mirror's Edge does stumble occasionally, but when it runs, it leaves most games in the dust. It's one of the most difficult, engaging, frustrating and satisfying experiences of the year. Chase it.

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This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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