Monday, September 14, 2015

Have some Faith


I've been really edgy about the moving. Really really edgy. Sure, new exciting school starts and new life at north awaits - both of them things I've wanted for quite a while.

Right now though, on my final work day, knowing that my train will leave tonight and I still don't have an electricity contract and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get my keys tomorrow for sure, I am petrified. I am completely and utterly scared.

I will need to get a new bed, but on the first night I will most likely sleep on the floor. I will need to remember to update the Photoshop on my laptop before going. I will need to arrange all the contracts and everything and somehow try to keep my head from going poof.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst was announced not too long ago. I for one wanted a sequel right after I finished the first one - the story was unfinished, yes, but that was not the only factor. I was deeply fascinated by the way the world of ME works. Plotwise politics, characters, everyday life and everything left me wanting to know more, and game-wise it was refreshing and new.

The most notable part of the gameplay is the parkour implemented to the mechanics. Different situations demand you to learn different tricks, and while the first-person view certain angles frustratingly difficult, it adds a lot to the experience.

The visuals of the game have always held a special appeal for me. Grey world, pale colors with high-contrast colorful highlights are an unique and rare sight, affected by both Scandinavian and Asian design. Pale colors, few highlights with bright hues, very inky graphics - the animation looks like calligraphy. It is very accurate, very spot-on and beautiful, without losing the atmosphere and tone of a comic book art.

I see a connection to flow with this. When you get to the flow state, the outside world dims to white. You only see what matters to you, the key points, the highlights, the steps. In the game it gets pointed out at parkour, but it can be connected to other things outside it as well.

The game has no guns and I like it. Faith is not a warrior; she is a courier. This aspect of the game brings to mind another game where the main character does not fight her way through the plot. Beyond Good and Evil differs from Mirror's Edge in various ways, but I connect Jade and Faith in my mind in various ways. One of them is that while both of them are capable of fighting, battle itself plays very small role in the plot of the game.

Faith. The comic series atmosphere is mostly present in the cutscenes; the rest of the game is different style-wise. The strong use of black and the animation always remind me of comic (/film) Persepolis, although I can't exactly explain the connection.
Jade from Beyond Good and Evil, featuring her most important weapon throughout the game: the camera for capturing evidence. BGaE was a very political game with not only strong narrative but also a powerful message and beautiful visual realization.
There are some similarities with how Jade and Faith look, but they are quite minor ones - raven-black hair and tomboyish look aren't exactly rare cards in the gaming world. The most notable similarity is their character. They both have strong sense of justice, they appear cold but have their soft spot - for both of them the said spot is the people closest to them - and they are very devoted to their cause.

A minor, although peculiar, connection between the two games and the two characters is that both Jade and Faith wish to live in peace without having to compromise their values and things they believe in. Neither of them fights for the greater good; both of them only wish for safety and future for themselves.

I think this is something most people can get behind, and most people can relate to. With the ever-growing strain in politics everywhere and the sudden rise of radical right wing in my own country, "living in peace" loses its place as a given term. It becomes a privilege, something to fight for. As far as I am concerned, these kind of games are not only pleasant - they are needed to remind us that we shape our own world, and we claim our own freedom.

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