Embers of Mirrim (Xbox One) Review

By Gabriel Jones 17.01.2018

Review for Embers of Mirrim on Xbox One

An alien force, unknown in origin, has descended upon the planet. Known only as the Corruption, this being takes control of nearby inhabitants, in order to destroy any and all opposition. In their attempt to flee this terror, two beasts, one of light and one of dark, arrive at the Spire. Since untold times, these creatures have fought one another. Even now, as the world crumbles around them, they attempt to tear each other apart. Then, as if it were destiny, the power of the Spire causes the two beasts to merge into one. This being, known as Mirrim, has become the planet's only hope. After glowing reports on Nintendo Switch and PC, it is time to take on the Xbox One iteration.

Embers of Mirrim is a cinematic linear platformer where players take control of a cat-like creature. Well, maybe it's more like a wolf, or a four-legged bird - it's hard to tell. Mirrim is a rather strange beast, with its penchant for splitting into embers and all. Sure, the creature is well-versed in running and jumping, but its ability to split into floating orbs and zip around really sets it apart from the pack. Mastering this talent is paramount to surviving the many traps and bottomless pits that decorate each level.

The basics are the easy part. Mirrim is perfectly adept at everything that would be expected from the average platformer hero. That means smooth leaps, responsive movement, and just the right amount of momentum. If the creature suffers an untimely demise, the controls are rarely to blame. However, things do get a little more complicated when Mirrim splits into embers. These floating crystals are independently controlled via the left and right thumb-stick. It takes a surprisingly long amount of time to adjust, particularly during sections of the game that demand a careful hand.

Screenshot for Embers of Mirrim on Xbox One

To better explain this phenomenon, there's a part where Mirrim must escape a rampaging Flarefly Queen. At certain points, splitting into embers is required. The catch is that it's a temporary power, and is governed by a special gauge. Whenever it's exhausted, then the beast resumes its regular form, which can be fatal, especially if it does so over a large pit or a bed of spikes. Special objects, such as nets and rifts, can keep the gauge replenished, but they are colour-coded, so that only the light or dark ember can take advantage of them. This leads to a point where after splitting up, the embers must take slightly different routes. The player is going to unconsciously move one or the other ember in the wrong direction, or take too long to become situated, thus the embers lose their energy, and Mirrim suffers a gruesome demise.

Moving two objects with one controller is harder than it sounds, but this game has the good sense to avoid frustrating scenarios. The feature is handled in a method that is clever, as well as satisfying. The frequency of checkpoints, along with a lack of load times in-between deaths and respawns, are also appreciated. The level of difficulty remains fairly manageable throughout, allowing more time to take in the great soundtrack and atmospheric visuals.

It's fair to point out that replay-value is not one of Embers of Mirrim's strong suits. There are a few hidden collectibles in almost every level, but there's generally only one path through them. Linearity is typically preferred for a cinematic platformer, but some gamers might find themselves wanting a little more. The mechanics of embers are rarely used for exploration or devising shortcuts. Most of the time, they are merely a puzzle-solving tool. Also, even with generous breaks, this can be completed in a day, which definitely won't sit well with anyone demanding an epic journey. Look at this way: at least it doesn't overstay its welcome. This platformer moves at a brisk pace and doesn't attempt to pad everything out.

Screenshot for Embers of Mirrim on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Although Embers of Mirrim doesn't last long, it has some unique ideas and stays entertaining throughout. The controls for both Mirrim and the embers are functionally solid. The most clever moments tend to unexpected, such as when trying to move the embers in different directions. Dodging minions and navigating a twisting passageway becomes quite a bit more interesting when it requires controlling two heroes at the same time. While the lack of replay-value is a shame, this is still an adventure worth experiencing.

Developer

Creative Bytes Studios

Publisher

Creative Bytes Studios

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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