InMomentum Review (PC)
I missed Mirrors Edge when it first came out and although I’ve told myself every now and again I must get it. It’s been 3 years and I’ve yet to throw my self off a building at high speed, so when Tom told me there was a free-running game like Mirrors Edge to review, I jumped at the chance (pun intended)…. only to realise I am terrible at it.
The games menu has “Play Tutorial” as it’s top billing, which seems a little unusual as you’d think most people would only play it once, or not at all if they’re daring. I wasn’t however, so I jumped into it. The tutorial starts with a wall of text, and you cannot move until it’s finished going through it all. It begins by setting up the premise of the game; you’ve taken part in a clinical trial for a treatment to your condition which has apparently resulted in the loss of your body. To be honest, this just felt like it was tacked on at the end and was very pointless. It’s never mentioned again and it doesn’t affect the game play at all, but maybe Digital Arrow felt you needed a reason to hurl yourself around a map, or the excuse that it’s just a test if you fall to your temporary death. The tutorial then explains all the controls to you: WASD to move, mouse to look about, left click to jump and right click to wall jump. “Seems easy enough” I thought, “Oh look, there’s a platform to jump onto, oh bugger I over shot it, lets try again.” This went on for about 5 minutes and I still hadn’t managed to get onto that sodding platform. I eventually remembered you could hold down space to slow down time for a short while and took my sweet ass time getting across the platforms!
The controls are very finicky to begin with and if I didn’t need to review the game I may well have given up after the tutorial, but I am so glad that I didn’t. I jumped into the single player which isn’t campaign based or story driven. You choose a map, you choose a game mode; either Sphere Hunt where you have to collect a certain amount of spheres dotted around the map, or Time Trial where you just need to race to the end; and a difficulty from Casual to Impossible. Jumping into the single player you get a real feel for what the game is about. The problem with the tutorial is it’s a lot of stopping and starting with only one route for you to take, however the game is meant to be one continuous movement from A-B, with a choice of 2 or 3 different routes. After a couple of minutes in the single play I wasn’t even thinking about the controls, I was just jumping and navigating the levels with ease.
One of the best moments I’ve had playing the game was when I was about to beat my best time on a certain map and I mistimed a jump just before the end. In most other games falling off the world would mean death, a respawn, and shame upon your family. Not in InMomentum however. Although all the horizontal platforms were racing away above my head, all the vertical platforms extend to the bottom of the map. I was able to slow down time enough to make my way towards one of these platforms, clipped the very bottom with a wall jump, mid air jumped to another vertical platform, wall jumped off that and flew through the finish gates. One of my best moments in gaming in recent weeks.
There are a couple of slight problems I had with the game, but they might be a result of my lack of skills. The first was that the later maps are bloody huge, and not just horizontally but vertically too, and if you don’t know the map very well you’ll spend the first few play throughs getting very lost. The other problem I had was that sometimes you need to scale large walls, but with the camera being in first person it’s very difficult to see where you need to be going. There is an option to put the camera into third person but this just made me even more confused as I found it harder to control. I guess fixing the first problem by getting to know the maps better would solve the getting stuck at large walls bit so I’ll just have to keep practising.
There is also a multiplayer mode available, however not many people seemed to be playing when I was on so I never properly managed to test it, it did look very promising as a competitive mode however as there are several buffs you can gain in the game but didn’t seem to be available in the single player. I wouldn’t expect there to be hundreds of multiplayer games available, but one of two might pop up to try out, and if not this is most definitely a game to try out at a LAN.
This game is a lot like AaAaAA!!! with its speed and need for precise controls, and I also felt a very strong resemblance to the surf maps on CSS, both of which I am terrible at. If you like either of those games, this is definitely a game to try, but even if you don’t like them InMomentum might be worth a shot. Each run doesn’t last very long and it’d be a perfect way to waste 5 minutes. I know I’ll still be jumping in every now and again.
7 avoidable deaths out of 10
Feature by James Simpson