Mirror's Edge is a action adventure platform game with a heavy emphasis on free-running mechanics; players become Faith, a "Runner" who must evade government authorities and security across cityscapes in a dystopian future after her sister is framed for a crime she didn't commit.
The game adopts a first-person viewpoint with no HUD during gameplay to maximize immersion and visual fidelity as players navigate 3D environments set in city rooftops and office buildings. Players build speed and momentum to keep Faith moving throughout the levels using parkour techniques, leaping over or sliding and rolling under obstacles through context-sensitive upward and downward controls. To facilitate the player's ability to move throughout environments, surfaces and areas that Faith can free-run across can be highlighted in red colors to represent her feeling the "flow."
Faith can also engage in first-person combat against opponents using melee and firearm attacks, though the game does not actively encourage violent solutions to reaching level goals.