My opinion of Mirror’s Edge has been in a state of flux ever since I first played the game back in 2008. I loved it initially, eventually bought into the endless online criticism of the game and became a critic of the game myself for the last 5 years. ‘It wasn’t actually good,” I concluded. “I was just dazzled by the unusual game play and art style,” I thought. Well thank goodness for the annual summer slump of game releases, because after 5 years of disliking it I finally returned to Mirror’s Edge, and found that it was just as fun as I thought it was back in the beginning! It has room to grow, but experiment wasn’t a failure; first-person traversal can work as a core mechanic! And if the E3 trailer (below) is anything to go by it looks like DICE is taking that to heart and doing everything they can to make it into the game they always wanted it to be. A promising as it all sounds, I’m hoping they’ll expand on some other things as well.
(Video source: Electronic Arts France’s Channel)
I would love to know more about the runners. We know Faith happened across Merc (a former runner) while she was living on the street, and he decided to train her, but is happenstance the only way a person can become a runner? And what about their function in this dystopian world? “Runner” implies that they’re couriers, but there seems to be more going on than that. From Faith’s monologues in the original game it sounded as if the runners have a loosely affiliated society of their own. The idea of a community of people living on “The Edge” just intrigues me and it would be awesome to find more about how it was formed and if they have a goal beyond simply surviving.
What about Faith? Who is she? In Mirror’s Edge we saw that she had people she cared for and otherwise. We were told that she became a runner as an alternative to living on the streets, and that she’s an exceptionally skilled one at that. However, what did we learn about Faith in the first game beyond that? Why has she remained a Runner even after the government decided to crack down on them? What motivates her? Why the tattoos? There’s so much opportunity here to expand Faith into a full-fledged character, and I’m really hoping that the opportunity isn’t wasted…well that and I really, really want to know what the tattoos are about. The designs on each runner are so minimal, yet still have such a sense of personal meaning, and they NEVER say what they’re about! I must know!
Most importantly, I’m hoping that the controls get a good work-over as they endeavor to improve the running and combat. It’s not that they didn’t work in the original game, but rather it was often hard to determine which input would help me get to where I wanted to go. I remember many a death in my original playthrough being caused by thinking a button would do one thing, but then discovering that it did something completely different. Along with that, I’d like to see “Runner Vision” be used to inform the stage design beyond some color choices. It was fine as it was for the rooftop bits, but everything else could have benefitted from being just a little more apparent. It’s not that I want the game to be a pushover in terms of difficulty, I just noticed that Mirror’s Edge was always at its best when the way forward was clear and I could chain together move after move without having to stop and try to figure out what was next. When I could do that, it just felt so very good! An experience unlike any other game to come before or since!
Here’s hoping the sequel will knock our socks off!
What do you hope to see happen with Mirror’s Edge 2? If you haven’t played, what would it take to get you interested?