The Games of E3: Mirror’s Edge

by Matthew Thompson (Images-EA, this game’s  site can be found here)

(I was trying to work out how to discuss E3 this year (Note: I was not there, just watched it from home) and I’ve settled on rolling out about 10-15 small blogs over the next two weeks. Each will focus on a game shown or announced at E3 that caught my eye and will be presented in alphabetical order. I will include some other impressions when appropriate as well. You can find all of these blogs archived here. Enjoy!)

Mirror's Edge

Other than Uncharted, there was no game I was more excited to see at E3 than the new Mirror’s Edge. I honestly wasn’t expecting much of a showing since I figured the game was a ways off and it was probably not on top of DICE’s priority list, but then EA started talking about it the day before E3 and I figured maybe we were seeing more than I had expected. But I guess we weren’t.

EA had this really odd presentation where they decided to show off a number prototypes and really early looks at games. I’m not sure why exactly. They aren’t trying to sell a console like Micorsoft, Sony or Nintendo, so letting people know stuff way out in the future doesn’t seem really necessary. Maybe for things like Mirror’s Edge and Stars Wars Battlefront they didn’t want it to just disappear for a couple of years and have fans thing they were being “Last Guardian-ed” (it’s a verb now). But it certainly made a lot less sense for stuff like Mass Effect, Bioware’s new IP, and Criterion’s next game.

Having said that, I like what little we saw of the new Mirror’s Edge. It makes me think the developers are at least headed in the right direction. They talk about expanding Faith’s moveset which should in turn make for improved level design. In the video above you can see one of the new moves, where Faith grabs a vertical pipe and uses it to swing around a corner. It is crazy how excited a little thing like this could make me, but as someone who put hours upon hours into mastering the mechanics of the original game I can already see the potential of it. Being able to move around outside corners really opens up some new traversal options. Assuming it is one of many new additions, I could really see the core movement mechanics being improved here.

The other big thing they talk about is how combat has been tweaked so that it will not slow you down as much. The bigger encounters in the first game really were its lowest points. It ruined the flow and joy of zooming through levels. So this is definitely a step in the right direction. The little tidbit they showed of Faith quickly dispatching enemies without losing her momentum makes me confident that this is more than just talk.

Mirrors Edge 2

Mirror’s Edge is obviously a long ways off, but I think what they revealed at this E3 was encouraging. Their priorities seem to be in the right place and that will have to be good enough for me until I get another look at the game.

A few more things about EA’s Conference:

  • I really enjoyed all the conferences at E3 except EA’s. Part of it was all the prototype/concept presentations, but other than Mirror’s Edge there really wasn’t anything that I was personally excited for.
  • I do like Criterion, so I will certainly keep an eye on their new IP, but I’m not sure it looked all that appealing to me either. The varied vehicle types are cool, but I’m not really sold on the first-person perspective. Worth keeping tabs on though.
  • Chuck from The Sims and the phrase “All the feels!” were also a couple of the most cringe-worthy moments of E3 as a whole. Reading my timeline on Twitter react to it was more entertaining than the conference itself.

2 comments on “The Games of E3: Mirror’s Edge

  1. I liked what they had to say, but I feel that last year was the time to show us concept art and all that stuff. I wanted to see at least a peak of real gameplay. Even if they said it was really early, I am getting a little annoyed with these big reveals followed by long stretches of nothing. Probably because it reminds me of Fuse, which may be unfair to these other games, but still. Fuck Fuse.

    • I think ideally they would have just announced it this year with a trailer similar to last year’s and then been ready to show gameplay at next E3, but nothing I can really do about it, so I just take what I get. I honestly feel like the prototype stuff EA showed this year is never really too good of a thing to show. Perhaps in a Developer Diary where they intersperse some real gameplay footage as well. At least this didn’t seem to have gone through some extreme makeover since last year ala Fuse!

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