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Mirror’s Edge 2: How To Make The Game Great
Mirror’s Edge was one of those games that was amazing in a very unique way but failed to sell to the same standards as other franchises. This has been the story of many games and films over the years which, despite their genius and fun, the larger world failed to so much as notice. Probably, the first thing people saw was a first person game being released in a swathe of COD clones that didn’t feature a gun as the main weapon. VGChartz lists the game as selling 1.09 million in total as of 18th of May 2013 and while that is no small amount, by many standards and especially DICE and EA’s lofty standards, the game was not the mega hit they might have been expecting. The game did garner a large fanbase enough to heckle EA into considering the game for a sequel and recent rumors have suggested a next generation sequel will be coming. What would make the game good enough to draw in a larger group of players and make it great enough for the fans to view it as a worthy successor to the first game.
Keep to the same style of graphics – The very unique and initially jarring graphics of the game were astounding. Vivid colors, reds and blues, contrasted the bright whiteness of the city, which says that a constantly watching society ends in a ridiculously clean society. There was a subtle use of these for hints as to where to go, where to jump, where to wall run and climb in the environment which made it more than just stunning eye candy. While DICE uses their new Frostbite engine to market Battlefield 4’s new graphical prowess, they may be using the same tech to blind us with the next generation of the bright, clean city. This should stay the same for the new game as it is one of the main reasons that the game was unique, it sets it apart from the Battlefield franchise without even playing it. It is synonymous with Mirror’s Edge now and for a sequel, changing the style would result in confusion between the first and second games, unless the change was explained in the story (for example, the city has rebelled and people are putting graffiti across the city and the clean has become dirt).
Barely use guns, or NO guns at all – Mirror’s Edge was the a first person game that avoided guns unless you went out of your way to find them and even if you did stand and fight, chances are you or your ammunition would not last very long. Much of the time running was the best possible optiona nd made the game fast paced and breathtaking. When guns were introduced in the final third of the game for large sections, there was the sense that the game had become just another FPS, a shooter just like the others. There was probably a way to get through the game without one use of a gun but to be honest it was difficult to resist using them in the final moments. For the next game there must be the same martial arts style fighting with more finishing moves to add depth to the gameplay while simplifying the disarm technique (I remember it being insanely difficult to disarm enemies with harder difficulties). If guns must be included for certain sections, why not make the environment feature things that when shot, hurts enemies or distracts them when shot rather than being forced to head on run into confrontation.
A longer story, less trial runs – The story of Mirror’s Edge was notoriously short. You could run through the game once you knew the paths in a few short hours as you find quicker and quicker ways to traverse the world. Now, while this was an interesting mechanic, there was no reason to find these quicker ways except for improving your time on a leaderboard. This lead to many people purely playing through the game once and finding it an unfulfilling experience. In the second game, there could be separate paths or dynamically changing environments every time during the story mode, like fences that are present one run through and not the second time, that feature upgrades or more info about the world you inhabit as an incentive. This would extend playing time. Or, if the game was to be really adventurous and do an open world or semi open levels, the game would be much more fun. There should also be the arcade style timed runs as they turned out to be very fun with the intuitive control system in place.
Better boss type battles – One of the main things that stuck in my head to criticize the first game was that the guys you had to stop that were vital to the story were beaten by pressing a single button at the right time to push them off you and… that was it. Seriously? I don’t know why it was chosen to tackle battles this way but it ruins the pure immersion that I felt while inside this wonderful world that DICE created. Why not try to actually have a battle that consists of more than chasing and pressing one button once you catch them? Even if the developers wanted us to still defeat our enemies in the same way, why not implement a small stealth element that allows us to climb our way around them in silence and take them down as long as they don’t see you. If they do, THEN we could chase them.
What would you like to see in a future Mirror’s Edge game? Was the first a fond memory for you? Let us know in the comments below!