Zero Punctuation: Mirror's Edge

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Anaphyis:

Sayvara:
If DICE made a bad game, the only thing you can blame EA for is funding it, but that still doesn't take away the fact that all the creative decision makers are DICE and not the mother-company.

/S

Three counterpoints:

1. You imply the EA suits don't interfere with decisions made at one of their subsidiaries. Not working as a suit at DICE I can't say for sure of course and I doubt you can either (unless you are one of course) but considering EA's usual demeanor even in a developer publisher relationship I very much doubt that.

What you forget about point 1, is the obvious fact of never actually working for a game developer. Having been a past EA Employee and working within the games industry for going on a decade now, trust me that game development even for the large corporations is nothing like the Television industry where people in suits make all the real decisions; while being completely removed from reality relying on nothing but "focus groups".

In-fact with the case of DICE, given they have provided EA with the Battlefield-Series that have earnt them quite a bit of capitial from gamers lapping up any new morsal; this tends to give a developer far more freedom because often on name alone can a game become a hit.

Hell look at Doom 3 and Quake 4... good engines, poor design decisions leading to sub-par games; but raked in the money anyway more based on name than anything else. Oh hell if we're going that far pretty much anything Sony have done in the past 5years has almost entirely relied on this factor.

Point is realistically is that Mirror's Edge was far more likely to have been almost entirely designed and developed free from EA suit tinkering because DICE have earnt that right; and given Mirror's Edge has actually done fairly decently on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, honestly I don't see this changing.

Realistically how things work in the Developer-Publisher relationship is, the Publisher gives a developer a lot of money. They then tell the developer, you have 24-32months to make sure we get our money back. After that the developers are left on their own for the most part, with the publishers only stepping in to try to advertise and try to make sure their money is returned.

How much interest a publisher takes in dictating how something is done always comes down to basically how trust worthy that developer is for getting their money back.

You can't expect to be an unknown company with a crazy idea, because no matter how good the game is the developer will always get scared that it might not do so well; so to prevent them pulling funding you make changes that appeal the masses.

Mirror's Edge honestly has had one of the most bizzare development stories in recent years too. DICE rather than using their own Frostbite engines that they spent a good few years developing our-sourced to the engine of this console generation Unreal 3... this is unsual in the fact that often a company will use an internally developed engine before licensing someone elses, but this is exactly what happened. More bizare is the fact that DICE then decided to alter half the source code to fit their vision, a bit like how Valve bought Quake and then decided they wanted to change almost everything for Half-Life; sure it's good to have something to work from, but realistically makes little sense when you just end up re-inventing the wheel anyway.

Another unusual aspect is that well, this was one of the shortest from development to market games we've seen in the past 2 generations. Rumours are it only took 18months, which for a Triple-A title is practically unheard of. You couple this all together with the fact that while sure there are some collision and control issues at times, realistically this is by far one of the most stable and responsive games using the Unreal 3 Engine. Epic themselves with Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War 2 were both extremely glitchy with noticeable loading times and "texture pop-ups"... while Epic covered that aspect with a nice "bluring" fix, realistically it's not the same as Mirror's Edge where you honestly never notice any of these issues.

DICE frankly have done something with Mirror's Edge that EA have never really been able to master themselves in the 25 years they've been going and the past 20 years they've been in game development.

Release exactly the game that was promised, provide more to a game than the demo offered, provide a stable working game that doesn't leave gamers praying for a patch, but more importantly of all... providing an entertaining experience from the moment you pick it up until you put it down.

In-fact if you notice, since the EA CEO stepped down and was replaced last year; we've seen 3 brand new franchises appear; none of which have the usual EA finger-prints like the sequals that were release during the same period. What we've been given were some damn good action games with alright in the case of Army of Two a bit too testosterone driven but for the most part damn good involving single player experiences.

Something I feel has been missing from games since this new generation has been the absence of just a good single player experience. Games moving from the "Shut-in annoymous Playstation 2" to the "Let's all pwn newbies together Xbox 360" has unfortunately moved too many games to focus more on the multiplayer over the single player imo; and it's quite refreshing that EA (and in the case of Dead Space, and Army of Two; EA First Party Developers) are the ones pushing forward with better single player experiences.

Don't get me wrong these games aren't without their flaws and foubles, but honestly despite how short each one was... I was never disappointed in that respect. Sure, like everyone else I wouldn't mind a game being a longer experience; but then it's the same no matter what.

There are very few games I've played where at the end of it I've just sat there and thought "man that was perfectly timed", as we all know that once you finish the game... if it's good it'll leave you wanting more. Luckily DLC if developers get their acts together can mean we don't have to wait another 24-32months for the next installment, but unfortunately I think the only Episode driven games we're likely to see for some time are going to be Sam & Max, or that retarded Strong Bad one.

I still think it's funny to think about that everyone is always so quick to judge a publisher especially one as large as EA, for what they hate; as if they were physically involved in development. Despite credit lists often being 150 people long, realistically these games themselves and the creative decisions made during the development tends to rest only on the shoulders of the core teams of 20-70 people from the company that made them.

Even then usually it's creative directors or company directors who are like "Hmmm, I think that's not mainstream enough"

Angrywyvern:

Hamster at Dawn:
I'd been wondering if this game was any good. I now know I haven't been missing much. Not surprising coming from EA.
Anyone else notice the typo at the end, 'Pubic Enemy Number One'?

I think he meant that as a joke, you know? Your crotch?

Yes, I'm familiar with the word 'pubic', that's why I mentioned it in the first place.
I realised that it might be purposeful but it doesn't particularly make sense to me if that's the case. He's an enemy to pubes? wtf?

And once again, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the game, Yahtzee is absolutely right on every count. Goddammit. >_>

Hamster at Dawn:

Yes, I'm familiar with the word 'pubic', that's why I mentioned it in the first place.
I realised that it might be purposeful but it doesn't particularly make sense to me if that's the case. He's an enemy to pubes? wtf?

The protagonist of the game is a public enemy, Yahtzee is the pubic enemy. In Fallout 3 you create useless junk out of junk, in the review Yahtzee was created out of tin cans and engine parts. It's a bad pun, for gods sake, not some cryptic bible code message he left there for future generations.

Leyvin:

I still think it's funny to think about that everyone is always so quick to judge a publisher especially one as large as EA, for what they hate; as if they were physically involved in development. Despite credit lists often being 150 people long, realistically these games themselves and the creative decisions made during the development tends to rest only on the shoulders of the core teams of 20-70 people from the company that made them.

Even then usually it's creative directors or company directors who are like "Hmmm, I think that's not mainstream enough"

Thanks for your insightful posting (no sarcasm). By the way, since you replied to me and that one quoted paragraph makes the impression that you might think so: I'm not on the band wagon saying anything EA makes is shit. Except the games that actually were shit and I would sooner ram a glowing needle into my eyes than buy DRM-rentals but that's about it and another can of worms.

Ok, I'm really curious now, so much so that I've gone to all the effort of registering an account.

Question: Why on Earth are the admin here so ban-happy? It always amuses me to see several banned posters at the start of each videos comments.
Why exactly, are they so offensive? I can't see it.

Anyhoo, long time admirer Yahtz, keep sticking y'claws in.

*Patiently awaits a banning for dissent*

dare i make a reply to this thread, last time i made a comment i got banned!!! all i said was "nice review Yahtzee" oh the horror!!

sooooooooo........... nice review Yahtzee, don't agree with most of what you said but as always you put a smile on my face. keep it up

Mr. Reasonable:

Why exactly, are they so offensive? I can't see it.

Cause these are "first p0st!!1!" equivalents. Video posted 6:01 + 4 minutes running time, so posts about the video before 6:05 are completely ass-pulled.

Satosuke:
And once again, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the game, Yahtzee is absolutely right on every count. Goddammit. >_>

Well, some points don't make the most sense, though. Like when he's wondering if there is no other crime happening because everyone is chasing faith.

Ähm, to answer that question, no, there is not. That's kind of the whole setup of the game, no more crime at the expense of all freedom. Explained fairly early on. So if finally something happens, the police can throw everything they've got. That's why every cop in the city is hunting Faith. There is in fact no other crime.

Props for Leyvin (both of the very good posts). ...I thought the review was silly this time as well - I was expecting either the two- faced, dual gun- wielding inspector character would get a trashing. Or maybe the action- sequence in the middle of the story with the wrestler would be cut down... where somehow the same people who are trying to kill you later on will murder your source of info, at that point in the story, to keep themselves a secret.... but mercifully won't shoot you when they have the chance, because that would end the game too soon... Or maybe the elevator shaft part of the game, where you're not even given a point to run/fall/climb towards - you don't even know if it's up or down you're supposed to go. Or how when you do get out of that sequence, you magically end up exactly where you're supposed to. Or how the Celeste comment "you just couldn't keep away" was probably the worst use of that line in the history of story- telling.. Right after how Faith managed to turn the tables on a wall of machine- guns by stealing Celeste's gun, turning towards the SWAT team, and shooting with the nine- millimeter... while they had actually been firing their rifles at them for about thirty seconds... because Celeste loses her concentration when they start firing, but don't hit, I guess, which is what gives faith an opportunity.. After which Celeste just stands there and disappears from the story, apparently because she was too embarassed all of a sudden.

But no... trash the bright colours and the running instead.. jeez. It's about as misplaced as trounching Civilisation on the evolution and the game- mechanics, and somehow missing out on the entire "evil poisonous historical and political propaganda only overcome by the urge to falsify absolutely everything, just to makes sure absolutely nothing you learn in the game is useful for anything, including looking up references in a real encyclopedia"- angle.

Khadath:

Retrofraction:
In USA that game cost $50 bucks

I'll stand for that now the Aus dollar is a steaming piece of shit(*clap, clap, clap* I said Keven Rudd would do this but no one listened.) but go back 3-4 months and that's when we all had a reason to be pissed, the Au dollar was worth somewhere around 94cents Us and we still payed $100 for a game.

It's like Trent Reznor(Nine Inch Nails)said, just because Australia has dedicated fans(apply's to most things from my view)doesn't mean we should have our prices jacked up.

I've heard that the problem is more that video games AREN'T a big thing in Australia, hence they treat it like a niche industry and charge a lot per unit. Then again, it's a chicken-and-egg thing- maybe video games aren't big in Australia because they cost a lot and aren't released until fans have had months to import them from elsewhere (and the censorship thing might also hurt.)

nipsen:
Or how the Celeste comment "you just couldn't keep away" was probably the worst use of that line in the history of story- telling.. Right after how Faith managed to turn the tables on a wall of machine- guns by stealing Celeste's gun, turning towards the SWAT team, and shooting with the nine- millimeter... while they had actually been firing their rifles at them for about thirty seconds... because Celeste loses her concentration when they start firing, but don't hit, I guess, which is what gives faith an opportunity.

Nice list, I got one more. Why in the world is Kate always wearing a police uniform with the nightstick, even if she has been convicted some time ago and is about to be taken over to prison?

Also, I love the scene where Miller kills those two guards and then says: They were private security. like private security aren't living people and can be shot any time.

Shame about this game, really, I'm all for a game with a well thought out and perseptively written orwellian style future theme, and I was ready to forgive some combat niggles and potential motion sickness for the chance to be a player in a really good, gritty story about the government controlling our actions and keeping us their obedient little puppets while young scalliwags go around trying to regain the freedom of hard working men and women.

Then I found out the story is non-existant to make way for the gameplay....and I cancelled my pre-order.
Then I found out the gameplay wasn't even that good....and I cancelled my guilt.

i gota say when i first found your videos i thought they were funny and original but it's just getting sad and repetative.
week after week you just give us the same bitchin' about games, it's really pathetic.
I mean every weeks video is so pradictable but cus i'm sayin' this all your fanboys who brown-nose you are just guna have ago at me for 'dissin' you =p

Dragon_Nexus:

Then I found out the story is non-existant to make way for the gameplay....and I cancelled my pre-order.
Then I found out the gameplay wasn't even that good....and I cancelled my guilt.

That's odd, I found neither of those two problems. Perhaps it was because I actually, you know, played the game. Unless you're saying you played a copy of a friend of yours to find out that second part.

I played and finished Mirror's Edge. I loved Mirror's Edge. BUT! I do not disagree with a single thing that Yahtzee has said.

My main gripe with the game is that they spend the first half of the game telling you to run away, and then suddenly decide you have to fight everyone and their dog. The story was predictable if not totally pointless, and some of the platforming sequences were teeth-gnashingly difficult. We're told that the city is under some kind of Facist Janitorial government rule, but we're told and shown absolutely nothing to suggest they're bad.

I found the linear platforming sequences to be more difficult, since you only have one way to travel DICE saw fit to make the path and obtuse as possible. I probably am not observant enough though.

That being said, Mirror's Edge is something new and different, so it's worth a shot. Good rental, would not buy.

game's a rental, at best

is the typo at the end pubic enemy #1 a typo or a witty clever continuation to the last joke

Khadath:
I'll stand for that now the Aus dollar is a steaming piece of shit(*clap, clap, clap* I said Keven Rudd would do this but no one listened.) but go back 3-4 months and that's when we all had a reason to be pissed, the Au dollar was worth somewhere around 94cents Us and we still payed $100 for a game.

It's like Trent Reznor(Nine Inch Nails)said, just because Australia has dedicated fans(apply's to most things from my view)doesn't mean we should have our prices jacked up.

This just might have more to due with infrastructure than Aussies being such better fans than the rest of the world and willing to pay a 60% Aussie tax.

I don't really see how a guy who presumably makes his living with finalcut pro and reviewing these games has a right to bitch about prices, get a full time job you fucking hippy.

Also it seems kind of stupid if you have these horrible markups and horrible distribution that you just don't get a US 360, and buy your damn games on ebay.

chenry:
I played and finished Mirror's Edge. I loved Mirror's Edge. BUT! I do not disagree with a single thing that Yahtzee has said.

God yeah, who could ever disagree with this guy?

metalheadmax:
i gota say when i first found your videos i thought they were funny and original but it's just getting sad and repetative.
week after week you just give us the same bitchin' about games, it's really pathetic.
I mean every weeks video is so pradictable but cus i'm sayin' this all your fanboys who brown-nose you are just guna have ago at me for 'dissin' you =p

He's... he's a videogame critic. Do you know what a critic is?

But even having said that there *are* games he reviews favourably. Portal, CoD4, No More Heroes, Saints Row 2, Prince of Persia(s), Silent Hill, the list goes on.

It's annoying how many people, despite Yahtzee even having said multiple times in his freaking videos that conformity is bad, will instantly decide they don't want this game because Yahtzee didn't like it. I can understand being more hesitant about a game when it has a bad review, or about not thinking it will be good and getting some confirmation, but at least read another review or something before you blindly accept Yahtzee's disapproval as the word of God or something. I mean you gotta take into account differing tastes, that Yahtzee is a CRITIC, and it's his job to nitpick games to hell, and the fact that he seems fairly elitist in his gaming choices. I mean, to be perfectly fair he seems to dislike a number of games that got good reviews and that people still like, and while this makes him a good critic in a number of ways, and makes his videos very funny, it just seems like people should take some other opinions at least before instantly deciding anything Yahtzee didn't like must suck, PERIOD.

the preview videos for this game all looked very promising but the demo almost made me vomit blood. at least they tried something new.

I'm surprised he didn't touch to much on the poor story cinematics... I mean clearly they wanted the whole fancy neo artistic noir vibe but really, I've seen better on the internet.

As for the gamelay itself, I was rather skeptical given the first person perspective seemed like it would limit view on a genre that can piss you off to high heaven... on that note he should review TR: Underworld hehehe!

Fugue:

Actually, they should have simply ditched the shallow storyline based in a completely unexplored game world and just made the game about beating your best time on a level. Think about it. Just about every review that's mentioned the time trials has said it's the best part of the game and a lot of people will get a lot more run for their money from the game from that, but if you're playing it just for the story you might as well not.

One of the parts I liked best about Prince of Persia : Warrior Within, were the Dharka chases. Where the game forced you to platform at speed with the bad guy on your heels. The whole theif Idea was a kind of way to introduce that same element of hot on your heels chase action, just with the cops on your tail rather than a monster. It could be done sandbox. Just like the way the Driver series did it with car chases. I was envisioning a game where you to stealthed into buildings, disable security systems etc, to steal the loot. Then finnish it off with rooftop escapes of 3D platforming fun.

Firia:

I'm not so sure about the grappling hook thing. I mean, the style that Faith uses is Parkour, which utilises momentum and requires you to be light on your feet.

See your point. I had kind of reduced the style of the game play to 3D platforming. Given that most compaints seemed to be around the liniarity and shortness of the game I was just just throwing up some ideas that might flesh out the game somewhat. Give it some extra depth, replay value.

I was excited to see the concept and I still am. The POP games are some of the most fun games I have played in recent times and I think this concept has definatley has got legs...if you'll pardon the pun.

LOL ok does he have a way i could contact him. i love his videos

"And then he ate his own shoes!" Funniest line ever!!

I really thought he'd be reviewing Little Big Planet. It's too unique for him to pass up.

I'm not buying Mirror's Edge, but I played the demo. It was alright, but it didn't really cut it for me.

Look I'm just saying don't Demand shit from him all the time hes only human let him do his own thing and it will be funny...

Wanker...

Eh, I love Mirror's Edge and I'll be buying the new time trial map pack DLC when it comes out in Jan.

Oh and I don't mind what you review as long as it's NOT Gears of War 2.

Evan Waters:
I've heard that the problem is more that video games AREN'T a big thing in Australia, hence they treat it like a niche industry and charge a lot per unit. Then again, it's a chicken-and-egg thing- maybe video games aren't big in Australia because they cost a lot and aren't released until fans have had months to import them from elsewhere (and the censorship thing might also hurt.)

Um, that's bullshit. In 2007 Australian video game sales reached one billion dollars, a record high, which over 21,468,700 people is about $46.58AUD per person. Converted that's $30.02USD per person. Now let's compare that to the 10.4 billion in US game sales through 2007, which over 305,817,000 people is $34.01USD per person.

Add to that the fact that US game sales are stagnating while the rest of the world's (including and especially Australia) game sales soar and you can see that the gap isn't that huge and is closing quickly.

Niche industry? Fuck you, fuck Microsoft, fuck sony and fuck Nintendo.

anyone else think that it was kinda ironic that theyd have such a blaitant eve review on ZP i mean we all know yatzee's opinion on that bit of codeing.

AceDiamond:

Dragon_Nexus:

Then I found out the story is non-existant to make way for the gameplay....and I cancelled my pre-order.
Then I found out the gameplay wasn't even that good....and I cancelled my guilt.

That's odd, I found neither of those two problems. Perhaps it was because I actually, you know, played the game. Unless you're saying you played a copy of a friend of yours to find out that second part.

You tend to post what i think AceDiamond. No one seems to take chances on these games any more. Only a handful of gamers here seem to buy the game and then say they agree or disagree on what he said. I simply haven't bought it because It's not out on PC yet, but when it does and drops in price i will buy it, because I think full price for a 4 hour game is not on.

But it seems like Yahtzee's word is law, and no other full bodied reviews or one's personal taste even matter any more...

Great review , still funny as always

I watched the 'cinematic' trailer a few weeks ago and decididly settled down into my chair content in a pool of excited urine before realising that i don't actually own a PS3 and that i was getting strange looks of my fellow students.

I think the soundtrack does it for some people, and according to said people the soundtrack on the trailer (Alcorus) doesn't actually feature! So theres one plus point flushed.

Also first person works great for FPS and for the trailer - yeah while you're WATCHING IT! Now you try and perform such smooth motions when you can't even see your feet!

I had such high hopes for this game, and was wondering when our friendly verbal-assassin would rate/slate it, and I'm glad he did in a way as it saves me forking out £300 for a game and console that would have ruined my christmas like an inquisitive serial killer coming to dinner. Still i agree that its something original, quite rare these days, to quote Yahzee something that isn't space marine no 11,000,000,000.

Also, why did they feel the need to include weapons at all? One of my non-gamer friends pointed it out during the trailer, and i thought yeah why? I'd be perfectly happy with a free roaming (perhaps 3rd person) free running game, with a completely nonlinear open world to explore and hurl myself off if things got too much, completing fetch quests and missions and chased by hundreds of less athletic and doughnut chomping fuzz. Seems like everygame wants to add a gun section. Next thing we know the new Mario will be a clash between Gears of War and Splinter Cell with a gritty realistic Mario sabotaging pipes and rescuing genetically engineered sentient mushrooms from a hidden laboratory cunning disguised under a mansion, built by B.O.W.S.E.R whos sign is a giant red and white piece of cheese.

Lab time now.

Anaphyis:
1. You imply the EA suits don't interfere with decisions made at one of their subsidiaries. Not working as a suit at DICE I can't say for sure of course and I doubt you can either (unless you are one of course) but considering EA's usual demeanor even in a developer publisher relationship I very much doubt that.

I accounted for that already... see my example above.

Anaphyis:
2. If GM would found a subsidiary Evil Corp...

...then the subsidiary Good Corp can't be made to take the blame for that. So if one software house under EA makes shitty games and include Evilcorp DRM 3.11™ with their products, then another software house, also under EA but that does not make shitty games nor uses invasive DRM, shall not have that mud flinged on them.

And that was the humor here... because assuming that the different software houses under EA are in fact pretty independant of eachother, I thought it was funny that the blame for the bad game that is Mirror's Edge got shifted away from the actual creators to EA. :D

Anaphyis:
3. If you follow your argument logically to it's conclusion then NO game is actually made by EA as all their games are made by subsidiaries. Everything else would be a double standard born out of your liking of the games by DICE, Bioware or Maxis but general despise of anything else made by EA.

You assume I hate all games published by EA. I don't. In fact a few of my all time favorites come from EA (The Jane's Simulator series, with Longbow, Longbow 2, F-15 and F/A-18).

So... 3 times counter-counterpointed. What else do you have?

/S

Leyvin:

<loads of insightful and thought provoking goodies/>

I simply love postings like that. Great job! There is nothing more beautiful than someone with a bit of know dancing in circles around concerete-shod ignoramuses. Bravo!!

/S

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