Mirror's Edge 2 Was Always Going To Happen

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Mirror's Edge 2 Was Always Going To Happen

Mirrors Edge 2 concept art

Patrick Soderlund says Electronic Arts was always going to make a sequel to Mirror's Edge, it was just waiting for a console generation powerful enough to bring its vision to reality.

That sequel to Mirror's Edge that you've wanted so badly for so long but, until E3, never really believed you'd get? Apparently it was always going to happen - and boy, don't you feel silly for thinking otherwise? - but EA's plans for the follow-up are so mind-bogglingly amazing that it just couldn't bring them to fruition on the laggard technology in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

"We've been looking at Mirror's Edge for many years and had small prototype teams and incubations around what it could be. But it wasn't until Sara Jansson, who is now the producer on it, came to me and called Karl-Magnus Troedsson and said, 'Listen, I have an idea for what this could be'. She presented a vision so inspiring that we were like, 'We have to build this now'," EA vice president Patrick Söderlund told CVG. "The interesting part is that it was a game that could only be built in gen 4 and that was cool. I liked that because what they're doing, it's not possible on the current generation."

"So that's when I knew that we had something and spoke to EA. The support inside the whole company on Mirror's Edge has been tremendous," he continued. "We sold about 2.5 million units with Mirror's Edge and people haven't even blinked at it - like, 'Of course we're going to make a new Mirror's Edge'. The whole company has been behind it."

Söderlund also dropped yet more hints suggesting that Mirror's Edge 2 will be markedly different from the original. "Listen, if you do the same thing again then it's not going to work. You have to be very, very honest with yourself and look at what went right and what went wrong. It's obvious that people loved the art direction, loved Faith and loved the idea of what you did in the game," he said. "I think we missed completely on the game being too difficult, people keep falling down and the notion of constantly running away wasn't maybe greatly perceived... What I can say is we're taking more of an action adventure approach on it than maybe before. First-person, running predominantly... This will be more of an action adventure game, but true to what the first one was to a large extent."

Would it be cynical to suggest that I don't completely buy the idea that EA was waiting for a great leap forward in console technology before it could bring a new game to life? There's no way to know, of course, but Dead Space came out just one month prior to Mirror's Edge and it's already had two sequels. Make of that what you will.

Source: CVG

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My initial thoughts at around halfway through were "That sounds good, I hope they can live up to those claims".

Then I read:

"I think we missed completely on the game being too difficult, people keep falling down and the notion of constantly running away wasn't maybe greatly perceived... What I can say is we're taking more of an action adventure approach on it than maybe before.

Apparently EA still hasn't learnt much. The people who didn't like the non-combat aspect were more likely than not the ones who didn't like the game EA, the ones who don't really care if it has a sequel in the first place. So you are going to try appealing to the action adventure crowd yet again are you, trying to bring in a "wider audience" rather than appeal to those who actually liked the original for what it was?

There is nothing wrong with a change in direction, but Mirrors Edge was not a particularly hard game, and the reasons for falling were more often than not down to the controls rather than the level design.

I will still be cautiously optimistic about this, but I can't help but feel "Here we go again".

Hmm, the combat parts were the absolute worst parts of the game. I found the first half to be fun while the second half was really annoying because you had to fight and shoot a lot. I hope they find a way to make it fun, if they intend it to be a bigger part of the game.

The falling (or failing) Wasn't because the game was hard but due to (sometimes) stupid controls and the 1st person perspective.

I kept getting stuck at the tutorial because, instead of taking a jump, make 2/3 wall run steps turn around and jump on an elevated platform, I did it almost instantly (jump, no or one step, then turn and jump) And it kept failing me. Thats not hard, thats bullshit.

Second, the running away from people shooting at you wasn't the bad part, it was the people shooting at you that sucked.

My three main tips for them.
More free-running less vent crawling / fighting people
Third person view (and tieing in with this, seriously look at your controls (PC))
Remove guns completely, make it hand to hand combat all the way.

Longstreet:

Remove guns completely, make it hand to hand combat all the way.

Agreed!

Though it could work if they did something with visible projectiles, so you were able to dodge the enemy fire. Stuff like slowly moving fireballs could be fun, you would have to run and sometimes sidestep, jump or slide to avoid getting hit.

Legion:
My initial thoughts at around halfway through were "That sounds good, I hope they can live up to those claims".

Then I read:

"I think we missed completely on the game being too difficult, people keep falling down and the notion of constantly running away wasn't maybe greatly perceived... What I can say is we're taking more of an action adventure approach on it than maybe before.

Apparently EA still hasn't learnt much. The people who didn't like the non-combat aspect were more likely than not the ones who didn't like the game EA, the ones who don't really care if it has a sequel in the first place. So you are going to try appealing to the action adventure crowd yet again are you, trying to bring in a "wider audience" rather than appeal to those who actually liked the original for what it was?

There is nothing wrong with a change in direction, but Mirrors Edge was not a particularly hard game, and the reasons for falling were more often than not down to the controls rather than the level design.

I will still be cautiously optimistic about this, but I can't help but feel "Here we go again".

A lot of people didn't like it because it was not actiony enough. EA's solution is simple: make it a shooter.

It's weird the way people are calling this gen 4. It's like Sony has been so successful that people are just basing it on their console numbering? There were lots of consoles before the PS1, and even if you want to avoid the mess of the Atari generations, the NES/SNES generations should still count.

Longstreet:
The falling (or failing) Wasn't because the game was hard but due to (sometimes) stupid controls and the 1st person perspective.

I kept getting stuck at the tutorial because, instead of taking a jump, make 2/3 wall run steps turn around and jump on an elevated platform, I did it almost instantly (jump, no or one step, then turn and jump) And it kept failing me. Thats not hard, thats bullshit.

Second, the running away from people shooting at you wasn't the bad part, it was the people shooting at you that sucked.

My three main tips for them.
More free-running less vent crawling / fighting people
Third person view (and tieing in with this, seriously look at your controls (PC))
Remove guns completely, make it hand to hand combat all the way.

Agreed with you all the way (as long as you meant 3rd-person as an option; some of us liked the 1st-person view) to "remove guns completely". I can't accept that part; I know the game wasn't about the shooting, but there were instances where fighting was a good alternative to running (the stairs after shooting the convoy and the server room spring to mind). I'd say don't remove guns completely, but rather limit them. Faith knowing how to shoot a pistol or a shotgun was acceptable, Faith knowing how to operate a MG or being an expert marksman (markswoman?) was not.

OT: nice spin guys. I don't buy it for a second that you were always waiting for the next-gen to implement your ideas, but it kinda says something about those ideas that only the next gen can handle them. And it seems like you did learn a lot: now put that knowledge to good use.

I just installed this again last week, played a few hours, uninstalled it. It's glorious when you're outside and just running, but the controls are too sloppy for indoors where you can't see things and people are shooting you in the back. Hell, it's annoying as hell to be outside, just wanting to climb a building, and have three people and a chopper shooting you in the back too.

The expansion pack was fantastic - completely abstract, complete running/climbing/jumping challenge, no guns. I think we've had enough indie games now that even EA can feel safe not including guns in a game.

Perhaps a multiplayer arena with guns for people who really want it? Normally I wouldn't suggest cramming multiplayer into a game that doesn't need it, but... EA.

Uh-oh, that "running away" part being seen as bad doesn't bode well for a free-running game. It makes me worry they're going to make it more shooter-y, whereas I'd go the complete other way, don't give Faith any guns. Allow her to use the environment to take down enemies - run off a wall then jump into a hurricanrana on an enemy for example.

WHAT THE FUCK!?

It was to difficult and people didn't like running away? That's the entire point of these courier runs. You are basically playing Trials but with a human over a parkour course. Here is how you make a good Mirror's Edge sequel.

AVOID going inside as MUCH as possible. Give us big open environments, basically if it was up to me I'd ask for an entire sandbox open world city where you could just parkour to your hearts content, find your own ways to finish missions and compete with each other to find the fastest paths across the cities. Failing that make the levels into hubs, where you have a limited amount of space to move around however here you can experiment with all kinds of weird improvised jumps and climbing. That's what the people want.

What they also want is for the enemies to just leave. They should be either completely avoidable or you should be able to shake them off, see also the hub missions, where taking routes where they can't follow will shake them off temporarily. Combat is not your forte here nor should it ever be your focus. A stun punch or two is the most you should throw in dire situations. The guns should be used as a story mechanic, the guns represent the oppressors they can pick you down at range, but you have to get in close to stand a change or outrun them. Make the theme fit the combat.

Give more context to the deliveries. What are we delivering? To whom? What are we getting for doing this? Give each package a story or even better a choice where privacy and integrity weigh against one another for your deliveries. After all do you open the package to see what it contains or do you deliver an unknown device to an unsuspecting victim (see Zero Punctuation review).

I cannot emphasize one point enough though. DON'T MAKE THIS AN ACTION GAME!!! It is a PLATFORMER, it should STAY a platformer, the only part people liked was when they were outside PLATFORMING without people SHOOTING at them. So just make it a goddamned platformer!

Everything so far just makes me want the game to be cancelled. It feels like another "turn it into a action-shooter" type of instance, with just a remnant of the original, distinct gameplay in it. That PR blurb has all the alarm-triggering phrases in it. The original game wasn't all that complex or intensive processing wise, why would you need such behemoth of tech to upgrade it, just so slightly?

"Mirror's Edge 2 Was Always Going To Happen"

Of course it was. Seems like Mirror's Edge will have more colors than just really bright white. It'll be mostly brown from all the bullshit.

God damn I want this game to be good...

So I'm worried about what the hell he means by "markedly different"? You need to iterate and refine, not scrap and start over!

Andy Chalk:
"The interesting part is that it was a game that could only be built in gen 4 and that was cool. I liked that because what they're doing, it's not possible on the current generation."

I don't understand this sentiment. What could the next generation really bring to this game. Greater graphical fidelity? Surely that's the extent of it. I don't think gamers care about graphics half as much as developers do. I don't buy this as an excuse.

Yeah I'm calling bulls*** on that one, waiting for the next gen cos our game is just too amazing. I adore Mirror's Edge and I hope this does well, but some of his comments have me more concerned than I was about Dark Souls 2 being made "more straightforward".

Ugh. I really hope they don't dumb it down too much. An issue with people falling down? That's like saying that Mario has an issue with people missing the jumps. Kind of the whole point behind the game.. to build up the skill and timing that lets you do it right.

You don't need to radically change the game to affect that, you just need to make the skill-curve a little less steep than it was in the original. So more areas which slowly get more difficult to navigate. Maybe have your "professional", the voice in your ear, be a little more dynamic and helpful. Instead of just saying, "C'mon Faith, get the hell out of there!", have the computer look at your position and facing and give you things like "Head left, Faith!" and if you haven't gotten it in a minute or two, "Should be a flagpole you can use" or "Look for an A/C unit to grab on to" or whatever.

As for the guns issue.. I say leave'em in. Some of the coolest stuff was when you did a sweet wall-kick/disarm on a guard. I mean, a more melee focused game in general would be good, but don't eliminate the guns entirely. Just make sure Faith sucks with using them, and give us plenty of opportunities to get away from the blues, or, if we're good enough, spin them or get around them to disarm them. But give us more melee options in general. Let a slide be an attack on its own, for instance, which can trip a guard if we have enough momentum. Or let us use the release from the horizontal bar as an attack.

Heck, make the guards into things we can use to vault from/wall-run across.

And in my wild idea corner? Make a multiplayer "capture the bag mode", where there's one bag, and everybody's trying to get it back to their own base. Successful disarms mean you grab the bag, successful melee attacks stun you for a moment, and the guy with the bag can't run/jump quite as far as the rest. Then if you really want to go for broke, you can even let people customize how they play a bit based on their professional. Say one professional means blues will leave you alone until you're actually witnessed assaulting another runner, while another professional can hack certain security features -- so you might be able to climb a fence that other's couldn't because it'd be electrified, etc.

The ideal multiplayer would have stat gathering in the background, and then if one route was being used a lot more than any of the others, it'd be dynamically altered a bit.. a vent added that you have to duck under, slowing you down. Or a platform that used to allow a jump without a wall-run being removed, upping the skill level of the route, etc.

Open world is going to drag this game down like a stone. Even if the goal was a pizza delivery simulator it wouldn't work. You need linear courses. Presumably the couriers plot the courses in advance. But as the player you don't want to be bothered with that.

The art direction is wonderful but odds are this is going to be one more unplayable western game from the sounds of it.

PS: All it needs to shine is less combat. No lethal combat. And the game needs some AI that interprets what the player is trying to do into appropriate actions. Dying over and over is not fun. Steer Faith. She should know if your approach is going to lead to imminent death or not and refuse to make the leap. She's a professional after all. If she keeps jumping to here death you start to wonder how the hell she made it this far in the first place? Games are going to have to incorporate more and more interpretive AI like this or we will always be limited to what can be expressed with three buttons. In other words, take the player's input on good faith. See what I did there.

EDITED: Also don't make the player do ridiculous shit like jump off of a building onto a helicopter. I struggled for an hour and had to hop on the internet to figure out what I was supposed to do. Jumping onto helicopters is irrational. To say its unintuitive would be a complement.

... and the notion of constantly running away wasn't maybe greatly perceived... What I can say is we're taking more of an action adventure approach on it than maybe before. First-person, running predominantly... This will be more of an action adventure game...

Oh fuck me.

They're going to mess it up, at least mildly.

Andy Chalk:
"I think we missed completely on the game being too difficult, people keep falling down and the notion of constantly running away wasn't maybe greatly perceived... What I can say is we're taking more of an action adventure approach on it than maybe before. First-person, running predominantly... This will be more of an action adventure game, but true to what the first one was to a large extent."

I'm just gonna ask... If anyone else here, like me, didn't really struggle with the game and, if anything, spent more time figuring out the platforming puzzles more than anything else.

Hell, the only time I had problems with the combat/disarming heavy sequences was on the higher difficulty where I was playing the hard difficulty AND challenging myself to do the Test of Faith run as well.

chimpzy:
"Mirror's Edge 2 Was Always Going To Happen"

Of course it was. Seems like Mirror's Edge will have more colors than just really bright white. It'll be mostly brown from all the bullshit.

adding more gunplay and removing some of the free running could go two ways
Crysis 2 or Brink

OT: so basically, they're tuning the new Mirror's Edge to the preference of the Battlefield crowd?
am I getting that right?

Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit

I don't like where he's going with this, and the people in this thread are only scaring me harder (bullet dodging was the FUN part, dammit! And STOP TRYING TO TAKE AWAY MY FIRST PERSON PARKOUR BLARHAGHJAGHAGH).

To everyone saying "Go to pure melee and go to third person", please keep your Prince of Persia and let me have something different.

Longstreet:
My three main tips for them.
More free-running less vent crawling / fighting people
Third person view (and tieing in with this, seriously look at your controls (PC))
Remove guns completely, make it hand to hand combat all the way.

I agree with you except for third person. Make it an option if they must I guess (though I can't see how that would work without it being basically Assassin's Creed and not Mirror's Edge), but if it was third person only I wouldn't even play it. It was great in third person, and the PC controls were pretty much perfect to me after some minor re-mapping.

The cynicism in this thread is palpable.

"Action-adventure" can mean literally anything. Jumping right to "shooter" just because it's EA seems a bit unfair to me, when "action-adventure" also includes the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Okami, Devil May Cry, God of War, and (to an extent) Metal Gear Solid. I'm as skeptical as the next guy, but I'm still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

1337mokro:

AVOID going inside as MUCH as possible. Give us big open environments, basically if it was up to me I'd ask for an entire sandbox open world city where you could just parkour to your hearts content, find your own ways to finish missions and compete with each other to find the fastest paths across the cities. Failing that make the levels into hubs, where you have a limited amount of space to move around however here you can experiment with all kinds of weird improvised jumps and climbing. That's what the people want.

Personally, I loved the combination of inside and outside environments. I could live with a little less vent-crawling and elevator-waiting, but part of what made the world feel more 'real' to me despite the fact that it was completely lifeless save for the enemies was the fact that I wasn't just running about some plastic overworld the entire time. The buildings were actually buildings, with entrances and exits (within the bounds of the courses, obviously, but still).

The best thing they could do with a more open world is give us tons of buildings to enter and work our way through as alternate paths to avoid the enemies. Go through a building, drop down to the ground and race through the alleys, or take to the rooftops, more choice would be far better in my opinion. One of my primary complaints with open-world sandbox games is that the worlds almost always just feel like some sort of plaster model town, because the only time the player ever enters any buildings is for specific scripted events, or because they're shops/player homes.

Oh fuck. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuck no no no no no. Whenever "Action Adventure" pops up from EA it is BAD news. Oh Lord save this game. My spidey senses are already off the freaking charts about how they're going to kill this game. They're completely taking the original, taking the main point of the entire game out, and packing it with BS instead. Someone do something before it's too late!

I swear I'm the only one who liked the combat. It was a good break from free-running, and if the game was more open world, you'd probably have the choice to avoid it 99% of the time anyhow. I don't know why you'd remove it, and why people act like it was forced upon you. I played the game through at least ten times, and I had a run where I never killed anyone, I'd just "knock them out" with melee attacks. I ended up with only a few kills.

That's an outright lie, EA, and if you looked at Escapist's own news section a few years back you would discover that this statement is true.
Now that that's out of the way, I have something to get off my chest.

I don't think Mirror's Edge (2) is going to be as good of a sequel as, say, Far Cry 3 is to Far Cry 2. They're completely missing the point with their design. First off, what did most of the people hate about the game? The combat. What did the first trailer for new ME show? That's right, combat. Shitloads of it.

Second thing is the level design.
They're going all-out open world. I don't think that's the direction ME ever needed to take. The level design in the first game was no good either (it was solid, but it kinda missed the point).
I think a good middle ground should be found with small, contained levels that have ways of non-linear progression towards a single goal. It would fit the game much better IMO, as it would still make it nice, tight and flowing, but still give players a bit of choice and freedom.
The story doesn't even deserve a mention (except this one time).

Mick P.:

PS: All it needs to shine is less combat. No lethal combat. And the game needs some AI that interprets what the player is trying to do into appropriate actions. Dying over and over is not fun. Steer Faith. She should know if your approach is going to lead to imminent death or not and refuse to make the leap. She's a professional after all. If she keeps jumping to here death you start to wonder how the hell she made it this far in the first place? Games are going to have to incorporate more and more interpretive AI like this or we will always be limited to what can be expressed with three buttons. In other words, take the player's input on good faith. See what I did there.

I might misinterpret what you write, but it sounds very boring like Enslaved, where the game is doing all the thinking for you. You have to be able to fail a jump or else it´s completely pointless, i´d say.

And getting told that: "no, i´m not going that way" is going to be really annoying when you try to figure out how to proceed.

Oh, I am so sad for I won't be buying Mirror's Edge 2. Because after Mass Effect 3 I don't want to give Electronic Arts even a penny. Also I am perfectly sure this game won't bring anything good into series. And finally: a prequel? Are you even serious, EA, Dice, or whoever makes this? At what point did you decide that ME story needs a prequel?! For Faith to whine more about what a harsh world she lives in?

Andy Chalk:
"So that's when I knew that we had something and spoke to EA. The support inside the whole company on Mirror's Edge has been tremendous," he continued. "We sold about 2.5 million units with Mirror's Edge and people haven't even blinked at it - like, 'Of course we're going to make a new Mirror's Edge'. The whole company has been behind it."

Söderlund also dropped yet more hints suggesting that Mirror's Edge 2 will be markedly different from the original. "Listen, if you do the same thing again then it's not going to work. You have to be very, very honest with yourself and look at what went right and what went wrong. It's obvious that people loved the art direction, loved Faith and loved the idea of what you did in the game," he said. "I think we missed completely on the game being too difficult, people keep falling down and the notion of constantly running away wasn't maybe greatly perceived... What I can say is we're taking more of an action adventure approach on it than maybe before. First-person, running predominantly... This will be more of an action adventure game, but true to what the first one was to a large extent."

BULLSHIT

And fuck you for making this 'more of an action adventure' game. The game wasn't too godamn difficult, the difficulty was perfect, FUCK THIS INDUSTRY, GODAMMIT.

So they're sticking with the first person platforming thing, then?

Welp, there goes my interest.

MrBaskerville:

Mick P.:

PS: All it needs to shine is less combat. No lethal combat. And the game needs some AI that interprets what the player is trying to do into appropriate actions. Dying over and over is not fun. Steer Faith. She should know if your approach is going to lead to imminent death or not and refuse to make the leap. She's a professional after all. If she keeps jumping to here death you start to wonder how the hell she made it this far in the first place? Games are going to have to incorporate more and more interpretive AI like this or we will always be limited to what can be expressed with three buttons. In other words, take the player's input on good faith. See what I did there.

I might misinterpret what you write, but it sounds very boring like Enslaved, where the game is doing all the thinking for you. You have to be able to fail a jump or else it´s completely pointless, i´d say.

And getting told that: "no, i´m not going that way" is going to be really annoying when you try to figure out how to proceed.

If you've played ME. There are many instances where you might not duck under an obstacle fast enough for instance, and so you get stuck on the obstacle. ME is all about time when it is working right. So getting stuck on something is about as bad as it gets.

So if the game predicts your actions will lead to death. And so it refuses to suicide. Then that's the ultimate getting stuck. You are thinking for it. But it is managing the micro reflexes. Since there is no button for every part of Faith's body that makes perfect sense.

Of course the cops might catch up with you. Or you might put yourself in a situation where there is no life saving move for the computer AI to make for you. And then you do die. Ideally these situations would only arise if you take shortcuts. So that the rational player can finish the game without dying.

A game is worthless if a cautious player can't finish without dying. Getting arrested is one thing. But death is the big game over. If you take someone who's been playing games their whole life and they can't finish the game from start to end on their first try without dying, then it is beyond belief that the player character could've achieved the same feet.

That's bad game design plain and simple.

EDITED: (consider for instance ME. In the first level Faith's sister as I recall is abducted into a helicopter hovering over the edge of a building. Faith decides the best way to save her sister is to jump onto the helicopter. That's a horrible decision if she wants to save here sister. It's very likely to be the end of Faith. Horrible game design. That should've been an option. An option that hopefully no one but the developers would have even considered. But not the only option.)

Well, for a start, bullshit, I can't imagine what vast improvements must have been made that they needed a new console generation to do it and had already planned what that would enable, and secondly, too hard? Taking a more action-adventure approach? Fucking...please, EA. You have no common sense.

Mick P.:

So if the game predicts your actions will lead to death. And so it refuses to suicide. Then that's the ultimate getting stuck. You are thinking for it. But it is managing the micro reflexes. Since there is no button for every part of Faith's body that makes perfect sense.

A game is worthless if a cautious player can't finish without dying. Getting arrested is one thing. But death is the big game over. If you take someone who's been playing games their whole life and they can't finish the game from start to end on their first try without dying, then it is beyond belief that the player character could've achieved the same feet.

That's bad game design plain and simple.

EDITED: (consider for instance ME. In the first level Faith's sister as I recall is abducted into a helicopter hovering over the edge of a building. Faith decides the best way to save her sister is to jump onto the helicopter. That's a horrible decision if she wants to save here sister. It's very likely to be the end of Faith. Horrible game design. That should've been an option. An option that hopefully no one but the developers would have even considered. But not the only option.)

I don´t see it as bad gamedesign, giving the player options is a good thing.

I might be misunderstanding how you want it to work, but what i´m thinking is that if i wanted to jump to the helicopter, the controls would just freeze? or? Cause that would be annoying as hell, never ever remove the core abilities, that´s very important. If you want to run off the beaten path and do something silly that the gamedesigners never thought of (something that might work) you shouldn´t be limited. If you limit the controls whenever you try to do "the wrong thing", then it just becomes a matter of "guess what the designers are thinking" which is a horrible way to design a game.

little worried that it will have to much action and that you are forced to fight. but if they still give us the option to run away, then i can live with it. after all they said it will be a open world game.

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