Mirror’s Edge: In Motion

By Kieron Gillen on May 6th, 2008 at 7:33 pm.

Kick! Punch! It's All in the mind! We're a PC Games Site and this reference is out of our jurisdiction.

We’ve expressed our excitement before, but the first public footage of DICE’s Mirror’s Edge has just gone live at some console-show-thing. Rhymes with Tony. That one. To recap – it’s a free-running first-person action game, based around the noble art of Le Parkour, which is French for Running About Like A Mad Fucker. Trailer and some more notes beneath the cut…

Things to note – the colour-scheme is clean, which is trying to create a different sort of Dystopic mood and to make information clear. Look for the colour red, which signifies the optimum route across the map. At least in the footage, it’s a lot more naturalistic than many thought when it was first mentioned in Edge’s hefty feature. The combat is a little teased rather than displayed, but the game’s apparently much more about the Running Away than the Making Them Run Away.

I’m still excited, in short: It’s a first person game that manages to i) look like nothing else while still looking ii) realistic, which is the sort of thing that’s fun to wave in the face at the imagination=unreality brigade (I have sympathy for the position, but the absolutism is getting a bit cloying, isn’t it?).

I’m also very glad I don’t get motion sickness in games.

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115 Comments »

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  1. Pidesco says:

    This will all depend on the controls, of course, but I really, really hope they pull it off. It looks awesome.

  2. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Looks amazing. I hope it will also have a 3rd person view. But the Le Parcour thing is nothing new in games really, it’s why I loved Prince of Persia and would have tried Assassins Creed if everyone wasn’t so negative about it.

  3. Matu says:

    Wow. Shit. That made me into a believer. The idea didn’t appeal to me before, but in that video it looked stunningly brilliant.

  4. Zyrusticae says:

    Wow. That was awesome.

    And I LOVE that music. Sweet stuff.

  5. Zonderic says:

    It’s definitely incredibly impressive. I really hope they have an option to record runs of a specific map or something because the fluidity of the movement is so enjoyable to watch.

    I keep forgetting that it is a female protagonist, either because the game is already immersive or I’m sexist.

  6. charlie says:

    That does look rather cool. Kind of reminds me of Action Half Life and all those old half life 1 mods that had running and flipping off walls, although a LOT better obviously.

  7. nabeel says:

    Beautiful trailer. This is for the PC for sure, right?

    nabeel

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    PC is confirmed. Apparently.

    KG

  9. Pidesco says:

    I keep forgetting that it is a female protagonist, either because the game is already immersive or I’m sexist.

    I thought the breathing while running made it pretty obvious the character was a lady.

  10. derFeef says:

    Breathtaking. Happy its coming for the PC too. I am following this one since I saw the frist screenshot.

  11. Pavel says:

    Beatiful, atmospheric trailer, with beautiful, atmospheric music.Hopefully it won’t end up ash shallow as AC, which had stunning trailers as well.

  12. nakke says:

    I hope they make the PC controls as polished as the console ones will inevitably be. This is looking quite awesome.

  13. McCool says:

    Wow. It’s…just how I imagined it. Unbelievable, I sincirely hope that it all works out in the game, and more developers start taking first-person more seriously. It is the king of all view points.

  14. Jonathan says:

    A few criticisms.
    It looks very much like the walk in direction and let scripted animations do the rest variety.
    It seems a bit carried away with it’s motion effects. Not only is it vaguely annoying but will make you queasy in no time.
    Far too much gun. The instant they let a gun in the original concept gets compromised, even if it’s limited ammo having any weapon ruins the sense of pursuit and doubtless requires standing still or taking cover. Also she shoots herself in the thigh. She shoots herself in the thigh.
    Too much panting. Bad as the first tomb raider.

    All that said, this is the one first person (shootum sadly)
    game I’m looking forward to. Please don’t screw it up EA. Please.

    I like actually having a body, not enough games do that, but if I see a heart shaped tattoo on her tit I’ll be very disapointed.

  15. Mike says:

    The desire to play this feels similar to the feeling I get when playing Audiosurf. Aimless… mind-gymmery, I guess? It looks lovely.

  16. Fat Zombie says:

    Oh yes. This looks awesome; although I imagine that it will spoil other games for me, as I have long been wanting, nay expecting, games to feature this amount of freedom of movement (and shaky-cam realism, which I find pleasing in some non-specific way); so, after playing this, it will make all other games ever seem wanting.

  17. Smee says:

    First person jumping puzzles!

  18. kstop says:

    So… it’s a first-person Sonic the HedgeHog game?

  19. Jochen Scheisse says:

    On rewatching the trailer, I wonder if there will be a way to play through this without actually killing someone. I sure hope so. The Bloodshed is kind of tiring.

  20. Jochen Scheisse says:

    [Double Post, please delete.]

  21. born2expire says:

    WOW! that looks incredible, exactly what i hoped it would be, my only doubt with it is the guns, please let them be very limited ammo, realistic ballistics and no crosshair. it would be so stupid to have a game with a such a fluid feel and realism (well exaggerated realism) to have a crosshair in the middle of the screen.
    Please dont let this suffer from consolitis!

    This just topped my most wanted list along with Clear Sky and Dead Island.

  22. Zonderic says:

    @pidesco No sound at work otherwise I suppose that would’ve been apparent.

  23. J. Prevost says:

    Too much gun thing: Everything they’ve said suggests that guns are rather take-it-and-leave-it. You can’t climb effectively while holding a firearm, particularly a big one. What about that trailer makes you think otherwise, Jonathan?
    (Watching it again—I see two bullets fired in the whole piece. :)

  24. Hobbes says:

    Dear god in heaven, I really hope that the sub-Coldplay soundtrack lift-music is only a place filler. If you’re going to buy into the whole Parkour thing, whats wrong with some French Hip-Hop? Or, well, pretty much anything except ‘epic’ piano.

    Looks great, of course. Thought the colour coding was nicely done (apart from the BIG RED JUMP RAMP. JUMP OFF HERE YOU IDIOT, CAN’T YOU SEE WE WANT YOU TO JUMP OFF THIS HANDY BIG RED JUMP RAMP). Could maybe do with turning down the colour saturation just a smidge. Sod motion sickness, I think I’ve got retina burn…

  25. Harold says:

    Loved it. Hoping sound and silence are gonna be key in the game mechanics.

  26. monchberter says:

    This is the first game since Crysis to leave me stunned by the visuals, not because they are anything massively amazing technically, but the choice of setting is audacious and so vividly bright!

    It looks like it could almost carry the Jet Set Radio monicker should it be cel-shaded. Who’s with me on betting a JSR mod for this at least gets considered?

  27. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Prevost
    The last third of the trailer is pretty much all combat, heavily scripted combat at that, it’s pretty far from

    “One of the conventions we were interested in breaking was never putting enemies behind you,” says Farrer. “Other firstperson games often have you moving towards your enemy, and clearing the threat. We wanted to give this idea of chase. The enemies aren’t there for cannon fodder; they’re frightening and powerful.”

    The instant you have a weapon that dynamic changes. Just look at Call of Cthulhu. When you got a gun nothing is as frightening or as powerful. Also all those fighting moves were done at a standstill, I was hoping you’d use momentum and agility to push past them. Not stand there and play a quick time event and end up winning a machine gun like a present.

  28. Windlab says:

    I see nothing wrong with guns provided they’re held correctly (two hands) when possible, and carry the same amount of ammo as their real-life counterparts.

    @J.Prevost
    Firearms can be holstered or tucked into the waist of one’s trousers.

  29. Lorc says:

    I lust.

    It reminds me of when I saw the first screens for Shadow of the Colossus; something NEW. And beautiful in a new and different way.

    And the sounds of the breathing! Perfect.

  30. sbs says:

    I’m excited for this since the first screenshot as well, and the trailer is really beautiful.

    It’s all about the movement for me and I really really hope it’s going to be challenging with a steep and steady learning curve, NOT piss easy like Assassins Creed which was admittedly fun and gorgeous to look at, but just not hard at all after 10 minutes spent with learning the button layout.

    Melee Combat looks fun too, I would like to see more of that.

  31. cyrenic says:

    Crazy it’s taken them this long to get out a video, but I’m quite impressed seeing it in motion. Now if they can back that up with some excellent level design this game looks golden.

  32. Kitt Basch says:

    Urgh, wall running. It just breaks my suspension of disbelief if someone takes more than three steps along a vertical face.

    Any game with a really unique art style is automatically win though.

  33. Kieron Gillen says:

    Worth noting something else they said previously: There was something about guns being treated as disposable things. Getting a gun wouldn’t be the same thing as it may be in other games.

    KG

  34. Cutman3030 says:

    Prince of Persia and Assassins Creed don’t compare to this at all. This is amazing.

  35. Jahkaivah says:

    Now why did I buy Assassins Creed?

    “Worth noting something else they said previously: There was something about guns being treated as disposable things. Getting a gun wouldn’t be the same thing as it may be in other games.”

    I heard that you had to destroy any weapon you got hold of.

    I either misheard, or they realised how idiotic that would be.

    My guess is that you can’t do the acrobatic stunts needed to progress when you have a gun.

    BTW is this going to be linear or sandbox?

  36. martin says:

    could be another surprise hit like portal

  37. Okami says:

    I hope they make it hard to take down an enemy in combat. I mean it’s ok to kick away an enemy, take his gun and swat him with it, etc.. as long as the game punishes you for staying around to finish your enemy off.

    Yes, I’ve said “punishes”. I know, games should never punish the player, yadayadayada..

    But look at Assassin’s Creed. They made combat so easy (granted, it’s extremely tedious to fight off a handfull of guards, but once you know how it’s done it’s nothing to be feared) that you seldom felt a thrill when sneaking around or running over rooftops.

    But I still have high hopes for Mirror’s Edge.

    Make it hard to fight against more than one or two enemies at a time. Time encounters, so that you’ll have a fight against multiple enemies if you stop moving to kill an enemy.
    Design guns, so that you can’t do any of your fancy parcour moves while holding one. Make all action buttons on the joypad (it’s coming out for consoles as well and I guess they’re designing the interface around a joypad) throw the gun away, to really drive home the point that this is a game about running.

  38. Aubrey says:

    “Urgh, wall running. It just breaks my suspension of disbelief if someone takes more than three steps along a vertical face.”

    Well, more than three steps on a wall is totally possible. When I used to do parkour, I could do four… however, I completely agree: More than one or two steps in a wall run, and you know it’s mainly for show. Each extra step gives less purchase on the surface (in the case of solid, vertical walls), so it’s diminishing returns. The hardcore people I’ve seen will rarely, if ever, use more than one kick off the wall. So yeah, it’s not entirely realistic, but… hey. It’s a game.

    Delighted with it otherwise. I feel like all my worries about overly state-machiney animation have been blown away… everything in that respect is nice and hidden. There’s also no excess fat wrt parkour moves – they just have practical stuff, there.

    I would still like to see if the levels allow a lot of path-creativity. You’re missing a trick if you do a parkour game without letting people figure out their own unique routes. I’m sure it’ll be fine, though.

  39. J. Prevost says:

    Anyway, my point about the two shots is really that there was not much combat stuff here. There was enough to remind you that “Yes, there will be conflict in the game. It is not all running across beautiful snowy rooftops”, but not enough to be able to say anything about how much combat or what style of combat will be in the game. In that context, I’m willing to trust the developers’ assertions (for now) about how it will work.

  40. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Keiron
    That quotes meaningless, with the exception of Half Life 2 and FPS RPGs most guns in games are disposable. Especially since Halo style limited weapons kicked in where you swap empties for fullies. I would have much preferred momentum melee instead. Shoulder barges. shoves, flying kicks, pulling people down as you run past them maybe even using the slower guys as stair cases. My guess is either the developer isn’t as radical as I hoped or EA couldn’t understand a first person game not having guns.

    I still look forward to this game. But its got compromise written all over it.

    To be like Parkour it would need to be sandbox and alot slower. If you watch the unedited stuff it’s maybe 15 seconds of movement then a minute and a half of looking for the next bit.

  41. Okami says:

    The best thing about the whole game:

    It’s got a female protagonist with small breasts. Wow, game developers are growing up at last.

  42. monchberter says:

    Reply to Johnathan:

    I see your point, but hey, i still reckon this will make a great demo at least!

  43. James Lyon says:

    Criticisms of potential linearity aside, those are some of the most beautiful looking visuals I’ve seen in a long, long time. Pleased to see that seeing them moving doesn’t break the appeal.

  44. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Jonathan

    The Parkour you see on youtube is fast, because they use known routes for movies. When trying a building or a block for the first time, most runners are pretty cautious, at least as soon as they are some meters above ground.

  45. Kieron Gillen says:

    Jonathan: Well, there’s disposable and there’s disposable. Being only able to carry one gun, not being able to do any of your le parkour with it, not being able to holster it, etc are all methods to make a gun more truly disposable.

    Speculating: At a range, you running towards someone, and you’re dead. The set ups would be getting close to someone enough to grapple their gun, off them, empty the gun at the remaining people and then – with their ranks thinned – run.

    Problem with close combat being hyper-effective is that it means their guns have to be ineffective. And if that’s true, why run?

    Of course, we’re madly speculating now.

    (As you say, it’s less Le Parkour and more hollywood chase-movie)

    KG

  46. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Keiron
    Still a compromise though.

    Why does it have to be guns? Why can’t they have batons or mace or riotshields you can run up? That would help make them feel like the police and not just generic mercs. Also I’m just as concerned about the over animated look. Also that slow motion bit had better not be in game.

    I guess I’m being over critical but it just shows how much I was looking forward to a genuinely new game.

  47. Meat Circus says:

    Flipping crikey, that got my motion sickness juices going.

    What a beautiful game.

  48. Kadayi says:

    Moody looking tattooed Japanese femme fatale in free running ass kicking madness…works for me ;)

  49. Kieron Gillen says:

    Jonathan: Well, I’d imagine people in the future will almost certainly have guns, especially in a dystopia. I don’t think it’s fair to call a game an exercise in compromise where they’re just making creative decisions which you wouldn’t have done in the same situation.

    Or, at least, I don’t think it’s fair to say that *yet*.

    KG

  50. UncleLou says:

    It looks great, but it also looks like the running around will be as semi-automatic as it is in AC. It might be necessary for the desired speed and effect, but I didn’t enjoy it in AC – there just wasn’t enough to do while running/climbing (as opposed to, say, Prince of Persia), and for a game largely based on running around, that’s quite a major criticism. I hope they found a way aound that with Mirror’s Edge.