Mirror’s Edge: Alternate Paths

By Jim Rossignol on September 1st, 2008 at 7:53 am.


This latest piece of Mirror’s Edge footage is probably the most interesting so far, showing as it does the ways the game opens up to allow you to take different routes through the bright urban environments. There’s some areas we’ve seen before, but also some we haven’t – and the scenes in which the player is being chased by cops is particularly cool looking. (I love how doors are kicked open on the fly). This game just looks prettier and prettier. I think it’s going to be one of those titles that hits a reboot button for action games, just as Max Payne did back in 2001.

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43 Comments »

  1. Alex says:

    Wow. Just… wow.

  2. PJ says:

    looks interesting and I am impressed with where they are going with it. Kind of a modern more sexy thief.

    I can tell it’s not my kind of game though. Looks and sounds like it will be too focused on the console crowd.

  3. Zarniwoop says:

    Erm, hate to say it, but this is pretty much all stuff that’s been seen on here before.

    Plus it still looks pretty linear. I mean, you can go underneath an obstacle or over it, but in the end you’re still going from point A to point B, pretty much to the same degree as with a game like HL2- crawling through the same conveniently-placed vent, walking over the same conveniently placed pipe, jumping off the same conveniently-placed ramp. (Not that there’s a problem with that, per se.) Course, I reserve judgement for once I’ve seen more than the same 5 minutes of the game.

    Incidentally, how cool would this game be if it was set in a completely free-form and open-ended city-world, such as with GTA4, for example? I’ve never expected this game to be anything like that, but seriously.

  4. pauleyc says:

    That video is amazing. I just hope the full game will be structured/designed like this and we won’t get a sloppy result consisting of a brilliant first level of parkour etc. with the rest being just another FPS run&gun exercise.

    “Leap of Faith”, indeed.

  5. SwiftRanger says:

    It looks nice and there are certainly some new things here but for the most part it reminded me of FEAR, the feet, the same melee stuff/ground slide (kick:) ) moves and you could even bash doors open in Extraction Point/Perseus Mandate addons as well. The jumps, the actual speed and the climbing are unique for ME of course.

  6. Little Green Man says:

    Because this is linear, I’m hoping that not only is it a great game, but that we get user levels and the like, so we can actually have some freeform stuff going on. Now THAT would be awesome.

  7. Ian says:

    It’s nice to hear Kermit getting voice work.

    Okay, he doesn’t sound that much like Kermit, but it’s early and that’s the first thought that popped into my head. :p

    Did they actually show any alternate routes there that didn’t involve scaling the same bit of building differently?

  8. davidalpha says:

    I can never tell when you guys are being sarcastic. Keep on truckin i guess.

  9. Aubrey says:

    I had been complaining on here that the I was worried about linearity. Seems like I wasn’t the only one, and DICE are listening to criticism (before the game is even out! Which is something they really shouldn’t have to do! We should be reserving judgement!)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think it’s cool that as a result of forum whining, this, and the other recent interview were very direct about pointing out that it’s linear overall, but has “wide” bits on your way, or the fact that the red-routing can be turned off. Good job with community management, Dice dudes!

  10. James says:

    @PJ
    How exactly does it look like it’s too focused on the console crowd, if you don’t mind my asking? I don’t mean that in an sarcastic or loaded fashion, I promise, it just seems like a phrase people wheel out whenever they don’t like a game and I’m curious to see if that’s all there is to it.

  11. Crane says:

    I don’t know that I’d call what they demoed there “multiple paths” exactly, but still…
    Linearity isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Half-Life 2, Halo, Ico, Mario, Gears of War, Phoenix Wright, there are plenty of great games that are entirely linear. ..

  12. Pod says:

    Quality.

  13. Ian says:

    @ Crane: 100% agree, I think people are just concerned at how long the game will actually be, and thus hoping that more diverse paths could make up for a shorter game by offering replay value.

  14. Mike says:

    Lovely. At first, I thought he was mostly bullshitting, but when they slid under the stairs, while I was mentally running the character around them, I really appreciated the flexibility there. It seems to be a game composed of nice touches. Great.

  15. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    To be quite honest, I think that even if the game was entirely linear, I’d be replaying it purely for the sense of motion and pure awesome that seems to be emanating from Mirror’s Edge’s general direction. Will definitely be trying to complete this without firing a shot.

  16. Butler` says:

    It looks utterly awesome, but no fancy Parkour maneuvers or picturesque cityscapes are going to help shake that niggling feeling that this is just going to be too linear.

  17. rand526 says:

    i’m sorry, but this game looks worse and worse with each video. it seems they are aware of the shortcomings, hence the need to release this video which puts emphasis on freedom and alternative paths whilst actually showing as much choice as picking the left or right powerpill to eat in pacman.

  18. Muzman says:

    Game videos are universally boring, really really dull, I find. Even of games I like showing sections I know are exciting. I have to project like crazy and say “Ok that could well be fun if I was playing it”.
    This one though, yeesh, I haven’t got that ‘edge of the building’ tingle in ever so long, and it’s only a video.
    If it’s as varied and… I guess… interactive as it seems it could be, they could do a good line in downloadable competetive and stunt levels.
    This is a game that ought to be all about finding the crazy precision stunts they do in speeds runs, but by design. With a bit of luck…

  19. hydra9 says:

    I’m tentatively hopeful for this. *Very* happy to hear you can turn off the red “Follow this, dummy” route.

    Is it strange that I’d like the option of using a door handle?Ah well, I guess Faith is just too cool for that.

    Also, from the little I’ve seen of real Parkour artists, it looks like those ‘hard falls’ wouldn’t be so hard for a skilled individual in real life. Hmm…

  20. windlab says:

    In reply to some comments about linearity above, I can only repeat what I originally read on RPS – on-rails FPS don’t matter;
    it’s the shine on the rails that matters, hence the fun of Valve’s games.

  21. Ginger Yellow says:

    I’d echo the previous comments about it still being very linear, but I’m still totally psyched for the game. I’d much rather have a polished, awesome, linear Mirror’s Edge than a broken, crappy sandbox one. As someone said above, though, a decent level editor for the PC version is crucial.

  22. Funky Badger says:

    Is Linear the new Brown?

  23. noggin says:

    those pigeons looked shite!

    pah!

  24. noggin says:

    never mind. i’ll get over it

  25. simbo says:

    The cars on the ground didn’t appear to move. Does this mean the entire game’s going to be played on bizarrely-clean* rooftops and white-washed hallways?

    * considering the pigeons

  26. Masked Dave says:

    I get the same sensation watching this video that I did when playing Assassin’s Creed. To whit: the need to sling a web.

    Seriously. The next Spider-Man game best be paying attention.

  27. Butler` says:

    Sorry windlab, but HL isn’t good because it’s linear, it’s good because of the strong characterisation/story, interesting locales, weaponry etc.

    None of which is necessarily going to be the case with Mirror’s Edge.

  28. tmp says:

    Incidentally, how cool would this game be if it was set in a completely free-form and open-ended city-world, such as with GTA4, for example?

    As long as your goal was still to get from point A to point B, what’s so cool about it being located in bigger levels? GTA had plenty missions that required exactly that, going from A to B through C, D, E and F. And most of the world environment really didn’t matter at all in these missions.

  29. Optimaximal says:

    Also, from the little I’ve seen of real Parkour artists, it looks like those ‘hard falls’ wouldn’t be so hard for a skilled individual in real life. Hmm…

    I was under the impression that you had good and bad landings based on how much momentum you had when you jumped and whether you pressed a button or not when landing.

  30. The Shed says:

    What was most impressive was the (GoW) ‘press a button to see where you’re going’ feature. If you turn the redness off, getting lost might be an issue (on a first unseen playthrough, jumping accross that huge gap and grabbing the pipe wouldn’t be very obvious), but obviously not if you can hit a button and see where the game’s trying to aim you. That’ll fix a few problems.

    In the video where she’s in the huge underground sewer area with the snipers, I totally couldn’t figure out where she was trying to go. It was really confusing. O/B function remedies that rapid.

    @Hydra9^: Kinda true, IRL they’d probably try rolls or cushioning techniques to soften the landing, but in ME as Optimaximal says, it’s probably down to how clean and forward moving your landing is. Falling out of an air vent is hardly a precisely practiced maneouvre ;)

    @Masked Dave: So true… Tbh the Spider-Man games need to bring the focus in much closer. The camera views are too distant nowadays- sure it looks great, but the movement/ danger/ thrill effect would be much greater if it were slightly closer to Spidey. Somewhere nearer Assassin’s Creed (with the movement tightened in that respect also).

  31. Svenska says:

    I think that people might spend more time just standing around than actually running. It really kills the mood for me.

  32. hydra9 says:

    Good point about the falls/landings. If you prepare to roll upon impact, I suppose you’ll be okay.

    As for the lack of pigeon droppings: I guess in this squeaky clean fascist utopia, the pigeons have been genetically-engineered to not shit?

  33. Dave says:

    Having played this for a bit at NVision, I can say it’s a lot more fun to play than it was to watch this video. The controls mostly feel intuitive after about 5 minutes.

  34. Ludwig says:

    Making a game linear gives the game designers control over the pacing of events. Sprawling sandbox games can never do this so tightly or with as much dramatic effect. No bad thing, those kinds of games offer a whole load of adventuring fun that is all their own.

    For Mirror’s Edge I think making it sandbox would mean less fun with the parkour – fewer moves and less skilfully sculpted architecture to do them on. It will be a tunnel though by the looks of it, but maybe quite broad in places. By concentrating on a tunnel the designers will be able to make it dramatic and testing. They are just trying to tap adrenaline, not sell us a lifestyle. Well, not much.

  35. Esha says:

    This little gem might finally mean we’re moving out of the staid hole that FPS has landed itself in.

    - Grey environments which never threaten the main character or the layer with being infected by teh ghey. [Fail]
    - Mindless macho-man lead, unable to display emotion or use words of more than two syllables. [Fail]
    - Sassy female lead, who’s an obvious appeal to the lowest common denominator and a bubble-head regardless of sass. [Fail]
    - Encourages the player to use violence to escape dangerous situations. [Fail]

    Good grief, this violates everything that games played from the first-person usually stand for! I’m excited! And providing I don’t hear a word of sass from the female lead’s mouth, I’ll continue to be excited. And I’m going to revel in the confusion and the fear of my less learned gamers when I introduce them to this.

    I’m going to bide my time first though to make sure it really is all that I think it is. I can only hope.

  36. Ginger Yellow says:

    “Sorry windlab, but HL isn’t good because it’s linear, it’s good because of the strong characterisation/story, interesting locales, weaponry etc.”

    Yeah, but they couldn’t tell the story as well or ensure you saw the locales in the “right” way if it weren’t so linear. I’m not saying linear is always good and sandbox is always bad (Crackdown is one of my favourite games), but it’s much better for narrative.

    “For Mirror’s Edge I think making it sandbox would mean less fun with the parkour – fewer moves and less skilfully sculpted architecture to do them on. It will be a tunnel though by the looks of it, but maybe quite broad in places. By concentrating on a tunnel the designers will be able to make it dramatic and testing.”

    Exactly, although another aspect is that it seems a lot of the fun and thrill of the game comes from the sense of flow. It’s much easier to maintain that for sustained periods through relatively linear design.

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