Mirror’s Edge Third Person Hack

By John Walker on January 29th, 2009 at 11:33 am.

Leap of Faith. Thank you! Thank you! I'm the one millionth person to make that joke!

Alec pinpoints Mirror’s Edge‘s failures and successes like a laser-guided missile of critical accuracy in last week’s Wot I Think. When playing it recently, I was extremely surprised to find the game making mistakes that were ironed out of the Tomb Raider/Prince of Persia games years ago, as I haplessly tried to guide the suicidal Faith away from her determined attempts to plunge off every rooftop. I couldn’t help but feel this pro-active Samaritans simulator might be interesting to play in the third-person, so I could at least see what ledge she would be aiming to plummet from next. My wish has been granted.

And like the wishes of malevolent genies, it’s a cursed result. Using a cunning-o-hack, Dutch YouTube user, jbdvrock, has found a way to rotate through various cameras, including a behind-the-back (as opposed to over-the-shoulder) perspective of Faith’s activity.

However, it’s pretty pointless. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, as Dice had no intention of the game being played this way. This is first revealed in the hilarious running animations the Faith model uses, with her arms flailing wildly. But, as the evil genie planned, it doesn’t aid with seeing what’s coming up at all. In fact, now Faith’s just in the way. However, it’s still interesting enough to play with, and other camera angles let you get some much better screenshots if you’re into that sort of thing.

To achieve this, follow the following:

Go to “Documents\EA Games\Mirror’s Edge\TdGame\Config\”
Open the file “TDInput”.
Then stick the following line in with the other Fkey commands:

Bindings=(Name=”F4″,Command=”FreeFlightCamera”,Control=False,Shift=False,Alt=False)

(Be careful when pasting this in that no weird blips happen with the quotemarks.)

Then in game, F4 will cycle through a few different cameras. Be aware there’s two third-person views, one that will let you turn the camera, but not Faith, and one that will let you turn Faith but not move the camera up and down. You’ll need the latter, obviously, but it’s why you can’t see ahead.

Thanks to GameZine for bringing this to our attention. And to see quite how silly it all looks, here’s jbdvrock’s video of the mode in action:

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52 Comments »

  1. Po0py says:

    Wow. She runs like a skank. In high heels.

  2. Ian says:

    Slick!

  3. yhancik says:

    I guess the animation is tweaked to look good in first person, not in third ;)

  4. Cycle says:

    That WOT I THINK was about as accurate as a slingshot in a hurricane.

  5. Kitt Basch says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t just do the old first-person floating hands trick.

    It would have made sense if they used the animations for the ghost laps, but these ones are way to spazzy.

  6. Tei says:

    This game is somewhat like a old Quake1 mod, Slider.

    video, lowres:
    http://www.moddb.com/engines/telejano/videos/shows-slide-mod-using-telejano-and-others#imagebox

    On that mod you was sliding down a level, tryiing to use architecture on your adventage to go faster.

  7. Nick says:

    “That WOT I THINK was about as accurate as a slingshot in a hurricane.”

    You mean it wasn’t what he thought?

  8. manintheshack says:

    @Cycle: I think your analogy fails with this guy: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9ieWrWLjii0

  9. JKjoker says:

    Heh, the animation is really weird considering other runners you see look good and the shadow in time mode doesnt flail its legs like that.

    But im pretty sure i saw several mirrored surfaces in screenshots of the game, how come nobody noticed faith runs like a diseased girlish monkey with a zombified lower body before ?

  10. CdrJameson says:

    I tell you, it makes you proud not to be able to preview or edit your comments.

  11. Yargh says:

    and this is the same engine as Assassin’s Creed? Where did Altair’s wonderful moves go, I wonder?

  12. Heliocentric says:

    AS was ubi.

    ME was ea.

  13. Pags says:

    Wow. She runs like a skank. In high heels.

    Tramps like us, baby we were born to run?

    BA DAA DAAA DAAAAAAA, DAAAAAAAAAAA DAAAAAAAAAA DAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  14. unclelou says:

    What makes ME so enjoyable for me is the succesful combination of classic third-person mechanics with the directness and immersiveness of the first-person perspective, so to me, playing it in 3rd person seems like a blatant case of “missing the point”, but obviously we all get our enjoyment out of different aspects. :)

  15. Tei says:

    @unclelou: Nah.. this is a hack. This type of stuff add replayability to a game. Even if the resulting gameplay is borked. Imagine if other dude figure out how to change the gravity… Theres also the thing “Here is the Everest, I *must* climb it”. There are nothing on the everest, so theres no reason to climb it. Othere that it exist. Hacking work like that, because you can.

  16. Ummagumma says:

    CdrJameson, I haven’t heard that song in years.

  17. Jante says:

    Why are people complaining about poor controls, the suicidal tendencies of Faith or supposed vertigo in first-person? I had no problem with any of these. I found that they worked excellently, especially if you bear in mind that this sort of game is bound to involve a bit of try and fail anwyay, and not every death can be blamed on a poor control scheme. I could understand the complaint from people playing the console version with their Inferior Controllers™, but I haven’t seen a lot of complaints about the PC version controls.

    The only thing that annoyed me a bit about the game was the combat mechanics, especially when you had virtually no option of running away from fights.

  18. Muzman says:

    I haven’t played this game yet so this could be completely beside the point. But the gripes above remind me of that old clash people have with first person games.
    It’d happen all the time; folks would be discussing fisrt person game X’s faults and successes and someone would criticise it for doing platformy things and say something like “you should never do that in first person”. To which comes the reply “I didn’t have any trouble with it”. And then “What? you can’t make precise judgements and jumps et al like that. It just doesn’t work”. And “No way. I do it all the time. It’s easy. Even better in first person”
    “Waht! You need your feet visble and be able to see your run up etc” “Do not” “Do too” “Do not” “Do too”. And so on.
    Anyway, vague impression over the years is that some folks really cannot comprehend that sort of thing in first person and get annoyed by it (I think the feet thing is a convenient explanation and not the nub of the problem). This isn’t some disability. I’m quite crap at third person maneouvering. It takes me ages to get the hang of a given game other people take to like ducks to hoi sin sauce. So let’s call it a proprioception divergence, or something (I just looked that word up and am probably misusing it).
    Anyway, not having played it at all as I said, the notion that ME makes mistakes solved by Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider and a desire to see it in third person all reminds me of the above and makes me wonder if I’d find these mistakes to be (the dreaded) immersion improving details.
    I dunno if anyone else has noticed this kind of thing or thinks it applies here, but there you go.

  19. Lacobus says:

    Any problems with this game disappear if you approach it more like Trials 2 than say, Half Life or AssCreed. Also turn mouse sensitivity right up of course. I really, really love it. Roll on ME2!

  20. Simon says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised at the amount of 3rd person animations. Are there in-game movies or something that you’d actually need them for?

  21. Heliocentric says:

    They were probably playing with the idea of you having a full reflection.

  22. pepper says:

    I think they just made the complete fay model and then animated it to look good in first person.

  23. a says:

    shitty game.

  24. Mman says:

    Considering its never seen (then again, I assume the time trial ghosts are based off it), it’s almost impressive how much they did put into the third-person model.

    Also, maybe you prefer the other style, but the Mirror’s Edge control style isn’t really comparable to what other Action-Adventures are doing right now.

    Games like the current Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider games essentially avert the “issues” altogether by making almost everything scripted and then cloaking everything else climbable in invisible walls in case you get any ideas. Which fixes the “issues” but also has various cracks that show through, like when you jump at something but missed the trigger area by an inch so your character “misses” despite flying straight into the ledge, or alternatively, when your character suddenly becomes a superhuman and glides right to the next ledge despite it being about twice their normal jumping distance or at a completely unreal angle.

    Games like Mirror’s Edge are “procedural” (for lack of a better term) platforming, where almost everything that looks climbable is climbable and the gameplay works off a set of consistent rules rather than being defined by canned scripting and triggers. ME has some consistency issues around certain objects but they only make up about 2% of the game as a whole at most. Pretty much the entire Action-Adventure genre has gravitated towards that scripted stuff over the last ten years, so even when they don’t completely succeed (then again, the controls are the one thing ME does almost fully succeed in), I find the rare games that attempt it a breath of fresh air as I consider further development of this system to be the best future for the genre, as it has no limits beyond the controls given, unlike the other system which falls apart the moment the triggers play up or aren’t present.

  25. Jante says:

    @Muzman: I think you are on to something. I had immense problems navigating in Zelda: Twilight Princess, and I can’t say that I think the controls were perfect in Psychonauts either. Yet, as I mentioned earlier, I had no problems with Mirror’s Edge.

  26. BooleanBob says:

    Max Payne 2 was a lot of fun in the first person hack. Twisting around like a ragdoll in an idiots of garry’s mod video while doing the slowmo dives was awesome, or nauseating.

    Definitely one of the two.

  27. Sarajlija says:

    People should play games that suit them. ME has perfectly fine controls for a platformer. If someone can’t guide Faith properly, then he shouldn’t play this game. Let alone review it. But Wot I Think isn’t a review, so no fault there.

  28. manintheshack says:

    ‘If someone can’t guide Faith properly, then he shouldn’t play this game.’

    Even if it’s the developer’s fault? Considering a lot of the complaints are about the collision detection that’s a mighty odd conclusion to draw.

  29. Chris R says:

    Something about the running looks… off to me. Too stiff around the midriff area perhaps? Just looks funky, hah.

    I’ll wait for this to drop in price to about the $30 range before getting this…

  30. J. Prevost says:

    I seem to recall an article where the developers talked about how they had to tweak the Faith model’s motion and propotions to be less realistic, because they just looked wrong in first person.

    My suspicion is that the first-person camera view we’re all used to isn’t really well adapted to a game where physicality matters—so the devs were sort of stuck between making the camera way way different or exaggerating the model motions to give you the feel and info you need while playing.

    And I don’t doubt that this is part of why there’s no real-time multiplayer. :)

  31. suibhne says:

    @manintheshack: I observed no problems with collision detection when I played the PC version. Odd.

    The game has a handful of significant problems, but the first-person platforming control scheme isn’t one of them. I can see how it might not be to someone’s taste, but it’s certainly not bad in any objective sense.

  32. Tom says:

    “That WOT I THINK was about as accurate as a slingshot in a hurricane.” – completely agree with you Cycle.

    “When playing it recently, I was extremely surprised to find the game making mistakes that were ironed out of the Tomb Raider/Prince of Persia games years ago, as I haplessly tried to guide the suicidal Faith away from her determined attempts to plunge off every rooftop.” – sounds more like you’re suffering the on set of old age to me.
    I suspect there may come a time when all you’re reviews of every game are negative. :)

  33. Tom says:

    You are???… i don’t think so.

  34. Heliocentric says:

    Old people like turned based games because they can be nice and slow like them.

    When i turn 30 i intend to spend the rest of my life hopped up on speed. Probably playing starcraft and counterstrike like all the other speedfiends.

  35. clive dunn says:

    even my wife doesn’t look that funny when she runs!

  36. RealHorrorshow says:

    I’d just like to say the controls in Mirror’s Edge worked perfectly for me, and that I never, ever, not even once, had to look at my feet.

  37. Tom says:

    The lack of RPS retorts make me think they’re in shocked silence, busy destroying all the mirrors they own.

  38. Angel Dust says:

    I agree that FPP jumping is not inherently flawed. In third person games I am always constantly plummeting to my death but in Mirror’s Edge the only times I missed my jumps, fell off the edge etc where because I was playing on a 360 and the thumbstick meant my aim was off. I haven’t played the PC version but I am assuming the precision of the mouse will alleviate these issues.

    Of course the game is not without some fairly significant flaws. Collision detection could use some tweaking as well as the combat. DICE also need to focus on the strength of the game which is my opinion is not the time trials, they are fabulous though, but the chases. Break up the chases with puzzle, stealth and the very occasional combat, preferably one-on-one hand-to-hand, sequence and combine it with a better story and you’d have a damn near perfect game.

  39. Benjamin_Barker says:

    Does the corporate dystopia in this have a Ministry of Silly Walks? I guess she was trained there (in its Sub-Department of Parkour).

  40. Logo says:

    Playing Mirror’s Edge in third person is like hacking Momento to be watched in chronological order. You totally defeat the emotions and feelings that the devs were trying to create. None of the problems of ME (other than motion sickness if it affected you) are solved by having a 3rd person camera. Combat doesn’t suddenly become less frustrating because you’re viewing faith from the 3rd person. The story doesn’t suddenly become better told and less predictable/cliche because you can see faith at all times. It’s fun to hack and kudos for them but this doesn’t make the game better (it does the opposite in fact).

  41. Magos says:

    I don’t like to be a killjoy, what with all the commentertainment happening above, but the ‘Faith Walk’ is clearly in place to add extra emphasis to the bits of her you can see from the FP view. Hence the crazy person limb waving and all but static torso.

    It looks a bit like some of the speakers at a marketing conference I once attended TBH.

  42. daysocks says:

    Silly it may look, but maybe it means I can play the thing instead of getting sick after two minutes. First person may look better but what’s the point if a large proportion of people can’t even play it?

  43. Angel Dust says:

    I know plenty of people who can’t play FPP games at all due to motion sickness. Should we also ban those because not everyone can play them? Of course not and “a large proportion” is a gross exaggeration.

  44. VD-Doom says:

    I think we already understood that rps pretty much hates mirror’s edge…although it has many fans and it’s a briliant and well executed game. Maybe it’s time to move on and rant about something else, no? How about the lack of candy shops in the half life series? that was a major issue…….

  45. Jante says:

    @Angel Dust: People with epilepsy don’t play Geometry Wars, why should people who get motion sickness from FPP games play Mirror’s Edge?

  46. Pantsman says:

    Mirror’s Edge is a better platformer than Prince of Persia because in Mirror’s Edge my performance actually depends on how well I’m playing the game, whereas in PoP I just press a button and watch the prince do something cool. Mirror’s Edge is therefore more challenging than PoP, but also much more rewarding when you get it right. ME is an actual game rather than a movie that you have to keep pressing Play to watch.

    Most of the criticism of ME seems to stem from the critic in question being bad at it, and assuming that it is impossible for anyone to be good at it. This is clearly not true, since I’m pretty good at stopping Faith from flinging herself off ledges, as are many others if the comments are any indication.

    @Muzman: Spot on, I think that’s exactly it. FPP just works for some people and not for others.

  47. Jason Moyer says:

    Time trials and speedrunning in Mirror’s Edge are approximately 80000 times more entertaining and rewarding than some crap arcade racer (like Grid or Dirt or whatever everyone’s gushing over now).

  48. The Shed says:

    The only animation that doesn’t look vaguely ridiculous is the tightrope walk

  49. greg says:

    fucked up