Rhianna Pratchett’s writerly quill has guided the words and deeds of many a game character, but that won’t be the case with Faith in Mirror’s Edge 2. Fresh off stints on the likes of Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite, and Beat Buddy, Pratchett is not reconvening with DICE and EA. She was apparently never even contacted. But perhaps it’s for the better, as Pratchett wasn’t particularly pleased with how the original Mirror’s Edge turned out in the story department.
She explained the situation on Twitter:
“It’s really lovely that people care enough to ask whether I’m involved with Mirror’s Edge 2, but I’m not and wasn’t asked. By all accounts it’s a new team on it, so go with God, I say. Create cool stuff. We always need more of that.”
She went on to note that “no one [she] worked with” from the original Mirror’s Edge team is at DICE anymore. As for how the original turned out, well, it had a great premise and a lackluster plot. For her part, Pratchett wasn’t afraid to own up to the spots where Faith and friends fell off a metaphorical roof.
“Let’s face it ME1’s story didn’t review that great (for many reasons). So I consider myself a casualty of that development process. The script got hacked up at the 11th hour due to a decision to remove all of Faith’s level dialogue. Too much of the game had been designed before they got me in, which made what we could do more limited.”
So basically, writing for big-budget games in a nutshell. Narrative is rarely a focus, it gets treated as an afterthought, and the most ambitious chunks often end up in blood-red piles on the cutting room floor. It’s an unfortunate practice, but hardly an uncommon one.
I suppose we can hope that Mirror’s Edge 2 will end up in a better place plot-wise, but who knows? Recent Battlefield plots don’t lend much in the way of confidence, but Mirror’s Edge is an entirely different animal. Let us pray for something interesting, or at least not a dystopic future graywar in which Faith shoots a skyscraper that is also a gun with an arsenal of military grade guns that are also guns.