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Early Reviews Reflect Well On Mirror's Edge 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the faith-is-rewarded dept.
The much-anticipated first person non-shooter Mirror's Edge is being released today for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Reviews for the game, while not without complaints, are generally positive. 1Up praises the controls, saying, "It gets things very right very early, distilling its first-person platformer ambitions into a very manageable control scheme. ... Once you're familiar with Faith's abilities and their limitations — imparted through a much-needed tutorial — it's easy to see potential routes through the world." Ars Technica is more critical, noting that the main story's gameplay only clocks in at about six hours, and that the artistic style doesn't vary much between levels. Nick Channon, a producer for Mirror's Edge, sat down with Gamasutra and discussed the reasoning for some of their design choices. The PC version of Mirror's Edge and some additional downloadable content will be available in January.
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Early Reviews Reflect Well On Mirror's Edge

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  • I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the demo. I have to agree with PA that it left me a little dizzy and with some vertigo, but the way that it made you see the city as one big playground was good. I'm glad to see that they've managed to make the rest of the game fun, too.
    • by flyingsquid (813711) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @02:34AM (#25730897)
      A first person non-shooter, huh? You know, at first I didn't think something like this would work, but the more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I think it could really work well, and be a refreshing change from the all those tiresome shooters.

      So what kind of melee weapons do you get to use? Baseball bats, butcher knives, broken bottles, axes, chainsaws, weed-whackers, two-by-fours with lots of nails pounded into them? The old standby, the trusty rock? Or do you just like, gouge your opponents eyes out with your bare hands and bite their ears off?
      • by Y.A.A.P. (1252040)

        Or do you just like, gouge your opponents eyes out with your bare hands and bite their ears off?

        I wonder if that could be incorporated as an update to Mike Tyson's Punch-Out?

      • You jest, but portal kind of ruins your joke. GLaDOS might still find it funny though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iainl (136759)

        For the most part, judging from the demo at least, the solution is to avoid getting into a combat situation at all. They have guns, you don't. Rushing them and taking their legs out with a sliding kick before they get a shot off, then run away before they can react, was the most fun way.

        Mirror's Edge is great precisely because you're not playing a violent person for a change.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Nick Ives (317)

          There is at least one gun in Mirrors Edge. In the demo you get taught how to disarm the enemy and steal their pistol and also how to shoot. I'm a little disappointed by that tbh, I was hoping for no guns whatsoever but it does seem like the focus is on getting through the game without actually using any weapons.

          • I've played through a bunch of it and it does seem like in almost every instance you can avoid combat. And disarming a person doesn't mean you keep the gun, most of the time you just drop it because you need to perform a move you can't do with the gun in your hand. It is definitely possible to mow some people down once you get your hands on a weapon, but its not required and mostly not encouraged by the game.

      • by mav[LAG] (31387)

        A first person non-shooter, huh? You know, at first I didn't think something like this would work, but the more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I think it could really work well, and be a refreshing change from the all those tiresome shooters.

        It was. It was called Thief: The Dark Project and turned out to be one of the greatest games of all time.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Relevant PA comic [penny-arcade.com].

      WARNING: if you are playing Mirror's Edge and feel a bit queasy, you probably shouldn't look at the comic :-)

  • Motion Sickness (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Escaflowne (199760)

    Unfortunately although the game is visually stunning and innovative, I found the demo to be pretty disorienting and am not sure if I will buy the game due to the discomfort.

    Maybe it gets better as you get used to the game? Who knows.

    • Re:Motion Sickness (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MaineCoon (12585) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @02:51AM (#25730979) Homepage

      Probably not - some people are just more sensitive to it than others. It's not something you can really adapt to. Everyone has differing motion sickness threshold (I don't think anybody is truly immune, there will be some level that will make a person sick). Some people can't watch or play any FPS (this is pretty rare); a not insignificant number of people get motion sick from Unreal Engine games but not others. Mirror's Edge tends to push it to the extreme, combining a moving, swaying camera and blurring. My wife has played Fallout 3, Unreal 2, Battlefield 2, and others, and watches me play Fallout 3, but she got sick to her stomache in a few minutes.

      • (I don't think anybody is truly immune, there will be some level that will make a person sick)

        I've never had motion sickness when watching a screen, so I just don't really understand that. My mum feels sick just playing racing games (or even being in a real car when it's accelerating briskly). I really don't see how there could be a game that would make me feel ill, I've played games with rollercoasters, spaceships, being propelled to great heights and back down again (like in the final boss battle in Half-Life - that was fun :) ).

        I also can read in cars, buses, trains etc. Occasionally it gives me

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Ever played descent?

          So many people complained about motion sickness during the first few minutes/hours of their playing the game... I never had that problem.

          • Yep, I remember playing the demo. It was disorienting compared to normal games because there was no gravity/'down' to use as a reference, but it was not sickening... I just remember thinking the controls were annoying and probably went straight back to playing Quake..

        • by maglor_83 (856254)

          I expect I'd have to be physically moved about as well - in a completely unrelated way to what is happening on-screen

          Perhaps you might like the Villa Volta [wikipedia.org]. The entire house around you moves about in a different direction to the seats you sit on. Really cool!

      • by sammy baby (14909)

        Back in the day, I used to play FPS games constantly - Doom and its (early) sequels, Duke 3d. Then Quake came out. I played it obsessively. Then QuakeWorld, then maybe a million different Quake mods.

        A few months later, I tried to play a some Duke 3d and Shadow Warrior, and found that they made me horribly motion sick within about five minutes. The difference? The fully 3d animated models in Quake had spoiled me for the comparably primitive sprite models in Duke. I tried a similar test more recently when Ma

      • Some people are immune to motion sickness, if your vestibular system isn't functioning you can't get motion sick. When the input from your eyes and your inner ear don't match it causes nausea, because that is a symptom of poisoning. No inner ear input, no mismatch, no motion sickness.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Aniyn (1268450)
      I'm thinking the pre-order bonus should have been a bottle of gravol.....
    • Here's something to avoid - eat a quarter bag of cheese popcorn, and then play through the demo...

      On the plus side, I was forced to turn off the TV and read a book for the rest of the evening. The ability to watch moving images has thankfully returned to me now.

    • Re:Motion Sickness (Score:4, Informative)

      by Hasney (980180) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @05:16AM (#25731519) Journal
      You can turn on a white dot for the centre of the screen which actually helps with the motion sickness by giving you something to focus on while you play.

      On a side note, I'm surprised EA are taking chances with new IP and even gameplay mechanics now. Sure, they have their yearly sports franchises and they have announced that this and Dead Space are going to be trilogies, but it's surprising how EA have brought out some fairly original games instead of generic-army-FPS-2009, forcing Acti-Blizzard to step up to the plate to become the new evil, un-inspired publisher for gamers. As long as you stick to consoles, that is. No DRM here..... This generation.....
      • it's surprising how EA have brought out some fairly original games instead of generic-army-FPS-2009, forcing Acti-Blizzard to step up to the plate to become the new evil, un-inspired publisher for gamers. As long as you stick to consoles, that is. No DRM here..... This generation.....

        I've been thinking exactly the same thing. A few of the games I've bought recently have ended up being EA games and I didn't even know until the opening titles (Rock Band and Battlefield: Bad Company on PS3 for example). Then there's Spore, Bioshock and now Mirror's Edge. All fairly good games. The only time DRM has affected me recently was when I couldn't copy my Rock Band saved game when I reformatted my PS3, which was annoying. I was quite proud of completing the drumming set list on Hard, and all but 6

        • by MaineCoon (12585)

          It's worth noting that Rock Band is only distributed by EA - MTV is still technically the publisher. Bioshock is not an EA game at all, it's published by Take2.

          Ever since Riccitiello took the helm, there has been a real shift towards new IP and ideas - other new franchises/games that have come out include Boom Blox. The problem there is that such development is always very risky, financially, so it is even more critical that any sequels that come out are still as successful as before to help offset any lo

          • Thanks for the info. I must have linked Bioshock to EA because of the link with DRM complaints! I definitely think their games have been improving. I didn't particularly like Need for Speed Pro Street as I think the NFS series is much better suited to free roaming craziness than track racing, and there are already plenty of good track racing games out there. Undercover looks like it will be getting back to the old skool NFS formula, which is nice.

            And an AVP mud? Awesome concept. I don't have much time for P

            • by MaineCoon (12585)

              Thanks :-) I've been running AvP MUD for 11 1/2 years now.

              Other original EA titles include Dead Space, recently released, with a completely HUD-less style of play and a great take on survival horror. Army of Two came out some time ago and was also an EA original, with a different take on co-op in FPS games, integrating the idea right into core mechanics (back-to-back shooting, dragging wounded partner who can keep shooting, huddling together behind moving cover). Battleforge is coming up and has a new ta

      • On a side note, I'm surprised EA are taking chances with new IP and even gameplay mechanics now. Sure, they have their yearly sports franchises and they have announced that this and Dead Space are going to be trilogies, but it's surprising how EA have brought out some fairly original games instead of generic-army-FPS-2009, forcing Acti-Blizzard to step up to the plate to become the new evil, un-inspired publisher for gamers. As long as you stick to consoles, that is. No DRM here..... This generation.....

        You're not the only one to have noticed that Evil Association is doing some things they don't usually do.

        Penny-arcade has a likely explanation

        http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/11/5/ [penny-arcade.com]

  • by nacturation (646836) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `noitarutcan'> on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @02:51AM (#25730985) Journal

    I just finished playing through the downloadable demo and I'm happy to see that they've finally implemented what actually happens with your point of view when you run. There's no more "the entire screen bobs" to simulate a walking/running effect. When you run, you're looking at a point in the distance and that never diverges from your center of view. If the camera's orientation is represented by an arbitrarily long pool cue, the tip of the cue is resting on what you're looking at and the end of the cue (the camera) moves up and down and side to side. So objects far away barely move at all while objects right beside your head move as much as your head does.

    On another note, it's nice to see EA come out with something original though check back in a few years and see if there's a Mirror's Edge 2010, 2011, and so on.

    • They've already announced it's going to be a trilogy, iirc.

      Whereas I loved the demo, I didn't like the linearity of it: Ok, you can choose between choosing alternate routes, but they don't diverge much from eachother.
      Then again, I'm sure that one of the next parts will have more of a sandbox-style play; It definitely suits the gameplay imo.
  • CTF (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sparton (1358159) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @03:01AM (#25731023)

    What I want to see is someone modding this game so that you can play it as a multiplayer capture the flag. It'd be like the games of capture the flag that you'd play as kids, but at an excessively larger scale.

    I'll probably get the game irregardless, but that would definitely increase replayability.

    • That is actually an interesting idea. I think though the thing to do would be to put that into a different franchise, I really like that EA of all companies took such a gamble, it would be somewhat dissapointing to see them hedge their bets by making it more standard.

  • The music is catchy! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjorgnsn (514708) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @03:10AM (#25731067)

    WAHHHHHH! I was whistling the musical theme that's on every trailer and part of the demo as I browsed over to games.slashdot only to see it at the top of the front page!

    The music doesn't seem particularly memorable, until you can't get it out of your head.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Aniyn (1268450)
      You mean "Still Alive" by Lisa Miskovski? I love that tune!
    • I can't remember what it went like, and I just replayed the demo 2 hours ago..

    • by jbacon (1327727)

      They released a remix pack of Still Alive, in case you didn't know. Paul Van Dyk's is my favorite, of course, but IMHO none of them are better than the original.

      I can't remember where I got it, I think it was Gamespot...

  • Demo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @04:04AM (#25731303) Homepage Journal

    I kinda of liked the demo, though it did seem like the game could get really annoying when the difficulty ramped up, due to the fact that it suffers from Dragon's Lair syndrome -- i.e., one mistimed button press and your character dies. Sometimes the timing is rather tricky, which means you just fall into the abyss over and over until you get it right. Dunno if that's really my cup of tea.

    I do really like the art direction for the game. The oversaturated-white look is pretty nice to look at. Or maybe it just feels that way after 50 straight hours of uninterrupted brown wasteland and concrete rubble in Fallout 3.

  • So what precisely is it about this game that makes it so much more worthy of attention than other games? Is it something genuinely new? Or is this just a subtle advertising campaign? (haha, as if I even need to ask...)

    From what I know, it seems like it is an evolution of the platforming mechanics from Sands of Time and more recently Assassins Creed; is that about correct? If so, I'm all in favor; I like the freedom of exploration (in AC) and the idea that a wall is merely a directionally-challenged surface

    • When I played the demo, my first thought was 'Holy shit, it's first-person Assassin's Creed!'

    • People love free-running (ever since the last Bond movie brought it mainstream), and this game really is the first one to go whole-hog with the freerunning idea (well, Assassin's Creed did as well really but since this is set in modern setting it's more relatable).

      Combine that with great visual style (read: not brown), and there really is a lot of interest from people that is genuine. I like the idea a lot but like another poster get a bit nauseous playing, so I'm reluctant to buy the game.

  • Has its problems... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Crumplecorn (904797) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @07:04AM (#25731959)

    I'll take a new game with issues over a very polished rehash any time. The ars technica reviewer wanted more, but I don't think it's a bad idea for the first game with a new mechanic to keep it simple and try to get it right. They can add depth and breadth in the sequels, when they have the basics down and we are used to how it works.

    Interesting that despite the repetitiveness they still found it too short, repetitive+short+fun=replayable.

  • Couldn't even finish the demo.
    With the horrible, forced tutorial that lasts forever and lack of actual gameplay, I got bored rather quickly.

    Not to mention the "Dragon's Lair" problem someone mentioned before. First person perspective is not for platformers, ever.

    • You can skip the tutorial from the menu. Useful if you want to practice the demo level a bit. It was fun, I'm definitely buying the game.

    • It's too bad, because I have a preorder copy but am having trouble with the tutorial also--CANNOT get past the balance beam tutorial. This may be the steepest learning curve that I've seen on a game.

  • by snarfies (115214) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:13AM (#25733645) Homepage

    Looks and sounds like an interesting game - too bad I'll never own it. I don't have or want an Xbox or PS3, and the PC version has limited installs. Be sure to hammer the point home on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00198ZHC8/ref=s9sdps_c1_63_at1-rfc_p-frt_g1-3237_g1_si1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=0TM31B72FB9PTDNQEV3Z&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463383351&pf_rd_i=507846 [amazon.com]

  • by jbacon (1327727)

    Did anyone else use the delay of the PC version as an excuse to buy an Xbox/PS3?

    I know I did.

    • No, I already have all 3 consoles. I'll be getting it on 360 no doubt considering my PS3 is god knows where getting fixed (faulty blu ray drive 1 week before LittleBigPlanet's release!)

      I think people that haven't bought consoles yet are either a) still deciding or b) waiting for another price drop. In Australia the PS3 is still $700, 360 Arcade just hit $300 while Elite $550. Usually in Australia console sales dont tend to really spike until they hit the $300 mark (Wii being the exception at $388 since
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Did anyone else use the delay of the PC version as an excuse to buy an Xbox/PS3?

      No.

      I'm an adult therefore I am perfectly capable waiting patiently, this has the added benefit of allowing others to find the flaws in the game and/or find out if the game is crap.

      I always wait until some real people get their hands on the game, reviews can be paid for and are not to be trusted, if you didn't figure this out before what Gamespot did to Gerstmann you should have figured it out afterwards.

  • E.
    A.

  • Six hours of game play and some promised DLC later? Is this going to retail at the now-standard $60(US)?

    Sounds to me that EA is taking this formula seriously:

    1. Produce a game
    2. Cut out 80%
    3. Sell 80% as premium DLC
    4. Profit!

    • My first thought was the same. If its so short, is it gonna be cheaper?

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