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Mirror's Edge
Mirror edge
Developer(s) Digital Illusions CE
Publisher(s) EA
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Release date November 13, 2008
Genre Action
Mode(s) Single player Multiplayer
Age rating(s) ESRB: M
Platform(s) Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough
Mirror's Edge is a first-person action-adventure video game developed by Electronic Art's Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE). It is due to be released worldwide for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 on November 13, 2008, while a currently-in-progress Microsoft Windows version is due in January 2009.

Powered by Unreal Engine 3 with an additional new lighting solution, the game was announced in July 10, 2007 to developed by EA DICE. Set in a realistic, brightly colored persona environment, the most immediate notable differences from other first-person perspective video games is that there are no HUD at all, allowing greater visibility of the main character's legs, arms and torso on-screen.[1] Following the notion of total visibility of everything, it also allows wider range of actions able to be performed such as sliding under barriers, wall-run, tumbling and shimmying across ledges.

Mirror's Edge portrays a world where every single communication is heavily monitored by a totalitarian government, thus gamers are introduced to an organization of rebel runners, including the lead character, Faith, whom are used to transmit messages while evading tight surveillance around the city.

A demo was released on the PlayStation Store on Oct. 30, 2008 and the Xbox Live Marketplace on Oct. 31, 2008.[2]

Electronic Arts' DICE announced on Nov. 6, 2008 that Mirror’s Edge had gone gold.[3]

Gameplay

Mirror's Edge aims to "convey the strain and physical contact with the environment", according to senior producer Owen O'Brien, and to instill a freedom of movement not yet seen in the first-person genre.[4][5] This is achieved not only with the exercise of parkour, but also by tying camera movement more closely with character movement, such that the rate at which the camera bobs up and down increases as Faith builds up speed while running and the camera spins when she rolls.[6][7]

Also, the arms, legs, and even torso at times are prominent and their visibility is used to convey movement and momentum, such that Faith's arms pump and the length of her steps increase with her gait, and her legs cycle and arms flail during long jumps.[1][6] With such a heavy focus on movement, it is imperative to maintain momentum, which is done by an uninterrupted, fluid flow of actions, creating a chain of moves.[8] Failing to string these moves together results in a loss of momentum, which can mean that Faith falls off or short of an object if a certain level of momentum is required to traverse it.[9] Controls are simplified by being context-sensitive; the "up" button will cause Faith to traverse an obstacle by passing over it—for example, by jumping, vaulting, climbing, or grabbing set pieces like zip lines—while the "down" button will cause her to perform other maneuvers like slides or rolls, or simply crouch.[9][10]

In order to assist the player in creating these chains of moves, the game employs a system called "Runner Vision", which derives its name from its purpose: to depict the environment the way a runner would see it, instantly recognizing escape routes. It is a highlighting system that emphasises environmental pieces useful for progression—like pipes, ramps, and enterable doors—with the color red as Faith approaches, though it does not always indicate the best route.[9] Further along in the game, the number of these visual hints is reduced to only indicate the end goal, though the player can opt to turn off this hint system entirely.[8] It will also be used to create puzzles in which the player must figure out how to combine the highlighted set pieces into a chain of moves in order to reach the target.[9] Another means of assistance to the player is a system called "Reaction Time", which is a form of bullet time that allows the player time to plan where to go next without losing momentum, as well as making the timing of jumps and disarms easier.[10]

Although the player character can hold weapons, O'Brien stressed that "this is an action adventure. We're not positioning this as a shooter - the focus isn't on the gun, it's on the person." Gameplay in Mirror's Edge will focus on finding the best route through the game's environments while combat takes a secondary role. In fact, on the E3 'Gameplay Walkthrough' O'Brien says that going through the game without shooting a single bullet unlocks an achievement[4], "Test of Faith"[11] Consequently, guns may be obtained by disarming an enemy, but when the magazine is empty, it will need to be discarded.[8] Additionally, carrying a weapon slows Faith down and the heavier the gun, the more it hinders her movement, which introduces an element of strategy in determining when to trade agility for short-term firepower.[4][9]

To increase the longevity of the game, there will be many messenger bags hidden in the levels for the player to find to unlock extras. Also, there will be a time attack mode where the player will try to complete small portions of a level as fast as possible. There will be online leaderboards as well as red "ghost runners" so that the player can see their fastest routes or the routes of people on the leaderboard.

The game is divided into 10 chapters (9 + the prologue), and gameplay lasts roughly 8-10 hours.

Plot synopsis

Characters

The only playable character in the game is a runner named Faith, a Eurasian female. Faith was not the intended lead character. The developers ultimately “fell in love with her” among a number of originally planned characters in a multiplayer mode. Art Director Johannes Söderqvist explains that she has “grown a lot through the two years since she was ‘found’” and that her shoes come from a “concept artist having some fun”, “the tattoo on her arm…from her being a tech girl,” as the developers “didn’t want something like the yakuza…I wanted something more unique that would key into who she is as a person. If she was into electronics, she’d have a tattoo that looks like a circuit board.”[12]

The story follows Faith and her struggle to free her sister from a corrupt government. Her parents were killed while protesting against the government and she was forced to grow up on the street. One day, when she was still a young girl, she broke into an office belonging to a man named Mercury, who caught her but was impressed with her skills. Mercury then trained Faith as a runner[13]. Faith was taught not to rely on modern forms of communication, partially because they are monitored by the police state. As Faith attempts to rescue her sister while running messages for the criminal underworld, she gets caught up in a series of events which lead to her being pursued by the totalitarian government. Acting as Faith's guide is Mercury, who will help Faith in her attempt to outwit and overcome the many government agents that are out to eliminate her. [5]

Setting

The game's name derives from the mirror-like aesthetic of the city of tall, gleaming skyscrapers and Faith's existence on the fringes of that city along with other dissidents, who have been pushed to the edge.[14]

Though set in a seemingly utopian city environment with low crime, clean streets, and sterile architecture, it is ruled by a totalitarian government regime that conducts unbridled levels of surveillance on citizens. In this world of communications monitoring, the only way to deliver confidential information between parties is to employ couriers (called runners) to physically deliver the information.[4]

Aside from white, the city is dominated by primary colors and orange, but it has little of the color green, emphasizing the sterile atmosphere—even plants and trees are white. Grey was also avoided in order to distinguish Mirror's Edge from other games. Color is important as an indicator of health, since HUD has been eliminated from the game; as Faith takes damage and her health level decreases, the city's colors desaturate.[14]

Development

Despite continuing to develop games for its successful Battlefield franchise, DICE wanted to diversify away from it to something "fresh, interesting, and interactive" that had not been seen before in Electronic Arts' portfolio, according to DICE's creative director, Ben Cousins.[15] In June 2007 it was revealed that DICE was working on a game called Mirror's Edge that was mistakenly described as a first-person shooter, which was being planned with the intention to "shake up the genre".[16] On July 10, 2007, Mirror's Edge was officially announced by Electronic Arts, and at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in February 2008, the first demonstration of gameplay was shown.[10] At the Sony PlayStation Day in London on May 6, 2008, the first video featuring entirely in-game footage was revealed and released.[17]

The game uses Epic's Unreal Engine 3 rather than DICE's own Frostbite Engine because the development of Mirror's Edge began before Frostbite's development was complete. Beast, a new lighting system developed by Illuminate Labs in association with DICE, was added to the Unreal Engine in order to accentuate the different art style of Mirror's Edge and allow for the reflection of colors as well as light.[18][19]

The game is being developed on the PlayStation 3 and then it will be ported to the Xbox 360, although both versions will be released at the same time; on the 7th of November 2008 it was announced that the game had achieved Gold status and was ready to be shipped to retailers.

In order to address the issue of simulation sickness that is associated with the free movement of the camera in first-person view, a small reticle was placed in the center of the screen, though this is not apparent from the first video released because it was removed from the in-game footage shown. The reticle serves as an aiming point and as a focal point to prevent the player from experiencing dizziness, working in a similar fashion to the dance technique called spotting. Other than this reticle, no HUD exists in the game (and the reticle may be removed by choice of the player).[14][20] Sony has announced that the PS3 version of Mirror's Edge will receive exclusive downloadable content.

Mirrors Edge Launch Trailer01:36

Mirrors Edge Launch Trailer

Versions and merchandise

Game Editions

When pre-ordered at Game Crazy a time trial code for the game is given, as well as a T-Shirt of the game. A time trial code is included in GameStop preorders as well, along with a yellow "Runner Bag" which resembles the ones that Runners use in the game. Preorders from UK retailer GAME include a Mirror's Edge edition Fenchurch T-Shirt. On the Electronic Arts website, a combo package of the Mirror's Edge game plus a red "Runner Bag", similar to the ones given by Gamestop and made by Timbuk2, is available for the price of $130. On the front is the logo of the game, and the inside shows a portrait of Faith.[21]

Comic book

During Comic-Con 2008, DICE announced it would create a limited run comic book adaptation of the game together with DC Comics division WildStorm.[22] The comic is drawn by Matthew Dow Smith and written by Rhianna Pratchett.[23]

Soundtrack

On October 7, 2008, EA announced a Mirror's Edge remix album featuring the Mirror's Edge theme song "Still Alive" (no relation to the song "Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton for the game Portal) by Swedish musician Lisa Miskovsky along with five remixes of the song by Benny Benassi, Junkie XL, Paul van Dyk, Teddybears and Armand Van Helden. The album, titled Still Alive - the Remixes, was released on November 11, 2008.[24]

Sequels

The senior producer for the game, Owen O'Brien, has divulged the plan to turn the game into a trilogy by saying, "the story we're telling at the moment is kind of a trilogy, a three-story arc."[25]

Demo

A demo for Mirror's Edge was released on PlayStation Store for the Playstation Network on October 30 and Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox Live on October 31, 2008. It consists of the training level and one of the opening levels. People who have pre-ordered the game at specific online retailers can enter the code they've received to unlock the Time Trial mode.

Flash game

A Flash game based on Mirror's Edge, named Mirror's Edge 2D, is in beta.[26]

Reception

  1. REDIRECT Template:Reception

Official Xbox Magazine gave Mirror's Edge 9.5/10, praising its "brilliant sense of motion and gameplay". Play Magazine awarded it 10/10. Gametrailers.com gave Mirror's Edge 8.3/10 [13]

Eurogamer rated Mirror's Edge 8/10, praising the games ambition and overall gameplay, but admitted the game would not have an appeal to everyone, saying "this is going to divide audiences down the middle. It's an ambitious game, but it manages to match its achievements with irritations at every turn; it's bold and forward-thinking, yet stilted and old-fashioned. Some will be able to overlook the gaping flaws, but others will never appreciate its moments of brilliance, and both positions are justifiable... " [27]

IGN UK has given the game 8.3 out of 10, saying the graphics, sound and presentation were amazing, but didn't last for a long time.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Plunkett, Luke (2007-07-23). Mirror's Edge Sounds Pretty Great. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  2. Mirror's Edge Demo Hits This Week. Kotaku (2008-10-29). Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
  3. Mirror's Edge Edge Has Gone Gold. Teamxbox (2008-11-06). Retrieved on 2008-11-06.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named 1Upprev1
  5. 5.0 5.1 Edge staff (August 2007), "A Leap of Faith", Edge (178): 54-61 . Reprinted July 29, 2007, "A Leap of Faith", Next-Gen.biz
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ahearn, Nate (2008-02-29). Mirror's Edge First Look. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  7. Wilson, Mark (2008-02-29). Experiencing Hyperreality, Mirror's Edge Impressions. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Pellett, Matthew (2008-05-04). Preview: Mirror's Edge. CVG. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Bramwell, Tom (2008-02-29). Mirror's Edge Preview. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Kuchera, Ben (2008-02-29). GDC: First peek at Mirror's Edge; don't look down!. Ars Technica. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  11. Mirror's Edge Achivements, http://www.mirrorsedge.com/ls/us/index.asp#/achievements/ 
  12. As quoted in Giancarlo Varanini, “Gotta Have Faith: How the lead characters in Mirror‘s Edge came to be,” Electronic Gaming Monthly 233 (October 2008): 76.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Gametrailers, Run Story Trailer, http://www.gametrailers.com/player/41622.html, retrieved 2008-10-16 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Totilo, Stephen (2008-03-07). EA Discusses ‘Mirror’s Edge’ Sickness Concerns, Lack Of Color Green. MTV. Retrieved on 2008-05-12.
  15. Martin, Matt (2007-06-11). DICE promises to diversify with new projects. GameIndustry.biz. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  16. Ogden, Gavin (2007-06-29). New DICE shooter revealed. CVG. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  17. Fahey, Mike (2008-05-06). Sony Playstation Day London 08: Mirror's Edge In Motion. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named unreal
  19. Mirror's Edge. Illuminate Labs. Retrieved on 2008-05-12.
  20. Yin-Poole, Wesley (2008-05-09). Mirror's Edge Interview. Videogamer.com. Retrieved on 2008-05-13.
  21. Kotaku: Mirror's Edge Expensive Collectors Edition
  22. Comic-con 2008: EA and DC create Mirror’s Edge comic book
  23. Comic-Con 08: EA and DC team up for Mirror's Edge comic book
  24. DICE Announces Mirror’s Edge Remix Album Hitting Airwaves This November. Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  25. Faylor, Chris (October 14, 2008). EA Planning Mirror's Edge Trilogy (English). ShackNews. Retrieved on 2008-11-10.
  26. http://www.bornegames.com/?page_id=369
  27. Christian Donlan - Mirror's Edge Review (English). Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2008-11-11.
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