Psyched For: Mirror's Edge 2

By Colin Tan on March 26, 2011, 9:50PM EDT

I know, I know, EA will neither confirm nor deny the existence of this game, but we all know it's going to happen sooner later. Mirror's Edge was a great game, and while it received critical acclaim for changing up the first person experience, it didn't do so well commercially, with very little sales and profits, or lack thereof, that failed to meet EA's expectations. Regardless, be it running and jumping across rooftops, scaling a wall or sliding down the incline of a building, all the while avoiding an attack chopper, Mirror's Edge had me the first time I set my eyes on her, and so I simply cannot wait for the inevitable sequel, no matter how much EA avoids the topic. There's little to talk about, so what follows is mere observation and speculation.

What Mirror's Edge offered was a far departure from most first person shooters on the market. Instead of focusing on shooting, the whole idea was to keep your momentum by either avoiding confrontations altogether or, if left with no choice, to disarm and incapacitate those that stood in your way. The game was clearly designed to avoid combat, getting surrounded by the coppers was a surefire way to bring up those annoying loading screens.

The game certainly had its flaws, momentum was key, but hard to keep up. Running and vaulting over obstacles felt surprisingly sluggish for a game that emphasized speed and agility. The TV spot had it right, capturing plenty of speed, adrenaline and action inherent to the sport of parkour. Even so, the actual game fell short.

Stepping into the grand vistas of eerily clean rooftops, back alleys and hallways for the first time was an experience I won't soon forget. Simply running and jumping over obstacles made me felt like I was flying through the world without a care. In essence, part of the game's theme was freedom from a tightly controlled society. Another thing Mirror's Edge did really well was its use of colour. Whoever designed the world is a genius. As an artist, I can thoroughly appreciate the moods and atmosphere created by the distinct use of a specific colour. Red was used to demarcate paths and it worked surprisingly well without being intrusive. The last stage gave off the vibe of "I have a bad feeling about this," and it certainly did. After all, Faith was stepping into the lion's den.

Aside from polishing up the core mechanics, some might argue there's very little in the way of what DICE can add to Mirror's Edge. Multiplayer is a tough stretch, but I would certainly love to see a Tag, Race and Objective driven multiplayer component. The speed run challenges were a blast and level design was spectacular. Throw in a local co-op mode and you have an awesome game to sit down and play with a buddy.

More importantly, should the game ever be made, I'm looking forward to see what else DICE can do with the story. I'd love to see a story mode that expands more on the world of Mirror's Edge. The first game had a decent enough plot, but one that lacked any real charm, wasn't all that great and filled with quite a bit of cheese. A society where everything is kept in check by the government, freedom but no freedom at all. It's not 1984, but it certainly has that vibe.

Faith is a runner, someone who risks her life to safely deliver important messages to the remaining oppositions within her white-washed sepulchre society. However, the first game barely even touched on this aspect. In fact, Faith only ever delivered one package, since then all she did was run from point A to B to C. The story was more of a personal journey than a struggle against political corruption. The game had the opportunity to bring up very important key points about Marxism versus Capitalism and whatnot, but failed to do so, as though afraid to even go near such touchy, and potentially controversial issues.

Regardless of the game's flaws, a sequel to Mirror's Edge is certainly a development I can get behind. Now if only EA and DICE would announce it. Perhaps we'll hear something at E3? But, more likely than not, DICE will be busy working on Battlefield 3, also another game I'm looking forward to very much. Still, all hope is not lost. EA apparently holds Mirror's Edge quite closely to their hearts, even if it did fail to meet expectations, it was still one of the more interesting first person titles to hit the market this generation. Surely, a sequel would be too.

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