|Developer(s)||EA Digital Illusions CE|
|Designer(s)||Owen O'Brien (Producer)|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360|
|Release date||November 11, 2008|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, First person|
|Media||Blu-ray Disc, DVD|
Mirror's Edge is a first person action-adventure video game that was developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows-based PCs in North America. The game was released on November 11th, 2008 for the console systems and January 13th & 16th, 2009 for the PC.
The game was announced by Electronic Arts on July 10, 2007, and is powered by the Unreal Engine 3 with the addition of a new lighting solution, developed by DICE. The game has a realistic, brightly-colored style and differs from most other first-person perspective video games in allowing for a wider range of actions—such as sliding under barriers, tumbling, wall-running, and shimmying across ledges—and greater freedom of movement, in having no head-up display (HUD), and in allowing the legs, arms, and torso of the character to be visible on-screen.
The game is set in a conformist dystopia in which communication is heavily monitored by a totalitarian regime, and so a network of runners, including the main character, Faith, are used to transmit messages while evading government surveillance.
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. This is achieved not only with moves inspired by parkour and Free Running, 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. 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.
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. 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. 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 somersaults.
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 emphasizes 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. 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. 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. 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.
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 the game will focus on finding the best route through the game's environments while combat takes a secondary role. Consequently, guns may be obtained by disarming an enemy, but when the magazine is empty, it will need to be discarded. 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. Despite this, the developers claim it is possible to go through the entire game without firing a weapon.
Plot synopsis Edit
- Main article: Timeline
- Main Article: Characters
The only playable character in the game is a runner named Faith Connors. The story follows Faith and her struggle to free her sister, Kate, from a corrupt government. Her mom was killed while protesting against the government and she ran away from home. She left Kate and her father to grow up in the streets, later becoming a Runner. Faith was taught not to rely on modern forms of communication, partially because the ruthless police state prefers eavesdropping every chance they get. As Faith attempts to rescue her sister, and 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 a former runner named Mercury, who will help Faith in her attempt to outwit and overcome the many government agents that are out to eliminate her.
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. 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.
It could take place in an American city, a city like Tokyo, or the already communist city of Beijing. 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.
Aside from white, the city is dominated by various bright colors, 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. When Faith takes damage, her health level decreases and the city's colors desaturate.
The game is set in the near future, judging by a PA announcement in one of The Shards lifts, after 2012.
- Main Article: Language
Only English is spoken in the game (At least the English version) but written language throughout the city is compromised of English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Japanese Kanji as shown on boxes, signs and billboards. Latin is also shown on signs in the subway, but only as a placeholder.
Despite continuing to develop games for its successful Battlefield franchise, DICE wanted to diversify away from it to something "fresh and interesting" that had not been seen before in Electronic Arts' portfolio, according to DICE's creative director, Ben Cousins. In June 2007, it was revealed that DICE was working on Mirror's Edge. The game was mistakenly described as a first-person shooter, but was being planned with the intention to "shake up the genre". On July 10, 2007, Mirror's Edge was officially announced by Electronic Arts. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in February 2008, the first demonstration of gameplay was shown. At the Sony PlayStation Day in London on May 6, 2008, the first video featuring entirely in-game footage was revealed and released.
The game uses Epic Games'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.
In order to address the issue of simulation sickness that is concomitant with the free movement of the camera in first-person view, a small reticule 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 reticule serves as an aiming point and as a focal point to prevent the player from experiencing dizziness.
See: Mirror's Edge (comic)
During Comic-Con 2008, DICE announced it would create a limited run comic book adaptation of the game together with team with DC Comics division WildStorm. The comic is drawn by Matthew Dow Smith and written by Rhianna Pratchett.
Canceled Wii VersionEdit
Due to Mirror's Edge not living up to sales expectations on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, EA asked Backbone Entertainment to produce a short visual demostration for a version of the game on the Nintendo Wii. PSP and DS versions were thought to have been considered at one time as well.
- Official website
- Mirror's Edge - Official website Australia - Win a PS3 Prize Pack
- Mirrors Edge Czech Fansite
- Mirror's Edge French Fansite
|There is more information available on this subject at Mirror's Edge (game) on the English Wikipedia.|