Saturday, August 9, 2008

E3 2008: Mirror's Edge Updated Impressions

DICE shows off its supersexy first-person action game at the EA E3 press conference.
By Brian Ekberg, GameSpot
Posted Jul 14, 2008 9:41 pm PT

You won't see a game that looks like Mirror's Edge anywhere here at E3. The DICE-developed first-person action game has a futuristic feel and an austere presentation that makes it instantly appealing, as well as an intriguing premise that amps up the pace. DICE developers were onstage today during the EA E3 press conference to show off a brief tour of the game, which has our fingers itching to play as soon as possible.

Located in a futuristic-looking setting, Mirror's Edge stars Faith, a courier who, because of the heavily monitored nature of communications in the game's city, delivers crucial information the old-fashioned way: in person. As you quickly find out, Faith is a master of movement, and movement is the star of Mirror's Edge; from leaping across rooftops in a single vertigo-inducing bound, to climbing up drainage pipes on the sides of buildings, or briefly wall-running in order to cross a gap between two structures, you (as Faith) can do things that you might never even think of trying in a different game.

During the demo, we got a taste of many of the different moves that Faith is capable of, including the aforementioned leaps, climbs, and wall-runs. Beyond those incredible acrobatics--seen in a first-person view--the thing that stood out to us was the relatively simple color scheme of the game's graphics, with lots of whites dominating the landscape. Contrast that with the HUD-less presentation and the red colors that indicate Faith's path through the levels that make up Mirror's Edge world, and you have a game with a look all its own.

The red color indicates the correct way through a level. It might show up on a pipe that you can walk over, or on a door that you need to walk through to continue the adventure. In some cases, the path will be a bit obscured; Mirror's Edge will have its own puzzle elements as well. For example, in the demo, Faith found herself in a room that she had to escape by reaching the ventilation shaft near the ceiling. Looking around, you could see a few ledges that were glowing red, indicating that you'd need to wall-jump and grab on to the ledges before hauling Faith up to the ventilation shaft.

In some cases, the path of escape won't immediately be apparent, even as things get dangerous for Faith. Though you can play the entire game without firing a weapon--there's an achievement for doing so--there are guns in the game that you can take from defeated enemies. During the final scene of the demo, Faith found herself on the roof of a building, with a number of guards trying to take her down. At first there was no immediate avenue of escape available, until the helicopter arrived. True to form, the landing bars of the copter were the avenue of Faith's escape, which she reached by leaping off of the building and grabbing for them. The final shot in the demo had Faith hanging off of the copter's landing bars, being whisked off to safety.

In all, the DICE presentation of Mirror's Edge did a great job of getting us excited to learn more about this game and its seemingly simple interface. We're intrigued by both the look and the story for Mirror's Edge, and it helps that Faith is a looker in her own right. We can't wait to get our hands on her--err, the game, that is.