Top 5 Changes to Expect in the Mirror’s Edge Prequel
Well the critics finally listed to all of the mistimed Mirror’s Edge references and unresearched rants I’ve been putting out onto the internet for the last couple of years and actually managed to green light a sequel (well, prequel) to one of my favourite games of all time, Mirror’s Edge.
But now that we’ve finally made it to this glorious day, and keeping in mind the comments about making the series “more accessible” which have all the original fans so worried, I thought it would be a good time to brainstorm some of the top changes we will probably see when this prequel hits the shelves.
5. Tighter Gunplay
Diving right in, one of the bigger changes I expect to see in this prequel is the way guns are handled. Guns always seemed like a weird addition for Mirror’s Edge, especially since the game actively rewards you for not using them (through achievements and general speed performance in terms of time trials). On top of their odd placement, they were clunky to use and largely ineffective in most confrontations – in fact most times you were using a gun, running up and punching the enemy would have been more effective. Now based on this I would say to take guns out, but knowing the mainstream audience’s love of shooters I think this is out of the question. So instead that leaves us with revamping the gunplay to make it actually enjoyable and actually suitable for the game – which will be difficult to accomplish, but my money says they will try it anyway.
4. More Characters
Now this isn’t to say that Mirror’s Edge was devoid of characters. Obviously it centred around Faith but there was also her good-natured mentor Merc, her sister Kate and other runners like Celeste and Jacknife as well as handful of others. But the ways these characters interacted with the gameplay was always pretty stilted. They would be the object to reach at the end of a level, but very rarely were they involved in completing the level itself. In this next game I think a much higher level of interaction with other characters in the game can be expected, not so much because it was necessary the first time around but maybe because we had so much alone time with Faith last time that another whole game of her snide comments into the phone to a far-flung character in a room somewhere would feel kind of repetitious.
3. Being a Runner
This is something a lot of fans have pointed out and was actually a pretty noticeable deficiency in Mirror’s Edge: For a game which is assumedly about Runners and their role in a dystopian society, there really wasn’t a lot of content to explore which directly related to the work Runners do or the way their career-society operated. The games plot took off pretty quickly and left the whole Runner concept as a starting point alone – which feels really weird when you look back on it closely. Especially considering this is a prequel, I think we can definitely say that there will be a lot more gameplay surrounding what Runners do and how they do it this time around – and I’m actually looking forward to it quite a lot.
2. Side Missions
Why side missions? Well half because this is another trend I’ve noticed in a lot of popular games (which game developers no doubt also notice) and half because Mirror’s Edge almost tried to include this as a concept but it was underutilised and under noticed by the fan base. The whole “secret bags” idea, where supply drops were hidden throughout levels (almost like hidden areas really) was a nod toward optional objectives which wasn’t really expanded upon in the first game and inevitably wasn’t really a major concern for players either. This next time around, working with what I assume is a more open world, I think we can expect side missions or at the very least side objectives to play a much larger part in the way we complete levels – which also ensures a higher level of replayability, which realistically Mirror’s Edge kind of needed.
1. More Open Levels
And my top spot goes to the most important point, if not the most imaginative, more open levels than the last game. While Mirror’s Edge felt amazing at its high points, it could also feel very cramped and stop-start at its worser moments – which unfortunately increased as the game went on. Despite beginning with open levels on roof tops which really let you pick up speed, the later levels involved the inside of buildings (or in one case a boat) which really impeded your enjoyment as you couldn’t afford to pull off the high speed parkour tricks which made this game so great. In the next game I expect a lot more open environments and a lot more focus on letting you explore your speed and its capacity without throwing too many cramped environments and closed doors in your way – which, if pulled off correctly, couldn’t be more welcome.