A show of good Faith
After endless speculation and secretly hoping, it's official: Mirror's Edge is coming back. The original adventure is far from your average first-person game--this is a franchise that zeroes in on the thrill of human mobility. As the nimble runner Faith, you sprint across futuristic rooftops, performing physically demanding feats of parkour while outrunning--or just straight-up beating down--armored bad guys. The thrill of climbing, jumping, sliding, barely surviving death-defying leaps; it all makes for an exhilarating high, no trigger-pulling necessary.
This new Mirror's Edge builds on much of what made the original so great, from traversal to combat and everything in between. So what can you expect from this sequel (which everyone will probably call Mirror's Edge 2 even though it doesn't technically have a name yet)? Read on to find out.
It's being developed by DICE
You probably know DICE from its work on the Battlefield series--but it also broke new ground by making the original Mirror's Edge. The studio that brought Faith to life will be crafting her world in the sequel, with a similar minimalist aesthetic and ridiculously smooth and acrobatic exploration of multi-tiered stages (likely to be set on many a rooftop).
The focus remains the same for the new Mirror's Edge: free-running traversal through levels that contain tons of different paths towards your end goal. But DICE also wants to incorporate new techniques into Faith's movements (though it won't say exactly what just yet), as well as refined audio and new-gen graphics that are just as elegant as the preceding game. As DICE says, this is "Faith for a new generation."
Levels are built with multiple routes in mind
As with the first Mirror's Edge, picking the quickest, most efficient path to your destination is all part of the challenge. To help out beginners, the most obvious path will be highlighted in red, showing a clear path towards pipes and air-units-turned-launch-pads. But those who are more adept at freerunning will often discover trickier travel routes, which seem to stray from the beaten path but end up being faster in the end.
This should give the game a universal appeal, inviting new players to enjoy Faith's runs at their own pace, while giving speed demons ways to shave off those precious seconds. We can't wait to see how the stage design in the new Mirror's Edge plays this up to the fullest.
Combat has been improved
In the very short trailer, the developers touched on the new and improved combat system. With Faith returning as the main character, we already know she is the tough-as-nails protagonist we expect to get in a game that was built around the concept of parkour. To go along with that expectation, Faith can also kick some ass, just as in the original.
The combat for the sequel has been made to flow with Faith's parkour abilities, meaning she can basically bowl through any guard that stands in her way. Faith is extremely efficient and powerful, and when she hits an enemy she pulverizes them in one swift motion and moves on.
The role of the runner is being redefined
In terms of story, the details are sparse at best. The reveal trailer touched on the role of the carriers--a group of parkour-skilled messengers to which Faith belongs. The developers are looking back at the role of the carriers and changing things up a bit to enable more varied gameplay.
In the previous game, the carriers were more or less noncombatants that needed to go from point A to point B as fast as possible. Perhaps with the reboot, the developers will change the carrier's role to be more aggressive, maybe encouraging players to take the more risky or violent path through a level if they see fit.
It's nowhere close to being finished
Don't think that you're going to be able to play the next Mirror's Edge this holiday season. We're going to have to wait at least a couple of months before we step into Faith's red shoes again. The developers didn't even have completely built-out levels to show in the reveal, as many of the gameplay clips had placeholder textures.
There's still a ton we don't know about the game. Will it take place in the same city as the previous title? Will the narrative surround the origin of the heroine? With there be any kind of cooperative or multiplayer modes? There are so many questions. But since the cat is out of the bag (meaning the game has been officially revealed), hopefully we'll get some answers very soon.
Leap of Faith
That's everything we've seen of the new Mirror's Edge thus far--but we can't wait for more details as they arrive. What do you want from the original game to come back for the sequel? And are there any aspects--like the shoddy gunplay--that you wouldn't mind seeing abandoned? Tell us about it in the comments below.