What are two of the best new IPs EA has published in recent years? The correct answer, is Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge. While neither title did a shedload of sales, both were imaginative, polished and damn good fun to run around/gut things in. It’s a bit surprising then, to hear EA Games head honcho Frank Gibeau paint both in a disappointing light.
Speaking in an interview with Develop he admitted: “both had some degree of success, but they didn't quite meet our expectations, for sure."
It seems the thing that irked Gibeau most about the brilliant space-set survival horror was the lack of multiplayer. “It made money for us, but didn't hit expectations. We felt like we had an IP that struck a chord, and one that hit quality, but it missed multiplayer modes.”
Above: Screw multiplayer, the creepy loners in us love a bit of space isolation
Now, we’ve played the multiplayer in Dead Space 2 recently, and while it has a certain stabby charm, we’d be surprised if many gamers don’t just treat it as an afterthought after single-player. Isaac got off easy next to Faith in Mirror’s Edge, though, because Gibeau really sticks the boot in DICE’s parkour-inspired adventure.
He said: “First-person parkour across buildings is fun, but to be blunt, Mirror's Edge's' execution fell short. There were issues with the learning curve, the difficulty, the narrative, and then there was no multiplayer either," he added. "The key learning from us was that if you're going to be bold with that kind of concept, you need to take it as far as it can go in development."
Above: Despite a steep learning curve, I love (LOVE!) Mirror's Edge
For this writer, Mirror’s Edge not only didn’t need multiplayer (if you were looking for a competitive edge there were the addictive online time trials that let you race other gamers’ ghosts), but it was also one of the freshest, boldest new IPs of the generation. So it’s worrying to hear the man who could well be responsible for commissioning a sequel to Faith’s game being so negative about the original.
Anyhoo, don't you listen Isaac and Faith. We still love you. Now, lets all copy Google Images chimpanzee and forget we ever heard any of this unpleasantness.
Nov 30, 2010