We've had plenty of time to think...
It's been almost five years since Faith Connors first ran her way through the rooftops of "The City," which is both hard to believe and an absolute tragedy. Rumors about a sequel have been thrown around since the original launched, but with a new console generation comes new speculation about a second adventure for the Runners.
Now that these rumors have reminded us of all our good times with Mirror's Edge, we couldn't help but wonder just what this theoretical romp in parkour paradise needs. We've come up with 15 ideas for Mirror's Edge 2 that would knock our running shoes right off.
Do not, repeat, DO NOT make the sequel more action-y
Mirror's Edge was the perfect blend of action and free-running. We always loved the fluidity of being on the run, yet if we wanted to pick up a gun and shoot someone, we could. That perfect formula is what made the game so damn fun, and we'll be mighty upset if the scales tip in the favor of more action-based sequences as other EA sequels have done in the past.
No need to fix what isn't broken, EA and DICE. That synergy is essential to the entire experience, and messing with it will only detract from what makes Mirror's Edge so good. Leave it alone, we're begging you.
Keep the "little bit of color on mostly white" motif
The first game had a graphical style all its own, splashing bits of color to highlight important parts of what otherwise is a bland world of white, black, and grey. We knew where we had to go and how we had to get there because of the red beams, poles, and ramps laid out in front of us. This subtle approach helps us maneuver through the world without being too obtrusive, and we appreciated every bit of it.
We would love to see this idea revisited in Mirror's Edge 2. Perhaps different colors could signal different types of obstacles or something along those lines, but this unique style must come back. Most games tell the player how to succeed; few games direct gamers like Mirror's Edge.
Runner Vision and Reaction Time need to come back too
We wouldn't have been so in tune with the color-as-a-guide motif if it weren't for the excellent Runner Vision mechanic. The world blurs around us as we gain speed, things we can use in our travels become even more emphasized, and sometimes those highlighted obstacles become a puzzle for how to proceed that must be solved in three seconds. If things get too hairy, we can slow time down with the also-excellent Reaction Time mechanic and come up with a plan. Fantastic!
We fully expect that both of these features would return in a Mirror's Edge sequel. Runner Vision is basically how the game is presented anyhow, and Reaction Time proved to be very valuable throughout the campaign. Mirror's Edge wouldn't be the same without these two, though we wonder how the modes will be enhanced for next-gen.
No new protagonists. We want to keep the Faith
There's no possible way anyone could convince us that exchanging Faith Connors for a new protagonist would be a good idea. Faith IS Mirror's Edge, Mirror's Edge IS Faith. The two are joined for life, never to be separated, so why would we want to control anyone but Faith the second time around?
Faith's story has plenty more chapters that can be told; from the rescue of her sister Kate to the strained relationship with her father, we have more we want to see out of Ms. Connors. George Michael said it best: ya gotta have Faith.
Speaking of Faith's sister Kate, there's a good chance the two are hiding out together after the events of the previous game. The five years we've waited for a new Mirror's Edge game is plenty of time to teach Kate the ways of the Runners, so why not implement that in a co-op mode?
The game is plenty fun as a single-player experience, but incorporating a co-op story where two people can run through the rooftops of The City is tantalizing. There could even be a few stages where the two are dependent on each other, shifting the environment as they ran to make things easier for one another. We would spend hours on this, HOURS. Give it to us.
Any kind of multiplayer will do, really
Maybe our co-op dreams are a bit lofty, but Mirror's Edge has plenty of potential for any kind of multiplayer mode. The Time Attack mode from the original already was a type of competitive multiplayer with its online leaderboards; we can expand on this!
How about a competitive race mode where multiple Runners race against each other in a giant obstacle course with branching paths and the ability to hinder other racers' progress? Perhaps a one-on-one duel where the path only has obstacles to jump and slide under, sort of like a Runners drag race? These things could keep players busy for an eternity!
There are more solo possibilities beyond Time Attack
The aforementioned Time Attack worked perfectly with the single-player approach to the original Mirror's Edge. The obstacle courses gave players something else to do besides the campaign, and the online leaderboards added a competitive edge. However, there are some more solo adventures to be had, and we've got some ideas.
We'd love to see some kind of Trials mode, where we'll have to complete tasks like "jump X amount of ledges in succession" or "walk on this never-ending narrow ledge for as long as possible." There could even be leaderboards for the trials too, we don't care. We're sure the campaign will be glorious, but if it's as short as the first one, we'll need these type of challenges to hold maintain our post-game interest.
A third-person option for those with motion sickness?
A handful of folks out there really wanted to play Mirror's Edge. They wanted to love it as much as the franchise's biggest fans do. However, they were hampered by terrible motion sickness, rendering them too queasy to run rooftops for more than a few seconds. There's only one option available to those who get sick easily: third-person mode.
Now, would a third-person perspective change the entire experience? Absolutely. However, it seems unfair to leave out those who can't handle the fast-paced first-person action without getting sick, so throwing in a third-person option would be a nice gesture. In theory it'd probably play much like Assassin's Creed or Uncharted, and the new perspective wouldn't be mandatory. Still, even if you weren't prone to motion sickness, the mode would make a second playthrough feel pretty fresh.
Speaking of motion sickness, no motion controls period
We don't want to run in place while we parkour. We don't need the PS Move controller in our hands, replicating our arm-swing velocity in-game to get the maximum power in our jump. We certainly don't want the Kinect watching us jump around our living room either. No matter what potential EA might see in it, leave motion controls out of this.
Mirror's Edge's gameplay is best experienced while sitting down with a standard controller, so that's the atmosphere that once again needs to be realized. We won't be able to admire the minimalist beauty of the city while flailing around like idiots. Save it for another game.
We'll make an exception for Oculus Rift
Okay, the Oculus Rift may not be "motion control," it's more virtual reality, but whatever you want to call it, Mirror's Edge 2 would be a total trip with that headgear on. The first one looks cool enough in demos, why wouldn't the second one be enhanced by the new technology as well, particularly if it was made with the Rift in mind?
The Oculus Rift would immerse us in the world of the Runners more than any big-screen TV could ever accomplish, and the first-person perspective would make us feel like we were parkour experts ourselves. If we can consider third-person play for the motion sick types, we can certainly go for Oculus Rift compatibility for the iron stomachs out there.
Tell us more about this city, we don't even know its name
How many times have you had this exchange: "Hey, where does Mirror's Edge take place?" "The City." "What city?" "The City!" "WHAT CITY?" ad nauseum. Don't lie, this has happened to at least one of you out there. Abbott and Costello emulation aside, we don't know a whole lot about the setting of Mirror's Edge, aside from that it's a city called "The City."
We'd love to hear more about this urban landscape: how it came to be, where in the world it's located, what it's actual name is, anything really. The mix of a futuristic design and oppressive police presence gives that metropolis a unique spirit, one that's too distinct to not to be fleshed out.
Also, "The City" seems huge, so let's explore all of it
Mirror's Edge was broken into specific missions, specified by dates and times provided to us before we began. We loved running through The City and traversing its many obstacles, but there's no way we traveled the whole thing. The City looks huge, and we can't shake the feeling we've barely scratched the surface.
Mirror's Edge 2 may benefit from an open-world aspect, allowing us to see the entire City in between missions, perhaps wandering off the beaten path for acrobatic side quests. Ancillary missions and other urban intricacies could be buried throughout the place, we just need the linear leash to be taken off. We want to go to the City limits, so let us!
Rooftops are cool and all, but what about the streets?
We're hard pressed to believe that the only way around this town is rooftops and buildings. We've been to the ground floor of some sections of the original, so we've even seen the streets with our own eyes, but we didn't spend nearly enough time down there. We want to be takin' it to the streets, Doobie Brothers-style.
What if there was a mission or two in Mirror's Edge 2 where the obstacles weren't cranes or boxes, but innocent bystanders? We'd have to avoid capture while at the same time avoid the citizens of The City, maneuvering through the crowds while using our parkour. Maybe even hop across cars in oncoming traffic. You could even call the Achievement/Trophy "I'm Walking Here!" We hope you're listening EA.
We have a few scores to settle
There are a few bad seeds in the City that the original game didn't give us the opportunity to settle our score with. First and foremost is Celeste, Faith's one-time teacher and the Benedict Arnold to the Runners' Colonial Army who joined the Pursuit Cops when she was revealed to be a turncoat. We'd like to slap her around a bit, and we hope a sequel gives us the chance.
Oh, and what of Callaghan, the unseen force behind the game's events? She's a central bad guy, yet she received ZERO screen time. How is that possible? Clearly she was being setup as a foil for a sequel. Hopefully the long-awaited second game would finally address the situation, as we've waited half a decade for a showdown with this mysterious malefactor.
Will Pirandello Kruger be back, or is there a bigger group we should worry about?
We saw the signs for this security group throughout the entire game with the motto "Securing Your World" emblazoned on each one. This seems to be the group running security in The City, even with the City Protection Force on the job as well. These guys are not to be messed with, but is there a bigger threat looming?
We spoke about Callaghan earlier and her influence, so who's to say she doesn't have a larger security force at her beck and call? Maybe another security firm wants to challenge PK for The City? We don't know where EA and DICE would go with it, but consider us intrigued.
We've reached the edge of our ideas...
That's everything we've come up with so far, but we know we're not the only ones thinking of what we'd want in Mirror's Edge 2. Leave a comment letting us know what you think of our ideas, and more importantly, what ideas we left out. And here's hoping we'll see any of these when the game is likely revealed at this year's E3.
For more next-gen coverage, check out Xbox One vs PS4 - Which one looks best (so far)?, or for more speculation on upcoming games, take a look at 7 Ways Call of Duty Ghosts can freshen up the franchise