June 25, 2011

Weekend Thought of the Day: Mirrors Edge and E3 lacking originality…

This year’s E3 has come and gone and was very mundane. It was full of “eh” moments and yet again, it had a very bad case of sequelidous. We had all of the big names there but one was yet again left out and it makes me sad, Mirror’s Edge. Released in 2008, it was an experiment from the makers of Battlefield, DICE, that was well received but was lost in the holiday rush because it was something different and not a well established franchise (suffered from the Beyond Good & Evil syndrome). DICE and EA have been hinting at a sequel for a couple of years now and have said it is an “important” franchise, there where is my sequel? Rumors swirled at E3 this year of a sequel being built on DICE’s in-house engine, Frostbite 2.0. The original game was built on Unreal 3 and textures popped in (something that appears in every Unreal 3 game, you would think Epic would address this issue already), but ran smoothly and had a gorgeous, realized world. Faith, the main protagonist, was a breath of fresh air to female video game characters. Faith was smart, athletic, tattooed, and not an over glorified sex symbol (*cough, Lara Croft, *cough). For being a quasi-FPS, there was no brown to be seen. The game was rich with color; the white city back drop, vibrant interior colors, and red to show your path. The city felt sterile, devoid of life, robotic. You were the streak of color running from roof top to roof top, passing along the information that was considered contraband in this dystopia. The game did have its share of problems, way finding was tricky at times, there was a lot of trial and error, and the combat could use an overhaul. The game was a breath of fresh air in the stagnant sequels we see year in and year out. I play the game here and there and at least one full play through once a year. It reminds me that there still is creativity in this industry and that it can come from unexpected places. There were some surprises this year that came in the form of downloads, From Dust and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Even Rayman Origins shows much promise. I understand this is an industry and it comes down to making money, but to have growth there needs to be original IP’s that is just as successful as stable franchises. So now you know my go to original game that suffered the fate of most Tim Schaffer games are doomed to(Tim’s games are great, yet never see the sales they deserve). So what is your and would you like to see more original games or are you fine plucking away at the same sequels every year?

2 comments

  1. ScrotusKilmystr - June 26, 2011 3:49 pm

    yes the industry is severly lacking in fresh new IPs! Mirror’s edge is a great game in it’s originality but it does have a learning curve in two parts 1 being the button layout is a little tricky but needed to do the parkour acrobatic stuff needed to play and 2 is that it actually works against you to grab a gun and start shooting you slow down so while playing you have to train yourself not to grab a weapon and shoot everything
    And you are right it does seem like downloadable IPs seem to be the most orginal as of late like Tourchligt one of my favorites so the year so far
    good read cabbie

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  2. CharcoalCoyote - June 26, 2011 8:40 am

    I’m on an interesting line with this particular topic. There’s a difference between having a series and just pumping out sequels. Look at Legend of Zelda, for example. With the exception of maybe three or four pairs of games, none of them are even related to each other storyline-wise. Yet every Zelda fan is still clamoring to get their hands on the next game in this twisted series? Why? Because every game there’s something new. A new world to explore, a new story to enjoy, new puzzles to solve, new memories to be made. (That might be a little much, but I loves mah Zelda games.) On the other hand, look at “Generic Console Shooter 3”. Do you remember the story of any of the Generic Console Shooter games? Maybe some tidbits. But does that even matter? I mean, you only bought the game for the multiplayer, right? Well, tell me how much the multiplayer’s changed? New maps, new guns, new traits… essentially a palatte swap. Really and truly, some of the most interesting games I’ve played recently have been on handheld systems, even the iPod Touch *DUN DUN DUUUUN*

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