Free-Running Game

Despite all its flaws, Assassin's Creed is incredibly fun because of it's Free-Running. It's a shame that all the missions and story elements slow the overall experience rather than strengthen it. The speed reminds me a little bit of Burnout Paradise where you'll make an infinite amount of mistakes that will slow your progress, but in time you'll learn your location and begin to use it to your advantage.

I almost wish that there was a Free-Running racing game in the works. You'd think Sega would've done an incredible Sonic the Hedgehog game by now, but... you'd be dead wrong.

All this Free-Running in the ancient world has got me even more excited for the upcoming game entitled Mirror's Edge.

First Contact

Mirror's Edge is a 1st person free-running game that reminds me a lot of The Matrix, Portal, and Oni. I first came across this game when GameGirl.com did a feature. The initial trailer looked stunning.

Trailer 1: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/33586.html

You play as Faith, a message courier in a world ruled by Police and controlled information. As a Courier your duty is to transport messages from point A to point B without being caught and keep information free.

Despite being developed by DICE, known for Battlefield 1942 and subsequent games, the focus is completely on movement and your character. As the GameGirl preview says, Carrying a weapon only slows you down so you'll have to make decisions whether or not you'll need a gun.

This week

With E3 in full swing, everyone has gotten the chance to play Mirror's Edge and everyone sounds quite positive about it. When playing the game, you have to overcome your own paradigm of how far you can jump and what you can do and begin thinking in terms of the character and what she can do, how far she can jump, and so forth.

Here's someone running through the demo: http://www.gamevideos.com/video/id/19944
(via kotaku)

As you can see, it's the exactly same scenario as the previous trailer except now you have someone demostrating it, rather than someone going through it perfectly.

Jeff Green of GFW was saying that designers had designed the levels in such a way that when you first go through them, you're basically finding any way to the end. The put easy ramps and jumps in places that you can naturally find. But once you've gone through the game a bit further and get more familiar with what Faith can do, when you go back to the original levels you'll start to see more short cuts. The game is kinda designed for speed runs and time trials.

One huge concern that people are having about this game is the obvious motion sickness and vertigo created by the constant movement and high altitude leaps. Joystiq has an article that explains how they overcome this. Omitted from the trailers and a single blue dot as a focal point in the center of the screen which the player can use to center themselves. The designers came across this technique from interviewing ballerinas about how they perform spins without feeling sick. The trick is to focus on a single point.

Along with the demo, comes another spiffy trailer: http://www.gamevideos.com/video/id/19906

I'm probably sold

The game looks sweet by I have some concerns about length of game and story. Honestly, if the gameplay is fantastic, who cares about story. Just as long as the story either heightens the gameplay or stays completely out of the way, I'll be fine with it. From the demo above, it seems that the story won't be too annoying. That scripted event at the end was kinda dumb though.

The length of the game is a concern because I don't want to pay $60 for 6 or 7 levels the same size as that demo. I want a bunch of levels that are very unique in location from each other and offer a variety of puzzles rather than the same thing over and over again. From impressions I've heard, it sounds like it has the variety, but I'm still concerned on the length.

So, If I were to buy the game, the question comes down to what platform do I purchase Mirror's Edge for? Well, DICE is a PC game developer, so the lead platform has got to be windows based. I'm thinking they'll be more concerned with that crowd over the Playstation 3, so that leaves Windows v. Xbox. Pfft, obviously there's no way my computer is going to run this thing without crashing, so I guess I'll pick it up on Xbox.

The other little incentive to actually buying the game rather than waiting or renting it is that Gamestop is offering Faith's messenger bag as a pre-order bonus! (via joystiq): Available here.

It looks like a very nice piece of video game swag and hides it's geeky nature quite well. I've already got a spiffy laptop bag though, along with a secondary backpack. I'm afraid I have no use for this thing other thing putting it in my closet next to my Adobe Max laptop bag and NFJS backpack laptop bag.

Perhaps I'll without judgment until PAX when it'll probably be on the show floor there and I can actually play it for myself.




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