How does Mirror’s Edge Stand Out?

What do you consider to be some of the deepest games ever, or at least by you?

Considering depth is my standard of quality, you could just ask what I think the best games are.

I’d probably go with like, Guilty Gear AC+R, Project M, Starcraft Brood War, Quake, most of the best stylish action games. Probably throw Go in as well, that really stands out among tabletop games.

Since you said deepest, I’m gonna throw in Mirror’s Edge, as a show of personal bias. This is mostly because Req posted a sick as fuck video recently and I gotta share it. Especially the first sequence in the video, and the one near the middle at 3:50. I wish MEC was seriously just the mechanics from the first game with better level design, of similar environmental density.

Can you explain how Mirror’s Edge manages to stand out from most games that have parkour systems? I haven’t played it myself but I have seen the videos you’ve posted.

I’ll say this again in case anyone hasn’t heard it by now, if you play the game it is intended to be played, then it is boring.

What really stands out about it for me is that they have all these different options for optimizing movement across variable terrain. You have options for getting up to speed, for moving faster, for getting height, for descending. And all these options are sorted by how fast they are to complete, and how much speed they give you. Then on top of that, there’s ways to do all of these more optimally based on how how smoothly you do the input. There’s different climbing animations depending on how high you hit a ledge, and some of them will actually speed you up if you land at the right height.

Also, Mirror’s Edge doesn’t have significant snap-to point mechanics for a lot of things (like assassin’s creed), it’s about traversal of a complex environment in which you can feel every vertice of the environment. You frequently need to abuse small out-jutting bits of geometry to get a better climb up, or to land without needing to roll or take fall damage. There’s many parts where there’s a roof down below you need to land on, but not roll, so you need to land on a rail or some other thing jutting up to not fall as far to avoid rolling (Req’s video shows a number of these, including failed attempts so you can see the contrast).

It’s a game that allows insane creativity for linking structures and areas together because there’s just so many ways to use the movement mechanics and the environments are so dense, and environmental geometry is interpreted on the fly for the purpose of environmental interactions such as wallrunning, edge hanging, and even springboards (which is especially weird, considering you’d expect that to be deliberately placed nodes only). You will not see this in anything else but a 3d mario game really. Mirror’s Edge doesn’t try to be a parkour game necessarily, it tries to be a platformer. It’s not trying to link together animation blended and IK’d movement sequences. It’s trying to provide dynamic environments and a sequence of moves that can be used to traverse those environments that each have different tradeoffs between them. It doesn’t always succeed at that, but with glitches and surprisingly detailed out of bounds areas it does.


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