Lets all be honest…how many original FPS games do you have on your “To Buy” List? By original, we don’t mean a sequel of a successful IP with the added ability of wall mounting. We mean totally original games that had the developers, producers and marketing teams, sweating over the first day of release…

A New Breed of FPS

Mirror’s Edge was released in November 2008. The games developer (Dice) had shown some very welcomed trailers showing FPS gameplay with a unique twist. In Mirror’s Edge, your first instinct wouldn’t be to grab the nearest gun or to shoot the nearest barrel. The gameplay was fast, fluid, but yet graceful in its delivery. Instead of hunting down enemies, your missions were to stealthily infiltrate and/or escape…as fast as possible. But it would take some serious game mechanics and level design, to keep the player hooked throughout.

The first thing that jumped-out to gamers were bright, clean and distinctive looks. The engine was sharp, cities looked believable and yet the engine still offered a futuristic anime-style.

mirrors edge level design

Stunning looks and level design achieved immediate attention

This jaw-dropping and unique FPS had you playing as the super athlete, Faith. In the unique and futuristic world of Mirror’s edge, Faith is a “Runner” who possesses incredible and fast initiative, acrobatic techniques and a “no fear” attitude to what you or I would class as suicide. When Mirror’s edge was first previewed, it was clear this FPS would take the genre in a new direction, using Faith’s abilities to maneuver around enemies, rather than gun through them.

Gameplay That Dared to be Different

Run, jump…and then run some more. Doesn’t really sound like much, does it? Surly an FPS needs more to retain the attention of the player? This is where Mirror’s Edge had stolen the spotlight at many gaming events. The way DICE had designed levels and enabled the player to fluidly move throughout their world, totally stunned gamers. Many of us thought that gameplay such as wall running, sliding and double jumping, could only seem plausible in a third person game…but early in-game footage of Mirror’s Edge, proved us all wrong.

mirrors edge wall run

Faith could pull off some pretty spectacular moves

Keep the Faith

So did this unique design and gameplay take the gaming industry by storm? Well…yes and no. Mirror’s Edge had certainly proved that such gameplay was possible in an FPS, but it also proved that such a new genre needed more time. We’re not saying Mirror’s Edge was rushed in any way, (the project has been reported to have taken 7 years) we’re simply saying that the gameplay needs time to evolve.

mirrors edge runner vision

Levels were fun and challenging to play but we hope to see 'Runner Vision' become much more apparent in a sequel

The release of Mirror’s Edge has given us a beautiful taste of what can be achieved in an FPS. Take millions of intrigued gamers and developer feedback and you’re looking at one potentially outstanding, sequel.

What Made Mirror’s Edge:

Gorgeous cities that had realistic structure and scale (but also offered animie style effects) Daring gameplay that pushed the possibilities of FPS gaming to a new and exciting level – Intense and fast paced combat maneuvers, such as wall running and disarming guards

mirrors edge cqc

Although you're encouraged to avoid one-on-one combat, the fight system in Mirror's Edge still offered some spectacular CQC moves

Gameplay Aspects that Require Attention:

– Runner Vision seemed to be inconsistent and ridiculously hard to spot at times

– Small jumping puzzles slowed gameplay down too much and often reverted to “old school” FPS strategies

– CQC Maneuvers were too few. Much more variation would be essential in a sequel (especially if the player can use slow motion to make such moves easier, therefore viewing these maneuvers more frequently and in much more detail)

– Story progressive cutscenes were totally inconsistent to the effort that had gone into initial level design. We found it hard to immerse ourselves in the world of Mirror’s Edge, with such a different look and feel during cutscenes

What’s your opinion on this refreshing FPS? DICE have officially confirmed that Mirror’s Edge 2 is already in development, so get your opinions on our comments section: