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Mirror’s Edge Prequel to Take Full Advantage of Next-Gen Consoles

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Tech Biz

Mirror’s Edge Prequel to Take Full Advantage of Next-Gen Consoles

EA: Mirror’s Edge 2 is “not possible on the current generation.”

The parkour-inspired first person platformer Mirror’s Edge was a cult hit in the video gaming community after its release in 2008. Fans hungry to once again take control of the game’s protagonist, Faith Connors, were treated to an E3 reveal trailer earlier this month – nearly five years after the original’s debut. EA Labels president Frank Gibeau was in attendance at E3 to also confirm that the next installment will have an open world structure.

DICE, the EA developer responsible for the Battlefield and Dead Space franchises – as well as the original Mirror’s Edge – will be taking the reins for the reboot and utilizing the new Frostbite 3 gaming engine. It will allow for increasingly natural physics and more detailed renderings on next generation consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

“Before, developers would have had to do a lot of work to make a tree move with the wind,” said Frostbite technical artist Andy Klein in an interview with Polygon. “Frostbite, however, gives developers the ability to apply natural forces like wind consistently across trees, clouds and waves.”

It can also make characters’ faces appear far more human, something that was easy to notice in the short but sweet E3 reveal trailer. Faith’s face, down to the pores of her skin and the irritated red area around her tattoos, looked closer to photo reality than just about any other video game character in memory. According to EA’s Patrick Soderlund, executive vice president of EA Games Label, bringing these subtle touches wouldn’t have been possible on consoles like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3:

“I’ll be honest with you: we’ve been looking at Mirror’s Edge for many years and had small prototype teams and incubations around what it could be. But it wasn’t until Sara Jansson, who is now the producer on it, came to me and called Karl-Magnus Troedsson and said, ‘Listen, I have an idea for what this could be.’

She presented a vision so inspiring that we were like, ‘We have to build this now.’ The interesting part is that it was a game that could only be built in gen four and that was cool. I liked that because what they’re doing, it’s not possible on the current generation.”

If the tattoo shop sequence in the reveal trailer is any indication, Mirror’s Edge 2 is likely to be a prequel. Soderlund was mum about specific details, but he promised that DICE is “taking more of an action-adventure approach on it than maybe before. First-person, running predominantly. This will be more of an action adventure game, but true to what the first one was to a large extent.”

As indicated at the end of the E3 footage, Mirror’s Edge 2 is coming “when it’s ready.” It will likely hit shelves sometime in 2014.

The “Game Announcement Teaser Trailer” can be seen here.