The sequel the fans deserve!
Electronic Arts has repeatedly assured fans that Mirror's Edge as a series will not die, that one day we'll get the sequel of our dreams. Nevertheless, folks remain skeptical that we'll ever see Mirror's Edge 2. The original game didn't perform spectacularly and had a few issues that kept the mainstream from paying attention.
Nevertheless, the game had a strong cult following, and fans continue to hope for a new installment.
What would such a game entail? What would we even want from Mirror's Edge 2? After much soul-searching and discussion with fans, I've drawn up a must-have list of all the things we could want in a sequel. If you're a real follower of Faith and her adventures, you're bound to agree.
More guns and combat
Mirror's Edge was interesting in that acrobatics, quick thinking, and knowledge of the terrain were more important than tackling the enemies head-on. Faith was a runner, not a fighter, and that's something a few people appreciated. However, it wasn't visceral enough, thus it would behoove EA and DICE to think about what really makes Mirror's Edge what it is -- guns.
It's all very well having wall-running and long-jumping, but we already did that in the first game. If Mirror's Edge 2 is to keep fans invested, it needs to do something fresh, something visceral, something that would invigorate the series and give gamers something they're not used to. I propose that we reduce the environmental navigation stuff by about 84% and replace it with huge flat environments populated by cover that Faith could duck behind, popping heads through the iron sights of an M4 carbine. It would be a visceral experience that would add a lot of visceral combat to the game.
Don't get me wrong -- Mirror's Edge was and still is a beautiful game. At the time of release, it had at least 10 more graphics than its leading competitors, and it is still able to graphic better than some of the top games we have in the market right now. However, one problem I had was that it wasn't believable. Bright white buildings? Blue skies? That's just not realistic, and it took me out of the experience a lot.
Mirror's Edge 2 could do with some browns and at least 49 more shades of grey in order to make a vibrant, lifelike game that I could actually feel immersed in. This isn't Mickey Mouse's House of Mouse, this is real life, where the sky and the grass could be mistaken for cold concrete. I can't take a game seriously if it has more than three colors in it, because it makes me think of Ren & Stimpy.
Online multiplayer mode
Look, I love Mirror's Edge as much as the next guy, but seriously? Single-player only? What, are we playing games on Xbox 360 or fuckin' Atari here? A single-player game released in this day and age will die horribly in a market populated by competitive online experiences such as Skyrim Wars, L.A. Combat, and Heavy Rain of Bullets From Guns. All I want is for Mirror's Edge 2 to succeed, and the only way it'll do that is if it has a multiplayer mode.
All games are automatically made more fun by the inclusion of competitive multiplayer, because once you've captured a flag in Halo, you must capture all the flags in all of the games forever. When I beat Mirror's Edge's solo campaign (and by "beat" I mean "stopped playing after 40 minutes"), I was ready to capture some flags. Imagine my abject horror at discovering that there were no flags to be captured! FUCK! I had to make my own flags by skewering raffle tickets with cocktail sticks before tossing them into the backyard and crawling in the wet grass, scrabbling to pick them back up, naked and crying as I tried to capture them and fill the gaping anus in my soul. I can't believe DICE did that to me.
Don't make the same mistake twice.
Like all true gamers, I can't concentrate on narrative campaigns without another player running around, screaming into a microphone, and impatiently demanding I skip cutscenes so they can keep doing that runny-jumpy thing everybody seems to love doing online. I still have no idea what the first Mirror's Edge was about because I didn't share the experience with a random 13-year-old over Xbox Live.
If EA has any respect for storytelling in games, it'll make sure to implement cooperative play so that I can finally pay attention without my mind wandering off and thinking about something else like eggs or witches.
It's like BioWare said -- true hardcore gamers demand downloadable content almost immediately. After spending $60 on a videogame, I'm outright furious if I find out some sleazy publisher has stopped me giving it even more money. I just paid 60 bucks for the damn thing! I'm entitled to spend at least 30 more if I want to, damn it!
If Mirror's Edge 2 wants my cash, it better have a range of different-colored gloves, shoes, and pants for me to purchase before I even get the shrink wrap off the box. I'd also love to buy a range of cheats and other items that used to be available for free in past generations. Also, if DICE could withhold some campaign content to sell to me later, I'd seriously appreciate the chance to get rid of all this cash in my bank account. I'm afraid of credit card fraud, and spending it all right now would make me sleep easier at night.
It'd also be fantastic if the sectioned-off content could be integrated behind a pay wall within the game itself, because it's immersive to be told by an NPC that it wants 800 Microsoft Points in exchange for opening a door. Happens to me in real life all the time, so why not in games too?
Some proprietary social networking thing
If there's one thing that enhances my experience of any videogame, it's some weird proprietary Facebook knock-off that's forced into the game and won't run without it. I'd love to be made to open a Web browser in order to boot my game off of a page so that I can receive friend requests and messages from people who will never use it.
We could call it EdgeNet, the FaithWeb, or something else cool and catchy. Basically, I want something that looks like Facebook because Facebook is popular, and that means if Mirror's Edge 2 has something that looks like Facebook, it will be popular as well. This is called marketing and the fiscal economy, okay?
Oh, and put Twitter in it. Gotta get my Tweet on, guys.
An online pass
I don't know about you, but I sleep easier at night knowing that the games I play aren't being enjoyed by fucking thieves, like the villainous bandits who purchase games at GameStop at a cheaper price rather than spending $60 at launch like a noble and heroic consumer. This isn't Mad Max, and a few of us still have some damn standards left.
When I open a new game, the first thing I like to be greeted with is a code that I have to input in order to receive no tangible benefit. This lets me know that the publisher takes it consumer loyalty seriously, forcing us to prove ourselves to our favorite corporations in exchange for the thing we paid for. It's a matter of principle, you know? I like a company with conviction and honor, and being made to enter 25-digit codes into a virtual keypad is the best way to reassure me that you're on the level.
If anything, I think the current online pass model isn't good enough. We should have three passes per game -- one for the single-player, one for the co-op, and one for the competitive multiplayer. If Mirror's Edge 2 made me input three codes to access all of its content, I'd really know I bought a quality product. Let's make it happen, guys!
A free fuck up the arse by an EA executive with every purchase
Seriously, EA suits, visit the home of every person who buys Mirror's Edge 2 and just cram the entirety of your rigid dick -- and crinkled balls -- right up the fucking arse of the first person to answer the door. Feel free to laugh while you do it, and even do a bit of piss if you want. Give something back to your customers.
We've earned it, after all!