DICE talk Mirror’s Edge first-person view, character connection

When many of us are getting ready to jump, slide and fight your way across the skyscrapers in Mirror’s Edge, which is released tomorrow in NA and on Friday in EU, it’s always interesting to hear the developer’s viewpoint on certain aspects of the game. The biggest selling point of Mirror’s Edge has been that you are in total control of your character and that it feels like it’s you that are risking your life and limbs. Thus, the first-person view of the game is more than just belonging to a genre and DICE recently explained how they reasoned in an interview with Gamasutra.

“We really wanted to create a connection with you and the character, and the fact that you’re playing the game through the eyes of Faith; as soon as you get to third person, you would be watching Faith, whereas we want you to be connected to her,” said producer Nick Channon.

“The analogy we give is ‘being in an action movie, instead of playing it,’ and I think that’s more rewarding. And I think, also, we wanted to create something very fresh, and it’s been a challenge, but we’re really pleased with where we are,” he added.

Instead of watching the character’s animations, expressions and movements, the players will get to know Faith through a very detailed first-person view and through the 2D animated sequences in between missions.

I don’t think it’s that easy to just say that first-person view makes you feel like you’re “playing the movie”. There’s probably many that agree when I say that you can get just as easily – or more – attached to a character in third-person view. When you’re playing a typical mute FPS-character (it’s quite often you just say “Crap, I died. Let’s hit Quick Load.” in contrast to a third-person character that you’re following and developing a relation to. I’m not arguing the fact that FPS is the way to go for Mirror’s Edge, but there’s always two sides of the coin.