The decision to turn Mirror’s Edge 2 open-world seems logical enough; the free-running dream made real. It’s the urban equivalent of Skyrim’s distant-mountaintop promise: If you can see a rooftop, you can hop, slip and slide your way there.
But Mirror’s Edge was never really about choice. Sure, its greatest pleasures were to be found sourcing new routes in its Time Trial mode - but were those really choices, or optimisations?
Tymon Smektala would probably suggest the latter. He’s working at Techland on the Dead Island developers’ free-roaming zombie jumparoo, Dying Light, and is a little tired of the comparisons to DICE’s flawed opus.
“I think it’s a lazy thing to say,” said Smektala of the comparsions between Dying Light, Mirror’s Edge, and Techland’s previous work. “If you look at the game, it has zombies in it and it’s melee-based, so it is Dead Island, then you look at it again and see that the motion has that free-running aspect to it, so it is Mirror’s Edge.”
The producer acknowledges that the description works insofar as it “covers the basics” of Dying Light - but really represents only “a very small part of the picture”.
“Mirror’s Edge really was a game that opened a lot of eyes, but even though it looked like it was set in an open-world, it was a corridor game with only a few objects that you could interact with,” Smektala told AusGamers. “With the current demo of Dying Light, and how the whole game plays right now - I’m pretty happy with how it plays - you’re really not limited.
"You can think of any way to get around the environment and you can use that way. If it looks like it’s realistic for you to go there.”
Oop. There they are, the magic words. I’m wary, though, given that Dead Island’s worlds were pretty well-gated. If Skyrim was the Baldur’s Gate of 3D RPGs, Dead Island was Diablo. What do you reckon?