Next Mirror’s Edge Gets Name, Timeline Confirmation

Mirror's Edge CatalystThe next entry in the cult favorite first person parkour inspired action series Mirror’s Edge will be named Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and will not be a sequel to the 2008 original. Confirmed by an announcement made by Electronic Arts following the leaked trademark filing for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, DICE producer Sara Jannson confirmed the title and the relation of the 2016 game to its predecessor.

“This is not a sequel, this is not Mirror’s Edge 2. We have landed on a vision that honors the first game — pushing the boundaries of first person movement and diving deeper into the story behind our heroine Faith — but also brings a lot of great new, interesting gameplay and features to the experience for our players.” – Sara Jannson, Producer, DICE

The use of the subtitle Catalyst confirms much of the speculation that this Mirror’s Edge game would be a prequel, especially based on the E3 2013 trailer that showed series protagonist Faith getting her trademark digital tattoos on her arm along with developer statements focusing the game on the building blocks that made Faith. I think that a prequel is the right way to go because of the way that the original Mirror’s Edge unfolded, especially with the fairly open ending that had Faith and her sister Kate on the run from the government’s Project Icarus.

While we know where Faith ended up and are curious about her next chapter, explaining her origin is just as interesting. Faith, as a character was one of the more beloved identities of last generation, despite only appearing in one game where not much is known about her background. The idea of her becoming a runner, to becoming a part of the counter culture that essentially rebelled against the government’s constant surveillance is a story that can bring new audiences up to speed with the world and potentially set the tone for a true follow up to Mirror’s Edge.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst has been targeted for an early 2016 release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.

Polygon – The new Mirror’s Edge is called Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Have Faith, Mirror’s Edge 2 Launch Scheduled for Early 2016

Mirror's Edge 2Looks like Faith will be officially making her return in early 2016 with the launch of Mirror’s Edge 2. According to a financial earnings presentation by Electronic Arts, Mirror’s Edge 2 is set to debut in the first three months of 2016 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC, giving many fans a sigh of relief.

Battlefield developer DICE is returning to their parkour inspired story driven first person runner(?), a fan favorite that was a critical darling for approaching the first person shooter genre without an emphasis on combat but rather environment traversal. The original game came out in 2009 and is one of my personal favorites of last generation with a slick interface and setting, memorable characters and intuitive gameplay that relied heavily on reaction time to simple color changes.

Mirror’s Edge was thoughtful in a genre filled with mindless explosions, and required deft reflexes compared to its more blunt compatriots.

To say that I am excited for Mirror’s Edge 2 would be an understatement, but I have long had doubts that this game would ever see the light of day. DICE is hardly the company they were 6 years ago as they rarely experiment with their development and have preferred to stay safe by developing Battlefield games, which has worked for them. But for a company coming off the release of a Battlefield spin-off, the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront and an eventual return to core Battlefield, Mirror’s Edge 2 seemed like a far-off passion project.

Early 2016 is the right time for this game to come out as it will be coming out in a relatively lighter period where publishers are more prone to experiment. It avoids the logjam of the fall and the typically dead summer. So let’s get the word out that Mirror’s Edge 2 is actually happening and maybe we won’t have to wait another 7 years for Mirror’s Edge 3.

Polygon – Mirrors Edge 2 coming in early 2016

Star Wars Battlefront’s First Trailer Looks Great, Lacks Gameplay

Star Wars BattlefrontElectronic Arts and DICE are hitting the hype train right on schedule with the first official trailer for Star Wars Battlefront unveiled at the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. The game is scheduled to release November 17, 2015 on Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and Windows PC, the first Battlefront game in 10 years. Continue reading

Star Wars Battlefront is Officially Gorgeous

Star Wars Battlefront“That’s not CGI.”

Electronic Arts and DICE are hard at work on Star Wars Battlefront with the official unveil scheduled tomorrow as part of the ongoing Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. But if this early screenshot is any indication of the quality of the first Battlefront game in a decade, then this game has immediately jumped to the top of my watchlist for the Fall season. The game is expected to launch on November 17, 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.

Lead level designer at DICE, Dennis Brännvall, made a preemptive confirmation of the validity of the yet to be unveiled screenshots on Twitter, April 2.

He then put any questions on the screenshot’s validity to rest with three simple words.

Tomorrow’s gameplay reveal can’t come soon enough.

EA Delays Dragon Age: Inquisition and Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline

One of the ongoing punchlines regarding Electronic Arts’ E3 press conference this year was that it would be a pretty solid one…for 2015. Maybe the conglomerate is taking that criticism a little too literally.

In the span of two days, Electronic Arts made statements that both Dragon Age: Inquisition and Battlefield Hardline would be delayed. While Dragon Age: Inquisition will still make the 2014 Fall lineup after being delayed six weeks to November 18, Battlefield Hardline is being pushed all the way back into 2015, with no timetable given beyond “early 2015.”

Dragon Age: Inquisition

This is a particularly big sting for Electronic Arts as Battlefield Hardline was one of their tentpole franchises they have used to stay competitive with Activision and UbiSoft. Without Hardline in its Fall lineup, EA really has no action games to rely on for the remainder of the year.

Battlefield Hardline had come under a bit of scrutiny following its pre-E3 leak and subsequent E3 showing. Perception was that despite the game’s new twist focusing on a cops & robbers dynamic, it looked no different from any other Battlefield game and that it lacked the sheer mass and scope that Battlefield has become known for. With the additional pressure that Battlefield Hardline was facing following both the disastrous launch of Battlefield 4 and the lukewarm performance of Titanfall, losing Hardline for 2014 has to be a blow to a Fall slate only lined with EA Sports titles, Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Sims 4.

Battlefield Hardline

Hopefully Visceral Games and DICE will be able to tighten up the game for its 2015 launch as they have made multiplayer the development priority. DICE Vice President Karl Magnus Troedsson wrote about the delay on the Battlefield blog, citing a desire to make the multiplayer experience more innovative, create story depth and ensure the stability of the game.

Battlefield Blog – Why Battlefield Hardline will launch in 2015
Dragon Age – Dragon Age Inquisition Update

Top Ten Tuesday E3 2013 Edition – Biggest News to Come Out of the Pre-Show Presentations

E3 officially begins today, as the show will open to denizens of reporters (not named Theory Flaw) ready for terrible food, hourly deadlines and product demos galore. But while many games will get their moment of glory in the coming days, the major players have already opened their hands for heads-up poker. Franchise reboots, new exclusives, new consoles and product strategy highlight this list of the biggest news to come out of the pre-show presentations.

10. Crimson Dragon

I had to try my hardest not to write Dragoon because this is clearly designed in the vein of the stellar dragon riding series Panzer Dragoon. Even bringing back Panzer Dragoon series director Yukio Futatsugi this Kinect based Xbox One game features massive bosses and gorgeous dragon-borne aerial combat. While I fear it may play a little too closely to Child of Eden, this is clearly a bold move by Microsoft.

Continue reading

Battlefield 3: Single Player Review – Follow me this way to the review!

image credit: battlefield.com

Electronic Arts and DICE have managed to pigeon hole themselves into a little problem. For years, the Battlefield franchise has built a reputation for large scale battles and scenarios that rewarded teamwork. That and the series also allowed you to pilot tanks and planes. It was a successful formula, but one area that Battlefield was known to completely avoid was the single player aspect, something that rival Call of Duty built their franchise upon (with a very stout competitive multiplayer included).

Between the recent success of Call of Duty, the decline of the Medal of Honor franchise and Battlefield’s nearly non-existent campaign, EA sought to at least emulate the success that Call of Duty possessed. Continue reading