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Consequences of Failure in Mirror's Edge vs. Prince of Persia


Ron
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This Escapist article makes an interesting point that, while the real-life consequences of failure in Mirror's Edge and Prince of Persia are pretty much identical (you have to replay some part of a section), Mirror's Edge is decried (by some) as being too difficult, while PoP is decried (by some) as being too easy...

 

Its even more interesting that, if you read the comments, people can't even step back and see that after having read the article... they're still saying things like, "At least in Mirror's Edge you actually die!" ...

 

Would people think Mirror's Edge was too easy if when you missed a jump Faith shot out a grappling hook or something (other than dying) that put you back at the last checkpoint?

 

Would people think PoP wasn't easy if, instead of being rescued back to a checkpoint, he fell to a screaming death and you were reloaded at the checkpoint?

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Would people think PoP wasn't easy if, instead of being rescued back to a checkpoint

Except the people who've actually play Prince of Persia for an extended amount of time and understand the goal of the game wouldn't be decrying what is essentially a checkpoint system (and if they are, they are morons:)). Elika saving the Prince is brilliant. It removes a loading screen and having to pull the player out of the world. It's nothing but a transparent checkpoint system and I applaud them for it as it does allow you to explore with very little consequence.

 

At the same time, you ignore what actually makes Prince of Persia easy as opposed to Mirror's Edge. Cry as folks might about the difficulty in Mirror's Edge, at the end of the day it is completely a skill based game. You get out of it what you put in. Replaying and learning the levels, playing the time trials, finding alternate and quicker routes and executing the more difficult jumping combos allow the player to exploit the skill they've built up throughout the game and master the different goals the game throws throughout the different modes it offers.

 

Prince of Persia is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. It's a game that requires very little in the way of skill from the player. You press a button which is followed by a lengthy series of canned animations that complete the platforming for you in alot of cases. That in and of itself isn't an issue mind you. I understand what Ubisoft Montreal was going for. They wanted to create a system that could accomodate the casual player and attempt to satisfy the more hardcore set. They failed at the latter. The underlying problem is that they've allowed such a HUGE window of opportunity for that button press to happen during those canned animation frames that it requires almost no precision or skill to pull off. So the game does have a bit of an automated feel to it and that's problem the major point of contention I'd level against the game.

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Just to be clear, I haven't yet played Prince of Persia, so can't comment on it yet. (I do own it now.)

 

While I do have some issues with Mirror's Edge (like it, didn't love it), I disagree with the people claiming it's too hard/unforgiving/whatever.

 

I just found the psychology of it all interesting... how the consequences are essentially identical, but the reactions they create are vastly different.

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In POP do you have to re-do anything besides the platformingish aspects of the game if you die? Or are you just punished essentially by your position on the map?

 

For example if you die after killing a couple guys, or even die during battle, do enemies respawn even though there was no death/loading screen?

 

If not, then that is a pretty big difference between it and Mirror's Edge/Traditional games. I only played the Mirror's Edge demo through once, but I killed/ran away from the same enemies numerous times in that one play through.

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For example if you die after killing a couple guys, or even die during battle, do enemies respawn even though there was no death/loading screen?

You'll never run into that position. If you're fighting an enemy (and its only ever one enemy at a time) and happen to take too many shots, it will cue into a QTE event. If you fail the button press, it skips to Elika using her powers to save you. Once she does, you pop back up and the enemy regains a substantial potion of thier health.

 

As for platforming, the game is structured into platforming sequences. You start on solid ground and have to travel to the next bit of solid ground via the platforming maneuvers. If you fall, Elika picks you up midfall and places you back at the starting platform. You still have to redo the entire platforming section again. It's a glorified checkpoint system.

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I can't wait to play PoP - but I was not a fan of Mirror's Edge.

 

There were several things that didn't sit well with me, and I doubt they exist in Prince of Persia - and they all revolved around consequence.

 

Garnett Lee's impression of Mirror's Edge (as discussed in the 1up Yours podcast) is exactly how I felt as I sealed the game back up to be sent back to gamefly.

 

Here's what sealed the deal for me: In the 4th stage - after getting past some moving trains - there's a section where Faith is in a sewer-type area and has to shut off some fans so she can get past the blades while they're stopped. To get to the button that controls the fans, you have to wall run and grab a trapeze bar, and then swing to an otherwise inaccessible platform.

 

When you press the button, the fans go off. Unbeknownst to me, the fans are only off for a few seconds, during which you have to navigate back to the place where the fans were previously spinning. Since I wasn't aware that they'd come back on, I took my time getting over to the fans, and was trying to get past them. So, due to the game's fondness for the "trial and error" method of gameplay - I had to repeat that section.

 

After a few times of missing the wall run-to-trapeze bar jump, I began to count how many tries it took me. After missing the jump 80 (yes, that's eighty) times in a row, I set the controller down and said goodbye to Mirror's Edge. At least for now.

 

What frustrated me the most about that was that I made the jump the first time, but couldn't repeat it. From what I've seen, I doubt I'll have the same issues.

 

It's very likely I'll rent Mirror's Edge again, but right now I'm too frustrated by the controls. It seems I can't match up my controller inputs to the desired output on the screen. When I do a specific thing with the controller 10 times, I'd expect to have the same result on screen each time - but with Mirror's Edge it seems more like I get the desired result 1 or 2 times out of 10. Of course I'm not doing the exact same thing each time - but it sure feels like it to me.

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After a few times of missing the wall run-to-trapeze bar jump, I began to count how many tries it took me. After missing the jump 80 (yes, that's eighty) times in a row

I'm honestly shocked reading that. The wall run>jump>bar is one of the most used moves in the games and there are sections that are far more difficult to complete than that fan (good luck in The Shard or trying to complete any of the speed runs). If it took you 80 tries to do that - you'll absolutely detest some of later areas in the game. I'm just saving you the frustration now.

 

It seems I can't match up my controller inputs to the desired output on the screen.

I mentioned already and I'll say it again - it's a skill based game. I'm not saying that to in any way impune anyone's ability to play the game. It's just what the game requires of the player. I won't bother speaking to the trial and error aspects of the game. I understand people's dislike of such a thing but the precision of the controls and degree of control given to the player is certainly one of the best things about the game. I'll just have to completely disagree with you there.

 

On the positive side, you'll likely love Prince of Persia. Any trial and error issues are reduced thanks to the game automating a lot of the platforming with the press of a button here and there. Of course, it's exactly that lack of precision and control that annoys me. Despite liking the game overall mind you.

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it requires almost no precision or skill to pull off. So the game does have a bit of an automated feel to it and that's problem the major point of contention I'd level against the game.

 

While it does not require the skill of a Mirror's Edge, a Uncharted, or a Tomb Raider, I felt it was still an improvement over Assassin's Creed, which to me was terribly automated and took away from the overall game much more than it does with PoP.

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I get it - about Mirror's Edge - and can admit without a problem that I don't have the "skill" (or more likely, patience) to enjoy the game the way others do - but I'd like to think that the developers will tweak the sequel into something a little less frustrating. Perhaps more constructive feedback in the controller input to character output. Maybe a save anywhere system. Oh, and maybe they could make it so you can't die from being shot in the back while you're climbing a ladder....

 

The section in Chapter 3 where you navigate to the cranes and pull off the huge jump between the cranes was absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed the outdoor areas far more than the indoor levels. I had far fewer problems in those levels than the indoor ones.

 

I don't mind precision controls - after all, Rock Band 2 is my favorite game, and you don't get more precise than that - but in Rock Band 2 I can understand why I messed something up while I'm drumming, even if I'm not perfect at it. It's the "I swear I did it right, but it didn't work" part that makes me not enjoy Mirror's Edge as much as I could.

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I felt it was still an improvement over Assassin's Creed, which to me was terribly automated and took away from the overall game much more than it does with PoP.

I completely agree Paul. I've mentioned as much to Brian (dogbert) over a few AIM conversations we've had about the game in the past few days. I'm coming off as though I dislike Prince of Persia in this thread without meaning to. I feel it's a good game and a far better game than Assassin's Creed for several reasons I won't bother going into here. I prefer to wait on finishing it and posting my thoughts in the thread we have dedicated to it. I feel some sites have been overly harsh towards it but at the same time I feel some sites have been far too generous. Awarding the games production values more than its core gameplay in a lot of cases.

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