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Pratchett: Mirror’s Edge saw last minute script cuts

23 Comments | posted

Video game scriptwriter Rhianna Pratchett reveals that a significant portion of Mirror’s Edge’s script was cut at the last minute. A decision that has resulted in Pratchett forgoing the option to return for a second entry in the franchise.

DICE’s original IP Mirror’s Edge created its own genre — a first-person platformer that just about nailed its gameplay. However, many criticised the game’s story for being underdeveloped. Rhianna Pratchett worked on the game’s narrative, but was disappointed after DICE cut much of its script. In an interview with Critical Gamer, Pratchett comments on the cuts:

“For my part, I tried to make sure that she [Faith] was a well realized character with flaws and screw-ups and some sense of humanity about her. However, a great deal of Faith’s dialogue was actually cut at the 11th hour (it was decided that she wouldn’t speak during levels) so a certain amount of that got lost. Unfortunately, the realities of creating game narrative can be pretty brutal.”

The criticisms of the game’s narrative must have prompted a big “I told you so” from Pratchett, but despite this vindication she won’t be returning for Mirror’s Edge 2:

“No, I’m not working on the sequel, I’ve moved onto other things. Ultimately, I think everyone learned a lot on Mirror’s Edge. All lessons, even painful ones, can be beneficial. I’m sure DICE will do things differently next time around and involve a writer sooner in the process. I wish them every success in that, I think it’s a wonderful franchise.”

In my own personal conversations with Rhianna, she disclosed that around 40 per cent of the script was cut without even informing the writers. This included internal monologues from Faith in those silent loading elevators. Lets hope DICE does a better job with Mirror’s Edge 2, though EA has yet to mention whether the game is even in development.

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Comments (23)

  • Pollo

    Who cares, Mirrors Edge sucks!!!

  • VofEscaflowne

    @Pollo

    Thank you for that very informative and thought provoking post!

    It’s sad that so much content was cut out… I enjoyed the game but I agree that there wasn’t much to the story, not from what I remember anyway. Perhaps they’ll use some of the script ideas brought forth by Rhianna for the original game in order to create story scenarios for the sequel?

  • Reneid Klein

    I’d go out on a limb and say that one reason it may have been cut was cut was disc space restraints caused by being a multiplat. In any case, I loved the game. It was actually the game that made me even want to go next-gen when I saw the trailer from E3 years ago. It was also the very first game I bought when I got my PS3. Here’s looking forward to the sequel.

  • War Machine

    Amazing how bad decisions can ruin what could’ve been a great game. Cutting the script and dialogues that explain story progression, bad characterization just to add another gameplay feature (Faith is supposed to be running from the police because she didn’t commit murder but has no qualms over shooting cops), and overall uneven gameplay kept this game from being great.

  • Loki

    The game suck anyways. No narrative can save it from its humiliation.

  • TRF

    I’m sure they could have included those lines of dialog, I wonder why they didn’t, Oh, well, can’t wait for Mirror’s Edge 2. It better be coming.

  • Moocows111111

    :she disclosed that around 40 per cent of the script was cut without even informing the writers”

    Wow. Just Wow. If I was her I’d leave too. Cutting 40% of a script that you made, is like a big slap in the face, who knows that could’ve made the game just a bit better,

  • taus90

    i had this game for PC, it game me head aches everything was so bright and so “high” maybe that was the reason, and even though as mentioned above story was not that good, i really appreciated the concept and the graphics of the game after all its from DICE so we cannot expect anything less from them. I wish they will be as innovative in ME2 as they were in first one maybe the game takes place in night

  • Dr. Moogle

    @moocows: indeed, thats hella messed up :\

    so they basically watered down a game’s script by half…..just think of how but better (not life-changing or anything….but significantly better) it would be if it DID have it in there….itd be longer too :\

    ahh well, i have a feeling EA wont be making a remake

  • Reigen

    i blame dvd format

  • VofEscaflowne

    @Reigen

    I don’t see how that’s even close to being the case. It’s not like the game had a ton of cutscenes to deal with like Final Fantasy XIII. Mirror’s Edge wasn’t that long either. It probably just has to do with the development time they had on the game… it was probably on a tight schedule, some things had to be cut out in order to polish up whatever content they had after the cut. Plenty of games have stuff cut out before release.

  • Patrick Steen

    The game was excellent – one of the best games in its year. Gameplay just about perfect – so impressive for a game that basically invented a genre.

  • Moocows111111

    “The game was excellent – one of the best games in its year. Gameplay just about perfect – so impressive for a game that basically invented a genre.”

    Not really, its a very good attempt but it didn’t feel or play perfect. The Guns, didn’t feel right, the melee had some depth issues and the platforming felted broken and slow. Its a decent game IMO.

    On the other hand its a game that brought more attention to platforming and free form acrobatics. Games like Brink seems like they were influenced by Mirror’s edge.

  • Chatham

    @Reneid Klein
    I was so excited about this game when I first saw it in action… And even though I was a Wii gamer at the time, I knew I would eventually own/beat it. My friend sold it to me (along with LBP) for $20 right before I bought my PS3 Slim. So not only was it my FIRST PS3 game, I had it BEFORE my PS3. (lol)

  • Patrick Steen

    The platforming was brilliant – coming from someone who has platforming as his favourite genre. Played Mirror’s Edge for hours. Combat was irrelevant – wasn’t really that important to the game’s core gameplay.

    The platforming wasn’t slow – it was incredibly fast – you build up speed dependent on your skills and not making mistakes. I could get through pretty fast – doing all the time trials in very fast speeds. Platforming wasn’t slow or broken – it was excellent.

  • 30NIGHTCRAWLER30

    Imagine what Mirrors Edge would’ve be like if they worked longer on it and it was PS3 exclusive. And better multiplayer with FREE-ROAMING and co op.

  • Dice

    @Patrick Steen I definitely agree, I loved that game. For the one who said the games platforming was broken and slow probably was pretty ass at the game. Just sayin lol…

  • Moocows111111

    “For the one who said the games platforming was broken and slow probably was pretty ass at the game. Just sayin lol…”

    I bested time trial on mirrors edge, don’t say that someone is ass at a game when you barely know them =/
    Besides I wasn’t saying it was a bad game or anything but I really thought the platforming was pretty slow.

    By “Broken” I should’ve said that “Faith” didn’t have enough acrobatic moves it was the same thing over and over again, then we have the same problems with the repetitive scenarios but maybe had a different colour .

  • Pollo

    Are you kidding me? the game SUCKS!!! I dont know what is the appeal of “Oh shit the police” *run run run* [Next Level] “Oh shit, the police AGAIN” *run run run*…..ETC ETC ETC, THE END.

  • Patrick Steen

    It’s called platforming.

  • VofEscaflowne

    @Pollo

    Oh no, it’s the bad guys! *shoot shoot shoot* *enters new room* Oh no, it’s the bad guys! *shoot shoot shoot* You can simplify a lot of games when you put it that way you know.

  • Patrick Steen

    Indeed. Note that it’s the “police” that’s highlighted and the “run run run” that’s devalued. It’s the “run run run” where the fun is in a platforming game – forget about the police, they’re almost unneeded.

  • Moocows111111

    “Are you kidding me? the game SUCKS!!! I dont know what is the appeal of “Oh shit the police” *run run run* [Next Level] “Oh shit, the police AGAIN” *run run run*…..ETC ETC ETC, THE END.”

    Wow I just face-palmed myself the thing that lures people in on the game is platforming. You are encouraged to “Run run run”

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