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DICE's Channon:  Mirror's Edge  Would Have Been 'Watered Down,' Done Open-World
DICE's Channon: Mirror's Edge Would Have Been 'Watered Down,' Done Open-World Exclusive
July 24, 2008 | By Chris Remo

July 24, 2008 | By Chris Remo
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Talking to Gamasutra, EA DICE producer Nick Channon has been discussing the creation of unique first-person title Mirror's Edge, commenting that open-world design is not always the best choice for next-gen games - and that it would have "watered down" the game to take it in that direction.

Speaking at the recent E3 event (and following up on a recent Gamasutra interview with senior producer Owen O'Brien), Channon was asked about why the title - a first-person adventure title with an intriguing context-sensitive, dynamic action set - has a relatively linear level-based structure.

The producer at the Battlefield franchise creator explained:

"We could have gone open-world. We could have made a game that felt very open. We went for a more linear story; we went for a more level-based game. The reason for that is we wanted to pack as much action in as we could. As soon as we went open-world, I think that would have watered it down.

"That was one learning [experience], in that I think a lot of people think nowadays that open world is the way to go, and it's the next-gen thing. You know, I don't believe it is. It's clearly right for some games, absolutely, but you can actually get a lot more in at times with more of a level-based [structure].

"But you have to give choice - it can't just be, 'Do this, do this.' That's what we've done; we've built every level out to have lots of choice. I think the thing we're really pleased about is that the amount of choice in every level is really limited to your imagination, which really plays to the movement and the parkour elements we talked about."

Later in the interview, Channon was asked about similarities in gameplay style to titles such as Valve's acclaimed Portal, and he commented on influences on the game:

"Yeah. You know, we've taken inspiration from certain games, but we've tried to be very unique. We've tried to really keep Mirror's Edge as Mirror's Edge.

"People have compared it to Assassin's Creed, but we were well into development before that game came out, so, you know, that's the thing - we've tried to create a unique style, and something different.

While there may be elements where we think, 'Oh, that was cool,' we've really tried to blaze a trail."

The full interview with DICE's Channon will appear on Gamasutra in the near future.


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