ByKen McDonnell, writer at Creators.co
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Open world. It's a term that a ridiculous amount of Video Games in recent memory have had attached to them. 2014 was awash with open world games and towards the end of the year, I wanted to play anything but one! I was begging for the most linear, corridor-pushy game available. Then 2015 came along and gave [The Order: 1886](tag:2707754) its release date and I instantly regretted my request.

2015 is to be no different in the open world department, with the likes of The Witcher 3 and [Batman: Arkham Knight](tag:2683936) (which is amazing by the way) already showing off how it's meant to be done. Later this year Hideo Kojima will say goodbye to the Metal Gear Solid franchise with his open world adventure, [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985). But the most recent game to have gone open world is DICE's Mirror's Edge 2, or Mirror's Edge: Catalyst.

Mirror's Edge 2
Mirror's Edge 2

Should Mirror's Edge 2: Catalyst Have Gone Open World?

Mirror's Edge is a really unusual adventure. It has tightly controlled levels, that are quite linear, or at least limited in terms of navigation. Mirror's Edge 2 hopes to offer us a world of opportunity on its release date. You can choose whatever path you desire as Faith navigates the beautifully clean City of Glass. But is the move to an open world framework something that Mirror's Edge fans wanted? After visiting several articles and forums about Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, it seems the public is split on the idea.

There's a lot of tedium that can often follow an open world game. I adore how Batman: Arkham Knight has approached the issue of side quests and collectibles, they fit naturally into the plot rather than being tacked on and labelled as "content". Ubisoft are the best example of this where their use of icons on your map is obtuse. It's getting worse every year and I seriously hope Mirror's Edge 2 doesn't adopt this formula. Shadow of Mordor is another game that performed admirably in how it created an open world space. No stupid collectible stuff, just more orcs to kill!

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst

What Do You Want on Release Date?

But what are the pros and cons of having an open world framework for Mirror's Edge 2? Let's look at some of the points the community has made!

Pros for Open World

  • Greater freedom of movement and player choice.
  • A large in game map to get lost in.
  • A chance to explore Faith's abilities even more.
  • Hours more content in comparison to Mirror's Edge.

Cons for Open World

  • Can distract a player from the plot and break immersion.
  • Mission structure and encounters won't be as profound.
  • Random, generic, or time-based challenges scattered around world.
  • Weak Story Line.

The last point is the only one I'm at odds with, as even the most linear game can have a bad story. But I understand that open world games have a tendency to wreck them more often than not. After all, every side quest will have to be written and it can be devastating to a game's fluidity if they don't feel like a part of the world or are actually enjoyable.

Mirror's Edge 2
Mirror's Edge 2

An open world is difficult to get right. There are plenty of people out there that are complaining about the industry's current saturation and infatuation with the formula. Personally, if the story is weak, I'm ten times more likely to stop playing an open world game. There's just too much navigation and crap going on around you to make you want to continue if you're not interested. At least if it's linear and boring - like basically all of the Battlefield campaigns - you can still have a lot of fun blasting through it.

I'm going to reserve my judgement until I see the game in action. I wasn't the biggest fan of Mirror's Edge to begin with, so the idea of Mirror's Edge 2: Catalyst going open world, doesn't really affect me. But what about you guys? Do you think Mirror's Edge: Catalyst should have just been a level based game? Or was the movement to open world a good idea? Let us know in the comments!

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