Exit Interview – Runner

Let me just start by saying that Merc and I were really taken aback when you walked out on that last mission. We’d both been really impressed by your dedication to the job, and had some big plans for you. Why did you decide to resign?

A lot of reasons, really. To start with, I guess I just didn’t enjoy the day-to-day, you know? I wanted to be a runner, and if that’s what the job actually was, it’d be great. But it seems like I’m never running. I’m always looking around rooftops for some improbable network of catwalks, HVAC units, and air ducts to help me get from Point Fucking A to Point Motherfucking B.

Pathfinding is part of the job.

You know what’s annoying, though? Trying to pathfind while being shot to death by guys with assault rifles.

No one said it would be easy. Running is illegal in New Eden.

OK, but why are police waiting for me everywhere I go? It seems like the entire police force just hangs out on top of buildings, waiting for me show up. Then Merc is always in my ear, stating the obvious. “Careful, Faith. There’s a increased blue activity in the area.” Hmm. I wonder if that means they’ll show up? “Careful Faith! There’s blues ahead of you!” Thanks, Merc! I couldn’t see them ’cause I was blinded by their muzzle flashes.

And do we have to call them “blues” all the time? I mean, I know we”re rebellious, militant pseudo-hipsters, but can’t we ever give it a rest and call a thing by its name? This one guy, I can’t ask him a simple question without him being like, “Catch you later, Faithee! What can I give you, Faithee? Think you can handle me, Faithee.” Then, after wasting my time with his insinuations, he goes darting off. So I’ve gotta chase him for twenty minutes just to ask him a simple question. And for some reason, everyone just goes along with this shit. Nobody can just answer a direct question. Or ask one. It’s all oblique references.

I think we’re getting rather far afield fro-

No, see, this is why I’m quitting. I’m trying to investigate this murder that my sister was framed for, and instead of just asking people, “Hey, what do you know about this murder?” I’ve gotta couch everything in these little code-phrases. And I get answers in kind. “Very powerful people are involved in this, Faith.”

“Who?”

“Let’s just say, there are forces that would like to take control of the police.”

“Who?”

“There’s a cabal of-”

Fuck it, I just lost interest. And to be honest, I don’t really give a shit about my sister, either. What? My jack-booted thug of a sibling gets busted by the conniving fascists she works for and I’m supposed to drop everything to bail her out? Yeah, she’s the only sister I’ve got, but seriously, it’s the scorpion and the blind dog, you know? So it was okay for her to crush dissidents and hunt down runners last week, but now that she’s framed for a killing that for once she and her friends didn’t commit, she’s on side of the angels?

So you’re quitting because you hate your sister?

Not just her. I’m quitting, however, because Merc sent me into a room full of policemen for the umpteenth time. It was ridiculous. Door opens and it’s basically a firing squad. I run through and started dodging bullets, and just as I start to feel pretty good about myself, I realize something. Every other door is locked. So I start running circles around the room looking for an exit, but I can’t find one. It must be upstairs, but to get there I’ve got to get past the cops. Except there was no way to to get upstairs without getting shot to death. The only thing missing from that little scene was the Benny Hill music.

Maybe if you looked harder-

Certainly. But you know what? I didn’t want to. I’d looked hard for the way out of other traps, and all I got were more traps. I felt like I was escaping from jail cell into a coffin. So this time, I just walked out of the room, got a wall between me and the cops, and called it a career. When I get home, I’m going to pour myself a nice glass of wine, lie down on my IKEA sofa, and try to forget everything about New Eden. What a stupid name for a city.

  1. HAHAHAHA.

    That was excellent Rob. Mirrors (HAHA) my own thoughts on the game. Honestly though, I really want to get the DLC for it. No Cops, no improbable network of scaffolding in an attempt to create a “city.” Just floating platforms where the good part of the game, running and jumping, can take center stage without being shot. Really, the mechanics of it are quite genius, and I feel that if we somehow managed to include mechanics like that in other, better games (Half Life…) it would be amazing. Sadly, the whole thing was a bit of a whack-job with the platforming being the main attraction. Too bad the audience was sitting behind a wall of bad gun mechanics.

    • Spades
    • May 24th, 2010 4:30pm

    Strangely everything you complained about I loved about the game. Then again I could be blinded by nostalgia :) .

  2. Wait, you had trouble pathfinding in this game? I honestly don’t see how unless you turned off runner’s vision. There are a few parts later on where you are put into Prince of Persia-style environmental puzzles, but those parts are relatively calm with no enemies.

    Like the poster above, the mechanics of Mirror’s Edge are brilliant and I for one loved the game once I got good at it. I’ll admit that I only started fully enjoying Mirror’s Edge on subsequent playthroughs when I’d learned the levels and could blast through them untouched.

    I just hope Mirror’s Edge 2 doesn’t end up being casulaified.

  3. Oh, and how’s Mass Effect treating you?

    • I can see where Mirror’s Edge would be a love it or hate it kind of game. It’s unique and the mechanics are brilliant. But the single-player made we want to play less, not more, and the time trials were not quite enjoyable enough to hold my interest for long.

      As for pathfinding, I don’t know what to tell you. There were numerous places where I just didn’t see a pipe somewhere, or a cross-bar. And usually I didn’t even have a clue where I was supposed to be going or why, which didn’t help. In one part, you’re on an elevated train track, and Merc tells you to run into the alley. I looked around and ran toward an alley, which was blocked by an wall and barbed wire. I had no idea what he meant. Then I died, because I was being shot. Happened a couple more times, until I realized that when Merc said “alley” he really meant, “street”. Except for his verbal instruction, there was nothing there to indicate that this was where I had to go. Especially since there was a helicopter gunner between me and it.

    • Spades
    • May 25th, 2010 7:10pm

    So you want Mirror’s Edge 2 to have multiple pathways towards your main objective? That could work. Maybe even an open world game?

    • I’m not sure about an open-world, to be honest. It was neat in Assassin’s Creed but that’s also a much simpler game, with fewer verbs. So just having a bunch of rooftops to run around on, and ledges to grab hold of, was enough to keep the action going. Mirror’s Edge gameplay requires a bit more crafting, I think. But multiple pathways? Well, Mirror’s Edge does have good routes and better routes you can take, but there are also quite a few annoying bottlenecks. That’s what kills it. So there should be more than one path past those. Or just make them less lethal, so you don’t have to die / reload a hundred times.

    • IvanHoeHo
    • May 31st, 2010 12:50am

    I turned off RV when I played, and I think I only got lost only 3-4 times. And most times, even if you got lost, there’re almost always space for you to run around so you can figure things out.

    The combat was horrendous, though.

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