A Sickening Thud: Mirror’s Edge and uncomfortable game design


As I was restarting the Mirror’s Edge chapter entitled ‘Heat’ for the umpteenth time, I wondered quietly – possibly not so quietly, possibly out-loud-swearing-ly – at what point the sound director of the game had thought to themselves: What this game needs is more sickening thuds.

Every time you midjusge a distance or gets cheated by the controls and, consequently, plunge to your death, it goes k-chud. The foley artist should be be given an award for Most Absoleutely Vile and Disgusting Sound. I’m thinking it has to be melons but there’s a sense of bone breaking somewhere in there, too.

Mirror’s Edge’s sound design is actually pretty indicative of the game design in general. I found myself asking “To what extent is this game-design-wot-makes-the-player-uncomfortable-for-thematic-reasons and to what extent is it just game-design-wot-is-bad?”

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