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Mirror’s Edge reboot won’t be written by Rhianna Pratchett, writer unhappy with original script

Wednesday, 8th January 2014 13:13 GMT By Dave Cook

Mirror’s Edge scriptwriter Rhianna Pratchett has confirmed she won’t be returning to pen DICE’s reboot.

Pratchett addressed the matter on Twitter, as spotted by Polygon:

Pratchett added that when she joined the Mirror’s Edge project it was already in motion. The rest was “filled out” from that point.

She added:

Did you like the Mirror’s Edge story? Would you be keen to see Pratchett’s original draft before it was hacked to bits by DICE? Let us know below.

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26 Comments

  1. Hcw87

    The story didn’t make the first game, the graphics, atmosphere and overall feel was what made it great. The music is superb aswell, the main theme is still among the best ever with the likes of Deus Ex HR’s Icarus theme and Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. SplatteredHouse

    Could such a thing happen? A glimpse at what could have been might be a worthwhile thing. I think the writer received some of the heaviest criticism from ME, so to see the plot pre-DICE might upset some historians, but I’d be all for it!

    #2 10 months ago
  3. Citrus raptor

    Has she ever written a good story?

    #3 10 months ago
  4. Erthazus

    @3, Nope.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Tormenter

    Why is SHE stating she won’t be back.. Why is this HER choice?

    What idiot hired her again and why are they allowed to continue working?

    The story of the first was a bent mishmash of a narrative, an utter disconnect from the action.. if anything I would say the direction of her involvement on the project was why it ultimately failed, she would just screw the second up also.. so again, WHY is this HER decision?

    @3 if she has, I’ve never seen it.

    She is more relevent as a meme tbh.. the only reason she has become a ‘personality’ is because she is trading on her surname.. I think she is utterly talentless, writing by numbers. There is nothing in any of her projects that I find even partially acceptable as a positive experience or at the very least I am more entertained by the non writing parts, not a good situation when I mostly play games for the story experience. Hackneyed writing encourages me not to finish games… and if I don’t finish it I NEVER buy any of the follow ups.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. zoopdeloop

    @3 so true

    #6 10 months ago
  7. SplatteredHouse

    @5 Rhianna was asked whether she would be penning the return of Mirror’s Edge. She said she wouldn’t, and further elaborated that she had not been approached with the possibility.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. Tormenter

    @7

    Ah, I see, thank you. I should have read further.. Just another case of news rousing.

    #8 10 months ago
  9. RaisinBran

    She has never written a good story? What about Tomb Raider (2013)? Bioshock Infinite?

    #9 10 months ago
  10. Obernox

    @9 Tomb Raider had a story?

    #10 10 months ago
  11. RaisinBran

    @10 It had a beginning, middle, and end, so yes, it had a story. She also worked on Heavenly Sword.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. Citrus raptor

    Didn’t know she wrote Infinite, just assumed it was Lavine… *Googles* Wiki calls her an “Additional writer” and doesn’t even list her on the sidebar on Infinite’s own page, so I doubt she was that influential.

    As for the Tomb Raider reboot, I wouldn’t exactly call it noteworthy. Would you recommend the game for its story? What was so special about it? An island with a Japanese ghost queen that’s got a cult following, and some old Nazi expedition… (btw, is it just me, or is the Arrow series is very similar?) Didn’t see anything clever or engaging there. Just a bunch of intrigues that lead to Lara’s role models dying one after the other.

    The stories on her resumé are just ‘there’. And Mirror’s Edge.. Gah! Why not just give the runners tazer bags? … *tries to calm down*

    #12 10 months ago
  13. Neuromancer

    Good news.

    #13 10 months ago
  14. salarta

    … So.

    I’ve never played any games she wrote. Truth be told, my guess is I never will. It’s not something against her, I’ve just literally never cared about playing the games she wrote even when I didn’t know she was writing them. Tomb Raider could’ve been my first if not for what was done to Lara as a character in the process.

    I find myself oddly bothered by the comments suggesting she’s never written a good story, or that she “only gets by because of her name,” only because I get the impression she cares about writing. There are some truly awful writers out there that have a lot more offered to them and get a lot more praise for it, that only do what they do exclusively because they enjoy turning their bad fanfic wet dreams into canon. Of what I’ve seen of Rhianna’s work, the only issue I have is one that seems fairly common: erasing everything that makes an already existing character what they are in order to apply ideas that are more appropriate for a brand new character.

    The important difference is that I think she means well in spite of those things. There are other writers out there that seem to go out of their way to deliberately ruin characters canonically just to fulfill their wishes. She also seems fairly friendly on Twitter, in the few exchanges I’ve had with her. And I say that in spite of how we’re at odds on things. :P

    However, I think I need to say something else here, that could sound like criticism, but is really just observation. The first is that games like Mirror’s Edge, Bioshock Infinite, the latest “Tomb Raider,” the amount of say she has is limited based on what the real people in charge say should be the story. As this article itself shows, Mirror’s Edge had constraints on what could be done with story, and we all know Bioshock Infinite is primarily Ken Levine. Even “Tomb Raider,” she was the lead writer but three men were the directors, and they have a larger say in the overall direction. The other thing of note is that as far as I know, she hasn’t tried to write a book or any prose-focused work. Her Wikipedia entry lists media where the story is presented through art, graphics or actors, and most of it is in video games. Writing a script is much, much easier than writing prose.

    I’m going to get the inevitable bitching and personal attacks from certain people for this comment, but hey, I’m going to say what I feel I should say.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. RaisinBran

    @12 I wouldn’t recommend Tomb Raider for its story, but the story is an integral part of the gameplay. Any movie, game, or book can be summarized in just several lines. We both know the game is more complicated than that.

    You’re right, her influence in Infinite is unclear, but she was a part of the team in some way, shape, or form.

    Everyone here except me thinks she isn’t a good writer. So be it, I respect that opinion. To me, she’s good, but can be better. Not everything she wrote was bad.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. RaisinBran

    @14 Good point. She tends to work on things that already has an established story. If she wrote something original then we would really get to see how well are her talents.

    #16 10 months ago
  17. Edo

    @1 Couldn’t said it better myself,bravo sir.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. salarta

    @16: I had a longer paragraph with writer comparisons in reply to your comment here, but decided I could be more succinct. :P The bottom line is, I think there are at least two things at play here. One is that I think, based on what I’ve seen so far, that Rhianna is more appropriate for writing brand new IPs or continuing ones she started.

    The other thing at play is that while she has a decade of video game writing experience under her belt, I don’t think she’s ever experienced what it’s like to see someone take something she loves or created, twist it into the exact opposite, then sell it as official canon. I understand if that sounds strange, but I think it’s important. I’m not at all saying that should happen, what I’m trying to get at is, I think that situation can result in the person being more considerate of what the fans and the original creators valued most when making something with an existing character. It’s easy to completely change everything that makes a character who they are without having gone through such an experience to know what it’s like.

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Citrus raptor

    @15 Oh, I never said she’s ‘bad’, just not ‘good’. Serviceable is more fitting. She’s proven that she can get work done.

    @14 How do you know she isn’t one of those awefull writers if you haven’ played any of the games? Don’t know if it’s because of her name that she gets any work (I didn’t imply it in my previous posts anyway), but she’s certainly managed to reach a state where she’s mentioned more than others who do the exact same thing as her (other writers and additional writers, etc).

    The point about her not being completely in charge and therefore not completely responsible of the outcome, is however valid. It would be interesting to see what she’d do if given the chance.

    #19 10 months ago
  20. salarta

    @19: When it comes to the world of “creative IP as business,” serviceable seems to be the most preferred mode. The question of quality and appropriate content tends to come after how quickly the writer can write what they’re contracted to do.

    I never said Rhianna definitely isn’t an awful writer. To truly judge her capabilities as a writer independently of how I feel about the product, I really would need to get into the deep nitty gritty details. What I said was that I get the impression she genuinely cares about writing, that she means well and has good intentions in what she writes as far as I’ve seen so far, and that there are far far worse writers out there. All of the things I’ve said so far are broader impressions.

    And of course, they’re personal opinions. :P That should be obvious, but I’ll repeat it just to make sure it’s clear.

    I never said you implied it’s her name that gets her work, that was addressing how Tormenter made that claim in his first comment.

    Being completely honest, I feel like I’m missing something as to why Rhianna’s become as well-known as she currently is. It’s not like she isn’t due for such attention. She’s definitely put in the time, having been at it for ten years now. That’s even longer than the turnaround time for Motomu Toriyama going from “random perv whose ideas for Honeybee Inn go so far that he has to be forced to rein it in” to “guy who gets full reign on how to destroy FFX and its characters with FFX-2.” I honestly don’t think it’s just her name, because if “daughter of Terry Pratchett” was the focal point of her career, I think that by now it would’ve been exploited to crazy levels of notoriety. Nearly every game she writes would be prefaced by “Rhianna Pratchett’s” in the same vein as “Tom Clancy’s,” if cashing in on a name played a role. There’s just something else about it I’m not seeing.

    Part of the reason I spot out how she hasn’t written/shared any prose (that I know of) is that on top of it taking more effort and pushing to think things through more compared to scripts, it’s also a safer reflection of her own capabilities if it’s all written on her own terms.

    #20 10 months ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    It should be noted that Rhianna Pratchett actually had salarta himself blocked on Twitter due to harassment towards her, with one of his giant rants about Tomb Raider. The only women this guy respects are virtual ones, and only then when they’re hot anime waifus.

    She also visits this community from time to time.

    When one of the most vocal, respected and talented feminists in our hobby can’t even tolerate him, that says a lot.

    Rhianna is a very talented writer who is doing a lot of great things for both storytelling in the industry, and the portrayal of women in the media as a whole. Mirror’s Edge is unfortunately not the best example of this, but the story felt nerfed and barebones.

    It’s clear to see why that is now, unfortunately – they cut out most of it.

    #21 10 months ago
  22. Tormenter

    @14

    Just because someone cares about something certainly doesn’t mean they are good at it. I will conceed the point (I don’t know enough to argue the bit) that she cares about what she write.. what I won’t conceed is that what she writes is any good. Passible maybe, as far as a steam of word put together goes.. but anything that appeals more than some run of the mill fan fic? No.. not so far in my wide experience and opinion of so many other storied games.

    #22 10 months ago
  23. salarta

    @21: … Or, you know, not. I tweeted a giant rant that I included her on, she blocked me, we later cleared the air when she was included in a convo I was having with another user. Mostly that my rant boiled down to spamming her and she didn’t appreciate that, which I perfectly understand. I’ve since had a couple more Twitter convos with her. I’m also pretty sure you haven’t actually read my comments here.

    I continue to question how these do not count as personal attacks. But then, you seem to know a lot of things about me. I wonder what opinion I’ll find out I have next. Maybe I like kicking puppies?

    @22: Opinions surely vary. I can’t really make any kind of appropriate argument because as I said, I haven’t played her games, so I don’t know all the very intricate nuances of her writing style. I only see the broad strokes. In my personal opinion, that she cares about writing is the most important part of the equation.

    #23 10 months ago
  24. Ireland Michael

    I doubt you kick puppies. The more likely scenario is that you’d ramble on constantly about abuse of puppies while secretly writing beastiality stories about puppies raping people.

    #24 10 months ago
  25. SplatteredHouse

    “no one [she] worked with” from the original Mirror’s Edge team is at DICE anymore.” according to info posted on RockPaperShotgun. A reason for optimism or not?

    #25 10 months ago
  26. salarta

    @25: It’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, it could mean that the team might look at her script as she originally intended and implement more of it. On the other, whenever it’s not the original creators, there’s a risk that the people working on it will make changes that go completely against how the franchise and its characters were meant to be. We’ve seen it in plenty of cases, such as with the Silent Hill HD Collection that replaced the voice acting of SH2 and SH3 for supposedly “better” voice acting that in the process completely loses how those voices were deliberately chosen and performed as they were to add to the games’ atmosphere.

    #26 10 months ago

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