DICE Emerging As Elite Developer
When a developer begins to separate itself from the rest of the pack, we like to pay homage to the effort and talent required to make a splash in this ultra-competitive industry. Sure, the established studios wowed us in 2008 (Kojima Productions, Rockstar, etc.), but there's one that tends to fly under the radar, and after this week, should receive more attention from gamers.
It's EA's Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, also known as DICE. Since 2002 and the likes of Rallisport Challenge and Battlefield 1942, DICE hasn't produced a huge number of titles, but they've been growing in quality. This year, we've already seen the very solid Battlefield: Bad Company and Mirror's Edge releases this week, which ought to be near the top of your holiday wish list. We've already played it and plan to issue our review very soon, and while we won't give out any hints as to the final score, we will tell you it's a can't-miss experience. As for future projects, DICE has Frostbite in the hopper, which we don't know much about, but you can be sure we'll start doing some research. Why? Because when a developer shows its mettle and produces quality on a consistent basis, we gamers - and journalists - need to step up and acknowledge the achievements. This is the only way we can be assured of continually receiving top-notch software; consumers dictate so much in the marketplace, after all.
Therefore, we offer some simple advice: first off, at the very least, you need to give the Mirror's Edge demo a try. Trust us, the full game is even better. Secondly, just keep an eye out any projects that have the name "DICE" attached to them. Perhaps PlayStation 3 owners are still holding a grudge against EA after last year's many slip-ups, but now's the time to crawl down off the cross, use the wood to build a bridge, and get over it (thanks, Christopher Titus). Acknowledge talent, or go wanting.
11/11/2008 Ben Dutka