Developer – DICE
Publisher – Electronic Arts
Release Date – June 7, 2016
Platform – PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One
One day a company in Swedish fields of green by the name of DICE, developed a game that would be published by EA in 2008 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, with a PC version later released in 2009. It was something of a surprise to me when it came out, but I immediately fell in love with the world that was Mirror’s Edge.
Followed many years afterwards of nothing but rumors around the internet. Suddenly in 2016, DICE and EA came out with a new game set in the Mirror’s Edge universe, while the plot would be more of a remake, the core gameplay would stay the same as before but with a few upgrades. This time however, the game would stay more focused on the protagonist from both games, Faith Connors, her origin, and her attempt to overthrow a totalitarian conglomerate of corporations who rule the city she lives in.
While the story might not be something new out of the magic hat, it still delivers in many areas that was enjoyable from start ‘til finish. The game takes place in a dystopian, futuristic city known as the city of Glass in the nation of Cascadia. After a bitter secession from the big brother authoritarian nation of OmniStat and years with conflict and violence, Cascadia falls under the rule of the Conglomerate, a sort of oligarchy that comprises 13 large corporate houses.
Interestingly enough the gameplay of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst have been designed with some overhauls and the introduction of some social aspects within the game’s missions.
Though it must be pointed out that the game is a first-person action-adventure game in which the player takes control of Faith Connors. Similar to the original game, you can use parkour movement to traverse the city through various levels, whether that be on the roofs, inside buildings or even a few times on the ground. The movement system can also be used to evade or fight enemies, where the more you have a good amount of speed going, plus using different parkour techniques, you will do more damage if you ever want to fight or take less if you ever got hit by enemy attacks.
Not only that but Mirror’s Edge Catalyst also introduces you to a few new mechanics in form of equipment; this includes something called a MAG (no not the magazine, but a Manifold Attachment Gear), Rope and a Disruptor. These equipment can help you travel across building, disable certain systems (such as large fans or security cameras) and aid Faith during various combat encounters.
I just loved how these new mechanics played well with the otherwise good parkour movement system, the way you could run and jump of a tall building, seeing the indicator for activating the rope to feeling the surge when you then swung across to the next. This would bring a smile to my face as I kept doing it when traversing towards the next side or main quest.
The combat seems to have gotten a complete overhaul from the original game. Gone is the possibility to take the weapons of your enemies and use it against them, now you will have to rely on your speed, improvisation for the location you’re in and how well you can execute each action. Since when you as Faith runs, you enter something called focus mode (indicated by the edges of the screen changes a little as if an effect filter was put over the camera lens). While you keep having your focus remain sufficient, it’s possible to evade bullets from enemies. However, when you are able to perform a finishing move, the game for a short number of seconds, switches to a third-person perspective, almost giving the feeling, that you’re watching a small video.
What is fascinating about this, is that the game perfectly explains why you can’t use your enemies’ weapons since it’s all registered to each individual within their class system.
If you haven’t noticed, this game looks beautiful. With the power of Frostbite engine, it manages to make every scene that plays out as something out of a computer animated movie… which it could have been as well but it helps make the game look good and easy on the eye when characters are talking with each other.
While I’m a fan of the first game, I did enjoy playing this game all the way through. The way the open world had been designed with the idea that not only was there a path A, but also a B, C, all the way to Z on how you would arrive to your destination. It helped by its movement system that exploration wasn’t a chore but an adventure of discovery. Its way of having world records in time missions, could help people keep playing for a long time afterward but I will admit that I didn’t do them that much.
The biggest issue I had with the game was the blinding white light whenever you reset a mission, fall to your death or fail in a fight against advisories.
Another thing was that I did find the first Mirror’s Edge to be something that will be an overlooked gem from the last generation, people should definitely try out this game, just to experience a good story with intriguing characters and a world even cleaner than Mother Earth could hope for.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst gets the final score of:
In terms of gameplay, it’s solid and will keep you on your edge of the seat when the clock is ticking, and you still have a long way to reach the finish line but that the combat can feel a bit clunky from time to time. The story is something that won’t sit with all and even when many of the “cliché” sequences happens, it didn’t bother me that much in the end as I was engrossed from the beginning, excited to see where the game would take me.
This is truly a very good game and a franchise in the making, I hope a sequel will be announced in the few years to come as Faith surely have more adventures to follow and for us to journey with her in the nation of Cascadia.
Nevertheless what do you guys think? Was the game good or were you more in the opinion of it being bad? Write your perspectives down in the comments below.
Stay Cozy and have a nice day!