In 2008 EA DICE released one of the most unique and tight first-person parkour, action-adventure games: Mirror’s Edge. Many years later a reboot was announced named Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and I was allowed to participate in the closed beta released on April 22, 2016. Overall, I really enjoyed this experience and the beta increased my excitement to play the game.
Characters, Setting & Story –
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a prequel to the first game and introduces a much younger Faith Conners. She presents as a lot more headstrong and reckless, often going into dangerous situations without a second thought. Throughout the game you hear Faith’s comrades discouraging her from rash behavior and reminding her that she just got out of jail. There is Noah who is somewhat like a father figure, Nomad is a younger male who is her best friend and Icarus who appeared to be Faith’s rival. They are all part of a group called The Runners, who live on the rooftops, reside in tight-knit cabals and refuse to conform to the conglomerate machine. Outside of the main characters, the random NPC’s around the world seem to have less detail in their character design.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst takes place in a pristine city ruled by a ruthless conglomerate with tall buildings made of glass, intercom’s around the city reinforcing rules, and police brutality. Faith is introduced just being released from prison and is told that she has to seek employment within 14 days. Now as a fugitive, Faith immediately gets chased down by law enforcement, dropping you right into Mirror’s Edge parkour mechanics.
Gameplay & Graphics: The Best Parkour in a Pristine City –
The parkour has improved a lot from the previous Mirror’s Edge allowing you to have more control over how you traverse. The basic mechanics will be familiar to those who played the previous game including sprinting, jumping, vaulting over objects and sliding under objects. As you progress and upgrade Faith more parkour, combat and gear skills become available. A useful feature called runners vision shows you where to go next by providing a red augmented reality path. You can turn this GPS on or off if you want more of a challenge. Runners vision is especially useful in this game because unlike the previous game, this world is much more open.
The city is gorgeous and the open world gives room for exploration. Although players were limited to one district in the beta, I am curious if other areas of the game will allow players to go on ground level. There are main mission, side missions, challenges and collectible icons around the map. Challenges include A to B checkpoint races where you can compare your time completion to other players. A character named Birdman has you collect data that you can only locate using a beeping sound to direct you. My favorite challenge was from Nomad, where you complete a drop off while keeping perfect momentum. EA DICE also includes social play features where players are able to create their own Time Trails, compare challenge scores and place Beat Location Emitters for friends to find.
Social Play- Create and Play a Time Trial
Combat has improved substantially and there are no more guns! The gun-play in the previous Mirror’s Edge was a huge downfall and they took that away altogether. Even the hand-to-hand combat is a lot smoother. You can kick opponents from a wall, ledge or drop kick on them from a zip line. You can even slide kick and kick one enemy into another enemy. I couldn’t help but laugh when this game mechanic was introduced. You can use light attacks as you traverse which helps you keep momentum, or you can do a heavy attack to defeat your opponent. More difficult enemies won’t be taken down easily using a simple attack, so you have to dodge around them before you can successfully attack.
Drop Off Challenge – Parkour & Combat
Final Thoughts: For Parkour Lovers –
If you are looking for a game with an ingenious story or exceptional combat system, this game probably isn’t for you. If you’re satisfied with a superior first person parkour system, you will absolutely love this game.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst release date got pushed back from May 24, 2016 and will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Origin for PC on June 7, 2016 (NA) and June 9, 2016 (EU).