Developed by EA Dice and published by Electronic Arts, Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a prequel to Mirror's Edge showcasing the origins of main character Faith, while parkouring around the city trying to decipher Faith’s origins.The long awaited sequel creates an open world where it plants the seed for the series growth while it remains refreshing and unique in its attempt.
Dice have created an open world that is bold and beautiful. The city of glass is a futuristic type of world that's exhilarating to see and explore. Throughout this massive open world, players can complete side missions, runs, and side jobs. I enjoyed taking my time playing and completing the main missions, while dabbling with side missions here and there. You can choose to focus on what you want, when you want; which is a really good thing, especially since you don't feel rushed to complete the side missions or the main mission.
The lack of depth in its cast of characters is disappointing. With the completion of every mission you’re introduced to a new character who seems to be pivotal to your success, but then you’re sent off to do a mission and they serve no purpose after being introduced; which reminds me of the lack of story in the first Mirror's Edge. As appealing and compelling as the design choices in the world are, they don’t do much to counteract the game’s major flaw: characters without any substantial depth.
One of the most talked about and anticipated elements in this game was the combat system. When it was announced that there would be combat in this title, many were left worrying whether it’d be another run of the mill combat focused title. But rest assured it isn't. During runs and missions, you have the option to try to take down enemies or escape. I loved that you have the option to focus on the completion of a mission instead of having to worry about fighting your way out of every jam. It even adds a little bit of challenge, which is a nice change of pace since some missions can be easy at times. Nothing makes you feel more of a badass than free-running through the environment then stopping to take down a few enemies in a bunch of cool ways, like jumping off a zipline, pushing them off a building, or into walls. In order to help you get a handle on the combat, There is a pretty long and hefty training session in the beginning of the game that can be repeated as desired to hone your combat skills.
The controls are fine tuned to the nines. You get a lengthy tutorial in the beginning training you how to jump, climb, run on walls, and most importantly scale the tallest scrapers. It can get confusing at times when you don’t know what needs to be done next, but a friendly reminder tells you the exact buttons that need to be pressed to progress through the climbs. There’s also new additions such as the mag rope which latches Faith onto specific points in the world, allowing for unique interaction points. Disruptor upgrades the tech in her glove that disrupt and destroy targets. It helps scramble enemies communications, targeting systems, and grids to your advantage.
What makes Mirror's Edge Catalyst unique and exciting is its parkour element which is pure perfection. It’s a smooth and exhilarating experience that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and never got old or repetitive..There was always a new race or mission wherever I wall-runned, pipeswinged, or zip lined across the city. You know you’re really enjoying a game when instead of fast-travelling to get through a world, you take the time to traverse it yourself; it also helps when every bit of movement you take, gives you a more in-depth feel for how the game controls and the limits to which you can take yourself. As I spent more and more time with the game, I got faster, and learned new combinations and movements; Each of which are introduced in a way for the player to get used to and eventually become second nature.
A really neat feature in this game is Runner’s Vision, which assists the player by giving them a sense of direction around the city. Walls, poles, and ramps are highlighted in red, indicating where to go or where to run. The closest comparison I can make is Eagle Vision in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. There was countless times where I was confused of where and how to climb up a building, but with Runner’s Vision, I was effectively guided back to the path I strayed from. In order to increase the challenge of the game, there’ll be times where Runner’s Vision will be offline during a mission or task, which is appreciated.. It creates a new level of difficulty or the player, but after the completion of the puzzle, I always felt satisfied and excited with what's next.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a solid and unique game that’ll keep you enticed in its world for hours to come. With it’s well paced and it's exciting open world layout, it’ll easily help you forget the lackluster story and cardboard cutout characters.