5 Things You Need to Know About ‘Mirror’s Edge Catalyst’
Mirror’s Edge wasn’t a mega-blockbuster when it launched in 2008, but it’s become something of a cult hit over the years. A relatively short video game at about seven hours, Mirror’s Edge grabbed attention with its minimalistic graphics and unique first-person, free-running gameplay.
The sequel is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, a game that will finally come out June 7 and promises to fill out the game world in all sorts of interesting ways. Here’s what we know so far about Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.
1. Slick sci-fi setting
The game takes place in a futuristic city that’s ruled by a group of shady organizations called the Conglomerate. You play as Faith, a “Runner” who wants nothing to do with the Conglomerate. Runners live off the grid — on rooftops, of all places — and use parkour to traverse the city as couriers for whoever wants to send messages.
The Conglomerate itself is a collection of family-run corporations that each vie and scheme for more power within the group. The last faction represented in the game is Black November. They’re basically rebels who use violence to chip away at the Conglomerate, and who seem to be increasingly comfortable with civilian casualties.
2. Freedom comes to free-running
The original Mirror’s Edge was composed of relatively compact, linear levels. What longevity the game had came from replaying the levels to find the optimal path from point A to point B, and shaving seconds off your completion time.
Catalyst is a much bigger, more ambitious game that offers a sprawling open-world environment through which to sprint, slide, wall-run, and summersault. If the basic movement in this game is enjoyable, players should welcome the newfound freedom to explore.
3. Story first
The original game had a story that played out in cut scenes between levels. Catalyst gives the plot much more focus, as it fleshes out Faith’s history and shows the tenuous grasps that power each of the game’s factions have at any given time.
Beyond that, the game also has a more populated cast of supporting characters, from your Runner buddy Icarus to Gabriel Kruger, a ruthless businessman who runs the city’s militarized security force. Watch the story trailer above for an idea of what to expect. It sure is dramatic!
4. Funky controls
Like the first game, the controls in Catalyst will take some getting used to. As you run through the world, you press L1, or the left bumper, to go up. That could mean jumping, climbing, or wall-running depending on what obstacles you’re approaching. L2 or the left trigger signifies down, so you use it to slide under things and to roll when you land a steep jump.
Holding the right trigger, meanwhile, lets you “shift.” You can use this to dodge enemies, or to enter a special slow-mo mode that, among other things, prevents you from falling off ledges. Your attacks are mapped to the controller’s face buttons.
5. Flowing combat
Speaking of combat, many players felt frustrated by the sub-par fighting mechanics present in the first game. Enemy encounters would halt your free-running progress, making you stop and engage with them before moving on. And the less said about the shooting the better. The combat here is much more based around avoiding enemies and continuing on your way. And thankfully, shooting is gone for good.
So far, most previews have been positive about the game, which is more than I can say for another upcoming release, Homefront: The Revolution. Still, seeing as the original was something of an acquired taste, it’s probably best to wait for reviews before tapping that pre-order button for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.