Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – game review.
- A real hero
- “I fell in love with the great freedom, the sense of momentum and the faster heartbeat accompanying me while climbing the highest skyscrapers of the City of Luster”
- Le Parkour
- Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a design masterpiece. The ascetic artistic vision is extremely coherent and at the same time very diverse
- Faith grows in the heart
It’s been 8 years since our last visit to the City of Mirrors. Is our Faith still strong enough to face the ruthless corporations that rule the world?
The first installment of Mirror’s Edge can be faulted. The great idea fell under the weight of many shortcomings, which effectively prevented the game from reaching the audience it deserved. Catalyst greatly broadens our horizons, deprives us of limitations and performs a real “leap of faith” in a direction that many players will approach very critically. The game is also not without minor mishaps, but fortunately, I was able to turn a blind eye. All I needed was a blast of wind in my hair and a sense of freedom accompanying traversing subsequent districts of the City of Luster.
A real hero
First, I’ll shoot the story. You are not playing Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for the story. Some of the heroes certainly grab our attention. I was very interested in Plastic, a hacker who was not adapted to life in society. However, the fate of Faith and her companions is very clichéd. We’ve seen it a million times – rebels battling massive corporations, a heroine who has lost her family, a debt to pay, and an arrogant rival who turns into a friend over time. The scenario is devoid of annoying holes and does not tire too much. You will certainly not frown while listening to the dialogues. However, I have sometimes turned off my thinking while performing aerial acrobatics, when the conversations between the characters were flowing past me. The city is the real hero of this game.
Judging by the screens, you can come to the conclusion that this metropolis was designed by Apple employees. All buildings, streets and interiors are very ascetic and focused on white contrasting with a single color. After playing the beta, I was afraid that Faith’s new adventures would be too visually uniform for me and that my eyes would get bored with the game world very quickly. On the contrary. Following the plot, as soon as I started to feel even the slightest weariness, the game threw me into a new district which, surprisingly, was visually very different from the rest of the city. Also, apart from a different graphic style, each location focuses on a slightly different way of climbing successive roofs. In one place, we will jump more over the railings, while the next district is rich in narrow cornices.
“I fell in love with the great freedom, the sense of momentum and the faster heartbeat accompanying me while climbing the highest skyscrapers of the City of Luster”
On the other hand, I was worried about the weariness of running back and forth. I hate intrusive backtracking in games. Honestly, I have never used the “fast travel” feature in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, as running, jumping and rolling was incredibly fun. The more that I have rarely followed the same route. The open world complements the mechanics of this game very much and although I’m fed up with sandboxes lately, this gameplay structure fits perfectly with Faith’s adventures. We have virtually no limitations in reaching the destination. Known from the original Runner Vision, we can even turn it off when we feel like it, because although our senses show the safest route, it is not always the fastest or the most interesting.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a design masterpiece. The ascetic artistic vision is extremely coherent and at the same time very diverse
We usually expect sanbox a huge number of side quests and it is so. Of course, most of them come down to running. Once we will be involved in delivering mysterious packages on behalf of anonymous people, and other times we will be accosted by people who need more mundane help, such as delivering a special spice to a restaurant. Of course, there are also classic time trials. However, it is worth taking care of them only after a few hours of the game, when we unlock additional skills for the heroine. The time threshold is so small that without them it is hardly possible to maximize these challenges. The game has yet very nice social aspect, because time challenges can be freely set on the map for other players.
The challenges that don’t come down to running in time are craftsmanship in itself. The game also features a large number of tasks that boil down to finding the right path to the goal. These are a kind of field puzzles, the solution of which brings great satisfaction. One would like to see many more of them here. Maybe in DLC?
Faith grows in the heart
I mentioned additional skills. I will not spoil your fun because they are directly related to the new ways of overcoming obstacles and distances. I will only mention that The character development system appears in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Traditionally, for the collected experience points, we can unlock new skills and perks. By the way, as the story progresses, Faith also receives additional gadgets that give us access to new locations.
Unfortunately, not everything went smoothly. The creators, as promised, abandoned the theme of weapons, which are now biometrically assigned to KrugerSec employees, which explains why Faith doesn’t even try to pick them up. Another thing is that he has to deal with them with his fists and kicks.At first combat system seemed interesting, but after a few clashes with groups of enemies, it turned out that, just like in the original, he is very clunky and inconvenient to use. The game clearly encourages you to avoid enemies, rather than direct confrontation. On the other hand, we feel a certain design split personality, because during the game we are forced to kill all opponents in the area several times, which turns out to be extremely bothersome. Fortunately, the smooth running gives us resistance to enemy bullets.
Artificial intelligence has also not been improved. Enemies wanting to target Faith must stop in place and turn around like a tank. The problem is that if the cunning of computer opponents were turned up, with the current combat system we would have a real problem with getting rid of even a small group of corporate minions. So this choice is understandable in a way.
If you are wondering whether it is worth buying Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, you have to consider whether the very fluid and spectacular parkour is something that could be the main attraction for you in the game. The more so because sometimes you will spend even 15 or 20 minutes in uninterrupted run. I fell in love with the great freedom, the sense of momentum and the faster heartbeat accompanying me while climbing the highest skyscrapers of the City of Luster.