On June 7th, video game developer DICE and publisher Electronic Arts will reboot a franchise that’s already reached critical acclaim with a past iteration. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will take Xbox One, PS4 and owners of Windows gaming PCs to the City of Glass to do battle with evil corporate forces that will stop at nothing to control an entire city.
For Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Electronic Arts had DICE balance what critics loved about past games in the series with player’s expectations. There’s a new story by an all-new team of writers attempting to lend the first game in the series more context. The game keeps the same general experience of Mirror’s Edge, but introduces some mechanics that take the series in a different direction.
The Runner, Faith Connors
Though Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a reboot of the game franchise, it’s not a total re-imagining. Catalyst has things in common with its predecessors. That includes the game’s main protagonist, Faith Connors.
Faith Connors is a runner, one of a small group of citizens that live within Glass’ borders but doesn’t subscribe to the blind obedience that other citizens do. They’re fast and agile, which makes them great at traversing the city’s rooftops while doing odd jobs for anyone that’ll pay them.
According to information about the game’s story already released, Faith is about the best Runner there is in the entire city. Right now, the Conglomerate that controls everything in Glass isn’t doing all that it can to get rid of the Runners. It uses them to relay information.
Something drastic upsets the state of things in Glass, forcing Faith Connors and others to take a stand against the shadowy forces running the futuristic city.
One big change for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is combat. This Faith Connors can’t and won’t use weapons, despite the Conglomerate doing everything it can to stop her.
EA Dice is Promising an Open World With No Loading Screens
Another huge difference from the earlier game, is the world in which the game takes place. Mirror’s Edge had a linear story. The same climbing and jumping abilities were present, but only within a set area established by the game’s creators. That is not the case with Mirror’s Edge Catalyst at all.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will still have a narrative, a narrative that explores Faith Connors’ beginnings in detail. That being said, that narrative will take place in an open-world. The entire City of Glass will be at the player’s beck and call. To fill this world, DICE has added Districts and Factions.
Player movements won’t be restricted in the same ways they were with the earlier game. What’s more, EA Dice is promising that the entire game world won’t have a loading screen between different regions. Of course, the game itself will have a loading screen when it first starts.
Free Running & First-Person Camera
Mirror’s Edge’s most defining feature will continue to be its first-person camera angle, gameplay videos confirm. Instead of seeing your character on-screen, players will see through Faith’s eyes as she leaps from building to building or takes down an entire squadron of enemies with a mix of kicks and punches. First-person is a camera angle we don’t see a lot of in adventure games lately. It’s more common in shooters.
The camera highlights Faith’s abilities. For Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, her movements have been streamlined. She’s able to seamlessly switch from climbing to jumping huge distances. When necessary, players can wall run around objects that stand in their way and use perch’s to get a better idea of where their enemies are. Faith has the ability to quickly change direction or slide into a small space. Rapid turns make her hard for enemies to spot and predict. To be effective, players need to build up momentum over time.
All told, Mirror’s Edge Catalysts’ movement system makes it equally part platformer and adventure game.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Gadgets & Attacks
Faith doesn’t have weapons, but she does have some gadgets. These gadgets make her even more dangerous for the Conglomerate.
First there’s the Mag Rope, a grappling hook that extends from Faith’s glove to the Conglomerate’s equipment. “New and unique traversal opportunities” are promised to those who use it well by EA DICE. The Disruptor allows Faith to interfere with security systems and the Artificial Intelligence that powers Glass.
Options are what the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst combat system is promising. For example, building momentum allows Faith to take down foes with a single punch. She can also avoid them altogether to focus on primary targets. These are called Heavy Traversal Attacks. Faith also has Light Traversal Attacks, and Shifting abilities that’ll put any enemy on their back. With Focus that Faith builds up as she gains momentum, opponents won’t even be able to hit her. Runner Vision gives players a good idea of what’s going on around Faith.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Has Online Play, Sort Of
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst doesn’t have co-operative play, but does feature what EA DICE is calling Social Play. Social Play basically amounts to leaderboards, with players able to compare Time Trial. Another feature allows players to place an emitter in a hard to reach location within Glass and leave it for their friends to find. Players are able to create their own Time Trials.
All told, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is going to be a very, very exciting release for the summer. GameStop and other retailers are already taking Mirror’s Edge Catalyst pre-orders ahead of June 7th’s release. A basic copy of the game costs $59.99 on Xbox One, PS4 and Windows PCs through Origin.