Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Hands-On Preview
When you attend a show there’s always that one game that you just HAVE to fight to get your hands on. When a show or event opens, even with the press throngs, you still need to have your game plan.
As EGX 2015 opens the first day many head for Call of Duty, Battlefront or Just Cause 3. Me? I headed straight towards Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (AKA Mirror’s Edge 2).
The will they/won’t they development saga for DICE’s follow-up to 2008s Mirror’s Edge had become internet fodder for years until EA and DICE confirmed the existence of the game back in 2013. Since then things have been pretty quiet for the game until the recent showing at E3/Gamescom.
Getting my chance to go hands-on involved an agonising 8 minute wait whilst I’m shown a recap video for the movement and world of Mirror’s Edge. Watching the video the first person parkour mechanics soon came flooding back to me. Getting hands-on the actual title compounded that even more as moments later I’m leaping from rooftops in the City of Glass like I’ve never been away.
The short demo I played was 13 minutes in total and encompassed a short obstacle race, a climb and hack a billboard challenge and a small bit of hand-to-hand combat. The race mechanic will be more than familiar to those that played the first title. Control is just as fluid as ever with the left bumper being used to climb and the left trigger being used to descend. A trick borrowed from last year’s Assassin’s Creed Unity. It works incredibly well and is tightly implemented even at the Alpha build.
The billboard hack is just as you’d imagine. You traverse an area looking for a way to reach an electronic billboard. Once you do then you simply press a button to hack it. Finally we have the small delivery mission involving combat. As before combat is not the main focus and it’s more about incapacitating your aggressors than it is about killing. Faith can leap over and from many things and perform some brutal looking and sounding moved to take down the foes. A few bashes on the attack button followed by X managed to execute a special take down move although I’m unconvinced this wasn’t just a scripted event to empower the demo player.
As before the game is made up of a striking, stark white, world. Everything is bold whites and bold primary colours. Reds highlight areas or items that are traversable for instance. Controls are slick and tight offering flexible control over Faith’s arsenal of moves and effortless traversal of this sky-high playground.
Fans of the score that accompanied the original take heart. The musical pieces included with the alpha demonstration of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst were very promising indeed!
All told the short demonstration left me convinced that DICE are once again producing a very unique title. Whether it will offer any significant departure from the original Mirror’s Edge title it’s incredibly hard to tell at this early build stage of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.
My hopes are high though that they can execute on the promise and bring us another incredible adventure with Faith and friends. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst February 23/25/26 2016 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.