Despite not being the best it probably could’ve been, I really enjoyed the first Mirror’s Edge for trying to be different. Making a game with such a large focus on the simple acts of running and climbing was ambitious and weird to start off with, which explains why it didn’t sell all that well. And, more importantly, why a new entry has taken so long to come about. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is aiming for refinement and restraint in order to fix these problems, and it certainly looks like it might be paying off.
Since Mirror’s Edge is all about movement, it makes sense that every other part of its experience feed back into this core mechanic. Movement itself is paramount to success, with a new Focus Mode letting Faith hone her senses when moving seamlessly for a lengthy period. This allows you to pinpoint your movements more accurately, like landing the perfect grapple hook launch or making the perfect swing around a precariously high edge.
But Focus feeds directly into combat, which has changed drastically in Catalyst. Instead of slowing things down with weapons, Mirror’s Edge now lives and breathes off momentum, with combat success being directly proportional to how fluidly you are moving. If you keep momentum up, Faith enters a state of Flow – enhancing her attacks, expanding her skill set and chaining attacks together seamlessly. slow down and enemies become more of a threat, with your punches and kicks lacking the power they need to make a difference.
How these two core parts of Catalyst feed off each other is really clever, and should hopefully go a long way to making Faith feel more representative of her backstory than the first installment did. it also keeps the game moving at a breakneck pace, which the former game used to leave behind on a whim – those horrible sniper levels, for instance.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is out in May 24th for Xbox One, PC and PS4. It’s also – confusingly – getting a beta soon.
Last Updated: March 4, 2016