Preview: Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

After a long wait Faith finally returns in the prequel that is Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. It takes the best from the previous game but improves it with some nice little tweaks. We got our hands on the Gamescom demo and are more than pleased to share our first impressions in this preview.

Faith brought us here

The demo showed one of the first levels of the game in which Faith had to enter a facility, pick up the needed information and leave the building. It’s a simple task and a task Mirror’s Edge player might remember, but there are some important changes. First of all you’re able to set a waypoint on your 3D map. After you did this, you’ll see a red line on the map, pointing out the directions you need to go. Unlike other games, this path isn’t completely visible in your world.

Mirrors Edge Catalyst - Screenshots von der gamescom 2015
What this waypoint does is indicating the fastest route by marking certain objects in red. This means you’ll still be able to see the gorgeous city as before but you’ll need to keep a close eye on the red objects. The path is visible but never gets in your face; you’ll need to look for the red objects from time to time if you want to continue this path. Do you need to set those waypoints? No, not at all.

True freedom

Catalyst offers true freedom, the freedom every free-runner dreams of. Faith can move wherever she wants and however she wants. She can still climb, run on walls and grab objects to make her way trough the city and building. If you don’t use a Waypoint, you’ll see the environment as it is, without extra red objects. Even if you do use the waypoint, you’re not forced to go on that path. You can always change directions the way it fits you best. Exploration will be rewarded but the developers didn’t go into details on that one. Collectors will eat their heart out however since the city is filled with collectible orbs like the feathers of Assassin’s Creed.

Environmental puzzles

While you’re running around in the facility, you’ll need to find your way to the top level by solving rather easy environmental puzzles. These push you to observe your environment and find a path to the spot you need to reach. The puzzles we faced so far were very easy to solve but we’re sure it will get a lot harder in the full game. Just like the original, everything happens in first person, you see the world trough the eyes of Faith. This makes it a very realistic game but also makes it harder to spot the right objects that open a path, especially when you switch off the waypoints. Catalyst feels a lot like the original Mirror’s Edge but the running has improved a lot. This is without a doubt thanks to the extra force of the current gen consoles, we’re really glad to see Faith return in such a good shape.

Mirrors Edge Catalyst - Screenshots von der gamescom 2015
You are not alone

The most interesting part of the demo wasn’t the running however, since it looked a lot like what we’ve seen before. More interesting was the encounter with another intruder. This intruder isn’t a free-runner but a data thief. He seems to be interested in stealing some information of the facility but Faith decided to follow him. Long story short, the intruder commits suicide after killing somebody and Faith manages to get her hands on the stolen information. The downside? She’s been spotted and needs to escape.

Mirrors Edge Catalyst
Fluent combat

This brings us to the last and most thrilling part of the demo, the escape. Faith is hunted down by local police forces and must escape the facility in one piece. For combat she never uses guns but takes down her enemies with kick-ass free-running moves. Some of these moves even show Faith in third person. The combat is fast and feels like an extension of the free-running mechanism instead of a different gameplay mechanic. After some brutal battles and takedowns, the demo ended with Faith successfully escaping the deadly force, standing on the edge, holding the important information. It was a great first taste of the prequel and we simply can’t wait to get our hands on the finished product. We had to wait on it a little longer than we hoped for but one thing is for sure. Mirror’s Edge is back and it’s better than ever before!

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.