New York Comic Con 2015 allow me the opportunity to get some hands-on time with Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. The game is being developed by EA DICE using the Frostbite 3 engine and introduces new gameplay elements that many are going to love. Much of the visual style from the first game has been refined to give players a gorgeous city landscape to run and jump freely in. While the story of the game elements were kept under wraps during the demo I played, I got a very clear idea of the gameplay direction that Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is moving towards.
Mirror’s Edge has always pride itself on the parkour used to traverse through its urban environments. Moving through the open air above on rooftops was both invigorating and gave a strong sense of vertigo in some sections.
The view of the whole city from high above was simply gorgeous. Interesting enough however was my freedom to go to many areas I could lay focus my eyes on. Unlike the previous game that was more linear in design, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is far more open ended with where you can go.
Because the game is more open-world this time around, I was able to do a variety of missions that covered most of what was possible in the game. You have a map screen that marks various points of interest to begin challenges and other types of missions related to the game’s story. One mission had me running across rooftops to reach deliver a package within a set time limit. Taking my time to make tough jumps never punished me, but the sense of urgency was still there.
Another mission was more combat focused, which required me to reach a destination within a set time while simultaneously knocking out every enemy I encountered. This mission based format was much more enjoyable than the linear levels of the first game and encouraged more exploration of the buildings around you.
One of the biggest parts of the previous game that many took issue with was the combat. The combat of the first game never flowed too well with the fast free-flowing movement. This has been tweaked in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and makes the combat feel more part of your overall movement. Like before, fighting enemies isn’t your main objective but rather a setback towards your goal.
As I moved along the rooftops, I encountered enemies I could fight with various moves that helped open a path to keep running away. I wasn’t made to stop dead in my tracks to fight, but instead ran up to fight enemies while maintaining my momentum from moving around.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is shaping up to be a much better game than its predecessor. The Frostbite 3 engine has made the stylized visuals of the world look fantastic and grander in scale. My time tinkering with the gameplay was enjoyable and left me wanting to play more. I’m interested to see how the plot of game will unfold and curious how it will mesh with the new gameplay elements being introduced.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will release on February 23, 2016 and be available on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.
Will you be picking up Mirror’s Edge Catalyst when it releases? Did our preview help inform you more the game? Leave us a comment below and let your voice be heard!!!