Mirror’s edge received mixed reviews upon its initial release in the fall of 2008, a first person free running game that offered a fresh perspective to a very white future. Mirror’s edge corporate driven storyline that we had been made to follow their strict rules in what seemed to be a world prison. The free runners were messengers for different factions of the corporation, apparently the only form of employment for our protagonist Faith. (Receptionist, doctor? Nope not even bikes in the future …. Mirror’s edge bike messenger…third installment right there ED.)
Mirrors edge catalyst is a continuation of Faiths story bounding and sliding all over attempting to bring down the corporation that controls the population. Now the game has not been released so this will purely be from the beta that was recently given to pre order customers.
Initially the game seems very similar (read: identical) to the original, control scheme and visually. The graphics have been polished a great deal since it’s unreal engine 3 prequel as its now rendered in beautiful frostbite 3 glory. The white city remains with convenient splashes of red to direct your free running prowess to. I was hoping they would give it a far more open world feel this time round and in certain aspects (point to point timed runs) they have.
The main story mission is still quite linear and I still find the fighting system quite stiff. In a group fight situation the first person element gets in the way, attempting to judge when an enemy may attack from behind is nigh on impossible so you find yourself dancing around in some sort of capoeira circle. The fights themselves are mixture of button bashing but also working out fight patterns which in the most part will take you seconds to recognise.
This being said I enjoyed the first installment as an escape from the norm of first person games. The main draw after completing the main story was the time trial/leaderboard element that pitted you against the rest of the world. I would spend a lot of my time shaving seconds off runs in the attempt to beat that guy from France.
I was hoping they would give it a far more open world feel this time round and in certain aspects (point to point timed runs) they have.
The beta does well in showing what frostbite 3 can do for this series. It keeps its charm and straight forward free running mechanics from the first installment and mastering your landing and vault techniques are the key to becoming a successful free runner. The fight system I still believe should have an option to switch to third person to allow better perspective and strategy. If your looking for something different then mirrors edge catalyst will certainly give you that and with a replay value after the story is worth its price tag.
The Question is.. Is Faith here to stay…?