10 things we know about Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Intro: The original Mirror�s Edge was a
creative take on action-platforming, combining parkour-style free-running with first-person-shooter
aesthetics…and occasionally some FPS-style gunplay. The game didn�t make a major sales
splash at first, but over the years it built up a big enough cult following to warrant
a follow-up from developer DICE and publisher EA. The new Mirror�s Edge game, which is called
Mirror�s Edge Catalyst, won�t hit shelves until later this spring, but here�s what
we know about it so far. 1. It�s a prequel. In Catalyst, you�ll
play as Faith Connors, the free-running courier protagonist from the first game. But the story
of Catalyst will take place before the events of the original Mirror�s Edge, and players
will get to learn a bit about how Faith became the high-speed parkour god we know and love.
Details about the story are scarce, but from what has been released, it seems Faith gets
the attention of the ruthless corporate leader Gabriel Kruger by stealing something of his,
sparking a conflict between his security forces and Faith�s underground runner community.
DICE Senior Producer Sara Jansson has also promised that the game will �dive deeper
into the story behind our heroine Faith,� including some more details about her childhood. 2. It�s open world. For the prequel, DICE
has done away with the level structure entirely, instead choosing to let players loose in the
open-world city of Glass. Players can progress through the story at their own pace, and will
also have access to side-quests, races, and other non-essential missions. Glass itself
will feature a number of distinct districts to explore, including a high-rise district
called Anchor, a bustling downtown area, and a prosperous seaside section known as The
View. Each section has its own aesthetic and color scheme, although all of them maintain
the color-saturated futuristic urban look that the Mirror�s Edge series has become
known for. 3. Revamped, momentum-based combat. Catalyst,
like Mirror�s Edge, is all about movement. But the free-running theme wasn�t well integrated
into the combat of the original game, and that�s something that DICE is looking to
change with Catalyst. The developer says the game will provide �advanced combat that
is integrated into an improved fluidity of movement,� by making the hand-to-hand combat
system more reliant on Faith�s momentum. Some attacks, for example, will require momentum
to launch. And when Faith gets moving fast enough, she�ll actually become impossible
for enemies to hit. The idea is that hand-to-hand combat will become a part of your free-running
path, and you�ll chain attacks between wall-runs, pole vaults, and other acrobatic parkour moves
for maximum damage. 4. No more gunplay. Speaking of combat, you�d
better master the hand-to-hand system in Catalyst, because guns are gone�your enemies still
have them, but Faith won�t wield firearms in this game. That might seem regressive,
but it�s actually addressing a core complaint about the original Mirror�s Edge. Many players
said the gunplay in the original felt clunky and out-of-place for a game that was meant
to be about using movement and agility to evade enemies. Catalyst�s revamped, movement-based
hand-to-hand combat is meant to remove the need for any gun battles, allowing players
to take out troublesome enemies without forcing them to stop and pick up a gun. 5. The sound is supposed to be amazing. DICE
is a developer that seems to pay particular attention to sound – in its latest Battlefront
game, for example, it perfectly matched sounds from the Star Wars films to make players feel
like they�re really immersed in the world of Star Wars. In Catalyst, the company is
trying for that same level of immersion with a revamped set of sound effects designed to
better replicate the real-life sounds of running, jumping, and swinging across an urban playground.
The soundtrack has also been created with immersion in mind; it will automatically adjust
the music�s tempo based on Faith�s pace, so that when you�re moving faster, the backbeat
keeps up with your running rhythm. 6. Runner�s Vision is back, and improved.
�Follow the red� was Faith�s mantra in the original Mirror�s Edge, and that
Runner�s Vision system is back in Catalyst. Faith�s ideal path across obstacles will
still be highlighted in red, but the system has been improved significantly to offer more
options and to account for the open-world nature of the new game. Players will now have
access to a GPS-like system that will let them set a destination and then highlight
ideal routes. They�ll also have more choices than in the first game: runners who need a
helping hand will be able to set Runner�s Vision to �Full View,� which will give
a very obvious red trail to follow. Classic view will highlight some objects but leave
connecting those dots up to the player. Hardcore runners will also be able to turn Runner�s
Vision off completely if they want and navigate the city on their own. 7. Puzzles play a role. Movement is obviously
the core of Catalyst�s gameplay, but Faith will stop every now and then to take on a
new challenge: puzzles. Some of these puzzles will be the environmental, free-running kind
that also appeared in the first game, but reports suggest there may also be some hacking
puzzles and a few similar tricks to break up the free-running gameplay every now and
then. 8. Faith is getting some new gadgets. Aside
from her feet and her fists, Faith didn�t have much to work with in the original game.
But in this one, she�s getting a little help in the form of some James-Bond-style
gadgets. DICE has revealed two so far: a �mag-rope� that functions like a grappling hook, linking
Faith to floating security cameras and allowing her to swing into otherwise-unreachable spots.
The other is the disruptor, a high-tech part of Faith�s glove that can disable AI and
computer systems. We haven�t seen much of how these will be used in the game yet, and
it�s not clear whether those are the only gadgets Faith will have access to or whether
there could be more. But at least this time Faith doesn�t have to take the rooftops
with nothing more than her running shoes. 9. There are three factions. The original
Mirror�s Edge was pretty binary: it was Faith versus the world as she fought to save
her sister from a conspiracy. But the story of Catalyst promises to be a little less simple,
with three major factions at play. There is the Conglomerate, the wealthy and controlling
corporate rulers of the city of Glass. There is Black November, an anti-government resistance
movement that fights the Conglomerate. And then there are the Runners, Faith and her
partners, who may be caught in the middle…or perhaps playing both sides. 10. No VR support…yet. If you want to take
Catalyst�s immersion to the next level with VR, it looks like you�re going to have to
wait. The game won�t support any VR headset at launch and DICE boss Karl-Magnus Troedsson
has said that he doesn�t think VR for a game that combines first-person and vertigo
would have much mass market appeal. Then again, he�s also said that VR in Catalyst would
be �cool� and �great.� And even if EA doesn�t spring for VR support, fans modded
Oculus Rift support into the original Mirror�s Edge game, so PC players can likely expect
a similar mod for Catalyst somewhere down the line. Don�t expect it on day one, though,
or you�re going to be sorely disappointed. Outro: Mirror�s Edge fans have spent more
than half a decade waiting for a sequel that improves on the great ideas found in the original
game. DICE is taking some big risks with Catalyst, like switching to open-world and removing
gunplay from the game, but it sounds like those bets might be paying off. We�ll find
out on May 24, when the game releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. What are your thoughts
on Mirror’s Edge Catalyst? Let us know in the comments and subscribe to the skilled
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