Mirrors Edge Catalyst : Beta Impressions

The original Mirrors Edge was the very definition of a marmite title, gamers either loved it or hated it in equal measure.

Thankfully i was in the “loved it” camp and for years lamented the fact that it never got the sequel it deserved.

So when the news of a sequel broke i was first in line to sign up for a beta key.

So is it any good?

I’ll tell you in a minute….

First up, one of the best things about the original game was the art direction, Faith is one of my all time favourite video game characters and she sat well against the backdrop of the clean white city.

I also loved the synth soundtrack, i would literally have the Xbox 360 sitting idle in the main menu listening to the music on a loop.

Both those elements are still there.

The free running is slick, i haven’t played Mirrors Edge in at least 5 years and i felt like a parkour god after only a minute or two (despite my arthritic sausage fingers). It flows well. It also gives me chronic motion sickness after 30 minutes so it must be good – my inner ear thinks its for real.

So check that one off too.

The combat was never a big sell in the first game, but its improved here. I use the word “improved” because its still not as fluid as it could be, but its much better, you can slide into enemies and knock them into one another and pile into them from a height.

So a pass mark there.

The story in the original Mirrors Edge didn’t go down well with some at the time (i liked it) but i must confess im a bit wary this time around. While its hard to judge from the beta (obviously you only get a snippet of it) i am disappointed that its not following on directly from the first game – its apparently a “reboot” (shudder). Are those who played the first game supposed to consign the original story to the bin?

So tick the “wait and see box there”.

The biggest complaint with Catalyst is the RPG elements they have added in, where you level up and unlock skills and moves. I agree with the moaners that this isn’t really necessary, it doesnt add much and looks tacked on for the sake of it. Perhaps EA will offer an “unlock all the skill tree at once” package for £5.99 on Xbox Live at some point or something?

File that one under “meh”.

So is it any good?

This is a rare case where a beta has added to my anticipation for a game. I was getting it before and now i’ve had a spin on it im certainly picking it up.

The main elements are there, all the bits i loved about the original are present and correct.

Yeah im actually enthusiastic about something for once, go figure.