So when Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was announced I was extremely excited to jump back into Faith’s perfect City of Glass and see how the story would progress.
The City of Glass got a major overhaul. Faith is more mobile than ever and everything is within an Open World Framework.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Video Time Stamps
- 0:00 Parkour!!!!
- 1:15 Welcome to the City of Glass, Again!
- 4:50 Saving Icarus from the Electric Prison
- 8:50 Faith, Combat and Parkour Action
- 18:00 Taking on the Grid node
- 28:25 Faith Versus the Security Hub
- 32:50 Upgrading Faith
- 35:20 Is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Amazing?
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Article Links
Let’s strap on our running shoes, snap on those sweatbands, and see if Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is amazing.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst At a Glance
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Gameplay
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst takes what made the original Mirror’s Edge stand out and adds a ton of variety to a structured base.
You run, jump, fight and parkour your way through the City of Glass.
Utilizing a level system complimented by a vast array of upgrades, you can make Faith better than she could ever hope to be.
You can spend skill points to upgrade Faith’s movement, combat, and gear.
Checkout 32:50 of the video for a full breakdown of how the upgrade system works.
Movement is used for traversal upgrades to navigate the city better. This includes double wall-running and even sliding just a bit longer to get through vents.
Combat is used to take down various enemies in a much easier way, from switching places to getting some amazing air kicks in.
Gear is unlocked by progressing through the story. This includes equipment like a grappling hook to propel yourself around the city.
The main issue I have with this system is that Faith is supposed to be one of the best runners in the business.
However, since she was locked away for a few years the story explains the need for a said upgrade as her being rusty and needing to relearn everything.
Faith, as explained in the first game and explored in the second game, has been a runner nearly her entire life.
Expecting us to believe that just being in jail made her forget a core move like a quick turn?
It bugs me that to get the upgrade menu into the game they needed to take away some of Faith’s core moves. Then lock them behind an upgrade tree when Faith had this skill from the outset originally.
I recently took a look at the original Mirror’s Edge and you can see how the two compare by clicking here!
Taking a look at the combat aspect of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst shows that the game did get an overhaul.
No longer can Faith pick up weapons due to them being bio-locked to a specific officer, which I always appreciate an in-game reason for this kind of thing. Copying Metal Gear Solid 4.
Now it’s all about hand-to-hand combat. Using the buttons and sticks you can juke around enemies with some cool punches.
Utilizing a fighting style that’s reminiscent of Riddick Escape from Butcher Bay–in-your-face fistfights.
The nice thing is that you can add Parkour to the mix and wall-run your way to victory.
If you can jump on it, you can use the momentum to take down your enemies.
At 11:40 the fighting starts in a cool arena with a ton of enemies to take down.
Using all the fighting skills we can fist fight our way to safety.
If you take a step back, you’re smashing the attack button until they go down but being able to vary it with Parkour helps it stand out.
Also hitting enemies close to your face is fun and exhilarating when you dodge and get a good counter in to take them down.
The last, but the most important to mention, is the Parkour of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. The bread and butter of the game.
Taking everything from the first game, creating an open world to explore, and giving Faith more tools all works in its favor.
The issue comes back to having to unlock a lot of what Faith had in the first game behind a skill tree.
Something you could do in the first game like a quick turn now requires a skill point to unlock.
It doesn’t ruin the game by any means, but it is frustrating to have the skills cut up in this way.
Running across buildings, narrowly not falling from wall runs, and swinging across giant gaps is all part of the world. It is such a big world and is fun to explore.
One would think that having an open world with more traversal would be amazing, but the City of Glass does come with its flaws.
The City of Glass is Pretty Sharp
The City of Glass is now an open world, no longer just a linear set of buildings to run through.
This is both a good and bad thing. The good being that an open-world parkour jungle gym is a ton of fun!
The bad being that this open world is flooded with a ton of collectibles that are a real pain to hunt down. The game does not provide much assistance with these collection tasks either.
Looking at the map we can see a variety of collectibles, all of which give you the experience to buy new skills.
The list contains:
- Surveillance Recordings
- Secret Bags
- Electronic Parts
This is a lot of collectibles to be on the map in one section of the City of Glass.
The original Mirror’s Edge has one collectible, the Secret Bag. For me, that was good enough!
I do understand that this open-world needs a bunch of stuff to collect to aid exploration and give you something to do. The problem is that it’s boring and not fun to hunt down the collectibles.
The game hides the collectibles around the world and makes them hard to spot.
Everything besides the Grid Nodes can be found throughout the world while you are being chased by enemies. The issue is that it can destroy the momentum when you need to get a collectible but are getting shot at.
If you stop to collect it then you risk dying, if you ignore it you may forget where it was since the game doesn’t mark it on the map.
Collecting everything should be fun but it turns into a chore when you need it to level up and finding everything is a pain.
The last thing worth bringing up is the side missions. The game has your standard time trials, don’t take damage with packages, and so on.
The Grid node puzzle side quests are used to open up fast travel to the many safe houses throughout the city.
They’re levels from the first game revamped into little sections you have to find your way around. They’re a ton of fun.
At 21:40 I attempt a Grid node and although I get confused a bit, I figure it out and then jump right back into the open world.
Is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Amazing?
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a great sequel to a great game series.
Although I prefer the first Mirror’s Edge, it is still a super fun game I can fully recommend.
The game’s flaws in no way overshadow the positive aspects of the game, but there are just too many collectibles on your adventure that slow you down.
Coming off fresh from the first game helped to add to the story and brought everything together.
The open-world only adds busy work to the game but the story missions are so much fun you’ll have a blast traversing through the City of Glass!