Whether you want to call it a reboot or prequel to Faith’s story, one thing is for certain: it’s easily grounded in the same framework that made Mirror’s Edge great in the first place. My experience in the city of Glass was brief (13 minutes to be precise) but just long enough to get the flow started.
A brief tutorial taught me the basics to Faith’s arsenal of moves and how streamlined the controls have become. Similar to the upgraded Assassin’s Creed movement where free running transitions into an up and down breadth of movement, Faith was adjusted to a simple L1/L2 control scheme (the build I played was offered on the PC with Xbox One controllers) that felt more intuitive than the original mechanics. Any time I needed to scramble up a glowing red pole or vault over a gap, L1 granted me the mobility whereas the L2 aided in sliding through minor gaps or any other action that required a low profile.
Doing away with the straightforward areas of its predecessor, Catalyst promises an open-city experience where players can run around as they see fit through the city of Glass. This much was easily evident during the section that allowed me to play through three different challenges. A time trial race was fairly straight forward, rushing from point to point in the shortest amount of time possible. Early on, there was a segment that suggested Faith should slide through an open chute, down a few steps then burst through a door. This was the most direct approach, but there was a loss of momentum that kept me thinking that there must’ve been a faster, more fluid path to take.
Another mode saw me scale a large building to reach the top and hack a corporate billboard to put Faith’s mark upon it. The third and last mode was more of a combat simulator, or rather a Simulator focused around jumping from high above and landing upon unsuspecting soldiers. DICE has mentioned that gunplay is available in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst but it would be possible to achieve a full playthrough of the game without touching a gun and my brief time with Catalyst certainly proved that point.
Mirrors Edge Catalyst will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC when it arrives in North America on February 23rd, 2016