Monday, July 11, 2016

Review - Mirror's Edge Catalyst


Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a prequel to DICE's 2008 video game Mirror's Edge. It is suppose to tell the story of how faith became a runner and the events before Mirror's Edge. Catalyst starts off with Faith in prison, which we never learn why in the game unless you read the comic, just as she is being released. You jump right into the action from a few quick tutorials and you are off doing parkour on the roof tops of the City of Glass.

Catalyst is pretty fun when things get going, and the parkour feels great, as long as you don't stop. Which is pretty much how I played this game. But for what ever reason EA decided to make Mirror's Edge Catalyst an open world game and it is one of the major issues keeping this game from being great. I say one of, because there are a few other major issues as well. Lets focus on the open world issue first. I have to say that Mirror's Edge didn't ever need to be open world. It slows a fast paced game down and is not what this game is about. I pretty much skipped all the side quests and stuck with the main missions. The side missions were just a bunch of junk to add some fluff to hide the fact that the game is really only 8 hours long. Since it is open world you have to run to every mission. After 8 hours of this, it gets very tedious. I fully feel that they should have made it linear and spent more time fine tuning the parkour and combat. There was no need to make this game open world, it was like EA said....oh we got that and this and oh don't forget about that. All these added things should justify the $60 price tag. Sorry it doesn't, the crappy open world made this game weaker and took away development time from the main parts of the game that are fun.



Like I said before, the main draw here is the platforming parkour fast paced first person game play. It feels fluid and feels awesome just running around the city's roof tops jumping from building to building landing parkour moves from one wall to the next. This is one of the things Mirror's Edge Catalyst gets right. Though it is not perfect. At times the buttons wouldn't always land the action I wanted and I ended up falling or messing parkour moves up. It is not a major issue, but could have been something the development team might have focused more on if they didn't have to make an open world game and fill that world with junk missions.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a fun parkour platforming game. It shows you that you can have a FPS without guns and still be fun. Even if you don't shoot a gun, there is combat in this game, which is welcomed. The combat is all hand-to-hand melee. DICE said they improved the combat from the first one. But I feel this is one of the second major issues of the game. If they improved it, it sure doesn't feel that way. Maybe adding a skill point system is suppose to mean they improved the combat or something. I can say that the combat was one of the most frustrating parts of the game. It felt clunky and most of the time was annoying. It stopped the fast pace running, instead of adding a layer of fun, it just added frustration. I don't know how many times I had to reload a check point cause I died in combat. Most of your moves were useless except the heavy kick. Which I ended up using the whole game. This is another area of the game that should have been the focus instead of making it open world.



We haven't even talked about the story yet. Mirror's Edge Catalyst's story is an improvement from 2008's Mirror's Edge. But in the end it just sets you up for a sequel. There is no real conclusion here, it just ends and is like.....hope you buy the next one. But it does have some interesting characters and the story at least goes a little bit deeper into Faith and why she is running. But over all it is nothing special and isn't the draw here. At the least the story does keep the game moving forward.

Another major issue with this game is the bugs. I never ran into any game crashing or freezing bugs, but I did run into clipping issues and actions not firing off when they should have. These issues are all over the place, and shows that this game was rushed out the door too early. Again, I mostly blame this on adding open world, when this game didn't need it.

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Mirror's Edge Catalyst: 2 out of 5 - Ok Game.

There is a fun game to play here, but the focus on open world is what dragged this game down. Missed bug/issues, poor story, clunky combat, all should have been the main areas to focus on instead of adding hundreds of side missions that are boring and useless. If you can get this game for cheap or even rent it for a few dollars over a weekend, Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a fun game to play. But I wouldn't really pay full price for it. EA rushed this out the door and forced open world gameplay on DICE's interesting parkour platforming game.

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