1. IntroductionMirror's Edge Catalyst has been released for almost a year now, but it has only been three days since I've had it into my possession, with finally having enough time to dedicate into playing this game.
And with this I must say for the +10 hours I have put into this game, with actually finishing the story and most of the side quests, I can really say that I am really impressed from this game!
Being an avid fan of the first Mirror's Edge game, I certainly was hyped once then announced that there would be a second game in this franchise. Whilst I couldn't actually take the time to enjoy it freely like I did in these last three days.
However what I did not know myself, (since I try to prevent all spoilers before I attempt to play something), is that this game is not a Prequel or Sequel, but rather a reboot of the franchise and the story of Faith.
2. TrailerFor those who did not see the trailer yet, it certainly is worth giving it a watch:
While this trailer just shows glimpse of the rather fantastic story, and small fractions of the actual gameplay. It does give the viewer an overall impression of the game.
3. StoryThe story actually starts with a prequel six volume comic book series called "Mirror's Edge: Exordium", where several of the characters and even the ground of the story is started.
As I did not know this from the start, the beginning of this game was a bit confusing for me. This I found also a bit lacking as they should've mentioned it somewhere more clearly (other than the loading screens) that the story had a prequel comic book series.
You pretty much now start off as a prison inmate on the day of your release, which will directly throw you back into the runners world where you once belonged.
The transition between this and how easy to follow the "tutorial" was actually done very properly, and at first I didn't even realize there was anything going incorrectly.
But further down the story I really started to ask questions regarding specific characters and how this game fitted into the first game's story.
The main protagonist did stay the same as in the first game, being Faith Connors. She was trained as a runner from when she was nine years old by the leader of the runner gang she's in called Noah.
The main goal of the story is to stop Gabriel Kruger's practices and to avoid to spread of a project called "Reflection" that would manipulate all mankind in the worst possible way imaginable.
Which would also danger all the runners and people off the grid, therefore you've gotten the task to stop him, and protect your friends and family.
Besides Cat (Caitlyn) Connors (Faith's sister) there aren't any other references to the old characters. This didn't really bother me as the new characters from this story were really well developed, and had a great character development on their own in this story.
So nothing much was missed from the old characters either as both had their own place in their own story timeline.
The general story, plays a lot more openly than I first expected, especially compared to the linear story from the first game.
With this more open world type game, I very much enjoyed the side quests that added its own part to the main story, giving it globally a more appealing touch.
One thing is sure, I really enjoyed playing through this game and experience this rebooted story of Faith!
4. GameplayGameplay wise not much changed, rather only improved on what they learned from the first game. Which in this kind of game is a really good thing to do.
The general feel of handling the character in this world was pretty amazing, and you could really see they spent a lot of time into fine tuning everything to fit every piece properly together.
4.1. The WorldThe rather large world you can run freely through, really blew my mind at first. At the start I thought it really would've been another rather linear story line through the already laid out path before you in the city, but I'm glad I was wrong.
The amazingly detailed, and greatly styled environment really made me enjoy this game even more.
The general world is divided in various parts of the map, with even an underground section. And to my surprise in this whole map, I never required to load another section.
The transition between everything was super smooth and really gave it that open and free running experience.
I especially loved the more high and fancy city part, as it had a really lovely aesthetic around them, crossing Japanese and Modern/Minimalistic style together!
4.2. Leveling/ExperienceThe only main thing that I found lacking, or more to say unnecessary, was the leveling/experience system.
While this does give the player a more "modern" gamified way of handling main and side quests, as well as time trials and such. I personally found it rather unnecessary to have, as most of the unlocks should have already been unlocked in the first place.
In general, getting experience wasn't all that hard, and at the end of the game, I unlocked everything. So there wasn't really any specific way you had to unlock these to get to your goals.
Therefore there wasn't really a need to actually finish side quests or additional work to gain experience. Rendering this experience/leveling thing for me rather useless.
4.3. Side MissionsEven though actually doing the side quests were unneeded, I rather enjoyed doing them, as they were fun and weren't too heavily intense either. Giving the player a bit of a break compared to the story.
What I especially loved where the GridNode missions, which not only unlocked fast travel to a specific area, but was just very lovely to complete them.
The least favorite of mine where the package deliveries, but in general they weren't too bad besides sometimes coming that single second too late!
5. GraphicsI can't say this enough, but graphics wise it was absolutely stunning! Not only did they properly cover the original aesthetics and feel of the first game.
They really improved on a lot of surfaces, making it even look better and more realistic!
What was even more amazing for me was how properly optimized the engine worked with these textures. As I had a really great and smooth gaming experience, without any lag at all and that with the highest settings.
I really must say that the 3D artists really out performed themselves on various surfaces!
6. OverallBy now you probably already know that I totally enjoyed this game.
Not only from a fantastic story point of view, but also visually and engine wise, it was completely top rate quality if you ask me.
DICE really did an amazing job, and even though I find it a bit of a shame that the first game's storyline did became irrelevant with this reboot.
I still must say that they did a perfect job in not messing with it either and making this a perfect alternative setting of the story of Faith!
So if you never played any of the games in the franchise, it doesn't really matter where you start as both games give you an amazing experience and a really impressive story. But if you'd ask me I would totally recommend this game as it really is an improvement on the first.
All in all I had an amazing +10 hours' worth of story and gameplay, with the fantastic Mirror's Edge Aesthetic and a superb open runner's world!