Catalyst is the Mirror's Edge game you always wanted


I realised how much the original Mirror’s Edge got under my skin during my walk to work after I finished it back in 2008. The muscle memory drilled into me by DICE’s first-person platformer turned every boring wall, ledge and fence from my hometown into a level from the game – one I definitely couldn’t play myself because it’d be frowned upon and I’m just too heavy. I knew Mirror’s Edge Catalyst had successfully tapped into the same mindset when I wandered through DICE’s Stockholm offices after sampling the upcoming closed beta, and started feeling the same sensation of the real world turning into a series of obstacles. This is a follow-up that’s retained the best thing about the first game in its entirety – the intricate free-running – and revamped almost everything else.

The biggest change is the open-world setting, which provides an entirely different experience to the tunnel-shaped locations of the original. The first area has a similar look to the early levels of the first game, all unsettlingly clean white rooftops. Your relationship with the environment changes because of this new structure, operating more like a large playground, where mission markers will take you across the same locations multiple times. You get familiar with routes, even though there’s almost always more than one way to get to where you want to go. Between missions, the pace is a little more relaxed. If you want to hang around the same place just running around for fun, you can, or you can set a waypoint to your next objective on the map, then have the environment light up in red and take you there.