‘Mirror’s Edge 2’ Is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Not A Sequel

Announcements are usually supposed to clear things up, but the game we’ve blithely assumed would be called Mirror’s Edge 2 is perhaps hazier than before. EA today announced that its actual name is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst [official site] and no, it isn’t a sequel.

Seems they’ve done enough work back at the drawing board “re-evaluating every aspect of the game” that it’s now “a new experience”. We’ll find out quite what that means during E3 next week.

Senior producer Sara Jansson explained in a statement on the game’s site this afternoon:

“Mirror’s Edge has always had a special place in the hearts of all of us at DICE. The first game had a lot of promise. It was unlike anything else in terms of the gameplay and style — it had a unique soul. But as much as we loved that game, we knew it could be more. So that’s what we have set out to do as we introduce Mirror’s Edge to a new generation.

“The team has spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect of the game and making it a new experience. This is not a sequel, this is not Mirror’s Edge 2. We have landed on a vision that honors the first game — pushing the boundaries of first person movement and diving deeper into the story behind our heroine Faith — but also brings a lot of great new, interesting gameplay and features to the experience for our players.”

That could be awfully exciting depending on which direction it goes in. The prototype footage EA showed at E3 2014 looked like the game was maybe leaning more towards the swift, cool thing I’d imagined it would be, perhaps with more – but less awful – combat. That’s a lot to read into a short concept demo though. Maybe I’m just a sucker for slide kicks and nice first-person melee animation. See for yourself:

71 Comments

  1. SigmaCAT says:

    Oh, the music! Oh gosh! Oh the humanity! Oh my poor heart!

  2. bleeters says:

    I’m going to assume it means ‘more shooting’.

    • Crafter says:

      I hope not, it really feels that the shooty parts were added because it was easier to sell the project to the corporate juggernaut with them.
      I think that ME would have been a better game without the guns (at least in the heroine hands).

      • phlebas says:

        “spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect of the game and making it a new experience”…”a vision that honors the first game”…
        Sounds like corporate juggernaut speak to me.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        The shooty bits were, in fact, added at the 11th hour at the demand of the publisher. If the game had been designed from the ground up with shooting in mind it would have played considerably better – although I still wish it had been made a pure parkour and martial arts game. We’ll probably never see that outside the realm of the indies though.

        The entire plot of the game was gutted and stitched back together multiple times during development too, which goes some way towards explaining the awkward dialogue and ham-handed anti-authoritarian preaching.
        I’m still on the fence as to how good a games writer Rhianna Pratchett is, but she certainly doesn’t deserve the knocks she took for her writing credit on Mirror’s Edge considering how little of her script survived unscathed.

  3. Chaz says:

    She tattooed her eye!

  4. Xzi says:

    Surprisingly, even after “re-evaluating” and “EA” were mentioned, it looks like it could still actually be good. We shall see.

  5. Terragot says:

    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  6. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    “Seems they’ve done enough work back at the drawing board “re-evaluating every aspect of the game” that it’s now “a new experience”. We’ll find out quite what that means during E3 next week.”

    Well, since the prototype video looks almost exactly like the first game, I’m guessing it means the marketing people are getting out ahead of the very-obviously-a-sequel with of hyped-up semantics.

    • Xzi says:

      Definitely looks to be more combat involved. Along with a lot of new parkour movements. Not much else seems to have changed.

  7. gabrielonuris says:

    I don’t know why, but I don’t expect this to be better than the first one. Not even as good as. And to be clear: yes, I loved the first one, I sincerely don’t know why so many people wish it was different in any way, to me it was just perfect.

    • Xocrates says:

      Personally, I think the game just has a bunch of small flaws that accumulate enough to make it an occasional frustrating experience, even if the rest of the game is largely highly enjoyable. It’s very much the kind of game where a sequel iterating on what works and what doesn’t could elevate it from good to truly great.

      If it have fears of the new one not being as good as the first one is because I don’t trust EA to “get” what worked and what didn’t in the first one, and could easily see them push it in a more “marketable” direction.

    • Muzman says:

      Well a more coherent story would be nice. But, yeah, I think most of its gameplay problems are simply a matter of level design and not a lot else. What they were doing was pretty unusual and could have used some more Valve-ish refinement to avoid some of the pitfalls they stumbled into once or twice.

  8. JimThePea says:

    They’re going to mess this up, aren’t they? *sniffle*

  9. kud13 says:

    I’m cautiously pessimistic about this “re-imagining”, because, well, EA

  10. Tatourmi says:

    Why the jacket? I don’t know why but I can only think about this jacket. The character used to scream “efficiency” and that useless jacket disturbs me a great deal. What have I become?

    • Sin Vega says:

      Do you mean the leather thing? I’d guess that’s probably just the art team doing all they can to spruce things up a bit without drastically changing her look. ME had such a stark and simple aesthetic that any big changes would probably be off the table, but you have to do something or it’s just boring for everyone.

      More practically, I’d definitely take a leather jacket over a flimsy little tank top if I was likely to be scraping off concrete and girders and rivets and all sorts of crap people aren’t meant to be running and climbing over. If anything it’s a surprise that she’s still not covered her shoulders. Just imagine the state of them after the number of heavy doors she charges open in the first game. She’ll be barely able to carry her shopping home by her early 50s. Take some time off, Faith! Hire a physio, look after yourself.

      • Tatourmi says:

        But as you said: That “leather thing” accomplishes nothing. It does not reasonably protect her from friction, from cold, from bullets and blows, and it just seems out of character somewhat. I liked the sportswear Faith. She cool.

        But yeah, Faith, get a physio. Take some time off. Listen to your friends.

  11. Sin Vega says:

    Calling the Mirrorz Dead DLC now.

    Also today I learned that I am apparently Faith’s aunt, because my overriding thought during that fairly pointless video was “gosh hasn’t she got tall”.

  12. ffordesoon says:

    Translation: we’re proud of Mirror’s Edge, but it didn’t sell enough copies, so we’ve shoved lots of mechanics and structures from other videogames people like into this one to make it more like all the other fucking videogames, and now we’re going for the ‘reimagining’ angle to cover our asses when people freak out.”

    Here’s hoping I’m not as fluent in EAspeak as I think I am.

    • JimThePea says:

      You mean you don’t look forward to crafting trainers that give you +15% damage to explosive weapons? But it’ll really come in handy in those 32-player deathmatches!

    • MadPlague says:

      Can’t wait for parkour zombies

  13. Gap Gen says:

    Just a note that the link in [ ] seems to point to the current page.

  14. rustybroomhandle says:

    By “expanding on the character” I think they mean her lips, to make her as generic and flavour-of-the-week as possible.

    Good thing the game is first-person, because that’s Faith no more.

    • Horg says:

      Maybe the botox was part of a midlife crisis. It would be nice to be hyped for the new ME game, but based on everything they’ve shown so far i’m struggling to care a lot. They could very well be digging the grave of this IP.

      • El Mariachi says:

        Given her propensity for falling off of rooftops, she’d have had to have her midlife crisis when she was about nine.

    • beuks33 says:

      “You want it all, but you can’t haaaavvveee iiiiiiiiiiiit!!!

  15. r0ck03 says:

    All that fluuf talk makes it sound like a HD remaster.

  16. HidingCat says:

    I’m missing something: what’s different? The conceptual video I thought was for the first game, but it’s not. So what’s different?

  17. gunny1993 says:

    Just keep it simple, get rid of guns, make enemies with guns a substantial threat to which the player must react around.

    I really liked mirrors edge but its clearly a minimalistic game, something EA doesn’t really understand, as they seem to think adding features is the same as adding quality.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      One good thing I noticed in there: There seem to be quite a few cops now who are unarmed or armed with truncheons. Still a fair few SWAT machine-gunners, but they may have gotten the idea that gun-armed cops should be used lightly.

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        Ooh, I hope they take the opportunity to make the billyclub guys show some self-preservation instinct when Faith has a gun and they don’t. Given how you can’t just keep a gun with you all the time, and given that the original had an achievement for a no-kill playthrough, I think it would be balanced and quite flavorful to occasionally have the option to disarm a SWAT guy, then brandish his gun aggressively to make the beat cops back off while you make your escape.

  18. edwardh says:

    Of course it’s not a sequel. Did you not pay attention?
    They said that right from the beginning. Multiple times. Until I got sick of hearing it.
    (I wanted a sequel. One as faithful to the original as possible. Because I loved the original. And I would still play those Time Trials if they were available on Steam.)

    • edwardh says:

      The Time Trials DLC, obviously.

      • Cockie says:

        They’re on Origin. Yeah, I know, but still.

        • edwardh says:

          Unfortunately, that’s no “still” for me…

          Because I bought the game on the 360.
          I bought it again on Steam.
          I will not buy it a third time…

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      It’s surprising how difficult it is to pirate the Time Trials DLC. Best I could find is a mod that lets you (manually) substitute one of them at a time for the first regular time trial level, which is not satisfying.

      (I have zero moral qualms about pirating stuff that the creator refuses to sell me. I figure they don’t want to take my money, I don’t want to give them my money, everybody’s happy.)

      • edwardh says:

        I totally agree with you.
        I bought the game twice and the time trials DLC once on the 360.
        EA got enough money from me. And yet, I can’t play the damn time trials on my PC…

  19. EhexT says:

    “We’re remaking Faith for a new generation” is marketing speak for “fuck the people that bought the old game we need to be more like Ubisoft and wide appeal our game into a grey gruel”.

    • grimdanfango says:

      The odd thing is, that was the 2014 trailer, so this latest announcement is actually saying that they’ve “spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect” of a game that a year ago they were “remaking for a new generation”.

      Maybe… just maybe, that means they realised they screwed it up, and have moved back towards the true essense of the original.
      That’s a lot to ask of EA though… a LOT.

      I think this will be it for me, the final f*ck I could conceivably give about a single future EA title. I would even bother to install Origin if this turns out well.
      They could redeem themselves by for once putting a little “Faith” in their own developers, or they could proceed as usual, and hammer the final nail in their own fat, greedy coffin.

      Perhaps E3 2015 will reveal the path they’ve chosen.

  20. Urthman says:

    “diving deeper into the story behind our heroine Faith”

    Hands up everyone who was clamoring for Mirror’s Edge 2 because they were dying to know more about Faith’s backstory.

    Maybe, like, her mom died in childbirth and she was raised by her dad, who was an upright police officer in a world full of crooked cops?

    • Xocrates says:

      Actually, the fate of Faith’s parents is one of the few bits of backstory the first game does give. So your joke kind of falls flat :P

      (unless they completely rewrite it, which would not surprise me)

      • gunny1993 says:

        Not if she’s actually an Android with implanted memories !!!!!!

        Ripping off P.K.D is fully encouraged

  21. yhancik says:

    With a title like that, it better be optimised for AMD GPUs.

  22. rocketman71 says:

    Movement looks great, the people saying idiotic things should be cut.

    Regardless, this will be on Origin, so no buy.

    • Herbal Space Program says:

      Wait, not on steam? This is the only game I want from them!

      • thedosbox says:

        I sympathise, however my experience with Origin under Dragon Age Inquisition was fine. It has enough customization options so you can turn it into a clone of steams “my installed games” view. No need to view the store or their marketing messages, and no obnoxious popups ala Uplay.

  23. Doganpc says:

    So here’s the game we ACTUALLY wanted to make, thanks for pre-ordering!

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      In game development a game often only really comes together towards the end of the process – all games are terrible until they are not – so depending on if you have infinite budget or not, often the sequel ends up being “the game you ACTUALLY wanted to make” because now you have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t plus player feedback. Though this can also be mitigated somewhat with extensive prototyping or open development.

  24. Jason Moyer says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see anything in the E3 2014 video’s combat that couldn’t also be done in the first game. The vaulting-into-a-disarm and wallrunning-into-a-dropkick moves were staples of ME.

  25. PopeRatzo says:

    Assassin’s Creed with leggings.

  26. poisonborz says:

    Appropriate, since all the concepts look and feel absolutely like the original Mirror’s Edge.

  27. abHowitzer says:

    It could have been more? What, no. That’s exactly what made Mirror’s Edge so good: It wasn’t anything more than parkour in a lovely setting with awesome music. Don’t make it more, just make more of it.

  28. tonicer says:

    Let’s just hope this one will be PC only.

  29. Myanacondadont says:

    “We’ve made the game easier and a lot less twitchy so that our primary target (console gamers) gets less frustrated while playing it. We’ve also added more combat because research has shown us that our target demographic (teenagers) is more interested in action games that incorporate lots of violence and guns.”

    It’s all about the money, it’s all about the dum dum didi dum dum.

  30. fish99 says:

    Other than a few new moves that footage could be straight out of Mirrors Edge, so I don’t see the cause for such pessimism.

    Having said that I preferred the old Faith. She looks too western now.

  31. Nixitur says:

    I think the most important part of that trailer, to me, is what they said about combat.
    “She hits quick, fast and hard and then moves on.”
    as opposed to
    “She picks up a gun, stands still and spends several minutes sniping dudes.”

    However, since that trailer is now a year old and they’re apparently “re-evaluating” everything about the project, it could mean that EA just put their foot down and said “We need more shooty bits, give us the shooty bits.”
    Still, cautiously optimistic.

  32. Lumi says:

    Not mentioned once in the comments:

    Developer is DICE, studio behind first Mirror’s Edge and EA doesn’t mess with their work much, thanks to the mountains of money Battlefield has made for them.

    • grimdanfango says:

      EA doesn’t mess with their work?! When they’ve got their MOST significant source of continuing income at stake? The suits sure as hell aren’t going to just let them get on with it in peace. Battlefield is their COD, it’s an asset that needs to GROW continually in order to placate shareholders.

      About the only way a project could avoid EA tampering would be if they simultaneously manage to keep it small enough as to not be worth the effort, and at the same time manage to go long enough to actually release the game, before EA notices that they’re financing a project they don’t consider worth the effort to tamper with, and “correct the glitch” entirely.