Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Specs Revealed, Abilities Locked Behind XP Upgrades

Did you qualify for the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst [official site] closed beta that’s set to kick off in a couple of days? If you did then you’ll probably want to make sure your PC’s got what it takes to send Faith running and jumping and swinging and sliding all over The City of Glass at break-neck speeds. If you didn’t, you’ve got just over a month to get your house in order before the game releases on May 26. When it does, it seems certain skills will be locked behind XP upgrades.

Unlike the original Mirror’s Edge, where Faith had access to all of her abilities from the outset, Catalyst will lock certain abilities behind XP upgrades. Combat, gear and movement will have their own skill trees whereby damage boosts, gear upgrades and advanced parkour skills can be obtained, among other things.

As reported by Eurogamer, this appears to have upset certain prospective players, however I quite like the idea of a more RPG-oriented progression system to keep things fresh – particularly if I’m forced to choose certain abilities over others in order to keep moving. What do you guys think, though?

In any event, if you don’t get this next bit right, you won’t get far at all. Here’s the game’s system requirements as per EA:


– OS: Windows® 7 64-Bit (use the latest Service Pack)
– CPU: Intel i3-3250 / AMD FX-6350. (Note: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst requires at least 4 logical cores to run.)
– RAM: 6 GB
– HARD DRIVE: At least 25 GB of free space
– VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 650 Ti 2GB or better / AMD Radeon™ R9 270x or better


– OS: Windows® 10 64-Bit (use the latest Service Pack)
– CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 at 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 at 4.0 GHz
– RAM: 16 GB
– HARD DRIVE: At least 25 GB of free space
– VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 4GB or better / AMD Radeon™ R9 280x 3GB or better

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is due for release on May 26, 2016.

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  1. Morte66 says:

    I am completely unenthusiastic about RPG progression, it leaves me stone cold, but it probably won’t do much harm.

    I am worried that it’s another pointer that they’ve added all the stuff that scored well on metrics in their other games, rather than setting out to make a good freerunning-with-some-platforming-in-a-world-that’s-visually-striking-in-an-austere-way game.

    But here’s hoping it works out.

    • Agnosticus says:

      I’m feeling exactly the same!
      It seems nowadays it’s not the game itself that keeps the people playing, but the RPG-like-progression-system-psychology-nonsense (and achievements) around it.

      • zxcasdqwecat says:

        I disagree, they are there not because of people but because they are (inelegant) solution to problems. Also because a lot of popular games do that and get emulated. In MEC’s case I think it’s a sign the game doesn’t have enough to it.

        • Agnosticus says:

          Never implied that people were the cause. It’s many AAA developers/publishers that trick people into playing on a bad game by triggering their reward center.

          • zxcasdqwecat says:

            It’s not about the people. Well yes you can argue everyone has some kind of compulsive disorder if you want but mirror’s edge as a game in barebones and you play everything in the first ten minutes of training. There is no sense of progression because that is tied to stronger and stronger guns you don’t use. Which is why the put this progression bullshit in the new game, which arguably will only waste your time.

    • DasBilligeAlien says:

      I think your right at least partially. There are certain expactations and with a higher budget come the contraints of heaving popular features (like multiplayer was a must have not long ago).

      But its also the open world nature of the game. To avoid being random and chaotic a progressionsystem that ihelps giving a sense of direction. that said I think It works against the very nature of the game.
      With a progression systen and locked skills you can also gate content. Which helps if you want a have a longer playtime and replayability as bulletpoints in a review.

  2. Replikant says:

    In general, I despise the ubiquitous use of skill-trees and unlocks in almost all genres now. In this case, it seems especially unnecessary. I would prefer if they hide skills behind key-combinations. At some point in the game someone would tell you: This is how you wall-run, with a helpful pop-up saying, e.g. “Press x and hold space while running”.
    This way, if you wanted you could experiment to find hidden skills prematurely. Also, using a skill would then involve practicing to get sequences and timings right. Having a simple skill unlock is boring, lazy and annoying.

  3. lagiacrux says:

    what? NO! why?

    why would you lock parcour moves behind progression? thats the whole point of the game. why do devs nowadays feel obligated to hamfist rpg mechanics into every genre?

    god i hope the unlocks are at least fun. not some uninspired +5% to kick damage or something.

    …. i dont know … i feel really sad right now :/

    • RobinOttens says:

      Well… I heard one of the skills you can unlock is the ability to turn around… apparently Fate needs some more experience jumping from building to building before she learns how to do a 180 turn.

      I can sorta understand why they added progression mechanics to unlock moves, but it’s a bit silly in context. Especially if it’s gonna be basic movement skills any eight-year-old has.

      • RobinOttens says:

        “Quickturn ™” as per the official site. And it looks like the ability to do a roll has to be unlocked as well, ok..

        • TechnicalBen says:


          IRL we learn things. But how? By going and paying for training. Very rarely do we skin 700 rats and all of a sudden we can cook a 3 course meal.

          So if it’s gameplay, is it fun to unlock quickturn and roll? No. Wall runs or cool special moves yes. But basics to the game? Gah.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            I never went for training to learn how to cook, certainly never went to training to learn how to run and jump or do a bloody forwards roll.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            The point is the game shouldn’t prevent you from doing this stuff altogether until “training” is given. Training at best should be used to enhance moves, so you learn how to wall run farther, jump higher etc.
            If a game has to keep drip feeding the player new moves, I have to question how deep the core gameplay is personally.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        I’d say the Batman games did this sort of progression well, he got new gadgets which opened up new areas etc. In mirrors edge it’s only ever gonna feel forced that these parkour masters are learning x,y and z skills but by bit but only when they are told. It should be creative and experimenal, the learning point should be the player mastering inputs to pull this stuff off, not click a button in a menu dictated by an experience bar, why must every AAA game have some kind of experience bar in it ffs.

  4. Eight Rooks says:

    While I really, really didn’t like Mirror’s Edge, this still strikes me as a bad call. That’s not meant to gloat, but to observe that sure, I can see people who did like the first game might well feel very apprehensive about this, and it seems depressingly likely it’s been added mostly because the kidz love their unlocks rather than bringing anything new or exciting to the formula. From the Eurogamer article it seems suspiciously like “Uh, shouldn’t she know this stuff already?” rather than “OMG, eureka, now I can do X”. Eh, maybe it’ll just be a short stretch of grinding/frustration through the opening stages and then nothing much to worry about after that.

  5. BathroomCitizen says:

    Yah, I hate how they ALWAYS have to add skill/leveling progression in a game that doesn’t need it.

    It creates too much hassle for me, stopping and having to read and have to decide what to upgrade and what not to.

    Just give me the tools and make me feel FREE!

    • TechnicalBen says:

      It is entirely so they can sell a DLC that gives you an XP boost… I have no words for such lows.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        No it’s really not, it’s usually to mask that the gameplay is shallow and repetitive by keeping the player chasing that next unlock because “this sounds cool”.

  6. icarussc says:

    People who don’t like this are looking at it wrong — this is completely intentional, not as a symptom of UbiBloat, but as a way of easing players into the daunting task of using the full parkour skillset. I’d be surprised if this didn’t give more of a Zelda/Metroidvania feel to the game.

    • Replikant says:

      So, what would be wrong if you had easier routes at first which didn’t require the full skill-set? Nothing wrong with having multiple training areas throughout the game where advanced skills are introduced and practiced later but are available from the get-go for more skilled players or those on a second playthrough.
      The intention is clearly to cater to the “unlock=advancement” psychology and to artificially increase replayability, in my opinioin.

      • BathroomCitizen says:

        Yep. And the thing is that you’ll probably have to choose between a skill improvement at level up, or a damage/weapons upgrade.

        That sucks. Just give us the movement stuff from the get-go.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      You accomplish this by just having everything unlocked from the start and not requiring use everything till later on. Sonic Generations did this. You only get tutorials on mechanics like wall jumping, light dashing and stomping before the first time you play a level that requires them but you can actually do all of them from the start (and the first level of the game has routes that use them so that you can still use those mechanics to get faster times if you’re replaying, but new players aren’t overwhelmed).

    • gou says:

      the problem for me is this is faith we are talking about, she ran and jumped through hell already, she knows how to move the city like no other. What they should have done is make her sister the protagonist this time around, having faith train her up as a tutorial if need be

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Games never used to need this, why do players suddenly need to be care neared through games lest their brains explode due to too much confusion? There is nothing to stop. Them putting in game instruction in at points without flat out restricting the player from experimentation and discovering cool stuff on their own makes no sense.

  7. Jediben says:

    16gb of RAM hahaha! The future is here everyone!

  8. c-Row says:

    Preorder the Athletics Edition now for an exclusive double jump skill!

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Nah, that takes half an iota of work. Double XP or XP drops/boost is even easier work for more cash.

      They should really just have credit card pop ups for resource drops in… oh wait they did that already didn’t they!?

  9. Banks says:


    The more I see the less I like it. And that’s a shame, because I really wanted to like this.

  10. Muzman says:

    Gating the moves/skills with XP does seem a little weird. In the original the moves kind of gated themselves because they were difficult to execute.
    That was part of the interest: you could take a faster/different route if you could do the more precise moves.

    The problem the game has was bring people in to this thinking. So I guess this could be a way to do that.

  11. Slazer says:

    A friend asked me just yesterday about how to get his 10 year old PC up to speed for modern games.

    FX-6300 was the go-to model for cheap entry level CPUs, I think this is the first time I see it not meeting the minimum reqs.

  12. Leroy says:

    I have played through original Mirrors Edge 5-10 times and was expecting to buy this Day 1.

    However, the RPG gating really bothers me. I suspect I will still pick it up, but maybe once it has hit the bargain bin. There is too much competition in the games market for me to sink full price into a game which requires grinding unlocks.
    I can see some people really enjoying this mechanic, but personally (in single-player games) I like really short games which are very mechanically tight.

    On a related note, the act of locking abilities away in a game and story which is all about freedom seems a bit odd. Fight the (RPG) system for freedom (of movement)!

  13. DasBilligeAlien says:

    The xp unlock is really concerning. Together with a lot of other desgn decisions by DICE I will likely wait for a sale. i am also not sure If it will run on my computer…

  14. Monggerel says:

    What A Bummer

  15. kud13 says:

    Gear, I can see being justified on some level.

    Combat, cringe-worthy as the concept is, same.

    But who on earth thought it a good idea to gate parcour moves in a parcour-focused game???

    I have a creeping suspicion they’re trying to go for the Arkham games feel, with certain collectables requiring certain moves to reach. I’m really not sure how i’d feel about that in a Mirror’s Edge game.

    • jezcentral says:

      You make a good point. This sort of thing is in the Arkham games. I don’t remember people complaining that Batman should know everything already.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        But that is a Batman game. He gains “moves”.

        This is a running/jumping game.

        That’s like making Mario learn jump later in the game. Or learning run after 10 levels. As many have said “special moves” and “extra gear” is great. Basics the first game covered as a means to… like… *jump* and *turn* are not.

      • willy359 says:

        Actually, I do remember thinking it was unrealistic that Batman hadn’t thought to bring all his gear in the first place. I also found it unrealistic that this highly experienced martial artist still had so much to learn about fighting from a bunch of random mooks. Immersion-breaking.

        Ideally, I think, a game should give you all your abilities as soon as possible, then get more challenging by forcing you to use them in new ways and new combinations. But that’s hard. Much easier for a game to go “Ding, upgrade.”

        • kud13 says:

          Occasionally, when Bats scrounged gear from defeated opponents or environment, it made sense.

          At other times, it was falling back on the traditional batman trope of “he has inventions for every occasion, but he doesn’t know what may be useful, so he doesn’t carry them all at once. Which is mostly ok, but replacing the ice grenades in City with Glue grenades in Origins (a prequel) felt really off.

  16. teedle says:

    What does this mean when you have to do moves like raising your legs and rolling in order to not get hurt? Do you just get hurt until you do their silly progression? I just wanna parkour around the city . . .

  17. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    What a shame.

  18. sosolidshoe says:

    I’ll wait & see on the progression aspect, but it does seem completely moronic to make a game that’s supposed to be all about movement then locking away a significant amount of ways to move. Also hilariously ironic, given the “movement = freedom = escape from tyranny” themes at play in the story.

    What I find most annoying about this however isn’t actually anything to do with the game, it’s bloody GPU rebadging – this is about the third game in a row now where I’ve had that sinking “oh balls, I don’t meet the minimum specs for this” feeling before I remember the R9 280x 3GB is basically the card I own(7970 GHz Edition) just with a new name. Then I have to do the fucking stupid CPU dance figuring out if this generation of i5 is better than a newer generation of i3 blah blah. It’s infuriating – so many people in tech, especially hardware tech, like to crow about how clever we are compared to normals, but most of the confusion normal folk express when dealing with tech is due to this kind of intentional and pointless obfuscation.