I like that Mirror’s Edge Catalyst seems to be a second take at the same ideas that drove the original, rather than a significant departure. Example number one: the pristine white city model that featured in the original game’s menu backgrounds is now an explorable map of the game’s open city. It’s also now an interactive website you can explore ahead of the game’s release.
Clicking around the City of Glass isn’t as fun as I hope leaping and mantling around the city will be, but it’s whet my appetite for exploring more of the place. Cities are great generally; cities of bold colours and grappling hooks doubly so.
Only one district of the game’s city is yet filled in on the map, but there are some things to click on that fill in detail about the world. For example AllCom, who “own the communication facilities and operates the Grid – the data network accessed by all employees in Cascadia.” (I do not expect to play Catalyst for its plot or writing, based on trailers released thus far.)
The original Mirror’s Edge was pretty divisive, and I think even RPS staff is pretty split on it. I loved it for its freerunning and for its world and was happy to tolerate its awkward and sometimes painfully fiddly combat. From what I’ve seen so far I half expect to feel the same way about the sequel, which has revised the combat system dramatically but which still seems to clumsily interrupt your momentum anytime I see anyone playing it.
We’ll find out for sure when the game is released on June 7th, which sounded like a long way away till I realised it was almost the end of May.