Mirror’s Edge Catalyst: Smooth Landing or Stumble?

Having just been released, reviews are piling up for the long-awaited, barely-expected sequel. The verdict? *Very* similar to the first game.
Released in 2008 when VR was still a pipe-dream, developers DICE Interactive sought to combine the acrobatics available in 3rd-person games with the visceral first-person perspective so many shooters enjoyed.
The results were hard-won. Long before a dictionary of terms was formed to describe the difficulty of getting a stationary human to believe they’re moving in incredible ways without vomiting, “Mirror’s Edge” sought out ballet dancers and neuroscientists in order to create a compelling and tolerable take on first-person parkour.
The result? A game with an incredibly compelling foundation of mechanics…hampered by a boring story and questionable motivation to engage those mechanics.
Sure, the visuals were striking, the animations fluid, and those parkour abilities were liberating and exciting in a totally new way. Enough to (eventually) warrant a sequel.
Now, that sequel seems to prove that the strongest complaints about the original were addressed by simply ditching the strange, flash-animated cutscenes, with boring in-game characters who grate on the senses as much as the movement and visuals entice them.
Once again, the means of traversing the environment provide the strongest reason to recommend the game, yet the story hampers the appeal. Not just because what it offers is fairly bland, but because the world meant to support it is still built for your free-running, not to convincingly support the idea that it’s a real place with real stakes. This “City of Glass” is little more than that.
The game does make some effort to expand the base story with sidequests and puzzles, which do provide some compelling additional content. Essentially, your decision to purchase should come down to how much you’d like to use those Mirror’s Edge mechanics in a new space. If you’re legitimately invested in the continuing adventures of robber/courier Faith, chances are you’ll be disappointed.