E3 2015: Talking Mirror's Edge Catalyst with Senior Producer, Sara Jansson

With Mirror's Edge Catalyst set to release on February 23, 2016, Shacknews caught up to Senior Producer Sara Jansson to see what we could learn about Faith Connors' upcoming adventure.


It’s been several years since the release of the original Mirror’s Edge, when fans were first introduced to ‘Runner’ Faith Connors and her exploits on the rooftops high above the streets of an unnamed city. Dice knows that fans have been waiting, though, and they’ve been working hard to create the best Mirror’s Edge they could with upcoming reboot Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. There are a lot of opinions out there about what a new Mirror’s Edge game needs, and earlier this week at E3 I managed to sit down with Sara Jansson, the Senior Producer on Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.

There were a lot of things I wanted to ask her, but probably the biggest question was this: what made you decide to keep the combat system, and refine it, instead of just doing away with it altogether and going for a completely passive Faith? I mean, let’s be honest. The original Mirror’s Edge was great, but it had its flaws. One of the biggest of those flaws was the combat system that just seemed tacked on at the last minute. It almost felt like DICE had forgotten that Faith needed to protect herself from the bad guys, and hastily worked to implement some kind of combat system into the game. What followed was one of the worst combat systems ever to appear in a game, and I’m not the only one who thought so.

Many fans argued that Faith shouldn’t even get into combat. That she should have to simply run, and escape her enemies. But that isn’t really a viable option, according to Jansson.

“We want to provide our players with variety of gameplay, just like we want to build on the fluidity of the movement. We still felt there was potential and place for the combat, especially since the story is about fighting the oppression of the ruling elite. We wanted the players to fight these guys and we felt that we could actually create a combat system that did add to the experience instead of detract from it like it did in the first game. I must admit it was very flawed. When you picked up a gun everything changed and it didn’t really work. It would have been easy for us to say ‘Oh DICE is really great at gunplay let’s just make the gunplay work well.’ But we really felt that we could build on the fluidity of the movements, put that into the combat, and provide an experience that is inline with the game but still provides variety for players.”

I can attest to this. The combat in Catalyst definitely feels more inline with the image that DICE is trying to paint, and the punches, kicks, and rolls that I was forced to use during my short time with the game also felt smooth, streamlined, and right. This is a huge deal, especially since the combat was so iffy in the first game, and I think that the final release of the game will see a lot of Mirror’s Edge fans happy with the changes that DICE have made.

But what about the story from the first game? What about everything we learned about Faith way back in 2008? Well I have good news, and bad news. We already knew that Catalyst was going to be a complete rebirth of the Faith Connors character. This is her origin story after all, and DICE didn’t want to just create a prequel so long after the original release of the first game. The good news, however, is we’ll see characters and references to the events of the first game.

“We want to build on the same character and premise, there will be a lot of things that you’ll recognize from the first game, but we didn’t want to conform ourselves to the plotline or idea of the first game, so this is not a sequel or a prequel," Jansson said. "What we’ve done is taken the universe, the premise, Faith as the character–you will recognize some characters from the first game, some hints, but this is just a fresh start.”

I think this is great news, and so far everything that I’ve seen from Mirror’s Edge Catalyst points in the direction of it being a great game. But, as with all things we see at E3, this isn’t final, and things are bound to change between now and February 23, 2016. For more details about Mirror’s Edge Catalyst be sure to check out my hands-on writeup.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 18, 2015 10:35 AM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, E3 2015: Talking Mirror's Edge Catalyst with Senior Producer, Sara Jansson

    • reply
      June 18, 2015 11:17 AM

      Why didn't you ask them what kind of shitty always online DRM tacked on multiplayer component it will have? Yes, that is me being cynical and pessimistic.

      • reply
        June 18, 2015 11:32 AM

        From everything they've told us, Mirrors Edge won't have multiplayer.

        • reply
          June 18, 2015 11:35 AM


          Thank you!

          • reply
            June 18, 2015 11:41 AM

            No worries. It's still too early to really say for sure, and I wasn't able to get any information out of Jansson about it, but nothing they showed at E3 has even hinted at a tacked on multiplayer.

    • reply
      June 18, 2015 11:22 AM

      The only thing I care about is if Solar Fields is doing the soundtrack!

      • reply
        June 18, 2015 12:27 PM

        The little bit of music in the trailer was super close.

Hello, Meet Lola