E3 2015: Mirror's Edge Catalyst is the Faith Connors that Fans Deserve

Building off of the popular Mirror’s Edge of 2008, DICE has been working hard to upgrade, redefine, and completely revamp what Faith Connors' story means, and how players interact with her world.

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It’s been quite a while since anyone has been able to try a new Mirror’s Edge game, and sitting behind the test station during E3 today I couldn’t help but tingle with excitement. I really enjoyed the first game, and so this second one has me excited because it's so clearly a step in the right direction. Mirror's Edge Catalyst is basically everything good about the original Mirror’s Edge, but DICE has refined it, rebalanced it, and made it a more fluid, smooth experience.

During the thirteen minutes of time I was given with the game I was placed within two separate scenarios. The first portion showed me how the story would unfold through the final product, and introducing a couple of the characters that you’ll run into when you play the final game in February of 2016. The second portion was more ‘choose your objective’ style, and I was given a few different options on how I wanted to proceed. I could either ‘Run a Dash’, ‘Hack a Billboard’, or ‘Run a Delivery’.

The first thing I decided to do was Run a Dash mission in order to get myself acquainted with the controller scheme that was setup for the demo. We were using Xbox controllers, however, the game was clearly playing through a PC, evident by the mouse and keyboard with wires running into the table that I was standing at. The mechanics of the game haven’t changed much. You can still jump, vault, slide, crouch, and even quick turn. The normal wall run, pipe climb, and Runner Vision options are still in play, so all in all it was just like stepping back into the Mirror’s Edge I already knew.

The Dash mode was fairly simple. All I had to do was follow the Runner Vision marked in front of me, slide through an air vent, leap over a gap in the buildings, and climb a few ledges and staircases. The next option I decided to check out was the new ‘Hack a Billboard’ objective. This short objective basically has you climb to a high part of the map and hack into a billboard showing Krueger (the big bad corporation you’re trying to stop) information, and hack it to display your Runner tag (which is coincidentally the same image as the game’s icon). It was fun to get to experiment with the verticality of the game, which is a bit greater than it was in the initial Mirror’s Edge, but all in all it wasn’t really what sold me on Catalyst and what it had to offer.

That’s what the third objective ‘Run a Delivery’ comes in. With all the other objectives (there were only three) completed I headed over to the last marker and interacted with a vent to pick up this small USB-like device. With the item in tow I set off across the small area that I’ve been given to explore towards my objective. Halfway there I ran into my first Krueger guard.

Combat has always been a weak point for Mirror’s Edge. In the first game Faith could attack guards, and there were special moments that you could press certain buttons and complete this fairly awesome attacks. The big problem with combat, however, came down to picking up guns. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like combat. I don’t want Faith to be completely passive, and I like the idea of first person melee attacks. But when you picked up a gun as Faith, everything changed. The saddest part of it all was that there were several levels where you almost felt like you had to pick up a gun in order to continue, which made it extremely frustrating if you didn’t enjoy the changes that the gunplay made to the combat system.

Fortunately DICE has had a lot of time to change things, and refine them. This time around my punches felt good. I dropped from a zipline onto an enemy, knocking him right on his butt. As I came up from my attack another enemy rounded the corner ahead of me, and I quickly ran forward, grabbing and throwing him to the ground too. From here I jumped to another rooftop, ran forward and dropped down to the level below, right down onto another enemy. With all the enemies but one defeated I pressed on towards the last bad guy, and pulled up a roundhouse kick, which sparked a special third person finishing move. The resounding crack of the visor, and the whipping of the guard’s head as it flew backwards from Faith’s foot was fantastic, and well polished.

Of course none of the gameplay I experience today is final, and I can’t say for sure that everything I experienced will make it into the final product that ships on February 23, 2016. But, if the thirteen minutes of gameplay that I was able to check out today are any indication, Mirror’s Edge fans have a right to be excited about Catalyst, and DICE seem to really care about where Faith’s story goes from here.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will be available on February 23, 2016 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more information on Mirror’s Edge Catalyst be sure to check out my special interview with Senior Producer Sara Jansson.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 18, 2015 10:30 AM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, E3 2015: Mirror's Edge Catalyst is the Faith Connors that Fans Deserve

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      June 18, 2015 8:41 PM

      That's awesome! i'm glad the game hasn't been neutered and proceeding nicely.

      I was somewhat disappointed with the trailer, which was FMV heavy, and lacked the cohesive long-take freedom of the original game's reveal trailer that I've seen dozens of times since.

      Still, this is a guaranteed sale at this point.

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      June 18, 2015 8:43 PM

      Nice, I've been hearing awesome things.

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      June 19, 2015 12:06 PM

      Why have the made Faith Caucasian now, whereas she was clearly of Asian descent in the first game? She looked much hotter in the first game. She doesn't look as pretty now.

      Also, I loved the gun combat in the first game, because you could grab a gun off a guard, use it, and then throw it away. It was just cool the way you could do that. I wish they'd at least retained the option of guns in this game.

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        June 19, 2015 6:25 PM

        The majority of fans hated the gun mechanics in the original game. Hence why it was removed. As for your complaint about her not being as 'hot'... I just have no words to say.

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          June 20, 2015 12:31 AM

          But they've definitely changed her race, which I think is a shame. She was Asian-looking in the first game, but now she isn't. And she wasn't called "Faith Connors" in the first game, just Faith. (Faith Wong, I like to think).

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            June 20, 2015 3:45 AM

            They never revealed her last name in the first game, but she was very much still Faith Connors.

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            June 21, 2015 12:03 AM

            Happened upon this comment again.... http://mirrorsedge.wikia.com/wiki/Faith_Connors

            Here is the Wiki page for Faith. She was simply know as Faith in the first game, yes, but her sister Kate Connors was called Officer Connors multiple times throughout the game. This i turn reveals that Faith is indeed Faith Connors. There are also comics about her if you're interested in more of her story. :)