Mirror's Edge Catalyst: To Buy or Not To Buy?

Written by Jake Tucker

June 13, 2016 | 10:20

Tags: #mirrors-edge-catalyst

Companies: #dice #ea

The Bad

Mirror's Edge Catalyst: To Buy or Not To Buy? Mirror's Edge Catalyst - The Bad
Click to enlarge

1: The Upgrades

Mirror's Edge Catalyst's upgrade system sucks. Many of Faith's abilities from the first game are taken away from you and raffled back to you for upgrade points. Some of these moves were quite basic - like the quick turn from the original - whereas others are advanced like a double wall run or upgrades to a grapple hook.

This is compounded by the fact that you need to buy upgrades on enemy types to find out anything about them, and the need to buy combat abilities if you want to get good at kicking butts too. You need some of these abilities to get around, so it's grim the game has locked them away.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst: To Buy or Not To Buy? Mirror's Edge Catalyst - The Bad
Click to enlarge

2: The Open World

I know; I said I liked the open world. The problem is, it's caught a case of the Ubisofts. Someone at DICE has played Far Cry and Assassin's Creed and, well, any Ubisoft game out there, and they've decided in their infinite wisdom that what their open world needed was an excessive amount of collectibles.

A few collectibles are a good idea, but this is something else - without checking back on the game, I can remember several types of electronic components, runner's bags, some weird glitches that float in mid-air, and not one but two different types of tower; one has hackable billboards you can show your logo on and the other is for fast travel. Factor in the several delivery missions, the time trial runs and the citizens to save and it's all a bit much.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst: To Buy or Not To Buy? Mirror's Edge Catalyst - The Bad
Click to enlarge

3: The Story

Story is a generous word for… whatever this is. Faith gets let out of prison directly into a script that was probably autofilled by a 'dodgy government in the future where everything seems perfect but really isn't and one person is the key to leading the resistance to toppling it' macro. You know the one, it churned out Equilibrium, Ultraviolet and a bunch of other stuff.

If there's a cyberpunk trope in existence, the writers of Mirror's Edge Catalyst have heard of it, and they've used it here. Your allies wear ill fitting hoodies and growl contemptuously at you because they don't want to like you, until you later show them you're worth trusting. Your father figure gets angry-protective because he's so scared you'll be hurt, while organised crime figures call out half-assed threats. They've seen it all before, and so have you.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst: To Buy or Not To Buy? Mirror's Edge Catalyst - The Bad
Click to enlarge

4: The Grappling Hook

This is going to seem like a silly gripe, but early into the game you're given a Grappling Hook and I very quickly came to despise it because it's such a poorly thought out addition. A grappling hook in Mirror's Edge is a bit like a chocolate fireguard. The fun of the game is using your skill set to get around the city quickly. A grappling hook would very quickly replace your skill set with 'the grappling hook button' and, to get around this, the team at DICE has made the grappling hook nearly useless, only to be used at specific points to anchor on certain places.

The problem here is that this means the grappling hook is to be used at very specific points while jumping, and sometimes this won't trigger until after you've taken your leap of… ahem, faith. This can lead to you frequently thinking you're stuck or even worse, assuming you're fine to leap and plummeting to your death. It's a gadget that actively makes the game worse.
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