Why We’ve Jumped on the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Hype Train

Back in late 2008 EA did something that not many AAA publishers do: they published something different. They took a chance instead of going with the tried and true formulas. And it was a venture that worked out beautifully. So when the sequel was finally announced, you can believe that I jumped on that hype train right away.

So why are we hyped for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst? Oh, let me count the ways.

The fact that it even exists is a huge part of the hype surrounding it. EA has given DICE a second chance to make something awesome and different, despite how the original’s fan following was relatively small in comparison to its other ongoing franchises. Despite it being a game that I recommend to pretty well everyone, very few people in the grand scheme of things are aware it exists.

Because they’ve seen the value in what they can do with this game, it’s obvious by the teaser trailers that the budget is far higher than its predecessor. While this could end up being arbitrary and doesn’t actually determine whether the final product will be good or not, it’s a good sign – DICE has more resources to put into it to make sure the parkour is smooth, the environments are up to snuff, and the story doesn’t fall through.

And thanks to a recent gameplay trailer featuring the movement of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, it’s clear that they’re going for some seriously smooth moves. Everything just looks fluid, which is what you want in a game where the bulk of the gameplay is jumping and sliding and climbing. It was actually so smooth that the first cut confused me – running into the yellow orb – what I assume now are the collectibles of the game – seemed to transport her to another location. It wasn’t until she collected a few in a later cut that I realized that wasn’t the case.

It looks like the combat has incorporated more of that smoothness. The combat, unfortunately, was one of the few downsides to the previous installment. It felt shoed in and unnatural when compared to the bulk of the gameplay, but this time around it looks like they’ve fixed a lot of those issues by using Faith’s prowess and speed and the environment. Not being able to take enemies’ guns away and instead focusing entirely on the hand to hand type of combat – I really hope they don’t cop out and allow gun play again – will certainly be an improvement.

Judging by the videos the cut scenes have been brought up to date. I don’t personally love this since the style of the cut scenes in the first Mirror’s Edge was part of the charm, but I do have to admit that the characters look really good. Great, even. And the environments have also undergone a similar change, now boasting more detail and generally looking a heck of a lot better.  They depict a city that I really want to jump and swing all over, with or without the story or combat.  It really gives the feel of wanting to get in there, now.

The story seems to be told through the communications between runner and handler as in the first game and happens while traveling the city, as with the majority of the first game, and if the trailers are to be believed things are going to get crazy. Picking up after Faith gets out of jail, another conspiracy, a third party that nobody knows anything about, it’s looking to be one wild ride.

It’s still far too early to make any solid calls on whether the game will be good or bad; there’s far too little content out there to give an indication of the full picture. And yet every trailer, from the minute long features to the story trailer to the announcement trailer, doesn’t fail to build on the excitement I feel and my desire to play this game. Based on what I’ve seen it’s shaping up to be a fantastic game and I need it in my life.

Are you excited? Let’s jump on the hype train and see where it ends up on May 24th. Hopefully we’ll reach our destination; based on what I’ve seen I’m confident that will be the case.

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