Friday, 17 June 2016

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst: PS4 Review

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst: PS4 Review

Released by EA
Platform: PS4

I’d never played the original Mirror’s Edge, but having played in the BETA for Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, I was intrigued to see where this game would go.

Meshing the visuals of Blade Runner and the much under-appreciated Remember Me through a white sheen, the look of this game is sleek and sophisticated; it’s one that feels futuristic and malleable as you parkour your way around the open world.

Starting with Faith being released from juvie and meeting up with her former running mates, the story follows a relatively predictable path of breaking into places and a conspiracy involving Faith and some behind the scenes shenanigans with hackers.

But the real joy of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is the free world city that she has to traverse through to achieve various missions, side quests and challenges.

Running and vaulting around the city of Glass, Faith’s got the moves aplenty to keep her going – and to deal with combat. I don’t recall such a game having so much use of the L1/ L2 buttons on the PlayStation controller as I bounded from one wall to another and leapt through the air. Hurdling under obstacles, leaping over them, bolting sideways on walls is all good fun and relatively smooth, though occasionally, dizzying thanks to the first person view of the game.

Initially, it takes some time to adjust to the movement’s mechanics and the need to work the buttons in the right order to produce a free-flowing fracas in a fight situation. That coupled with the runners’ vision (a red ghosting system gives you clues as to where to go, but they’re not always the most helpful), give the game an ease of access for any casual player who just wants to pick it up and run.
Cut scenes are beautifully executed too, with the graphics of the next gen console shining through.

Unfortunately though some of the dialogue is a little emo 101 and the flow is occasionally interrupted by the scenes. But they’re relatively short and never stop from getting you engaged back in the free-running around the City of Glass.

Combat’s simplicity itself, but it really works best when it’s chained with running and taking on the bad guys of Kruger Sec as you pummel them while free-running. It’s a neat combo trick and while you can simply stand and bash them, they adapt, meaning you need to mix it up; it’s simply executed and when it works, it feels like liquid gaming.

Overall, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a high powered visually good looking game that lives up to its futuristic promise. There are some rougher edges in this smooth Blade Runner world, but when it all comes together, the flow and momentum are contagious, and much like Faith and her team, all you want to do is keep on running.

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