Also available on Xbox One and Windows
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst is a game I've been anticipating for years. I played the first Mirror's Edge three or four years ago, and I was hooked on it from the start. When Catalyst got announced, I was one of the only ones I knew who was actually excited for it. For those who may not know, Mirror's Edge is what I would call a first person platformer, though most critics seem to call it just "action adventure." You play as Faith, a "runner" who lives off the grid and outside the law in a future dystopian world ruled by corporations.
This game has gotten mixed reviews, and to a certain extent, I agree with some of the common criticisms that I've seen, but rather than "mixed," I would call this game solidly "positive." Not a game for the ages like Xenoblade Chronicles or The Last of Us, but definitely a good one. The biggest change from the original game to Catalyst (aside from the graphical boost that comes from being released a generation later) is that Catalyst is an open world game whereas the first game was a fairly linear Point-A-to-Point-B game. That's what a lot of critics have been citing as a positive, but honestly, I'm lukewarm on the addition of the open world. By no means is the open world bad or detracting from the game like, say, the original No More Heroes. No, the open world here works but I don't feel like it really adds anything to the game. The open world is rather bland, to be honest, with the only "excitement" being infrequent enemy encounters and collectibles (which I, personally, felt pretty unmotivated to hunt down and collect). I'm not going to say that the game was better when it was linear, but I also don't think it's better being open world.
Now what a lot of reviews I've been criticize is the story. The story wasn't amazing or anything (certainly not after playing Spec Ops: The Line last week), and there was definitely a lot of room for improvement as well as portions that should have been better explained and better fleshed out, but the story was interesting overall. It was interesting to find out more about K-Sec, the corporation controlling the city, and the immediate plot of the game kept me engaged and interested, especially the second half. Part of why the game leaves some things, I know, is because this was a prequel - a lot of the story is continued in the first game (of which I, of course, remember almost nothing).
What the game excels at, however (and this is a minor thing to most people), is that it's actually entertaining to get to the start of a mission. As in most all open world games, you have to traverse to the starting location for your missions, but because the game is almost constant parkour, it's actually fun to get around the city. It's not all that interesting, mind you, given the aforementioned blandness of the open world, but the actual mechanics of the game is a lot of fun, so you don't really mind running from one end of the city to the other.
All in all, the decent story and the fun gameplay mechanics make this an overall good game. The parkour is extremely fun, and the combat is pretty fluid, although there's some fine-tuning that I think could have been done to the flow of the combat physics. It's not amazing, but it's definitely worth playing, especially if you're a fan of platforming or the climbing/jumping aspects of Assassin's Creed. If you see this game for $20 or less, I'd definitely urge you to pick it up. If you're a fan of either of the two things I listed or of the original Mirror's Edge, I'd say go ahead and pick it up now or in the near future. It may not stand out years down the line as an 8th gen classic, but it's definitely a fun game that ought not be missed.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.