Have you ever wondered what Mirror’s Edge was all about? One word – running. Non-stop running. Endless amounts of running. Enough running to make Sonic The Hedgehog feel exhausted. And now I’m exhausted *sigh*. The next logical question would be, “is it fun?” One word – depends. Do you like running? Do you like the urban street phenomenon that is parkour? Then maybe you will. Let’s find out how the game stacks up.
Blue Ball Score: 17 out of 25 balls
Overall, the core concept of gameplay in Mirror’s Edge revolves around your ability to keep moving. Slow down or stop and you will find yourself in a major pickle, and I don’t mean the sweet dills. At first, the game provides you with a few simple scenarios to get your feet wet. No enemies or guards to stand in your way, just some walls to run on and plenty of environmental elements to springboard to your heart’s content. Your character can wall run, jump, slide, springboard, stick the landing, and of course walk (but I wouldn’t recommend it).
The controls are very simple. You basically have one button that performs most of your parkour moves depending on the situation. The other button mappings are very standard for first-person games so you will have no trouble getting your brain on-board with the control scheme. I did find that the controls were a bit spotty. As I mentioned before, slowing down can literally be a killer in this game. You want to be moving at full speed at ALL times, unless it cannot be avoided. Missing a jump or a ledge can spell instant doom to your character. Unfortunately, I found that this happened more often than I would have liked. I give the game credit, it’s very crisp most of the time. However, for a game that relies on speed, it must be nearly perfect and flawless.
My main issue with gameplay was combat. As you progress, guards will start to pop up in your way. I would recommend running through/past them whenever possible, but at times the combat is forced to be completed before you can move on to the next area. In these cases, it can be very clunky, cumbersome, and it just doesn’t feel right. You are limited to melee attacks and parkour moves, which the latter is the way to go whenever possible as they are often a one-hit kill. However, when you miss that parkour move or it simply isn’t an option, the combat just isn’t fun.
Due to the dip in score due to combat, gameplay earns 3 balls.
The campaign features a large open-world map where you can choose which missions and side-missions you want to complete, or you can simply free-roam the map and traverse from one building to the next. The map will show you what is available and you can set a waypoint to activate Runner Vision. This will show you a path and even provide a red line that tells you where/how to parkour to reach your destination. This makes it easy to travel around the city and any game should be able to pick up on exactly what the game is trying to tell you.
There are tons of missions and side-missions to keep you busy. The game does not feature any true multiplayer, but adds a multiplayer aspect through the form of Time Trials, races, beat location emitters, and other options. I suppose it’s better than nothing? In any case, hours of gameplay are present in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and it includes the possibility for unlimited play with the free-roam aspects of the open world. I found it to be a bit tedious, repetitive and a little boring after playing for some time.
Overall, the story was very lackluster and failed to deliver anything big. For all these reasons, the campaign earns 3 balls.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst includes hours and hours of gameplay at your thumbs. However, as I mentioned before, it still seems to get repetitive and mundane after some time. The game held my interest for several hours, so I will definitely give it some credit. I reached a point where I felt like that I had already did this and that. Once I reached that pinnacle, the fun and love for the game quickly faded. My gamer bone was as hard as a sack of potatoes at first, but then became as soft as a pillow of Charmin. And that was the end of it 🙁
The sheer amount of potential with the game helps earn 4.5 balls for these aspects.
The sound in the game was a little dry as well. It could’ve used a few extra touches. It wasn’t absolutely horrible, but it just didn’t do much to draw the player into the game. A little extra oomph here and there with the sound would go a long way.
Good graphics and sub-par sound earn 3.5 balls.
In conclusion, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst can definitely provide something different and refreshing to your pile of games. I’d recommend it as a rental far before I would ever recommend buying it. But to each his own, maybe it’s because I’m fat and running isn’t my thing. Or maybe it’s just the game. You’ll never know until you try it, but rent it before you buy it! You have been warned. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst earns a grand total of 17 balls.