mirrors edge catalyst

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is shaping up to be one of the games I’ll probably buy this year. I loved the world and art style of the original, and seeing screenshots of Superhot always reminds me that I should play the original game again. Catalyst is releasing in a few week’s time, and it’s going to be one of the more difficult games to sell people on based on the specification requirements alone. Like Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4  and several other recent titles, Catalyst requires a quad-core processor just to be able to launch the game, and that means older systems are likely going to have a bad time trying to run it.

It comes as no surprise that there’s a hard CPU requirement for the game. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts, is based on the same Frostbite 3.0 engine found in Battlefield 4, Need For Speed, Star Wars: Battlefront and yes, Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s a really well-threaded engine that makes the best use of modern graphics card’s capabilities that I’ve ever seen, and Battlefront is one of the most beautiful first-person shooters ever. Luckily, it’s also not a DirectX 12-compatible engine yet, so you’re not forced to install Windows 10 just to run it.

Let’s take a look at the system requirements.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit Service Pack 1
  • CPU: Intel i3-3250 / AMD FX-6350
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Hard drive: At least 25 GB of free space
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB or or AMD Radeon R9 270x or better
  • Peripherals: Keyboard and mouse, dual analogue controller

Recommended System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 10 64-Bit build 1511
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 / AMD FX-8350
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Hard drive: At least 25 GB of free space
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB or AMD Radeon R9 280x 3GB or better
  • Peripherals: Keyboard and mouse, dual analogue controller

There are a couple of interesting things to take away. The first is that Catalyst is probably going to focus on multi-threaded performance, and thus we have the recommendation of AMD’s FX-6350 alongside an Ivy Bridge Core i3 processor. It has higher overall performance compared to the FX-4350, and probably gives the Core i3 a run for its money as well. It would be interesting to see if the game can run on two cores at all – setting its affinity to just use two cores from a quad-core chip inside Windows Task Manager would show how it would cope with this kind of setup. After all, several videos on Youtube showed Far Cry 4 running just fine on two cores, and with a few patches it’s possible to run it smoothly on a Pentium G3258 overclocked to 4.0GHz.

That hard limit of 6GB of RAM is probably going to give DICE some grief when the game launches as well. Activision learned their lesson with Call of Duty: Ghosts, which wouldn’t run on a system with less than 6GB of RAM, but was perfectly happy with 4GB after an urgent post-launch patch. Does the game really need 16GB at the high end? I doubt it, but we’ll have to see what performance benchmarks reveal about these limitations.

Equating a GTX 650 Ti to a Radeon R9 270X is also quite odd, and recommending a Radeon R9 280X as an equivalent to the GTX 970 is even odder. Either the game hates Radeon GPUs with a passion, or DICE is basing this choice on minimum FPS numbers from these GPUs. My guess is that the minimum requirements are for playing the game at 1080p and hitting a 60fps target. The recommended requirements are probably for playing at 2560 x 1440, also at 60fps.

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst has a closed beta starting tomorrow, 22 April 2016, for those of you who’ve pre-ordered the game, and ends on 26 April. The game is scheduled for a 24 May 2016 launch, and there’ll be a slew of DLC to follow after it. Who’s ready to get some Faith?

Source: Mirror’s Edge official website