When the original Mirror’s Edge landed in 2008, it was defiantly original, a far cry from the shootin’-‘n’-‘splosions action of the hugely popular Battlefield series with which developer DICE had made a name for itself. Its focus was almost entirely on exhilarating first-person acrobatics, choosing to shy away from the guns and grenades and rocket launchers that permeate most games played from a first-person perspective. Before you say it: yes, there were guns, but I like to think no-one ever actually used them. We’re better than that, right?
Instead, Mirror’s Edge built its foundation around the disciplines of freerunning and parkour. Its wonderfully fluid traversal mechanics allowed for breathtaking freedom of movement. Wall-runs, zip-lines and death-defying leaps from rooftop to rooftop – they were all there and in action they felt brilliantly physical, smoothly turning the game into a first-person Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Naturally, Mirror’s Edge proved intensely divisive and the game’s modest sales figures reflected this. But as with all pioneering games, it gathered a cult following of fans eager to journey deeper into the world of Faith Connors.
Now, eight years later, we’ve got what we’ve been waiting for: a second game brandishing the Mirror’s Edge title. But even after spending upwards of 35 hours with it, I’m still not sure how I really feel about Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.