Lucien’s First Take: Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst: Gameplay Trailer

Something to know about me – I loved the first Mirror’s Edge.  A hardcore adrenaline rush combined with parkour and platforming.  The goal was to get through an area, and do so as fast as you could.  Given the trippy art style and the neat perspective, it was a fun game.  But it wasn’t perfect.  The combat was clunky as fuck, and that never got better.  In fact, it usually got worse.  That said, it was still a good game, and a lot of fun to play.  When I heard that they were making a sequel, I was a little skeptical.  This is EA, after all.  They have a history of fucking things up.

After hearing very little about this game for a long time, they finally decided to get it out there, and have the fans begin to know a lot about it.  They released a gameplay trailer, which is the thing I waited for, because that is the thing that matters.  In a game all about parkour and traversing what I now know to be a much larger cityscape, it all comes down to how smooth this game plays, and how eager I am to dive in.  Let’s take a look.

The first thing I notice about this new game is the color.  The previous game had a very limited color palate, and that was for a reason.  They wanted the player to be able to notice environmental clues that would show where to go next.  Various things you were supposed to interact with in the environment were red.  The rest of the world was typically white.  That was a nice, simple way to let the player know how to progress, while still giving them options.  This new game has a much prettier palate.  No joke, the game looks amazing.  But that means that the player is also challenged to be more noticing of their environment and will have to make on-the-spot decisions about whether or not something is able to be parkoured on.  That’s actually kind of nice.  I liked the previous game’s art style, but there’s something refreshing about a game that respects its audience’s intelligence enough to tell them that they need to actually pay attention and think on the fly.  That sounds like it’ll be cool.

Next, there are the character models.  This is AAA gaming.  It looks fantastic.  I will say that there’s something still cartoon-y about it, but that doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.  Far from it.  It feels right.  Maybe it’s those strange shoes of Faiths that throw me off.  Or that tattoo that is now on her eye.  No joke, they put a tattoo on her eyelid.  Is that even a thing?  Sounds painful, and dangerous.  If anyone knows anything about that, please let me know in the Comments below.  Sounds like a fascinating thing to learn about.

The voice-acting is pretty standard.  It works, but that doesn’t say much.  There aren’t a lot of clues to what the plot of the game is.  Faith is breaking into an agricultural building called Elysium.  Guess she’s gone from a Runner to a full-blown thief now.  Won’t argue with that.  It make her way of getting around that much more interesting.  They did change the voices between games.  Won’t make too much of an issue with that.  The voice acting in the last game wasn’t that great, either.  I will say that the girl who they have doing Faith’s voice makes me think of Chloe Price, from Life is Strange.  Probably just a coincidence.

But there is something that gives me pause.  This game seems to have a lot of focus on hand-to-hand combat.  That makes me worried.  Combat was some of the worst stuff in the last game.  It was clunky, awkward and never felt natural.  If they are going to make that a big part of this game, then they had better have done some tuning to it.  Make it a little more user-friendly.  That said, the way that they integrated the environment into combat looks kind of cool.  I especially like the glass breaking and how real that feels.  Environmental kills is a thing that everyone who plays a good action game likes, and if that comes into this game (so long as the combat is refined), it looks like it will be fun.

So, what do I think?  I am optimistic.  Still going to be reserved.  This is EA, after all.  These people are known for their DLC and releasing games before they are done.  It doesn’t help that this trailer says that this is pre-alpha footage, yet it has a release date of February of 2016.  Then I also remember that EA is a corporate behemoth that forces people to work their asses off and majorly crunch to meet deadlines.  If only this franchise was in the hands of people who have more respect for it.  Oh well.  I guess the only thing I can do now is wait and see.  Here’s hoping it all turns out alright.

Initial Verdct
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

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