Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

I loved DICE’s Mirror’s Edge and rated it highly. It was different from so many other first-person games in that the focus was on running and movement instead of combat.

The only real failures in the first game were when the game forced you into combat and a not-so-great story. The sequel to Mirror’s Edge was first announced in 2013 and DICE’s Sara Jansson finally gave it a name today:

Mirror’s Edge has always had a special place in the hearts of all of us at DICE. The first game had a lot of promise. It was unlike anything else in terms of the gameplay and style – it had a unique soul. But as much as we loved that game, we knew it could be more. So that’s what we have set out to do as we introduce Mirror’s Edge to a new generation.

The team has spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect of the game and making it a new experience. This is not a sequel, this is not Mirror’s Edge 2. We have landed on a vision that honors the first game – pushing the boundaries of first person movement and diving deeper into the story behind our heroine Faith – but also brings a lot of great new, interesting gameplay and features to the experience for our players.

So on behalf on the entire team here at DICE, we can’t wait to show you what we have been pouring our heart and soul into. We can’t wait to introduce you to Mirror’s Edgeâ„¢ Catalyst.

Regarding Unreal Engine Licensees Shipping UnrealED

RockPaperShotgun (a great place that should be in everyone’s RSS feed) has this story about some folks figuring out how to make Mirror’s Edge levels with UT3’s editor. One of the interesting points of the piece was this:

Chatting to our industry contacts, you apparently have to pay an additional fee to ship a game with UnrealEd, making them suspect it’ll be patched out sooner or later. Which is a shame: if any game could do with some user-generated maps, it’s shining-in-speed-trial-mode Mirror’s Edge.

That seemed a little sketchy to me so I contacted Epic’s Dana Cowley (Dana’s answer is in italics):

Is a UE licensor charged extra to ship UnrealEd with the finished product on PC?

We don’t charge our licensees extra to ship the Unreal Editor.

Makes sense to me, why charge extra for something that enables people to further Epic’s and the Unreal Engine’s good name?

Mirror’s Edge (PS3)

Having completed Mirror’s Edge I can confirm that indeed the plot continues on as if it were indeed created by the same creative forces behind Robocop 3. The ending is trite, and ridiculous considering the circumstances. I can, without spoiling anything, say that you have a tender moment with someone on top of a building while guards you saw just moments ago ignore you. I suppose they must now understand the error of their ways and decide to ignore the embracing duo!

It is the interaction of your character with the environment that you play Mirror’s Edge for, and however ridiculous the plot, you come back for the running. Running is a fresh and exciting change from shooting nameless goons in most first person games. There really isn’t much depth to it: Run; Jump; Turn; Jump; Grab; Climb; Run; Jump; Die; Reload; Repeat. Nevertheless, that is all you need to have fun in the city.

Too often, though, you’re dragged back into a shitty shooter when your character is swarmed by guards. Though you can run past them, sometimes you’re forced to disarm guards in order to continue. Combat is a kind of hit-or-miss affair involving lots of reloading from checkpoint saves. Maybe it was just that I found the timing of disarms intolerable, but I could never get past a series of guards without at least one reload.

In any case, if you can look past the terrible story, combat, and the cut scenes with macromedia flash animation, you’ll find an enjoyable twist on speed-running that you never thought possible from a developer locked into the Battlefield genre.

Eight out of Ten MSDN Subscriptions for Mirror’s Edge.