Parkour But Pretty
To all those who love distopian futures where corporations rule on high, individualism is largely gone, and running; Mirror's Edge Catalyst is for you. For all the rest of us we may be left with a sour taste in our respective mouths. The soon to be released title entered into a closed beta weekend with yours truly getting an oppertunity to see what the game is gonna be like. The game is absolutely gorgeous! Gone is the stylistic city with shades and colors that make me feel like I'm in some sort of trippy world. Instead the city lay out in all it's futuristic glory before me. I assumed like much of my gaming past, that a closed beta would involve getting into testing scenarios, reporting bugs, and finding various glitches that would otherwise interrupt the immersion factor for the final product June 7th 2016. However, I found no in game mechanism for reporting said bugs, or glitches and thus found it more as the "Pre-order" bonus of getting in on the action a bit early. Numerous times during the game I would notice small things that broke immersion like Faith grabbing a ledge where none existed, enemies not spawning correctly or timings on quests messing up so that overlapping voices could be heard from drops and other NPCs.
That being said, there isn't much I'm allowed to discuss or talk about within the beta, let alone actually capture video from it. The beta has inbuilt mechanisms where it will display my origin gamertag, not allow DXStory to recognize it, and other such small details that would tell me I'm not permitted to capture any of my escapades. And while I didn't sign a NDA per se, I am erring on the side of caution still the same. I will not be spoiling anything here, but I will be going over how it felt in my hands while I played.
The game felt very much like a sequel to Mirror's Edge, that is to say it felt like I was back in Faith's boots. Jumping from area to area, exploring the city, and doing escape missions felt very much like it used to. There are a couple of neat re-tools to the fighting mechanic that I cannot discuss, but add a little bit more to the dynamic from ME1. So there's not much to report on the control scheme front, the controls are solid and the first person parkour simulator is still well into its own. There is something to discuss about the feel. The first person view in the first game led me to many jumps and falls where I panicked a bit and let out an audible squee, wincing at the impact sound of Faith hitting the ground. That is noticably absent from this game. No matter how into I got, or how many jumps I made I never had the same feeling. So the immersion mechanic is kind of gone, I went back and tested this again by firing up the first game and still had the feeling that I was close to death in jumps. My heart raced, the fight or flight reflex kicked in and I still let out my squeal whenever I failed a jump and Faith died. So as a mechanic, that level of excitement didn't transfer over to the new title.
Again, I find myself limited in what to talk about so I can speak to the feels. The feeling I took away from this game is less ME1 and more like I was in an Abstergo based genetic memory. That is to say non-linear sandbox action with collectables and side missions. Logically it could only proceed to the next step in the sequel, but I feel like they largely missed the point of what made the first game such a success. I'm still interested in where the story will go, and while the beta stopped pre-maturely into the story line and told me to go and pre-order, I still feel that this isn't gonna be one of those games that I go out and pay full price for. Again, those are just my initial impressions based on what I got into this weekend but this game at release price will be a solid pass for me. If I wanna play AC there are about 10,000 other Parkour simulators out there that I can pick up, and even have fun doing stabby stabby action.