Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst (PS4)


The catalyst for this Mirror’s Edge sequel is locked to a prequel comic. Spend a few bucks, learn why digital errand woman Faith has debts and went to prison. Characters will reference her past as if known, degrading the immediately lean contextual threads of this interactive narrative.

Catalyst’s messy, lackluster open world only-a-CEO-would-love design strips Mirror’s Edge of its entire identity. There’s more color, more motion, more combat, none of which picks up on the beauty of the first Edge’s engaging linearity. Short of red guidance lines and Faith’s eye-liner, it’s nigh indistinguishable from the overlong rut of open world sameness, as if UbiSoft purchased the property.

Faith’s battles against filler fetch-quests and Krugersec, an implausible police state corporation lacking nuance. Krugersec employees fill the city, scream, “Submit!” when you’re near, and defend communication towers, because other games have communication towers. Outside of the pleasingly sharp first-person parkour (marred, like everything else, from the unpredictability of the open world), Catalyst nose dives an intended allegory to a wasteful me-too anti-capitalist saga like a slew of post-recession properties – and this one is published by the largest mainstream capitalist entity in videogames. All irony appears lost.


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