Despite how much some fans may have loved the original Mirror’s Edge, there is no real denying that just not all that many people played it. With that in mind, DICE made the clear decision not to make Mirror’s Edge Catalyst a sequel in any way. It is in fact much closer to a reboot.
Speaking with Gamespot, the narrative director for Catalyst, Christofer Ermgard explained some of the changes DICE is bringing to their second go at Mirror’s Edge, specifically when it comes to Faith, the game’s protagonist, herself.
Siting the fact that in the first game, Faith was meant much more as a blank slate for gamers to imprint on (a la Master Chief in the early days), Ermgard explained Catalyst is looking to make her much more of a developed character. “Her personality now is more fleshed out. The game is about her personal journey, I would say. Of course there’s this big plot about getting involved against oppression and all that stuff, but the more important story is her journey, who she becomes and where she starts out and what happens along the way to make her into the person that she is.”
“In the first game, there was not that much of her personality,” Ermgard continued. “I didn’t myself feel like she went through any large change throughout that game, and so the person she is there is maybe more or less the person she is now… But now she’s even more fleshed out, and there’s more of her. There are more events in her life that explain who she is, and this is, in a way, a coming of age storyline, in that she will come to understand the impact that she has on the people in this society around her. She’ll start out her journey a bit more careless, a bit more selfish, a bit more immortal and then realize along the way that’s not the case, and I think that transformation people can hopefully relate to.”
In short, “She is a complex young woman. I hope that she’ll be relatable… She’s no superhero. We’re very clear about that. Her skills are skills that she acquired that all people could if they really dedicated themselves. But still, I think she is both someone to aspire to, and someone to empathize with.”
As for the plot as a whole, “People who have played the first game will recognize some elements, but for Catalyst, the city is new…” Ermgard promised. “We are doing something that is new; it’s different and separate from the first game. You will recognize maybe the names of some characters, but they will be different characters in this one. Sometimes we even have the name and the look, but the character, what they do is still different, so there are some carry-overs in terms of ideas.”
Even the approach to the world itself is different. “I think what we [at DICE] felt was that we wanted a more fleshed out world, a larger world that was more detailed and textured than the original game had. Also, we had new art direction–it had been eight years since the first game, so I think a lot of people felt that it was time to take the elements that we felt worked with the first game, and then use them to then expand upon that to do this game. People shouldn’t expect to understand any sort of connection to the first game. This is its own thing.”
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is set to release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 23rd, 2016. What do you think of the game’s new direction? Let us know in the comments.