Today on “Adventures in Videogame Branding” we have EA and DICE formally christening the next Mirror’s Edge game “Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst”. They’re also keen to point out that this is in no way Mirror’s Edge 2, it’s a totally different game… unless you liked the first game! In which case, yes! It is just like that thing you loved!
Following a Tweet from the Mirror’s Edge Twitter account yesterday, in which they helpfully defined “catalyst” for anyone who might be confused, DICE formally announced the new title on the MIrror’s Edge website today.
According to the statement from Sara Jansson, senior producer on Catalyst, the new game will be a chance to re-introduce the game to a new generation of players.
“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.”
I don’t really know what this means. I never joined the Cult of Mirror’s Edge: I thought it was a good idea and a great art style done-in by some poor execution and balancing. Mirror’s Edge was transcendent when you had a chance to be a parkour goddess, doing the whole Run Lola Run thing across rooftops and down fire escapes. But those moments require a lot of trial-and-error memorization of routes… especially when people were shooting at you.
But I thought it was an idea in need of refinement, not reinvention. My fear is that when DICE say that Catalyst brings “great new, interesting gameplay features to the experience” they mean, “it’s going to be more like other first person shooters.” I can’t think why else they’d put themselves at such an arm’s length from the original game.
We’ll learn more following EA’s press conference at E3 next week. Hopefully, branding aside, we get a better version of Mirror’s Edge that takes advantage of what was new and exciting about that first game, and gets rid of the things that bogged-down the experience.