Zero Punctuation: Mirror's Edge Catalyst

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Mirror's Edge Catalyst

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Mirror's Edge Catalyst.

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I did wonder how long it would take before ZP made an inevitable Dune reference when describing a Sandbox game.

I had Faith once... Then, Hope showed up and eloped with Faith... leaving me with no Faith to cum back to... :P

Other than that, the story's only slightly better than the first game? Must be a Catalyst to an actual sequel, then...

I agree with most of what was said here, or at least can see where he's coming from.

Except with the combat apparently being too hard.

It... really isn't. So long as you pick your targets well, use the environment for the more potent attacks and make use of the dodge move then it's actually pretty easy. I died in combat a total of four times. (And died by falling dozens if not hundreds of times.)

I've seen a bunch of let's plays and such with people struggling and most of them were just plain shit at it. Not building up their "focus shield" thingy then charging straight at enemies with guns and wondering why it didn't work out.

I'd like to throw something out there: Maybe the ideal Mirror's Edge game doesn't need to have a story, as such? Maybe it can be one of those games that takes an old-school approach of being all about gameplay. You start out as a newbie courier and take on progressively more challenging delivery missions, but that's all you actually ever do. But then, I'm not sure how you would justify giving the game an ending if there's literally no sense of progression beyond difficulty; the original Sonic the Hedgehog wasn't trying to tell some epic story either but it still ended with you beating up Robotnik and bringing peace to the land. And as the resistance's delivery service, there's not a whole lot of room for you to be the big hero and save the day in the end. Hmm.

Well, guess it's a good thing I don't work at EA then. Fixing this crap can be somebody else's problem.

I played the original a couple years after it came out and found it to be an interesting idea with some not so good execution. And now they pretty much remade it....and apparently repeated all the same mistakes(like the combat).

So yeah, I kind of feel like there's no reason to buy this one because I already played through it.

Surprised that Yahtzee actually liked first-person parkour for once. I mostly agree here, I thought the first game was decent, Catalyst is better, but not by a huge amount. I REALLY hope Yahtzee reviews Umbrella Corps(that terrible looking Resident Evil multiplayer-only shooter that came out yesterday) as it looks like a contender for worse game of the year, it'll have Yahtzee getting nostalgic for Homefront Revolution.

This game is actually more of a prequel then a remake.

Is it just me or does it feel like the last few ZPs have had the final 30secs cut off them? They end so abruptly it sounds like its mid-senteCREDITS.

It always baffles me whenever someone starts extolling the virtues of the first Mirror's Edge like it was some kind of secret masterpiece. Uh, no it wasn't. First person platforming sucks, the story was bad, the characters were bad, and the combat was bad.

I'm not sure if people actually know what they really want in a Mirror's Edge game, and judging by this game - neither does EA.

wait... reboot? what? how even... what? I can't...

Thanatos2k:
It always baffles me whenever someone starts extolling the virtues of the first Mirror's Edge like it was some kind of secret masterpiece. Uh, no it wasn't. First person platforming sucks, the story was bad, the characters were bad, and the combat was bad.

I'm not sure if people actually know what they really want in a Mirror's Edge game, and judging by this game - neither does EA.

It was the first game to pioneer the (still potentially) excellent genre of first-person parkour. The problem was, it didn't know what it had and limited its mechanics with obtuse level design with unintuitive (or worse, unfun) pathing. I actually didn't mind the combat at all. In fact, I liked it. Almost every enemy encounter provided opportunities for unique takedowns if you were paying attention.

The parts I hated were the entirely too frequent sections where you just ran in a straight line jumping across the occasional gap or over a boxes for 5 straight minutes. Not to mention getting piss-lost in office buildings and alleyways while getting shot at from all directions so you have no time to find the ONE obscure corner to wall jump off of into some vents you get to slowly explore for the rest of the mission.

Yet, I still remember the game fondly. When it worked, it worked exceedingly well, giving thrills like no other. No game has surpassed it in the kind of experience it invented, and that is exceedingly unfortunate.

I thought this was supposed to be a prequel?

Thanatos2k:
It always baffles me whenever someone starts extolling the virtues of the first Mirror's Edge like it was some kind of secret masterpiece. Uh, no it wasn't. First person platforming sucks, the story was bad, the characters were bad, and the combat was bad.

I'm not sure if people actually know what they really want in a Mirror's Edge game, and judging by this game - neither does EA.

Pointer for the underlined: it's subjective... so it's perfectly logical and understandable for some to see the first game as a bit of a gem.

Though I'd agree that it's an IP with a bit of an identity crisis. I love the idea, the aesthetic (great music, too), and the protagonist [in the first game at least], but to this day I've still never finished the game, and even as it sits on my XB1 drive it's more or less abandoned. I found it a hard game to actually enjoy playing, given unless you knew the layout of the map it'd be a constant process of start-stop interspersed with a good few deaths.

Silk_Sk:

Thanatos2k:
It always baffles me whenever someone starts extolling the virtues of the first Mirror's Edge like it was some kind of secret masterpiece. Uh, no it wasn't. First person platforming sucks, the story was bad, the characters were bad, and the combat was bad.

I'm not sure if people actually know what they really want in a Mirror's Edge game, and judging by this game - neither does EA.

It was the first game to pioneer the (still potentially) excellent genre of first-person parkour. The problem was, it didn't know what it had and limited its mechanics with obtuse level design with unintuitive (or worse, unfun) pathing. I actually didn't mind the combat at all. In fact, I liked it. Almost every enemy encounter provided opportunities for unique takedowns if you were paying attention.

The parts I hated were the entirely too frequent sections where you just ran in a straight line jumping across the occasional gap or over a boxes for 5 straight minutes. Not to mention getting piss-lost in office buildings and alleyways while getting shot at from all directions so you have no time to find the ONE obscure corner to wall jump off of into some vents you get to slowly explore for the rest of the mission.

Yet, I still remember the game fondly. When it worked, it worked exceedingly well, giving thrills like no other. No game has surpassed it in the kind of experience it invented, and that is exceedingly unfortunate.

Strangely enough, those are the parts I actually liked. Having to find some way to evade the authorities (And not get shot at too much) was a lot more fun than the rest of the game were you can leisurely climb and jump from stuff ala Assassin's Creed.

Granted, I've only played the first 3-4 hours of it, but that's my current opinion on the original.

Rawbeard:
wait... reboot? what? how even... what? I can't...

I get the impression the first one was more of a proof of concept for the first person parkour than anything else so they didn't have the time or budget to do what they wanted with it. I'm not that surprise they just rebooted it.

Steve the Pocket:
I'd like to throw something out there: Maybe the ideal Mirror's Edge game doesn't need to have a story, as such? Maybe it can be one of those games that takes an old-school approach of being all about gameplay. You start out as a newbie courier and take on progressively more challenging delivery missions, but that's all you actually ever do. But then, I'm not sure how you would justify giving the game an ending if there's literally no sense of progression beyond difficulty; the original Sonic the Hedgehog wasn't trying to tell some epic story either but it still ended with you beating up Robotnik and bringing peace to the land. And as the resistance's delivery service, there's not a whole lot of room for you to be the big hero and save the day in the end. Hmm.

Well, guess it's a good thing I don't work at EA then. Fixing this crap can be somebody else's problem.

On the contrary, it could have a great story about little people making huge rocks to move, in reverse-Orwellian style, but FUCK IT CHILDREN ARE TOO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND WE'RE EA LOVE US!

The new Mirror's Edge (that title still makes no sense) is a parkour sandbox? ANd Yahtzee didn't call it "Assassin's Creed without stabbing"? WHaaaaaaaaaaa?!
It would be really funny if he said those big evil corporations were the same ones from the EA relaunched Syndicate.

Zhukov:
I agree with most of what was said here, or at least can see where he's coming from.

Except with the combat apparently being too hard.

It... really isn't. So long as you pick your targets well, use the environment for the more potent attacks and make use of the dodge move then it's actually pretty easy. I died in combat a total of four times. (And died by falling dozens if not hundreds of times.)

I've seen a bunch of let's plays and such with people struggling and most of them were just plain shit at it. Not building up their "focus shield" thingy then charging straight at enemies with guns and wondering why it didn't work out.

Yeah, most of the time the combat is fairly straightforward, and it's a lot better than in the previous game. Never had any trouble in the open world; the only time I struggled a bit was when they lock you in a small room with three of the elite enemies. (Had to resort to abusing the AI in that one -- climbed up onto a ledge and kicked them off whenever they tried to follow.)

I agree with Yahtzee that some of the mission timers are abusively short, though. Still, I've completed the game (all missions, side missions, and gridleaks -- f*@* the rest of the collectibles and speedruns though) so it can't be that bad. Just takes a bit of practice.

Johnny Novgorod:
I thought this was supposed to be a prequel?

No, it's definitely a reboot. Faith's sister is completely different from the original game.

I've never played a game that was as frustrating as Mirror's Edge.

I loved jumping from roof to roof, evading cops, vaulting from place to place. That was great. But after every 20 seconds of freedom you run into a jump that you just can't make. You try it dozens of times, and you start wondering if you're doing something wrong or if the game is just not letting you do it. So you die over and over again before you finally manage to get past.

It kills the momentum, and that's the main problem. It's like the game wants you to keep running, but it sets up roadblocks that you smack into, completely stopping you in your tracks.

And I'm like: "I want to love this game, but it's making it really hard for me to do so."

I don't know why; I just can't get into the story of MIrror's Edge. Just when I feel like I'm connecting to something, just when I feel like I'm learning something new, it just comes riddled with the same cliches and characters from a dozen better works like this. Why do the corporations decide to make their evil scheme as opposed to letting things stay the same? Why is the crime boss suddenly so friendly to Faith?

The only character I sort of liked was Plastic, and mainly because she was so distant and weird and disconnected with the story.

Dalisclock:
I played the original a couple years after it came out and found it to be an interesting idea with some not so good execution. And now they pretty much remade it....and apparently repeated all the same mistakes(like the combat).

So yeah, I kind of feel like there's no reason to buy this one because I already played through it.

That seems pretty much it. I would expect that EA would correct the mistakes that made the last one frustrating/annoying and not just make a prettier story.

Darth_Payn:
The new Mirror's Edge (that title still makes no sense) is a parkour sandbox? ANd Yahtzee didn't call it "Assassin's Creed without stabbing"? WHaaaaaaaaaaa?!

In AC you hardly have to stop for a minute to check your surroundings for the correct path while you have an entire squadron with better sense of smell than bloodhounds shooting at you from several directions.
That makes the parkour gameplay lose fun because you're supposed to be a nimble courrier that should have lost your pursuers 2 blocks ago.
Stopping doesn't make much sense and breaks the flow.

Miral:

Johnny Novgorod:
I thought this was supposed to be a prequel?

No, it's definitely a reboot. Faith's sister is completely different from the original game.

Then it sucks that they didn't own up to any of the several sequel hooks the original game set up.

I remember watching Elektra back in 2006, having met her through the movie Daredevil from 2003, and then I thought: "Is this a reboot or a prequel? Because she died by the end of Daredevil." Then I learned the movie IS a sequel and it WAS the same character to further f*ck with my mind, even though both movies don't connect at all; it was some sort of hybrid of sequel/spin-off with a hint of semi-reboot. I am facing the complete opposite scenario with this game. Did gaming companies went from not knowing how to name their reboots to completely forgetting how to reboot at all?

Darth Rosenberg:

Thanatos2k:
It always baffles me whenever someone starts extolling the virtues of the first Mirror's Edge like it was some kind of secret masterpiece. Uh, no it wasn't. First person platforming sucks, the story was bad, the characters were bad, and the combat was bad.

I'm not sure if people actually know what they really want in a Mirror's Edge game, and judging by this game - neither does EA.

Pointer for the underlined: it's subjective... so it's perfectly logical and understandable for some to see the first game as a bit of a gem.

Every time I get into an argument about the quality of the first game I use Yahtzee's article about why it just doesn't work.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/extra-punctuation/9796-First-Person-Platforming

Awwww... I was hoping for the E3 piss taking video this week
*sees end credits*
Oh Ok. I can wait.

Anyway I wonder if the irony is lost on EA (having a major corporation as a villain I mean).

It's "Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit," the game! You get to play as the BMX Bandit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw

Zhukov:
I agree with most of what was said here, or at least can see where he's coming from.

Except with the combat apparently being too hard.

It... really isn't. So long as you pick your targets well, use the environment for the more potent attacks and make use of the dodge move then it's actually pretty easy. I died in combat a total of four times. (And died by falling dozens if not hundreds of times.)

I've seen a bunch of let's plays and such with people struggling and most of them were just plain shit at it. Not building up their "focus shield" thingy then charging straight at enemies with guns and wondering why it didn't work out.

i agree. i also didnt really have major issues with the combat. and i play on PC with M&K. the only once that are harder to defeat are these special KSEC guys who easily kick you away.
have seen some playthrougs as well and was just laughing how bad some are at the combat and say its so hard.

but yes, the game has its weakness but i personally enjoyed it a lot. the one thing i really wished for is that you can actually go down to the streets and be among the people but nope. you can only see them from a distance or the once you can see up close pretend you are not around. like this one mission you are in the building that has plenty of workers around and none of them bother to tell her off or even report her?

Miral:
Yeah, most of the time the combat is fairly straightforward, and it's a lot better than in the previous game. Never had any trouble in the open world; the only time I struggled a bit was when they lock you in a small room with three of the elite enemies. (Had to resort to abusing the AI in that one -- climbed up onto a ledge and kicked them off whenever they tried to follow.)

Kind of glad to hear that, because my least favorite parts in the first game were the two parts when you had to fight a mysterious masked person with a rather high pitched grunt who kept trying to shoot you and you pretty much had to beat them up in order to proceed(which feels like the wrong way to do this in a game like this). Long, tedious and annoying in a game that's supposed to be about free-running.

This game features a point where the main characters turn into pirate flamingos? I'm sold.

Guess when it comes to free-running parkour there are better games - e.g. Infamous:Second Son, Assassin's Creed ...

I had fairly high hopes for this game; I replayed the first one a couple of months ago and thought about how much potential Catalyst had to improve the concept. But the mediocre reviews and reboot of the story suggest it didn't take the opportunity, which is disappointing. Hell, when I saw Yahtzee's review go up, I thought "oh that's right, that came out".

"Better do E3 next week"
You really don't have to.

Year in an year out of "why're you morons getting excited about things you like?" has gotten pretty fucking tedious and what with the delay of an E3 video this year and the general attitude of a lot of people i doubt there's anything new and insightful Yahtzee could say about what was shown off.

"Oh woe, a cinematic trailer, surely this means the entire gaming industry is about to die!"
"Kojima as Christ? The man's insane, why would anyone want to give him total freedom, this is never going to end well"
"A new Xbox? PC Master race keeps truckin' "
"Nintendo pushing a new Zelda? La-di-dum-de-da, who gives a shit"
"Last Guardian finally got a release date? Sony's really been rushing them towards the door, it's probably gonna be shit"

With all of the superhero team up movies being popular in cinemas these-days I have decided to form my own superhero club that will consist of video game characters that where comprised to fail; Faith Connors, Aiden Pearce, Aerith Gainsborough, Lara Croft, Jamson Locke and of cures Batman.

Igor-Rowan:
I remember watching Elektra back in 2006, having met her through the movie Daredevil from 2003, and then I thought: "Is this a reboot or a prequel? Because she died by the end of Daredevil." Then I learned the movie IS a sequel and it WAS the same character to further f*ck with my mind, even though both movies don't connect at all; it was some sort of hybrid of sequel/spin-off with a hint of semi-reboot. I am facing the complete opposite scenario with this game. Did gaming companies went from not knowing how to name their reboots to completely forgetting how to reboot at all?

Well, in between movies, after she died, she was magically brought back to life, just like in the comics. She was, I believe, one of the first of many comic book characters to do that.

Does everything really need a reboot these days?

Anyway, solid vid.

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