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Mirror's Edge Catalyst dev explains why abilities are locked

DICE says new system helps people free-run better as Faith.

Unlike in the first Mirror's Edge, upcoming reboot Catalyst locks core free-running abilities, such as the quick-turn and skill-roll, behind experience points and a skill progression tree.

The departure in design has drawn criticism from some fans, who say they are unhappy with developer DICE's decision to not make core movement abilities from the first game available from the outset.

The decision, according to DICE's senior producer Jeremy Miller, was made in order to help people get a better grasp of the different ways Faith can navigate the city of Glass.

Electronic Arts

"The RPG element is really about allowing the player to engage in the tools, because it is a unique way of interacting with the world," he said in an interview with GameSpot.

"We've got a different control scheme. It's a little more intuitive and fluid. Part of having this progression in there is to allow you to be able to master your tools, and to give you a little bit of breathing room so you feel confident and excited about what you can do."

When asked specifically about not giving players immediate access to basic moves such as Quickturn, Miller noted that by introducing it gradually, players tended to explore the new opportunities the ability provided more.

"The quick-turn is a slightly more abstract tool and people didn't use it as much [in Mirror's Edge]," he said.

"We've seen a distinct increase in people going, 'Oh, I've got this, how do I use it?' It's worked into people's movement language much more successfully as a result of doing that."

GameSpot recently played Mirror's Edge Catalyst and our hands-on impressions can be found here, along with details on why DICE decided to remove Faith's ability to use guns and the ways hand-to-hand combat has improved.

A Mirror's Edge Catalyst closed beta will begin on April 22 and last for five days, ending on April 26.