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GameSpot's The Lobby: Mirrors Edge Catalyst Beta: Our verdictsThe GameSpot crew discusses the parkour movement of Mirrors Edge Catalyst and the beta's sanitized aesthetic. Watch for their verdict.
[MUSIC] We're here to talk about Mirrors Edge [UNKNOWN] a sequel, prequel type efforts reimagining. Long time in the making. I mean Mirrors Edge feels like you know [UNKNOWN] the Xbox 360. It's a game that's been around for a long time. I played a bit of it on PC earlier. I saw that. It still looks all right. But, what we were playing over the weekend was the beta for Catalyst which I was playing on XBox One. What were you playing on? PS4. You were playing PS4. Mike, you didn't play it, did you? I didn't get a chance to play it yet. But, you have played Mirrors Edges in the past. You've been on a Mirrors Edge or two. Yes. Okay, so let's get you into it. I feel like I have Like I'm a big fan of the first Mirror's Edge. Mm-hm. What about yourself? I actually never played it. Okay, that's actually perfect, right. Right. Sort of way of coming into this. Mm-hm. So I came in with sort of like rather lofty expectations of what I would like from this game. And I feel like I've kind of gone a bit all over the place with it. Mm-hm. And I'm still not really sure exactly where I land. You coming in fresh into it playing on PlayStation 4, what did you think of Catalyst? I really enjoyed it. If I could make any comparison I would say like, off the bat, as far as Parkour games. Mm. I played like Dying Light. Right. That's a little reminiscent as far as like the feel and doing cool moves. [UNKNOWN] I thought the Parkour in this game was spectacular. I didn't have any issues, maybe gripes, not at all, like it was a really fun experience I enjoyed it. It's a cool city. At first I was a little, I went two ways. First I was like, this is a really bland world, looks like an Apple store. And then I was like, well this is actually a really cool environment, I like the setup, this utopian city, it gave me a lot of equilibrium vibes You know like with what these guys are trying to basically put down people. Like, no emotions from you. 1984 or something> Sure. Gun [UNKNOWN] or whatever how it's called. Gun [UNKNOWN] Gun [UNKNOWN] Yeah. And then I had a third wind of this is getting a little boring looking at Like a room, and it's just these glasses on a table that looks like crap. It just doesn't look that great, and it gets boring. You walk in a room, and it's just blocks. That got old for me. It's a weird sort of dystopian utopia. I guess for people who haven't played The original or people updated the original. I don't know what this is about. Basically, what they've done with Mirror's Edge is it's now in a sort of open world. I mean, open world is maybe a bit of a stretch. It's just a large area, a large level which I'm sure opens up large, you can bicker when you get into beta. And then the biggest problem that was with Mirror's Edge. The first one, or the biggest criticism which most players and reviewers had was having gun combat in that game. Was like a big issue. You had the option to shoot people, or you could keep running in the first game. And then later on in the first game, there were two or three levels where, at the end of the game, where you were essentially forced to use a gun. And it didn't work well, even though this was the same studio who's made Battlefield of course, and dice. So, what they've done in this is that they've basically made it so most of the lower-level enemies that you encounter only use truncheons, so they only use batons, basically, to beat you down. And the main mechanic that they've added, most of the running is almost identical to Mirror's Edge. They've added a bunch of extra Types of movements and whatnot. Mm-hm. Most of it is used to be around the combat like jumping off walls to take people down, or jumping off walls and pushing people out of the way. They've sort of split the combat in two ways. One is like I'm hitting them to get passed them. It's like a traversal attack. And then the other one is a heavy attack which is the one I'm actually trying to kill this person. Right. But they sort of push you in the direction of not Try to kill everyone, because there's this flow meter, which you kind of, you build up, as you, the more you run. So there are people who shoot you, later on, and that, they call it, shoot, dodge shield. Yeah. So later on, guy, you will get guys shooting at you, and the idea is you have that meter Filled, in order to have that like secondary shield against bullets. And then use your parkour to like take them out or whatever. Which is cool right. Yeah. I guess if you build up enough flow then basically you can dodge bullets. And that's kind of like a cool, you know conceit in a game like this. Yeah, it's fine. I've had different takes on, like they would implement it different ways. Like here's point A to point B Don't fight anyone. These are mission elements, and they are going to be like you got to fight these guys. So it's a mixture of both I guess. And you can knock, if you want, you can engage in the fight and knock down somebody or knock them into another person, or get them close to the edge of You know corner and then knock them off. I wanna kind of reminded me of is I really like using like melee weapons in games like Skyrim or Oblivion. But there are some people who would not touch that. Who would like never play melee build in one of those games. First person melee combat is like such an incredibly difficult thing to do right and I think they've Kind of done a pretty good job of this, but at the end of the day it's just never that compelling. Like, I was sort of using and putting most of my text stuff into my movement and not necessarily my combat stuff to basically get rid of them. And then this is the sort of stuff that's weird for [UNKNOWN] because you don't really know how, this is pretty close [INAUDIBLE] I think to like a week before E3 or something like that. Okay And, it's coming up pretty soon. So some of the stuff I'm not sure if it's fair to lay on it because it is a beta. One, this game does not look great. No. I know.>> And the first game, when it came out on the Xbox 360, it was very striking. It was linear. So, then they could-because that whole thing if you have a game that is relatively boxed in then you could add more visually striking elements to it. Because you're not worried about people going outside. And having to load more stuff or whatever. I don't know how games work. That obviously doesn't exist in this one. The other thing is that like the original game felt very cinematic, like there's sort of weird future, [UNKNOWN] type world that's kind of crazy and like you said, looks like an Apple store. But you're kind of like it's like a linear weird story When you spread that out into an open world, it just doesn't make any sense. It's like, why is everything so clean? Why is everyone so idealistic? Why are none of these characters in any way believable? But like, the mission people were just standing around on rooftops. And if you're, they're not willing to give you the mission, they literally just stand there. And I saw somebody standing there, on a rooftop, on a **** rooftop, like by the way its like 15 stories up or something, on a rooftop. And I'm like, 'Why you standing here', and they don't do anything and later on theyre a mission giver but they were there the whole time. Or, how about there was one guy who I did a runner, a mission for and I gave him, the you know, the whatever- Yeah, yeah. And he's still standing there. After I did his mission, he's just hanging out, he doesn't talk to you. No. Also that mission was the weirdest voiceover I've... A person gives you something to give to somebody, instead of using a courier system they're using you because of this sort of political reason, and then when you run away from her she's talking to you in your ear? How are you talking? I'm sure there's some future, it's a good thing we invented this blah blah blah so everyone can. Talk to each other, but there's just so much of that, there's no consistency, it didn't feel real, and the fake [UNKNOWN] really not great at all. But I thought the voice acting in the cinematics was actually top notch. I was really in to that. That's just right, but yeah, you can get into her character. But I have to say one thing. There was an area when I was doing, you can do side missions like go hack this billboard and I'm climbing on this area. And like, there's people in this room. I'm looking in. Jake, Deck and I did the live stream. Of the 12 people in this room, Yeah. Four of them are exactly the same. On the phone, and like in a line. Really. Three people in a line all the same. That's a bummer. And yeah hopefully that's my present. There's another scene where I was looking down in between two buildings in a drone. I mean look at the drone's falling back. Right. Move them. Literally, their fans are just triangles. Right. That's frightening to me. Like I bet this game would look a lot better on PC and the weird thing about it is, this game, when you stream it on the Internet, looks really good. It like has the opposite effect of Yeah, the compression helps us. Whereas with the added detail you have on your own home television, there's just something about it. It looks so edgy, in a not very pleasing type way. And that's not just you and me, I've heard that across the board from a lot of people who've played it. I don't know, to me, this feels so much like Mirror's Edge one In like all the right ways and all the wrong ways. And that's like the traversal zone is very, very identical. The unlock system is they're like petering out bits and bobs to you because I feel like they're trying to teach you how to do this whole combat thing. But it feels like an open world War game that was also made in 2007. It just doesn't look like a fleshed out world to me at all. Did you look at the skill tree? They blocked off about half of what the skill tree was, maybe there's more. I think. There's three there's like move and combat and something else. Gear. Gear, okay. If you look down on some of the combat ones, some of the trees are just Damage. Yes, yeah. More damage, more damage, more damage. Or I don't know where this, I was looking to him like where are the moves? I expect some of the long lines of that not just damage against these guys, damage against these guys. And the thing that was pushing you for them in the first Mirror's Edge. And again, this is difficult to having this criticism on a beta with. Yeah. The thing that was the fact that this is a linear story based game when you're going to new environments. Which was always sort of the fun element was like this next level is going to look beautiful in the new way. Or there was the level you had to go down in the circle- Underground. [CROSSTALK] Yeah, and then it was loads of sewery type levels and stuff like that. And, I don't know, I've been treading a lot of [UNKNOWN] in this game over and over again, and I don't, even if they do mix it up, I don't know That the next area is going to cancel. Right. So the thing that's that they're trying to push you forward on the on locks and all that, that's not compelling enough for me to keep playing. I found I won't say just run. You know what I like exploring open world games. I'm just going to go and explore. And I went lalalalalalala and I'm like One of my biggest criticisms about Watch Dogs, is that you could be anywhere on Watch Dogs, and if somebody asked you to go back to your house, you wouldn't have a clue. Just nothing about the world, like a game like GTA you kinda have an idea, right. There's Lockbox, [CROSSTALK] State. Yeah, right? The streets look different. Exactly, yeah, you have a sense of the place. You're actually taking in the base. Mirror's Edge Catalyst to me was just like I'm running. I don't know where I am. And I played for like three hours or something. And relatively small are, it's not that big. And I ran to the furthest reach of this to be like where does the map stop? And it was this Concourse that was about six lanes wide was the way they split you off in the city. And I just felt I want to go over there, I wanna go down there, or I wanna go, I'm just stuck on the roof and it feels really weird. Yeah even you're main, again this is bare, I don't know what's gonna be in [UNKNOWN] Your main hub, it seemed like there were only two ways of exiting. Yeah. In that you were going down lanes that over time, got repetitive. Yeah. I'm hoping there are, yeah I only played for like four or five hours but I hope there are lanes That you can start making up your own, more of that. Because when you initially lead, it's like the same route. I've done this route before. I don't know. Yeah, but the same 30 seconds both ways is- Exactly. I feel like, if you haven't played a game like Dying Lights, maybe you come off this completely different. If you haven't played a lot of first person open world games. Which have like half decent traversal. Like I even think like Far Cry Primal was an easy game that's a fun game about exploring a world and trying to like you know, I don't know, like I enjoyed the movement in that game and like the combat in that game far more than I enjoyed the movement and combat in this. And this is fine but like And I just feel like, with Dying Light, especially, you've got a game that does parkour pretty well, does shooting really good and even does driving, in the new one, really good. So, to me, this game just feels like, you've made a sequel to a game which, at the time, was doing a lot of new things, but, in 2016, isn't doing anything new, so I don't know where they had room to grow. And even Dying Light, sorry to interrupt At nighttime you have crazy threats. In this environment there's practically no NPCs. There's no real threat. You get the KSEC guys. But in that playthrough of the beta there were only these outpost security points where you would go into one of those. And then you would engage them. And then you'd have this chase. It'd be cool if there was more of a chase. It'd be cool if it was so unexpected. they're on to you now. Two stars, GTA. Okay, cool, now I have to change up my way of playing the game. If you're just wandering around mid-mission, like I wandered around mid-mission for probably about an hour last night, maybe 45 minutes, and didn't run into any of them, they're not [CROSSTALK] Yeah>>Yeah. It feels like a tough game the first Mirrors Edge to make a sequel to right because it's just the thing I loved about it was linear but there were still alternate routes that you could take through that world. This reversal felt good and I like that they didn't force weapons on your for the majority of the game. At the same time I think we're past the point where We need to stop just throwing open world onto a game just for the sake of saying that's a feature, because Far Cry Primal is a good example. I think that game made awesome use of its open world. That's why I'm worried about Catalyst, it doesn't look like it's going to yet. I have not touched beta, so I don't know, but that's why I'm tempering my expectations when it does release. Yeah, and I think that's probably what we're doing, trying to temper. I'm not saying this is bad, it was fine, I enjoy this, but it's not It's not the feeling you got when you played Mirror's Edge. Yeah. one, it feels, and that this is a beta. Like, people in the chat are making good points, like cbw86 saying, the map in the beta is one district of around three or four and there's an underground area too. Sure, yeah. I'm sure it does expand. Sure. But like You can gain a certain amount of knowledge from the loop that they give you in these things and that's the sort of come up that I'm getting from this. They'll like, I know what kind of game you are and it's like that's fine. I'm worried like will the open world aspect kill what I liked about the first game because I know you have to do something different with the sequel enough to set it apart but Will the open world sacrifice what makes that par course so intriguing. Like the time [UNKNOWN] stuff that was in there, like I didn't touch at all. I just like the things in there. Like that's a lot of what this side missions in this seems to be. It's very like point to point races. They're doing that different. No. There's a dash and then there's a Shoot here's another one.>>The ones where you're getting the security chips as well which>>Right>>Essentially is just an elongated version of a point to point, it's a point to point but there's four points. You know what I mean so they feel very similar it's like>>Right>>Oh instead of going to the checkered flag I'm just hitting X in a box.>>Some of them are. I mean both are essentially do this as fast as you can. You're getting the same drive One of them's just like, you can't do it in two minutes, you've got to do it again. Or you're doing a race, well you get one star. Come back again if you want to get two stars. And there's probably some cool stuff where you unlock new abilities and then you figure out faster routes of doing these things. But you're just still doing point-to-point races. That's like the one side mission that open war games tried to get rid of for the past five years. So yeah, it seems a little bit weird. I don't know. Mirror's Edge Catalyst. It's fine, right? I did like it. I enjoyed it. I was really down on it for the first couple hours, and then I think when I started going out I think then when I had the expectation of what it was, and I messed around with it a little more, I was kinda like yeah, alright yeah. So I guess mirror's edge, so. Yeah. I guess we'll find out more soon. That was the sort of smaller Beta they've done, I'm not sure if they're opening it up to any more. It's been pushed back, though, a little while, so you're gonna have to wait and see to get your own Cattle of Son. Let us know what you think, are you excited for us? Are you tempering expectations? Did you not play the first one? Are you looking to get into it? And let us know if you've played Dying Light as well, good game to compare it with. Gentlemen, thank you so much. [MUSIC]