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Parents' Guide to Mirror's Edge Catalyst (PEGI 16)

In collaboration with the Games Rating Authority, here’s our parent’s guide to Mirror's Edge Catalyst.

1. Genre

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is an action adventure game which casts the player as Faith, a free-running courier in a dystopian future.

The game is played from a first person perspective, unusual for a game based on exploration and agility. Play involves traversing the rooftops and climbing the walls of a corporate-controlled city, as well as engaging in balletic unarmed combat with the security guards and other enemies who get in your way. Unlike the very linear original game, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst takes place in an open-world city allowing freedom of exploration.

While the main campaign is single player and there is no simultaneous multiplayer, Catalyst offers players the chance to create, share and compete in time trials.

Catalyst is the follow-up to Mirror’s Edge, but its first person parkour gameplay within an open world city is also reminiscent of last year’s Dying Light.

2. PEGI Rating

In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst PEGI 16, suitable for over 16s, for moderate violence.

The Games Rating Authority expand on their PEGI details by stating that the game features ‘realistic violence, the majority of which consists of hand-to-hand combat’ ‘normally seen from a first person perspective’, though fights are also seen ‘in third person view in cut-scenes’. In a cut-scene a character is ‘strapped to a stretcher, convulsing while he is interrogated, but no violent action is depicted explicitly.’

3. Story

In the city of Glass, Faith Connors is one of a group of ‘runners’, illicit couriers who live off the grid and cross the city rooftops with their parkour skills. After discovering a conspiracy at the heart of KrugerCorp, one of the corporations that run, the city, Faith is hunted and must fight back.

4. Developer

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is developed by EA DICE, the Swedish developer behind the first Mirror’s Edge game as well as the Battlefield series.

5. Format

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is available for PS4, XBox One and PC, for around £40 or $60. More expensive collector’s editions are available.

6. Duration and Difficulty

The original Mirror’s Edge had a campaign that took six hours to beat, depending on ability, but the more open structure of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst and the opportunity to share time trials should provide extra hours of play in the follow-up.

7. Themes

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst presents a dystopian future where the city of Glass is run by a conglomerate of 13 corporations, and where runners live off the grid to avoid the rules and restrictions imposed by that conglomerate. In showing a future where individuals have few rights in the face of overwhelming corporate power the game feels like a plausible dystopia that’s not too far away, even if the neck-tattooed free running heroes feel like a contemporary vision of rebellion that will be dated very soon, if not already.

8. Why people play:

The appeal of the original Mirror’s Edge was twofold, in the exhilarating, vertigo inducing first person platforming, and the sharp clinical design of its future cityscape. Catalyst aims to build on both, with an even greater, stomach lurching sense of height and distance as Faith explores Glass, and even more environments that combine clean white surfaces with blocks of bold colour. Improvements abound too - the cut-scenes and in-game action now have a consistent look, and the open world gameplay reduces the sense of being directed down a very straight-line.

A complete overhaul of combat replaces the extremely unwieldy system in the previous game, providing fights where Faith never picks up a gun but instead flows directly from parkour into attacks that use her agility and momentum to take out bad guys. The original was a distinctive game, and this follow-up focusses that vision even further to present a unique futuristic action experience.

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.