In most first-person video games, the act of running and jumping is something a player does while shooting enemies in the face. The creators of “Mirror’s Edge” slickly subverted that overused convention in 2008 with a focus on acrobatic toes instead of trigger fingers. After a nearly decade-long break, the developers at DICE have finally retraced their steps.
“Mirror’s Edge Catalyst” (Electronic Arts, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, $59.99) isn’t so much a prequel to the original “Mirror’s Edge” as it is a modern-day reimagining of the parkour tale starring free-running vigilante Faith Connors. The tattooed heroine is back to lunge between buildings, scurry up scaffolding and zip across walls.
“Catalyst” kicks off as Faith is sprung from a juvenile detention facility in the city of Glass, a gorgeously detailed urban dystopia that could serve as sister city to the Capitol from “The Hunger Games.” She’s immediately thrown into a pedestrian plot involving the conglomerate ruler who controls the metropolis and the resistance groups that fight him.
While the story line is leaps and bounds above the underwhelming narrative of the original “Mirror’s Edge,” it still seems stuck in the past when compared with other recent story-driven game releases such as “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” and “Quantum Break.” The stiff performances from the game’s cast don’t help matters.