Discussing the simple yet nuanced control scheme of Mirror’s Edge™ Catalyst, Lead Gameplay Designer Rickard Antroia sums it up well: intuition is key. We’ve already touched upon the fluidity of movement in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, and how your mind, hands, and controller will work in unison as you guide Faith through the City of Glass. But what does that entail exactly?
In a series of posts, we’ll deep-dive into the entire spectrum of movement in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Anything from basics such as a simple jump to advanced chains of wall runs, coils, and quickturns for expert Runners will be covered.
Let’s jump into the basics. With the help of Rickard Antroia, you’ll be guided through the move set of Faith and how this is both familiar and intuitive, as well as improved and new.
“Moving forward and using what we call Up and Down Actions are the fundamentals of movement in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Fans of the first game will be familiar in how this is handled. Since there isn’t a dedicated jump button the left shoulder buttons (or PC equivalent) will be used instead, signaling an intent from the player,” Antroia explains.
Sometimes this contextual intent is a jump. If you’re running and reach a ledge, your instinct is to jump and that’s precisely what the Up Action button will do. Pressing it when running next to a wall will trigger a wall run, and if you’re facing a wall that needs to be climbed Faith will heave herself up with the same technique.
Located at the right trigger, a brand new control function can be found that will make both movement and combat even more fluid and powerful: Shift.
“The origin of Shift is that we wanted to find something that lets you gain speed faster. Shift lets you move sideways in any direction, and also backwards. Say you get too close to a threat or just want to back up and get a clearer view of your surroundings, Shift will take care of that,“ Antroia says.
Shift can also be used to “drift” when taking corners. Though running and driving are very different activities, this is not entirely dissimilar from techniques in racing games. If you’re running and are approaching a 90-degree turn, you can turn slightly towards the turn and activate a Sideshift to make a sharper turn.
“One extra perk of using Shift like this is that you can’t fall off of ledges while doing it. This means you can use this technique on dodgy terrain and on small catwalks without railings,” says Rickard Antroia.
DICE’s ambition is to cater for both beginners as well as experienced Runners in MEC. Apart from more practical things like ways to customize your key bindings, the move set contains both newbie and pro approaches. Take Quickturn for instance:
“If a beginner is in the middle of a wall run and wants to jump to the opposite side, the Quickturn button will do this with a set direction. More advanced players can however use the mouse or analogue stick to adjust the exact direction of that jump,” Antroia says.
To sum up, the move set of Faith in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a textbook example of something you’ll learn fast but can spend months on perfecting. There are many other aspects of movement in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst so stay tuned for more deep-dives on speed, combat moves, and elite tips on mastering Faith.