In Mirror's Edge Catalyst, players return to the rooftops as Faith Connors, a skilled Runner who makes a living by traversing the most treacherous routes along the highest heights of her city. Faith is willing to take on jobs as a courier, thief or even a spy as long as her freedoms remain intact. However, after an impulsive decision leads to a conflict with the authorities, Faith must work to inspire change in a city deluded by the corrupt nature of the Conglomerate. Her actions are motivated by a desire to free the people of Glass from the oppressive grips of KrugerSec, the city's powerful security branch backed by the Conglomerate. Mirror's Edge Catalyst details the origin story of Faith, providing the necessary character development that its predecessor lacked. In her efforts to uphold a sense of morality, Faith becomes the catalyst necessary to incite change throughout a city plagued by corruption.
In Mirror's Edge Catalyst, linear pathways are a thing of the past. DICE broke away from linear level design of the previous installment, and instead opted for an open world layout that better suits the parkour mechanic. Players are free to leap across rooftops and glide along zip lines throughout the city of Glass, with no load screens to interrupt the flow; more regions will become available as players complete new missions and progress through Faith's journey.
While many of the parkour routes involve free running across skyscrapers, some missions require players to delve into the depths of the dank tunnels below the city. Missions include running races, solving puzzles and exploring the mysteries behind the city's shiny facade. For example, the Dash race requires players to sprint from one point to another in record time. There are also less conspicuous challenges, such as the Billboard Hack, that encourage players to reach new heights to show off their runner status on hard to reach billboards. The open design of the city allows players to take unique routes and pathways, adding another layer of variety to the already distinctive traversal mechanic. Players are free to explore the city in their own way, allowing for a more personal connection to the urban environment. Glass is a city composed of glossy textures and stylised features that invite players to discover what lies beneath its gleaming surface.
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