PrintE-mail Written by Matt Wells

After eight long years, cult videogame Mirror’s Edge finally received its anticipated sequel. Produced by EA DICE, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst improves on its free-running foundations, and provides a reboot for the series. For fans of the game, Dark Horse has published The Art of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, showcasing the creation and realisation of this new game.

Each page in the book promises never before seen artwork, with commentary and insight from the creative team. The original game design is explored throughout the book, along with cityscapes, character concepts and costume design.

For fans of Mirror’s Edge, they’ll be happy to know that EA DICE thoroughly explored the futuristic themes of the first game with a desire to retain the original flavour for this reboot. In this book they provide examples of their inspiration, and how they progressed with their very own reimagining.

The main character, Faith, has a selection of pages devoted to her. Concept designs showcase different hairstyles, along with her iconic red glove and shoes. A number of different options for Faith’s athletic style adorn these lavishly printed pages, with small annotated paragraphs from the artists.

The Art of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst also features small storyboard sections, which are devoted to the movement of the free-runner. They’re nicely displayed, and they have an almost kinetic feel to them. Unfortunately, the small use of these storyboard layouts presents a desire to see more. They’re not often seen in video game art books, and they’re more than welcome here.

The book truly shines with its character concepts, showcasing a wide variety of fashion pulled straight from an exclusive science fiction fashion show. These stylish characters are designed by DICE regular Per Haagensen, and the book simply flourishes with his art.

Oddly enough, readers will not see Haagensen’s work credited on a single page. He’s mentioned on a list of contributing artists, but it’s disappointing to find that not one concept artist is attached to any of these pages. Even the annotations feel very impersonal, as if they’re not from one specific illustrator.

The Art of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst does a decent job at showcasing its concept designs, and even fashion designers may admire the clothing portrayed throughout. However, the book is in dire need of some preliminary sketches, which would help expand on the process leading to the final image.

Fans of the series may appreciate some sections of the book, but Dark Horse’s art book feels like it could easily add plenty of drawings and interesting storyboards. The game is renowned for its unique visuals, and whilst an attempt has been made to recognise that, the art book just leaves readers longing for more.



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