Performance over pixels.
After 8 long years, Faith will finally be returning back in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst this June. Touted as a reboot, Catalyst is running on the latest iteration of DICE’s proprietary FrostBite Engine, a set of tools and framework that powered visually stunning games like Star Wars: Battlefront on all modern platforms. We recently got our hands on the close beta of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst across the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions; and we were able to analyze how the game performs on each of them. But as usual, before we move ahead, we must stress this is a beta build and things can always change in the final retail version.
To begin with, the console versions have a field of view selector which you can use to adjust the player view. It’s a nice touch although we would have loved to see a couple of more options thrown in such as motion blur. Regardless, the console versions target 60 frames per second and it seems for the most part, the PS4 and Xbox One versions are indeed running pretty close to that. It’s not a locked 60 fps experience, mind you, but for a beta this is a good sign that the retail version may offer a solid 60 fps experience. However, just like Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline and Star Wars: Battlefront, none of the console versions run at a native 1920 X 1080p resolution. In fact, they run at the same standard that Battlefield 4 ran more than two years ago.
So yes, the PS4 version runs at 900p and the Xbox One version sticks to 720p. It’s kind of disappointing to see the lack of a native 1080p resolution but DICE seems to have locked down performance or at the very least it’s pretty close to where it needs to be. Other visual effects such as the cinematic motion blur, depth of field and screen space reflections have been used aplenty. However there are a couple of areas where we want DICE to tighten up a bit. First of all, the motion blur mixes with what looks like temporal AA resulting into temporal artifacts at times. It all settles down when Faith is stationary, though. The cube map reflections also look deteriorated and often times blurry. We also witnessed texture pop-in on both versions.
As far as PC performance goes, we ran the game on an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, Intel i7 3770 and 16GB of memory. Performance for the most part was really smooth with minor screen tearing at times. As this is a DICE game we were expecting highly optimized code for the PC build so we are glad to see the trend continuing in Catalyst.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is shaping up into a solid game. With tight controls and a target 60fps cap, the game hits all the right notes. The lack of full HD resolution is still a bit disappointing given that DICE is literally stuck at this standard for a while but what we have in return is a slick and fast action game that has full support for a physical based rendering pipeline and open world which is undeniably beautiful.