The closed beta for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is coming in a week. The private session starts as early as April 22 for a select few and ends on April 26.
If you’re part of the Mirror’s Edge Frontrunner program, you’re guaranteed early access to the closed beta on April 22. Those who weren’t part of the program, but still signed up for the beta, will be able to play it on April 23.
For the fans, the closed beta provides an opportunity to try out some of the main missions, side quests and other content. One major feature that the developers are testing in the beta is the new Social Play feature.
Social Play is the game’s multiplayer side. Just like in the first game, you can still participate in races and time trials across the city. However, Social Play allows other players to create their own challenges within the city of Glass by allowing them to place checkpoints at various points in their custom race.
When you participate in these custom runs, you’ll see Echoes, or a ghost-like figure, ahead of you that show the same run from another player. Obviously, you don’t have to follow their path to finish the race. There are various ways to improve your time, such as taking a shortcut or climbing a higher obstacle, but the main goal is to stay on top of the race leaderboard. Aside from these custom challenges, players can also create a geotag anywhere in the city called Beat L.E. (The name is a reference to the in-game augmented reality lens used by Faith.) These tags can mark secret locations, or they can mark a difficult spot to reach, that other players can attempt to reach or die trying.
Social Play also works with the game’s companion app, which is available as a web browser or mobile app. The app will allow you to look at your social profile and your place in the leaderboards. You can even look at the list of challenges created by other players and bookmark them to easily find their location in the game.
The beta will last for five days, but when it ends, the team at DICE has four weeks to take that data and make adjustments to the game before it comes out May 24. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a major departure from its predecessor. Instead of multiple levels, the prequel to the original game features an open-world environment full of missions and collectibles. In short, it has the potential to be a free-runner’s paradise.