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Mirror’s Edge Catalyst still offers an open-world city like no other

Years ago, EA’s building in the UK was a Foster and Partners number in Chertsey. And it had a handful of interesting features. There was a moat. There were ducks involved, or maybe swans. The front of the structure came off (on purpose) and leaked (not on purpose). From the air the whole thing looked a bit like the letter E. Electronic!

Inside it was pure Bond lair, of course, this being the era which also gave us the doomy concrete spinal excavation of Westminster Tube Station, my favourite building in London because I am a massive child, loose in the world with nothing in my skull but feathers. (Westminster Tube is definitely Bond, but definitely also Brosnan Bond.) Anyway, EA’s place: with oddly angled windows ensuring you never knew which direction the automatic blinds were going to descend from, skeletal staircases and lots of dark surfaces. You can see it for yourself in films like Inception and TV shows like Jekyll. Anything with a touch of horror or unease. The Bond people never actually used it, I gather. The heights were not quite right for it to be truly deathly, but it did a good job of being Deathly Junior. A mausoleum built to the specs of a condominium. EA doesn’t live there any more.

I’ve spent the last few days in another collision of EA and architecture, though. And again, although Foster and Partners were not involved, it’s also disquieting and abstractly villainous and filled with odd features. A lot of people might argue that it leaks, too, or at least that it is not quite fit for purpose. No matter. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is finally on Steam and I have been running and jumping, diving and swooping across its squeaky world. I’m in love.

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