Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Go To
Go on, girl. Save us all.
I don't like what's coming, Faith. This city is changing, and not for the better. Unless, of course, we stop it.

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst is an action/platforming title developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts, and a Continuity Reboot of the original Mirror's Edge. It was released in June 2016 for PC (through Origin), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

The city of Glass is a modern-day utopia - at least, for those who live as part of the ultra-rich ruling class. Shining building facades and inspired futuristic design give the city a beautiful mirror finish, but the interior is rotten and corrupted to the core, ruled by the most powerful ruling families collectively known as the Conglomerate. Glass is the third-largest city in a corporatocratic nation, Cascadia, which rose from the ashes of a civil war.

Faith Connors is one of the Runners, a group of couriers who exist to fulfill the needs of whoever hires them and operate on the narrow edge between lawlessness and ruthlessness. Faith is one of the best, despite (or because of) her devil-may-care-attitude. Raised from a young age by her mentor, Noah, after the death of her parents during the November Riots that spawned the Conglomerate, Faith cares only for Noah and for her runs.

After a bad run with a rival cabal, Faith is arrested and in debt to a crime czar. Two years later, she is released from prison and given her first major assignment, going off book to follow a tantalizing lead. In doing so, she stumbles across a case of corporate espionage and steals information from Kruger Holding, the largest and most influential corporation in Cascadia. Worse, CEO Gabriel Kruger personally witnessed Faith's theft, which quickly means the corporation's KrugerSec division is out for her blood—and that of all of the Runners in Glass.

With Kruger on the warpath, the fragile balance that the Runners maintain with the rest of the city's disparate factions is upset. At odds with the other Runners in the city, Faith must unravel the conspiracy, get off Kruger's most wanted list, and re-earn the trust of her mentor and colleagues.

The game is notable for taking the freerunning platforming of the original game and adding in a gorgeous new engine, fresh and reworked gameplay mechanics, and an immersive open world to interact with, and has somewhat divisive existence amongst fans.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Girl:
    • Faith is equally capable of running away and kicking ass, whichever is required.
    • KrugerSec includes balaclava-wearing women in its ranks. Kruger's daughter/enforcer Isabel also beats up a ninja-like intruder in an early mission.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Only if you read the comic Mirror's Edge: Exordium which is a prequel to the game: Celeste, Faith's best friend, never betrayed her and sold the runners out like she did in the original game. Time will tell if this will remain the case, though.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In contrast, Kate Connors (or Caitlyn 'Cat' Connors as she's called in this game), Faith's sister, becomes Isabel Kruger, the Big Bad's top enforcer.
  • After the End: Cascadia, the country Glass is part of, is filled with stretches of landscape called "The Greylands": barren lands formed after some unknown disaster long ago. Background lore mentions something called "The Recession" that lead to a cataclysmic war that poisoned most of the landscape and lead to the establishment of the modern nations.
  • Age Lift: Faith is 24 in the original Mirror's Edge, but seems to be a bit younger in this game; probably not any older than 19 considering she's spent the past 2 years in juvie.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Loading screens throughout the game tell the player to read the comic Mirror's Edge: Exordium if they want to find out why Faith was sent to juvie.
    • A rather thorough backgrounder on the history of Cascadia and its surrounding nations appears on the Mirror's Edge website under the "Intel" section.
  • Always Second Best: Feeling like he is or may become this trope is probably one of the reasons Icarus treated Faith the way he did in the beginning, along with other reasons. Near the end of the game he freely admits that Faith is the better runner and is not even mad about it.
    • Bryson Industries, an engine, vehicle, heavy equipment and tools manufacturing company is described as being this to Kruger Holding, which manages KrugerSec. Apparently, the two houses have a deep rivalry and animosity towards each other as well.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The game ends with Isabel/Caitlyn taking over Kruger Holding's KrugerSec division after Gabriel Kruger bites it, and news reports during the free-roam epilogue point to an imminent and harsh crackdown on offGrids. Faith even makes a Sequel Hook speech over the ending cutscene, with an assurance that their revolution is just beginning.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: Less so than in the original game, but still very much present.
  • Black and Nerdy: Plastic. She doesn't exactly dress that nerdy, but her interests in technology and hacking and her lack of social skills probably qualify her for this trope.
  • Blatant Lies: Runner's Vision WILL ACTIVELY LIE TO YOU during time-based missions, most noticeably the optional Delivery and Diversion missions on the open map. These missions are unbeatable if you simply follow the Runner's Vision marked path; you need to discovery the actual correct path by yourself to beat them.
  • Boss Subtitles: Each new type of KrugerSec enemy is introduced with their name and class shown on-screen.
  • Break Them by Talking: Gabriel Kruger to Faith, in an attempt to prevent her from shutting down Reflection and possibly kill him.
  • Broken Faceplate: With every enemy, when Faith knocks one out, she shatters their visor or sunglasses. With sentinels, their faceplate breaks well before they go down.
  • Cain and Abel: Kruger's daughter/right hand Isabel turns out to be Faith's long-lost sister Caitlyn, adopted and raised by Kruger after Faith had to leave her behind during the November Riots. At the end of the game she becomes the new head of KrugerSec after Gabriel Kruger's Disney Villain Death. The two sisters even have contrasting color schemes, with Faith in black and Isabel/Caitlyn wearing all white.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: In addition to news reports and messages from Gabriel Kruger himself broadcasted on the big screens throughout Glass, loudspeakers are set up which provide general bulletins and reminders to not violate Conglomerate policy. As the story progresses, they'll start urging employs to report all Runner and Black November activity to KrugerSec.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Isabel Kruger, Gabriel Kruger's daughter and personal assistant is later discovered to be Faith's sister Caitlyn "Cat" Connors.
  • Child Soldiers: One of the recordings in the game details a conversation between Gabriel Kruger and a young Isabel, as the latter cheerily recalls her day at weapons training. Apparently, one woman even said she was too young to be there!
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The three main gameplay factions all dress in appropriate colours, with Runners in red (see Red Is Heroic below), Kruger-Sec in blue and Black November in black and grey.
    • The Kruger-Sec Guards themselves are this, using different amounts of blue, black and white to denote who they are from a distance. The easiest types wear mostly white, the trickier ones are mostly blue, and the Elite Mooks are almost entirely black.
    • Each District also has a primary colour alongside the usual white. Downtown is orange, Anchor is cyan, Rezoning is yellow and The View is pink/black.
    • On top of that, all the corporations of the Conglomerate have a colour that's integrated into the art style. Elysium is green, Raposa is purple, and Maya Media Group is grey. Cyan is shared by Anansi and Bryson, blue by Kruger Holding and Pirandello (referencing the original game), while orange/yellow is the odd one out and shared by no less than five corporations.
  • Color Wash: While the game is always pretty vivid and colorful, it becomes even more vivid when you're running at full Focus and stays this way until the Focus meter runs out. Maybe it's the dev team's way of showing what running feels like to Faith?
  • Combat Parkour: It's only natural this trope would pop up. Attacks of this type are called "Traversal Attacks" and tend to do a lot of damage. Some examples involve Faith running on a wall, turning and jumping on her opponent, sliding into and then kicking her opponent, spring-vaulting off the environment and jumping on her opponent, ending a wall-run with a kick to her opponent's face and jumping onto your opponent from higher ground. Slightly Awesome, but Impractical, since it can be hard to position your opponents just right in the thick of battle, making this slightly more practical for a Dynamic Entry on an unsuspecting opponent or using it to take out an opponent without stopping but by no means a bad option. Punching and kicking just tends to get the job done faster in most situations.
  • Continuity Reboot: The game seems to be set several years before the original ME time frame, but according to interviews, it's "not a sequel or a prequel" but "a fresh start" - basically, what might have been made if the original were made today.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Occasionally, when you're down to the last hit on the last KrugerSec in a group of them, the next successful attack you land will start a cutscene showing Faith taking them down with some impressive maneuver or another. Though sometimes you stay in first-person view during these sequences, which can be pretty trippy since Faith likes to use She-Fu for some of her finishing moves and all the flipping and complex maneuvers make it hard to keep track of what's going on. Still fun, though!
  • Crapsaccharine World: The employs' lives are pretty much effortless: work for a corporation of your choice, climb the ranks and hopefully make it to the hiCaste. The Grid simplifies everything and all in all, Glass is serene and almost perfect. However, the city itself is absolutely messed up from the inside as evidenced by the fact that fresh water is fast becoming a valuable, rare commodity, the events of one of the later missions (more specifically the Kingdom facility) and Reflection, a nanite serum that not only permanently connects those injected with it to the Grid but is revealed to be able to create false emotions; it is a major contributor to Noah's demise in the Kingdom facility's mission.
  • Crapsack World: Outside the cities are the Greylands - endless, barren wastelands, where the ozone layer is so thin that the sun can easily give you melanoma and any life other than humans is badly mutated. And if you thought of escaping to other nations to escape the Conglomerate? Your only choices are OmniStat, a totalitarian empire noted to be far worse than Cascadia; or Sabaeus, a mysterious theocracy, and those who enter that country never come out...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Faith handily defeats Gabriel Kruger on their fight at the Shard. Of course she does. Kruger is a middle-aged man who spends his days behind the desk; Faith is a young adult who spends her days jumping off the rooftops and beating up armored guards.
  • Cyanide Pill: The Elysium intruder dies from this after Kruger's bodyguard takes him down.
  • Cyberpunk: Unlike the first game which had technology no more advanced than ours, this game steeps into this territory. Tech is rampant, the city's regime is corporate-ruled and oppressive, there's neon signage all over the place, and even the mooks' ranged weapons use something akin to laser blasts or electrical shots rather than regular bullets.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: Invoked in the beginning mission taking place at night during a rainstorm, with glowing neon advertisements all over the place contributing to the feel of classic Cyberpunk atmosphere.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: During gameplay, player-induced deaths cause the game to reload at the last saved checkpoint possible; this point is usually not far off from the location of death.
  • Destination Defenestration: Note to all law enforcement: standing between a speeding Runner and a large window is a very good way of falling victim to this trope.
  • Dialog During Gameplay: During missions, Faith (the player) constantly receives directions from other characters on where she needs to go and what she needs to do next. Faith responds to them as necessary.
  • Distinguishing Mark: In the flashbacks, the KrugerSec cop who led Faith and Cat away from the riots only to be gunned down by a panicking Faith has a birthmark on his left hand.
  • Doesn't Like Guns:
    • Guns were a part of the first game's gameplay, but not here - Faith will not use guns taken from enemies. One of the loading screen tips says that Krugertech security have biometric locks on their guns, so they're useless to anyone else. Flashbacks in the game show that during the November Riots, a young Faith shot and killed a non-hostile cop; the resulting trauma presumably soured her on guns. Like in the original game, she's still fine with tossing cops off 100-story buildings, though.
    • In-universe, guns in Glass are rarely carried because they're seen as disruptive and unnecessary, so the City of Glass' population counts for this.
    • In a meta sense, the developers wanted to remove all gunplay as it slowed the first game down considerably, turning it from a fast-action parkour game into a barely competent shooter.
  • The Don: Dogen, Faith's former employer to whom she seems to owe a significant debt.
  • Don't Split Us Up: Inverted. Plastic's family is in the Greylands and she specifically did not go with them to get away from her sister.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Cascadia Logistics, the company that runs all the public transportation in Glass, suffers from this. Despite the fact that a lot of the population relies on them to get around, the document detailing them describes them as "struggling to gain influence relative to their standing on the Conglomerate aboard", and being "sidelined by the more illustrious corporations".
  • Elite Mooks: Sentinels, special cops trained in martial arts who serve as Boss in Mook's Clothing, somewhat similar to the Pursuit Cops from the original game. Your first encounter with one is a Curb-Stomp Battle in their favor.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The document about Gabriel Kruger notes that "He has taken great pains to raise his daughter Isabel to one day assume the heavy mantle of leadership, and in so far as he is able to love anyone, it would be her." So it would seem he genuinely did love Isabel and was not simply using her as a bodyguard, a guinea pig or whatnot.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Faith and Isabel/Caitlyn have distinct eyes which set them apart from other characters, making the two's resemblance to each other all the more striking.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Cascadia was originally supposed to be founded on "democratic principles, individuality and personal initiative," in contrast to the communist nation of OmniStat that it broke away from, which is ruled over by the Party. Unfortunately, the principle of personal initiative made way for the caste system that determines access to education, healthcare, non-toxic living space and luxuries. Theoretically, any lower caste member can be promoted... but this means that a higher caste member will take their place lower on the corporate ladder.
    • The Corporate Houses: Membership in the original corporate houses that founded Cascadia will mean a luxurious lifestyle, protection from ever being made outCaste, and guaranteed Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
    • eXecs are the highest level of employ, being powerful and influential decision-makers. Stellar performance may lead to them being adopted into any one of the Corporate Houses. Until that happens, however, they are not protected from being demoted or made outCaste in the case of failure.
    • hiCaste live in luxurious districts along with the Corporate Houses and eXecs, and lead affluent lifestyles. May be downcast if the situation warrants it.
    • midCaste are the lowest level of employ and make up the majority of urban dwellers. They spend all their waking hours working in order to avoid being downcast, which might involve leaving the city, and would definitely involve losing what rights and benefits they have.
    • loCaste serve in large numbers in the cities, but the majority live in the toxic Greylands, creating and collecting resources for the cities. loCaste employs are considered expendable, have few rights, and work in dangerous conditions.
    • outCaste have often had their employment contracts terminated after breaking policy. Some serve forced labor sentences, some live in struggling outCaste communities in the Greylands, and others stay out of sight in the cities.
      • offGrids are a rarer offshoot of outCaste that choose to live apart from the Conglomerate and stay in the cities. Most have no official listing in the employ database, which may be part of the reason Faith was in juvie under a false name. offGrids in Glass include Dogen and his people, the resistance Black November, as well as Faith and the other Runners.
  • Feudal Future: Cascadia and Glass work this way in Catalyst. The various corporations essentially act as fiefdoms with the eXecs and hiCaste as vassals, midCaste as peasants, and outCaste and offGrids as serfs and slaves. The corporations are even run by hereditary dynasties called the Corporate Houses, which sound just like something out of Game of Thrones, with House Kruger being the ruling family. If Beatrix Bloch is any indication, the Houses even practice arranged marriages to secure business deals.
  • Freudian Excuse: Gabriel Kruger's son, who was a police officer, was killed during the November Riots. This led Gabriel to work on and attempt to implement Reflection.
  • Get It Over With: Isabel Kruger to her captor Rebecca Thane, when Faith attempts to dissuade the latter.
    Isabel: All I know is that the air down here is already killing me... So you might as well get it over with!
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Faith's MAG Rope (Manifold Attachment Gear Rope) serves as this. It starts off as a simple line, allowing Faith to perform a Building Swing, but upgrades eventually allow it to pull her along. The MAG rope was added primarily as a way to make city traversal easier - given the more open-world nature of the game, things like highways and two-lane roads require a bit more than a long jump to cross with momentum.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: KrugerSec's Mooks in gameplay play this trope straight; male mooks fight close-ranged with batons, shock gloves or martial arts, with a few males using guns, while female mooks shoot at Faith from a distance.
  • Handicapped Badass: Isabel Kruger is a top-tier fighter despite suffering from chronic lung disease. Kruger uses Reflection nanites to keep her disease in check, though she still becomes very ill when in areas with polluted air. Even after Faith shuts down Reflection and causes Isabel's disease to kick back in at full force, she is still able to put up a hell of a fight.
    • Another moment reflecting her fighting skill happens earlier in the game during the mission where you help Black November kidnap her. Over the radio, Rebecca tells them to take out her squad first and then subdue Isabel. She later barks "I said subdue her!" at her subordinates, implying Isabel was giving them trouble. One girl, and all those Black November members are having trouble taking her down. This after they seemingly had no trouble taking out her squad. What type of training did Kruger put her through?
  • Hobbes Was Right: Gabriel Kruger believes this. The document about him notes that though he has inherited his ancestor Dieter Kruger's zeal and vast intellectual capacity, it has not come with the basic faith in humanity Dieter exhibited. With this mindset, it is no surprise that he would try to implement Reflection which involves injecting nanites into people and secretly influencing their emotions with it. Oh, and you could practically kill someone at the flip of a switch.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: One of Faith's finishing moves involves her smacking the KrugerSec cops with their own nightstick.
  • Hypocrite: One mission involves Faith delivering a hand-made gift from a Black November member to her friend. When said friend gets the gift he says he wishes that he "could be with her", which implies that Black November members aren't allowed to date. This is despite the fact that the leader of the organization, Rebecca Thane, is revealed to be dating one of her subordinates named Tristan if you listen to a series of recordings you can pick up in the game. It's not made clear if the other members of the organization know she's dating him or if they're keeping a relationship a secret.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In the final cut-scene, Faith tries to convince Cat that she shouldn't be fighting her, reminding her of their parents.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Enforced. As long as Faith stays on the move and maintains a flow, bullets will miss her.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Gabriel Kruger, the Big Bad, looks like EA's CEO. The developers have said in an interview that while the character's appearance is based on a real person, it is not Andrew Wilson, who was only appointed CEO after the character had already been designed. They acknowledge that it is "a pretty fun meme, though".
  • Insufferable Genius: Plastic has a mild case of this. It mostly comes through in the form of coming off as being a bit too confident in her abilities and intellect, as well as her extremely logical way of thinking that clashes with everybody else. Most, if not all the time, this confidence is well-founded since she is usually right.
    Maera: Plastic, have you ever been wrong about anything?
    Plastic: No.
  • Interclass Friendship: Faith with Beatrix Bloch, one of the elite hiCaste and heiress to one of the Conglomerate families. We don't hear much about how they met or became friends before Faith's arrest two years ago, but it's stated that they found commonality in their shared disillusionment with the rigidity of the Conglomerate's rule over the populace.
  • Interface Spoiler: The in-game 3D map of Omnistat Tunnels includes the entirety of the highly classified Kingdom Facility. It can be easily predicted that a major mission/storyline event is going to take place in the area long before Faith is tasked with investigating it.
  • Invisible Wall: Cleverly used even in otherwise unreachable places (though usually reachable by way of glitching the game) to keep you from Sequence Breaking.
  • Just Got Out of Jail: The game begins with Faith being released from jail, after which she quickly rejoins the Runners.
  • The Lancer: Icarus is this to Faith. He's as capable as her and the two got off to a rocky start before becoming Fire-Forged Friends. He backs her up on some missions as well, one example being the mission where you have to clear an escape route for Black November while they are kidnapping Isabel Kruger. He destroys Sentries at the same time you are and even helps you by moving the construction equipment to help you get around. He has Foil elements as well since a document says his skill comes from careful calculation rather than brash risk-taking like Faith's apparently does.
  • Land Down Under: Examining the game's world map reveals that Cascadia is located in southeastern Australia.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: If Faith is down to her last hitpoint when she takes damage, she survives but the game does a bit of an Interface Screw to show that she really is down to her last hit point. Regenerating Health kicks in after a few seconds, but only to one or two hitpoints.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: KrugerSec, under Kruger Holding, is the primary antagonist faction in the game. It is presumably a reimagining of Pirandello-Kruger (PK) of the original game.
  • Leitmotif: The game's OST has one. It's most prominently used in the credits music, and shows up in other tracks. It also shows up in the ambient music featured in the game's special PS4 theme.
  • Light Is Not Good: Though Kruger wears all black, his coldly efficient daughter/enforcer Isabel wears all white.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: "That's stupid." or "You're stupid." for Plastic. Calling things stupid in general, really. She also has a habit of saying "Damn it!" when frustrated.
  • Marriage of Convenience: Beatrix Bloch describes her marriage to Peter Bryson as a "corporate union" meant to further unify their two families' companies, Bryson Industries and Cascadia Logistics.
  • Mission Briefing: When a player accepts a mission, what follows is a cutscene where other characters tell Faith (the player) what she needs to do.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Director Maera joins Faith and her friends after Faith breaks her out of Kingdom. She was unjustly put there in the first place because Kruger used her as a scapegoat for losing the OmniStat drive Faith took earlier in the game. It helps that she had reservations anyway when she found out what Reflection was really supposed to be used for.
  • Mooks, but no Bosses: Kruger and his daughter/Dragon Isabel are both fought by Faith in cinematic cutscenes at the end of the game. The closest thing the game has to an actual Final Boss is a Dual Boss fight against a pair of Elite Mooks immediately prior to that. This is likely because the devs thought it didn't make sense for Kruger to be a better fighter than his guards, and it'd be highly inappropriate for the player to be directly punching Isabel in the face in first person since she's actually Faith's sister Caitlyn.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Each Mook is introduced with a reminder on how to avoid or survive their attacks, except for the Guardian, whose cutscene simply tells you the button for attacking him.
  • Moveset Clone: Downplayed. Save for one or two attacks, the Sentinels' moveset is the exact same as Celeste's when Faith fights her in the original, right down to the charge attack and effect it has on Faith (Knocking her down and forcing her to roll back up to recover.)
  • Must Make Amends: Faith feels this way towards Isabel Kruger/Caitlyn Connors for having to leave her during the November Riots, when the latter was suffocated by gas. This is probably the reason (or, at least, one reason) she eventually stops defending herself against Cat's attacks, just letting Cat hit her as she may feel like she deserves it on some level.
  • Mythology Gag: There are several references to the original Mirror's Edge:
    • Icarus shares his name with Project Icarus, the plan to eliminate the runners in the first game.
    • One of the recordings features a woman named Celeste, the same name as Faith's friend in the original game and the Parkour Assassin.
    • Pirandello is a major clothing and fashion design brand in Glass, owned by House Pirandello. Pirandello-Kruger was the private security company the Mooks worked for in the first game. As for Kruger, its role was expanded to be the dominant family/company in Glass and is responsible for Glass's oppressive surveillance and law enforcement.
    • Callaghan Construction Corp from the first game has a common presence throughout Glass and is responsible for the city's ongoing modernization.
    • Bryson and Raposa corporations make their return as heavy equipment and food manufacturers, respectively.
    • Early in Catalyst, your path will inevitably take you through an interior space that's almost exactly modeled after the room where you're introduced to runner bags in the first game.
    • The game's Elite Mooks are similar to the "Pursuit Cops", an Aborted Arc from the first game. These are agile and heavily-armored melee baddies that are challenging to take down hand-to-hand, though they're largely stationary like the rest of KrugerSec and (thankfully) won't pursue Faith very far.
    • Like the first game, there is a reference to Battlefield: Bad Company, but while that game’s reference was a easy to miss mention of BF1’s fictional country of Serdaristan, Catalyst features an abridged, Broad Strokes, retelling the original game’s plot that can be found via audio logs, complete with the original voice cast returning.
    • A janitorial closet found in the KrugerSec building in "Prisoner X" contains a caged rat named Scruffy, as well as a written reminder to feed him and a crudely drawn diploma. All of these were part of an easter egg from the original game.
    • One of the hallways below Birdman's hideout bears a striking resemblance to an area from the first game's prologue.
  • Never Found the Body: Gabriel Kruger in the story's conclusion. It is suggested that he had fallen off the Shard (as he is not seen in the helicopter with Isabel, who could have saved him). He is then reported to the masses as "missing".
    • Happens to Noah beforehand. The first time he is announced dead, his body is not seen anywhere. It turns out that he had been relocated to a secret facility, where he is ultimately Killed Off for Real anyway.
    • By extension, Kruger may possibly be alive; no one saw him fall off the Shard, after all!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Faith exposes herself to the three leaders of Krugersec when stealing the Omnistat drive. A couple missions later, Krugersec retaliates by launching a massive crackdown on the Runners.
  • Nintendo Hard: Not the main game, but specifically the Deliveries and Dashes scattered throughout the city. They don't give you very much time at all to get to where they tell you to go and you're going to have to master the art of making shortcuts to stand a chance of making it. A good example is "The Lie" delivery mission mentioned under Shout-Out. It gives you about two minutes to run out of the district you're in, go through the museum using time consuming platforming so you can get to the ground without dying and then go through almost the entirety of another district to get to the person you need to deliver it to. Note that they're not all that demanding, since that particular mission is in one of the later areas, but it illustrates the trials you'll be going through trying to reach your destination in time.
    • There's actually a shortcut through the museum (jump off the structure near the entrance to the upper path and slide down), but even with that, the time limit is far from generous.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The Sentinel that knocks Faith on her back and through a set of scaffolding in the prologue assumes that the subsequent fall killed her and doesn't bother to look for her body. He even reassures his dispatcher that "she couldn't have survived that".
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: What Faith suggests in the story's ending though she acknowledges that not much change had actually occurred at that point in time.
  • Notice This: The game never points it out for you, but whenever you're in the immediate vicinity of one of the hidden (and usually out-of-sight) "secret bag" collectibles, you'll hear a faint *pi-chu-pi-chu* noise.
  • Only Friend: According to Plastic, Faith is the only person Kuma likes. She thinks his general dislike of people is due to something being wrong with his emotional response algorithm.
  • Le Parkour: The game's primary mechanic for getting from point A to point B. The term "concrete jungle" is fitting, as Faith uses every part of her environment to move through Glass.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Faith has flashbacks to the chaotic November Riots, during which her parents were killed and she in turn fatally shot a non-hostile KrugerSec cop. These dreams regularly disrupt Faith's sleep.
  • Platform Game: Specifically, a first-person Cinematic Platform Game. There is plenty of combat, but Faith won't use guns.
  • Press X to Not Die: A literal example in the XBox One version in an early mission called Be Like Water, where the player must attack from a zipline. Unlike most of the times an player will have used this combo so far, you must press X, not Y, or you'll fail the mission. (The mission requires that you maintain focus and stay up to speed at all times.)
  • Red Is Heroic: Faith and the Runners wear black, white and red, the latter of which is absent on all other characters.
    • Red is a key colour of the game itself and its promotional materials. The game's logo, in particular, is usually red against white.
    • "Follow the red." The default Runner's Vision (Full View) is red in colour. If the player makes use of Full View or Classic Mode, objects which the player can make use of are highlighted in an equally striking red.
  • Regenerating Health: Unlike the first game, Faith only heals to full health when she's outside of combat.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Isabel may have been be one for Gabriel Kruger's son, who died in the November Riots. He probably had her trained so extensively so the same thing would not happen again. Though her making a pretty awesome bodyguard as well probably was part of it.
  • La Résistance:
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Rebecca Thane and Black November believes the best way to overthrow the Corporations is through terrorism. Noah strongly disagrees with her methods, stating that in her own way she is as dangerous as Kruger. Faith does eventually ally with Black November after Noah gets taken out by Kruger, but the alliance is uneasy at best and she and Icarus eventually leave the group for good. Rebecca even has a few crypto-Marxist speeches and expresses sympathy for OmniStat, a totalitarian Expy of the Soviet Union.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size:
    • The loading screen: "If you see a rat the size of a car, you're playing the wrong game."
    • An Easter egg involves Faith getting run over by such a giant rat, as can be seen here.
    • Also a Continuity Nod to the first game, where an Easter egg involved a giant rat running down a street.
  • Scenery Porn: The city looks gorgeous, beautifully rendered in DICE's Frostbite engine.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Noah's subplot. Faith's home is violently invaded, the majority of her friends are murdered and all evidence suggest he was among the casualties. But wait! He might actually be alive! So Faith goes on an extremely dangerous mission into the very heart of the enemy's base for information about his possible whereabouts, jeopardizes her standing with every major faction in town for an attempt to rescue him (both of which are murderous), undertakes a long trek to a secret subterranean military lab, blowing a massive corporate conspiracy wide open in the process, ...only for him to get tortured to death right in front of you not two seconds after you reach him, for real this time. Understandably, she suffers a rather massive crisis of... faith, right after this.
  • She-Fu: Downplayed. Faith mostly just sticks to plain old punches and kicks mixed with some Combat Parkour if the player feels like it, but she'll occasionally indulge in this trope for some of her finishing moves, grappling her opponents into submission by maneuvering them into awkward positions where it would be difficult to fight back from and finishing them off with a hard strike.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The achievement "A Frenzied Rumble" and its flavor text are a reference to Transformers: The Movie.
    • The achievement "This. Is. Glass." is a reference to the infamous line King Leonidas of 300 spoke just before he kicked a man down a pit. Unsurprisingly, you get this achievement by hurling the KrugerSec turrets "into the abyss" in one of the Black November missions.
    • One of the Trophies/Achievements for not losing momentum during a full-focus run is named "Praise The Run".
    • If you fail a delivery mission (titled "The Lie") which involves delivering a cake, the guy you were supposed to deliver them to will say:
    "So that's it. The cake was a lie. I'll tell Dogen."
    • A Dash named 'Donkey in an Oven' is a shoutout to OvenDonkey, a prominent Mirror's Edge and Uncharted speedrunner.
    • You can find a series of audio logs detailing a certain quartet of security guards discovering some gold. Sound familiar?
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Faith yells "Shut up!" at Gabriel Kruger...
    • Then she follows up with You Killed My Father.
      "You killed my family! You killed my friends! And you killed Noah..."
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: Players may opt to participate in activities which do not affect the main storyline, like side quests, dashes and timed trials.
  • The Smart Guy: Well, The Smart Gal. Plastic uses her affinity for Technology to pretty much hack anything and help the heroes. Her very Literal-Minded way of thinking gives her some odd mannerisms however, such as not warming to small talk with Noah, not getting why Bloch would want to plant a bug in her cheating husband's bed, and assuming Noah thought Kruger was a king when he made a quip about "Kruger's Kingdom". She also stops Faith when she tries to explain the circumstances around the OmniStat drive she stole, telling her the things she's (Plastic, not Faith) saying to herself in amazement aren't questions for Faith.
  • Soft Glass: The game features three instances where Faith breaks through glass barriers and remains unharmed. There's also a building at the border between Eden Village and The View with a passageway that Faith can slide down, smashing through a pane of glass at the bottom. Whoever owns the building must be pretty fastidious about its upkeep, as the glass is back up every time Faith reenters the area and slides down again.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: Icarus to Faith, somewhat, in the game's post-credits scene.
    Icarus: So, what are you gonna do next?
    Faith: I'm gonna run.
  • Star Scraper: The Shard is the tallest building in the city of glass, reaching an impressive 8000 feet, or 2438 meters. This makes it around 3 times taller than the Burj Khalifa.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Throughout gameplay, players can opt to pick up collectibles, like documents and audio recordings, which can enhance their understanding of the game's story.
    • Some audio recordings are an Apocalyptic Log detailing certain events leading up to and occurring during the November Riots.
  • Technical Pacifist: Faith and most of the other Runners. They're political neutral and Faith angrily insists that she's not an assassin when she thinks Rebecca is suggesting killing someone, and the KrugerSec security she beats up are stated to be no more than unconscious, but it is possible to kick them off high rise buildings and into bottomless chasms.
  • Title In: Upon transitioning to a new district in the city, the game briefly displays its statistics including the area's name, the caste(s) occupying it, population number and Faith's progress in available collectible items.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Faith's recklessness in the Elysium labs, against her mentor Noah's advice, causes Kruger to crack down on the Runners faster and harder, ultimately leading to Noah's death. Admittedly, this was needed to drive the storyline.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Dogen. He is a crime lord that Faith has a debt to, but he is pretty merciful about it and apparently likes Faith quite a bit. (One of the lines a henchwoman of his can say is something along the lines of: "Dogen must really like you. Anyone else would be long dead by now.") He mostly helps the heroes because it suits his own purposes. He also states near the end of the game that he is choosing not to dissolve Faith's debt, for she would have no reason to visit him otherwise.
  • Took a Level in Badass: It is implied Faith took a few throughout the course of the game, since she goes from being knocked out at once by a Sentinel in a cutscene to being able to take on two at a time by the end of the game.
  • The Unfought: You never confront the OmniStat spy as he's only encountered (and killed) in cutscenes.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Background characters don't pay any heed to the girl running around building exteriors and evading police forces. Unseen people inside of buildings will occasionally acknowledge her presence out loud, however.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Just like the in first game, the Shard is this, being a supertall skyscraper built on a massive artificial island. Naturally, Faith has to find her way to the very top of the building in order to reach the control center for Reflection.
  • Video Game Sliding: As in the original game, sliding under objects comprises an important part of Faith's parkour-inspired move set.
  • Wanted Meter: You can get one by attacking any group of KrugerSec guards you see after a certain point in the story. (Nothing happens if you simply run away, though.) You'll start at one bar where the law enforcement will just send a chopper to keep you in sight while sending more Guards into your path. You'll get more bars the longer you stay wanted without them catching you. At two bars they send a chopper that will actually shoot at you anytime you're in sight and far enough away from the other enemies. This chopper replaces the one that simply watches you. At three bars, they send a drone after you which is harder to avoid than the attack chopper but seemingly not as relentless. They're also pretty inconvenient to take down since they tend to fly up and out of range of any attacks, but you can bring them down to your level by disrupting them. You can escape by leaving the area indicated by a circle in the HUD and staying out of sight of any enemies (including the Helicopter) or by entering a safe house and then you'll get an EXP reward based on a number of factors relating to how the chase went.
  • We Will Use WikiWords in the Future: Plenty are used, keeping with the Cyberpunk theme, though the words are formatted with only the second part of the word capitalized. For example, people who live off-the-grid are known as offGrids.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Faith's friend Nomad is a recurring side character in the first half of the game, but after KrugerSec abducts Noah and Faith joins forces with Rebecca we don't hear from him again.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Possibly. During the final sequence, as Faith had successfully shut down Reflection, Isabel Kruger/Caitlyn Connors would be feeling the effects of her lung disease and is thus unlikely to fight Faith at her full capacity. She may also have been holding back as she did not want to hurt her sister. She's also probably emotionally unstable as she recalls Faith leaving her during the riots and thus vents at her, perhaps affecting her combat effectiveness. She might have wiped the floor with Faith otherwise.
  • You Are Too Late: Faith reaches Noah at the Kingdom facility Just in Time for her to see his life terminated right before her eyes.
    Faith: Don't do this! I'm here! I came for you!