Back in June, DICE confirmed that it had removed guns from Mirror’s Edge Catalyst completely, stating that Faith had no use for them since the combat is focused on movement and agility. Expanding a bit more on that, Game Design Director Erik Odeldahl said that the decision to remove guns came early on in the development cycle, and he acknowledged that guns broke the flow of combat in the first game. In an interview with EDGE magazine, Odeldahl said:
We didn’t want the kind of flow-breaking combat that we had in the first game. And early on we – from a story and world perspective – decided we didn’t want Faith using guns at all this time. So once we took that out, we moved Faith’s entire moveset piece by piece over from Unreal Engine to Frostbite and then went through countless iterations. We knew what we wanted, but it takes time to get there.
Odeldahl also said that it’s hard to program first-person melee, and that DICE decided to make combat a part of free-running – something the studio considers a core strength. Additionally, enemy AI had to be approached differently as opposed to creating your typical FPS-style AI.
First-person melee is hard [to program], especially if the player is moving at full speed. So we basically came to the conclusion that we can’t borrow from other genres. We need to focus on our core strength, which is first-person free-running. So we decided to make combat part of the free-running.
We can’t do FPS-type AI, really; the enemies have to behave differently. The AI really has to know which direction you’re looking and moving in, and the speed that you’re moving at. But if they were to just always line up in front of you, that wouldn’t be very interesting after a while. So, of course, [we use some] tricks to avoid that.