While we wait for news about the future of the franchise, be it DLC or a sequel, or hopefully both, let's discuss the game world we have now.
What year (or century) do you think Catalyst is set in? the first game is obviously set in the near future, judging by the technology and the style of the world, it doesn't look to be set that far from today. But regarding Catalyst and after analyzing in-game voice recordings and the data shown on the website, it feels like the game is set in a much different world from ours.
The world is not a city that we know that got more futuristic, even though the design doesn't look very futuristic or otherworldly. It's all very beautiful and it feels very minimalistic, futuristic and dominated by white and some strong colors. It is not something that feels like it's from another century, as we have such type of architecture today, just not a whole city that looks like that.
The technology is advanced, and obviously from say 20-30 years from now, maybe even 60. But it's still close to ours, to some extent.
However, when viewing the maps of Cascadia, we see two other neighboring nations, Sabaeus and Omnistat, in addition to an area called The Greylands, which are known to be unsuitable for life, obviously due to war and damage to the atmosphere. There's also a whole history written about how the world changed, and how an event called the Regression occurred and how these nations emerged afterwards.
We also have names for countries that we do not know of in our planet, at least as well as how their maps/continents are shaped that looks nothing like any known continent.
The world reminds me of The Hunger Games and their nation of Panem which emerged after a cataclysmic event destroyed the world and Panem is all that's left of it, or so we're told.
So I think since none of the cities we're told about are known to exist in our world and same goes for the map. It feels like the world of Mirror's Edge: Catalyst is set in a very distant future that could very well be 700 years into the future.
While the technology doesn't look that advanced, yet the world is indeed different in terms of map, country and city names and political systems. Similar thing happens in The Hunger Games, the world doesn't look that futuristic, but it also looks advanced and different enough in some aspects that it suggest it being set in a very different time after something happened and reset everything back to zero and the world emerged again from the ashes as the nations of Omnistat, Sabaeus and Cascadia.
What do you think?
YES! I totally agree.
It doesn't have to be the U.S., it could even be the Middle East/Arabia, Asia, India or Japan. I mean if we're talking about something similar to The Hunger Games, even the names of nations have changed. And in the history of Cascadia which they put up on their website, it shows events happening after The Regression, so this regression could be anything from a Nuclear War to a series of world wars to natural disaster..etc.
Sea levels must have risen, hence the change in the shape of the world map, and humanity seems to have reset from zero, that's why some technology looks a lot like our time and others are advanced, just like The Hunger Games where there are still coal miners, fishermen...etc. but at the same time, there's technology to create trees or mutated animals in a matter of seconds, trains that travel the whole country in 2 days or so, advancement in hologram development and the spread of their usage as well as a massive change in people's values, political systems, and there was a total absence of religion or spirituality of any kind in The Hunger Games lore, which is pretty similar to ME.
The interesting part is how the writer of The Hunger Games never specified a time period for the books/movies, yet she said "For America to fall after a cataclysm and rise up again as Panem, it takes 3 digits" meaning from 100 to 999 years. I know it's just regarding her mythology and not a fact, but it's interesting nevertheless.
Yep!! The hunger games lore is very interesting. I enjoyed the books and movies too. And the fact that resetting to base zero in society makes total sense for MEC lore and history. Cascadia is most likely somewhere else other then the U.S... Earth has changed due to the regression and Omnistat era, which is when Omnistat tried to engulf all and become the ruler, if thats the right term. War happened, causing major environmental changes. For example it says that the Greylands are legitimately a grey desert, with mutated trees and new species of grass that were caused by war. It also states that the protective ozone layer has rotted away in some degree and the sun is more harsh, and many Greylanders try to avoid the sun since it's extremely dangerous. It's extremely interesting and dice have done a good job with this.
but, we see drones flying around and the helicopter look alike things that are rather futuristic.
so if i think about it now more carefully, i would say it plays around 20 years from now on. think about this one example: so many companies still use win XP or people use still stuff from the last 10 years or more.
From the information that we have, Cascadia, OmniStat and Sabaeus all are based in a futuristic Australia. If you look at the map of Cascadia and compare it to a map of southeastern Australia, they match up perfectly. Obviously the water level would rise, but there is already a website where you can see what Australia would look like with increased water levels. Using that website, Australia was identical to Cascadia. As of the year, I only have a few ideas of what it might be. When Faith puts in the eye lens, it reveals that it's November 23, FY37. (Financial Year 37). But on a technological stand point, a lot of the tech in the game doesn't seem too far in the future. However, considering the depth of the history of Cascadia etc. the game may take place about 80-100 years from now. (That's my guess)
WOW!! i jut compared the maps, and the this can not be any other country. its just the water levels have risen, the triangular island below is too much like Tasmania to not be Tasmania, and the exact points where water protrudes in land is exactly the same to the land points in the MEC map. obviously this game is set far into the future, considering the water levels have risen, and different areas such as Sabaeus have replaced New south wales. to me it has to be Australia, the map markings and borders are too much like the current ones now. Also Australia is a very dry country, especially in the center and the Simpson desert areas, that these ecosystems and environments could of spread all the way down to Victoria which in this case, is now Cascadia, and created the Greylands within Cascadia. Omnistat has clearly taken up a large portion if not all of South Australia too. Northern areas have above seem to be under control of Omnistat too.
I'm very Intrigued now, considering i live in Australia. This i relatively exciting!!!
The most fascinating part to me is that the town of Eden in Australia is the exact location of Glass in MEC. And there even is a few districts in the game that are related to Eden. Ex. Eden Village
I did not know this!! This is great. It makes a lot of sense now. The maps are exactly the same, eden village, its so interesting. I also wonder the reason behind why the world is set there, if it is definitely Australia...
We have a little while before we build 1km high buildings here though ;p
Hahahaha oh definitely!!
I do need to ask you a question though...did I impress you while I was showing off?
Anyone have any theories as to where the first game is based? It might be trickier because there is no national map provided.
However we don't know for sure what "Project Ares" is...
I smell a sequel...
Or an extremely hype DLC
18,000 ft building is freaking impossible!!! (For today)
I am the combat master :V
Australia is like this already nowday
I love that people worked out it seems to be in Australia, I didn't know this till I found this thread.
Regarding the time period though - I think this world is easily 1000 years from now (like the 700 figure the OP gave), but I didn't know about the surrounding story (which supports that amount of time) - I based this purely on the architecture.
People have all these fantastic visions of how much different the future will look, and while it's true that only 10 years ago we would be surprised to learn that we would all be carrying around very powerful portable computers the size of wallets that are connected to the internet 100% of the time - if you step outside and walk around, everything looks pretty much the same. In fact you could dial back 20 or 30 years and not see a difference - perhaps in the number of buildings, and the size of the biggest ones, but the look of everything is still the same. Heck, last year I was renting in a house that was a refurbished 40 year old home, and this was on the outskirts of the major city itself (Brisbane).
When people imagine futures that have all these futuristic buildings, they underestimate just how long term our infrastructure is. We have buildings that are very old and still going strong, and so we should - buildings take a long time and a lot of investment to produce, and are designed to last a very long time.
If you believe Catalyst is in the near future, then you believe at some point we knocked all the buildings down and white-washed everything, replacing it with what is obviously VERY expensive shiny materials. No way would a city be able to afford the cost of that, or justify it, I don't care what city in the world it is.
I really fell in love with Catalyst's architecture. You can spend time looking at every nook and cranny, down to the bolts, and it feels very believable - but only if we are looking at a society that has had these fancy looking "expensive" materials for a very long time, and probably found cheaper ways to mass produce them than we do.
Not only are the materials expensive, but so are the designs. You don't need me to tell you how fancy the main areas look, but even when you look at the maintenance areas, they are fairly robust and still often contain things like well maintained (or impervious to weathering) maintenance catwalks, glass, and things that are probably meant to look good from a distance or when viewing from up above, from one of those giant ships.
During one run I stopped to admire a roof top which was obviously not meant for regular access, and the building owner still saw fit to install separator walls made of a shiny purple "acrylic" looking surface - this must look really nice from above, but it's not a place you'd be taking people for a business meeting, for sure. There were much obviously better places for that, with rounded couches, computer terminals, and water features.
This is a society that's accrued enough money to spend on these things on such a large scale, over a long period of time, long enough that even the older buildings look like this. Because any building design that might look familiar to us has long ago become too old and replaced, and enough time has passed that even the oldest building is built using these far superior and more efficient building techniques and material manufacturing. Not to mention the building sizes aren't even feasible with our current technology.
And note those giant flying space ships. Yeah. Those 'aint blimps, they're far too solid looking, and if they are the futuristic equivelant of blimps, they're using some lightweight or anti-grav technology that isn't explainable by our science. That alone should set this game in the very distant future.
Our modern civilisation is no where near this sort of look or achievement. I feel this would be a very very distant future. Around 1000 years.
Something else to think about is the fact that none of the original names from Australia are around anymore. This could indicate it's a really... REALLY long time into the future, long enough that the Australia we know has been forgotten. Particularly after a cataclysmic event like the background story suggests.
you have really pointed out the specifics of the lore and especially the details on the city architecture compared to what we have to today, and to be honest, i completely agree with what you suggest, its a smart detailed fact... our cities now are only really getting ultra modern upgrades, they look fantastic, but if you were to examine a city in Australia, for example, Melbourne, the central part of the city looks completely new and refurbished, especially the shopping centers and such, compared to the few outer and older traditional sandstone buildings built a fair time ago. And, your point about how every building in catalyst is completely new, it makes sense.
I absolutely love your reply. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I wholeheartedly agree about what you said about the longevity of buildings, the cost for building an entire city with such sophistication and the time in takes for a world to reboots and re-immerge with new country names, political systems, aesthetics and factions.
The cataclysmic event alone indicates that it takes quite a long time for a world to revert back to something more advanced than the state of the world we live in, not to mention the ability to create technology necessary to fend of the radiation, and the time to rebuild a whole city with such massive skyscrapers, and the air/spaceships you mentioned.
Speaking of the buildings and their longevity, look at New York City, Paris, London, Rome, none of these cities got rid of their old buildings, on the contrary, they're preserved as heritage. Most of New York City's skyscrapers were built in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and we're in 2017 and they're still standing and being well-maintained and preserved to stay for a very long time. In fact, you can hardly see any new buildings in NYC, except for the ONE World Trade Center and few others.
The Chrysler Building was built in 1928, in 2018, it will have spent 90 years standing and still in perfect shape till today, with no plans to abandon or demolish it. So to stay that in 60 or 100 or even 200 years from now, all of NYC will be flattened and rebuilt would not make sense, even if a cataclysm takes place (which is probably the only reason NYC for example would have to be rebuilt from the ground up), it would take an enormous amount of time, work force and resources to do so, because the main priorities of the survivors of a global catastrophe would never be to build something fancy and aesthetically cool, but rather provide food, shelter and healthcare, not to mention a catastrophe that erased an entire city isn't gonna exclude the machines and resources needed to rebuilt such beautiful buildings.
So it's quite clear that any nation would require a very long time to get this far, especially that the lore clearly stated that a cataclysm took place, which is basically a reboot from zero.
I've been playing Horizon Zero Dawn which I totally adore and it makes me quite curious about how a civilization can reboot from zero for one reason or another and how long it would take it to get where we are today and beyond. It's definitely an intriguing concept, which I love to discuss so much.
Catalyst could be set 700-1000 or even many more years into the future to be able to build such a world (which has its own lengthy history of war, occupation, revolutions and rebellions), and to reach the seemingly stable state it is now. And it definitely makes me crave for a sequel that follows this canon, either by going to the early days as a new character or as Faith, exploring more of this rich new world.
Quite an interesting analysis. Thanks for sharing.
They definitely have the technology to clear up the atmosphere or even create some sort of filtration force field that fends of the radiation and pollution of the Greylands. The year 3325 would actually make sense to me.