Catalyst Black Review – A Sharp-Edged Team Shooter


Catalyst Black is the new game from Vainglory developer Super Evil Megacorp. It’s an isometric team-based shooter that’s got something of the MOBA in its DNA as well. It’s fast and frantic, but it’s got a pretty steep learning curve that might leave some players feeling a little lost.

The game sees you tooling up with weapons, gear and a special move called a Primal – this lets you transform into a giant monster for a short time and deal out massive damage against the opposing team or the monsters you’re trying to take down.

There are a few different modes that you unlock as you play. There’s a team deathmatch, capture the flag, a PvE horde mode and more. Everything is put together pretty well, and there’s always a new bit of gear or an upgrade waiting just around the corner.

The violence lacks the heft of some other shooters, and if the opposing players are a higher level than you are then it’s pretty easy to get ganked. You can’t just rush in all guns blazing here, you need to play strategically, sticking together and combining your skills if you want to win.

Scraps are short and sharp, lasting no more than a handful of minutes, and there’s always one waiting for you when you want to jump in. There’s grind here as well, especially if you want to keep up with the regular players and not end up as a sitting duck.

There’s a decent rhythm to Catalyst Black, and a compulsion to play just one more game that means short sessions can turn into hours-long battles. It’s got some neat ideas as well, and the controller support is definitely going to be welcomed by a lot of players.

Catalyst Black is an entertaining shooter, but in a lot of ways it’s going to be pretty divisive. If it clicks with you then there’s a very good chance you’re going to spend the next couple of years engrossed in its violent action. But if it doesn’t, if it all gets a bit too much early on, there’s a good chance you won’t give it a second thought.