Super Evil Megacorp created one of the first MOBA games developed specifically for mobile in 2014 with Vainglory, and now the studio is looking to take what it’s learned and create an even better experience with Catalyst Black, the upcoming battlefield shooter set to release on Android on May 25.
It definitely aims to get the likes of the best Android games out there, but only time will tell if it can make it happen. But the team at Super Evil Megacorp has high hopes.
I recently watched a demo and spoke with Super Evil Megacorp co-founder Q. Wang, CEO Kristian Segerstrale, and General Manager Ian Fielding about the creation of Catalyst Black and their hopes for the future.
They all expressed how Catalyst Black was built with the idea that mobile gamers should be treated like console and PC players, not inferior to them. Catalyst Black aims to deliver a Triple A experience on Android and iOS. Although it’s a good marketing term to use, I asked the team what that actually means in practice.
“For us, that means putting the kind of investment, care and love into the experience that we as game makers will put into the experience if it’s a Nintendo Switch game or if it’s a PlayStation game or an Xbox game,” Segerstrale said.
He continued, “What we want to do is respect players on mobile devices in the same way we, as an industry, respect players on other devices, in terms of their expectations in terms of controls, loyalty, competitive integrity, and other aspects of gameplay.”
Regarding his upcoming release, the team confirmed that they view it as only the beginning. Wang noted that in addition to Segerstrale’s comments, he views post-launch support as another aspect to treat it as a Triple A game. There will be regular patches and updates to fine tune the game along with new features and content that sets it apart from more unofficial games on the market.
They also emphasized how they want Catalyst Black to be a frictionless multiplayer experience. Players can enter and exit a friend’s match without having to form a team. This is possible by reserving a room at the start of each match for players to join.
Although a ranked mode won’t be available at launch – it will be added in a few months – the team said Catalyst Black will appropriately match players based on their skill level. They declined to give details on how this works, but assured me that these stats would be tracked in the background. It will support touch screen controls and some of the best Android controls at launch.
To keep matches interesting, apart from multiple goals, players are encouraged to stop an opponent’s continuous killing streak by rewarding them with more points for a kill. If you play the game well enough, you can easily find a bigger target on your back.
In addition to the weapon-based playable characters, players will also be able to transform into powerful monsters known as Primals. These creatures are mainly based on magic, and Super Evil Megacorp says they give every player a chance to be the hero of the match. However, they cannot be stopped.
At first glance it may seem like a MOBA, but it distinguishes itself in many ways. First of all, there are no corridors or aftershocks to speak of. Second, Super Evil Megacorp felt that MOBA games are sometimes difficult to play with friends when people excel in the same roles. Players will not encounter this issue in Catalyst Black because it was designed with this in mind. Catalyst Black allows players to create the best possible designs and mix and match gear with their characters.
Catalyst Black will launch on May 25, 2022 for Android and iOS devices. Super Evil Megacorp says it’s targeting 60fps on low-end hardware, but players with high-end hardware can see up to 120fps.