I really, really wanted Catalyst, a new campaign developed by Remedy Entertainment and released for free shooter CrossfireX earlier this month. Remedy, developer of great games like Control as well as Alan Wakeis one of my favorites and while I wasn’t thrilled that they were campaigning for some fake Counter StrikeI was intrigued by this idea. What would a military first-person shooter look like if it was made by Remedy? Can I even tell? Well, I have an answer. And while it feels like a Remedy game, it’s still basically a boring adventure.
CrossfireX is a recently released console spin-off very popular crossfire. Both are free shooters inspired by Counter Strike as well as Call of Duty. When it was announced that Microsoft and crossfire Publisher and developer Smilegate will bring a new version of the shooter to Xbox, and it has also been revealed that it will have a campaign. This part of the game will be developed by Remedy. and, unlike CrossfireX which uses the Unreal Engine, is built using its own Northlight Engine, the same technology as Control. This is a strange setup. I can’t think of a recent game that included a single-engine developer-created campaign. one more a game created by another studio on a separate engine.
In addition to technical oddities, CrossfireX multiplayer sucks. I played several matches and hated almost every minute. Even after the developers fixed some of the most annoying issues in the game, it’s still a wobbly and not very interesting military shooter. In a world with things like Fortnite, PUBG, Warzone, Rainbow Six Siege, Halo Infinite, CSGOand much more, it seems unlikely that CrossfireX will find or retain the majority of the audience.
On the plus side, Remedy’s first campaign for crossfire, Catalyst, much better! It’s still not great, but at least it’s nice to move and shoot, which is very important in a shooter. (And something online part CrossfireX fails.)
The base installation of the Catalyst consists of a large private military company, Global Risk, which is at war with an equally large and vicious terrorist group known as the Black List. At the beginning of the campaign, a small Global Risk squad is sent to a fictional country to capture a high-ranking member of the Black List. Things quickly go awry and your team leader is captured, leaving that team to find their comrade, rescue him, and escape. But more is happening than the team expected, including tales of a strange paranormal artifact that could help you see into the future. Oh, and one of the squad members goes crazy, sees things, and relives memories that don’t feel like his own.
This is what surprised me the most about Catalyst. Yes, the action and overall look is very similar to “war shooter 2012”, but the narrative itself and the world more reminded me of Control than anything found in Battleground or Call of Duty. The game never makes full use of this world or the lore it establishes, but if you dig through the records and messages scattered throughout the various levels, you can piece together something mysterious and strange going on. I just wish there were more of these parts in the game and not the collectibles hidden in the menu.
Catalyst also has a button that allows you to slow down time a la Max PayneBullet Time function. However, when you shoot, it speeds up for a moment. This is a cool idea that makes the combat encounters in the game more exciting. It also makes the game easier, and considering I only died once on the game’s standard difficulty, it almost feels like cheating. However, it helped keep things interesting when the game eluded its Remedy roots into “regular military shooter” territory, which often happens over the course of a short three-hour campaign.
However, at its best, the campaign sometimes seems Control, as the player character slowly goes insane. During these narrative segments, the game has you walking around increasingly wild and bizarre areas with incredible architecture, mysterious voices, and another stable Remedy: live action clips. In fact, the cutting of these moments could easily pass for the video “Hidden Levels in Control“. These parts are so weird and fun that they end up making other parts of the game even more boring.
Unfortunately, all of this – paranormal lore, strange story, Remedy-like touches, and slow motion – can’t overcome the fact that Catalyst basically just another forgettable military shooter. He looks great, plays well and does not delay his reception. But unless you’re a super Remedy fan desperate to play everything the studio makes, you can probably skip this one. There is a second part of the campaignalso developed by Remedy, but after completing this first part, I lost interest in the game. i’ll just wait Alan Wake 2.