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What is it? It is a platform fighter featuring an iconic, eclectic cast of characters. Expect to pay free-to-play Released August 16, 2022 Developer Gamer First Games Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Reviewed on Nvidia GeForce RTX3070 and AMD Ryzen7 2700X, 16GB RAM Multiplayer. Yes Link Official Site (opens in a new tab
I am Adventure Time's Jake, the Dog. I am standing at the edge of a Ricky & Morty-themed arena. My teammate Arya Stark is stealing Batman's face while I'm trying to beat Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. This would have been a serious whiplash incident a few years back, but now, in a world in which tennis star Naomi Osaka is throwing his hands at Naruto on Fortnite, it's not surprising me. Except for one thing, MultiVersus actually is pretty damn good.
It was not what I expected, but it did happen. It was a weaksauce attempt at Smash Bros. and it left me disinterested. I am not a platform fighter gal. I prefer fighting in a small, enclosed 3D arena like Tekken or Soulcalibur. MultiVersus was not something I expected, but Player First Games has already begun to set the foundation for something extraordinary.
MultiVersus isn't trying to hide its inspiration, but I don't doubt it. Anyone who has played a little bit of Nintendo's brawler knows the basics: hit your opponent with a mix of air, normal and special attacks to increase their damage meter. Don't let them do the exact same thing to you. Victory is not about getting your health bar from 100 up to zero. It's all about the damage meter. Although the number is small, it's still significant and can make it difficult for you to get off the top or sides of the arena. Your character will become a rubber bouncer and is more susceptible to knockbacks and spikes that could send you into the end zone. You'll win if you knock your opponent out of an arena too many times.
While it's your typical platform fighter, MultiVersus has a few key distinctions that make it stand out. First, the way MultiVersus handles its roster. Every character is assigned a class: support, tank, mage and bruiser. Iron Giant and Wonder Woman are tanks that can take more hits, are easier to ring out, but they are generally slower. Arya Stark and Finn the Human are agile fighters who can use every trick in their arsenal to do big damage quickly.
It's not like you're under any pressure to match specific classes. You can easily manage a team with two support players and outmatch tanks and heavy artillery batters if that's your skill. These are a good way to get an idea of what you can expect from each character. However, it doesn't feel that any class is necessarily better than the other.
There are also game modes. MultiVersus is more comfortable in a 2v2 setting than other platformers. While the other modes are available in the game, MultiVersus was made for 2v2 and that's where I spent most my time. Each character has abilities that allow them to support their teammates and harm foes. Jake the Dog is able to swallow enemies and spit them out. However, he can also quickly choke an ally and save them form a bad combo. Wonder Woman's lasso can be used to grab opponents and also act as a rescuer for his teammates.
It took me some time to adjust to MultiVersus's synergy with other people. It feels a lot more fluid than other fighting games that I have played. Characters can hover for up to a lifetime. Once you get into the flow of things, it feels quite good. Although I still wish there was more snap, the floatiness is essential for good recovery and making use of my teammate's abilities.
MultiVersus was not something I expected, but Player First Games has begun to set the foundation for something extraordinary.
The entire roster was available to me immediately, but anyone who wants to play it for free will need to work to unlock them all. Each one can be tried out in training mode for free and you have a regular free character change that allows you to experiment with relative ease. Although it is not difficult to get your first paid character, progress will slow down as you go on.
I began to play around with each character and eventually fell in love with Iron Giant. He's twice as big as everyone else and is prone to heavy smackdowns. However, he can also do large damage and shield his teammates, which allows them to get some hits on the other team. My first impression was that I was a complete disappointment. I started to stomp my way around the map, and my car-swinging shenanigans were quickly stopped. My god, moments when I was able to land my big shiny rear on my opponent and launch them into the air, as my teammate leapt and poked them out of the arena, were the best.
You can also make each character more enjoyable by leveling up and gaining perks. Each game with a character grants them EXP. Levelling up also gives you unique perks that can give you small buffs or extra skills. These perks can be combined with your teammate to get additional benefits. This makes pre-match setup feel much more strategic at higher levels. After playing around with Iron Giant enough, I was offered a perk that would make his rocket boots light up the ground. This was a move that I had never felt the need to use, but I soon found that I enjoyed incorporating it into my play.
MultiVersus has some issues that are very frustrating. Hit priority is a mess. This problem was obvious to me even at casual levels. If two moves are connected, priority is usually given to the stronger attack. Both attacks that hit simultaneously have the same power level and will cancel each other. MultiVersus doesn't appear to have it.
Combine that with an odd hitbox/hurtbox system and you have a real pain in your ass. Finn's backpack is a particular example of this. It has an unusually large hitbox, which has caused him to win many matchups that he shouldn’t have. While the hitbox/hurtbox system has been redesigned, it is still a major flaw. It's unlikely that casual gamers will notice it as much, but I noticed it more and more as I played the game.
There are some major issues with the current map designs that I have. MultiVersus currently has eight stages, two of which are variations on an existing map. Because I only remembered two stages, the Scooby-Doo stage and the Rick and Morty one, I had to look it up. I don't recall the last one because it was part of a community challenge. Scooby-Doo's stage has the distinction of being my least favorite. You can punch a small cog to make a section of the platform disappear from either side. It is also extremely small and almost suffocating. It's not easy to play a character three times as big as the rest of my cast. However, larger maps would be a good idea.
The majority of stages have one platform, and two to three smaller platforms. They're fine. They feel cramped and uninspired. It's like being trapped in an elevator made from white bread. Although there are some wall breaks, they don't have the same creativity that Player First Games has displayed through its roster.
MultiVersus also has a battle pass. They're not something I like and this is no exception. The preseason battle pass is only 15 tiers long. Although there is a good distribution of rewards across the tiers, progression feels lacking. My time was spent farming the seasonal milestones. These are randomly assigned per player and have no reroll ability. This meant that I was aiming for ridiculous, unfun goals such as connecting 200 fully-charged attacks or ringing out 25 enemies at less than 60 damage. It would be a lot easier to get more battle points per match, and also the ability to reroll frustrating milestones that were not within my skill level.
MultiVersus has done an excellent job of creating the foundations for a platform fighter that could blossom into something great. The janky hitboxes and killer backpacks aside, each character has a unique personality and moves that aren't too out of place. This is due to the fact that Warner Bros. was capable of recruiting a lot of original voice actors to the cast, something you don't often see. MultiVersus is not without its problems. Until hitbox and hit priorities can be sorted, MultiVersus may continue to disappoint people with higher skills. MultiVersus, although technically still in beta, is a worthy contender in the platform fighter category.The Verdict78Read our Review Policy Multiversus>A fun Smash Bros. for PC that requires some fine-tuning in order to achieve its full potential.