MultiVersus Review

Nintendo won gold with Super Smash Bros. a fighting game franchise whose main draw is the depth roster of established characters drawn from other video game franchises. Various other developers have tried to emulate the Super Smash Bros. formula over the years, but none have really lived up to the high standards set by Nintendo’s crossover fighting games. The latest Super Smash Bros. clone, MultiVersus, is closer than any game before it, and as long as the developers maintain a steady stream of content, it should have a bright future.

MultiVersus is Super Smash Bros. but instead of video game characters making up the roster, it’s mostly characters drawn from properties owned by Warner Bros. along with real-life basketball star LeBron James and original character Reindog. MultiVersus follows the Super Smash Bros. formula, with each character having their own unique move set and quirks tied to the franchise they came from. Like Smash, MultiVersus is difficult to master, but easy to pick up and play, as players don’t have to worry about memorizing complex button combinations to execute impressive attacks.

Anyone familiar with Super Smash Bros. should know how to play MultiVersus right away, but those struggling can check out the game’s many tutorials. Once players get the hang of its controls, they should have no problem jumping from playing as an assassin like Arya Stark to a mage like Bugs Bunny, even if they don’t know much about the character until they spend some time playing it The finer details of capabilities as they are.

Multiversus  - Arya  Stark  Trying  To  Ring  Out  Shaggy  Early Unlike traditional fighting game health bars, MultiVersus takes a page out of the Super Smash Bros. script. Every time a character gets hit, their total damage increases, which in turn makes it easier for them to fly off the map. The ultimate goal in MultiVersus is to win by knocking your opponent out of bounds, which can be achieved by hitting them with a powerful attack after increasing their damage, or figuring out a way to trick them into an untimely death.

MultiVersus has a lot in common with Super Smash Bros. and that’s by design, but it also has some ways to stand out from its inspiration. MultiVersus is more focused on being a competitive fighting game, and Super Smash Bros. has hardly any party game aspects. There are no items that fall out of the sky in MultiVersus, and all stages are fairly basic. They’re basically slight changes to Super Smash Bros. The Final Destination stage has long been a favorite of the competitive fighting game scene.

On the one hand, this means that MultiVersus battles are more about skill than about who can grab powerful items first or manipulate level gimmicks to your advantage. On the flip side, this means the game can feel empty and flat at times. Each MultiVersus stage has slightly different geometry than the next, but they feel like they’ve just been painted with a different coat of paint. One stage might be set in Batman’s Batcave, and another in Scooby-Doo’s haunted mansion. One might be smaller and the other longer, with floating platforms to stand on, but that’s cosmetic and doesn’t change the combat in any meaningful way. The current phase lacks personality, so hopefully this is something that will be addressed with the new phases added to the mix.

multiversus  ultra  instinct  shaggy Even so, competitive MultiVersus players may prefer the bland stages, as it means the focus stays on the core combat, rather than dealing with level gimmicks or environmental hazards. To its credit, MultiVersus definitely captures the spirit of competitive fighting games. The core experience of MultiVersus is all about 2v2 online battles with a choice of best 2 of 3 battles where players can freely swap characters between rounds. Online is much more reliable than Smash, and while there are occasional lag spikes and such, it generally works well. The only downside is that MultiVersus’ official ranked mode is still missing, though there are plans to add it before Season 1 ends.

MultiVersus has successfully delivered a Super Smash Bros.-style game with easy-to-understand controls, solid online, and a fiercely competitive setting. But right now, it’s generally lacking in content. Although MultiVersus season 1 has officially begun, the game is missing its arcade and ranked modes, and has delayed the addition of new characters such as Morty Smith of Rick and Morty fame. Eventually, MultiVersus will be a better game with the addition of new modes and characters, but from the start, it’s hard not to be disappointed by the svelte options.

Of course, MultiVersus is free to play, so it’s hard to complain about a lack of content, but some content might be turned off for its monetization. MultiVersus sells cosmetics and battle passes like most other free-to-play games these days, though there aren’t many to choose from at the time of writing. The game’s official store isn’t even live yet, so most characters will only be able to buy one or two alternate outfits and emotes. The MultiVersus Season 1 Battle Pass also offers any premium currency, which goes against the standards established by other free-to-play games and their Battle Passes.

multiversus  lebron  james  robin  skin The good news is that while cosmetics cost real money, MultiVersus players should be able to unlock all playable characters without draining their wallets. MultiVersus has a premium currency called Gleamium that can be used to buy cosmetics and characters, but it also has gold coins that players can earn just by playing the game. Characters in MultiVersus can be purchased with gold if players try hard enough, and so far, no one seems to be overpriced to try and force players to get Gleamium.

MultiVersus players can easily unlock characters, and as long as they play often, it should also be able to keep everyone who wants to play for as long as before. MultiVersus also offers free character rotations that change every two weeks, so players can always try out before buying.

At launch, MultiVersus was a bit simpler than some had hoped, but the game has an incredibly bright future. Season 1 alone will add at least four new characters to the roster, and leaks have revealed even more new MultiVersus characters that may be on the horizon. Fans finally have a viable Super Smash Bros. replacement, and it will be exciting to see how it evolves from here.

MultiVersus is now available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Game Rant reviewed the Xbox Series X version of the game.

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