Initial release date: July 19, 2022 (in Open Beta)
Season One release date: Aug. 15, 2022
Developer: Player First Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Description: The Multiverse is at your fingertips as you battle it out in intense 2v2 matches. Up against Batman & Shaggy? Try using Bugs Bunny & Arya Stark! This platform fighter lets you play out your fantasy matchups in a fun co-op or head-to-head fight for supremacy. Choose from Harley Quinn, Tom and Jerry, Finn the Human, Wonder Woman, Steven Universe, Jake the Dog, Garnet, Superman, and an extraordinary creature named Reindog. Every fighter boasts unique abilities that pair dynamically with other characters.
Play the innovative 2v2 co-op-focused experience or the intense 1v1 and 4-Player Free For All. You can also refine your skills in training mode or put your skills to the ultimate test in Ranked Competitive. MultiVersus supports online and local play.
Defend the Multiverse with your friends anywhere, anytime on all available platforms. This includes full cross-platform play and progression. So rally your friends and prepare to explore and fight for the Multiverse!
By James Harvey
A platform fighter stacked with a wealth of iconic and fan-favorite characters, MultiVersus ends up being a surprisingly engaging romp, even if it can’t quite nail that knockout punch. While it’s not as polished and expansive as the likes of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (not that anyone should’ve expecting that, honestly), MultiVersus still ends up being an entertaining, layered experience worth digging into and sticking around for. Depending on how WB Games ends up supporting this title, MultiVersus could become the next big thing in free-to-play online gaming.
What is Multiversus? Simply, players face-off in 2v2 matches to decide the fate of the multiverse through co-op or head-to-head fights for supremacy. Choose from Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, The Giant, Tom and Jerry, Steven Universe, and others to do battle, with every fighter boasting unique abilities that pair dynamically with other characters. Users can go for the 2v2 co-op-focused experience or 1v1 and 4-Player Free For Al battles, and MultiVersus supports online and local play, along with full cross-platform play and progression.
Bringing a host of Warner Bros.-owned IPs together in the arena, MultiVersus is a strong free-to-play fighter which dishes out plenty of exhilarating battles, though the overall amount of content available leaves the game a little deflated. There’s currently a noticeable lack of stages and character variety, but it thankfully doesn’t take too much away from this admittedly entertaining game. In fact, MultiVersus is much better than it really has any right to be.
Players familiar with the likes of Super Smash Bros., or even some of the recent brawlers such as Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, should find MultiVersus easy to jump into. It’s a pretty standard platform fighter, with controls that are quick to learn and a class system which helps keep matches compelling by requiring a smidgen of strategy. The fights feel fairly balanced, for the most part, and classes feel on par with each other with unique pros and cons (i.e.: tanks can dish it out, assassins are quick, and brawlers can dish out punch after punch). There’s definitely a little time required to really nail down character moves and special perks, but once you do it can lead to some pretty fantastic fisticuffs!
It’s worth adding that the characters themselves are legitimately fun to play with. Each one bursts with personality and, honestly, it’s occasionally mind-blowing to see the likes of Batman facing off against Steven Universe, Bugs Bunny or even The Iron Giant. The character roster is unquestionably one of MultiVersus‘ greatest strengths.
In MultiVersus, four players duke it out in 2V2 battles, with the goal being knocking opponents out of bounds and getting a “ringout.” While 1v1 and 4-player Free-For-All options are included, everything is clearly built around 2v2 matches. The more damage a player takes, the more likely they are to be smashed off the screen, and the first team of two to win two rounds are the victors. There aren’t a lot of free items to pick up, nor are there any real surprises hidden in MultiVersus‘ limited amount of stages, so players will need to rely on their skills and abilities in order to win the day.
When it comes to the stages, Multiverse‘s basic designs look fine but can get tiresome and repetitive. Any real differences are negligible at best, meaning overall stage design doesn’t really have any type of meaningful impact when it comes to fighting. Some levels feature breakable walls, drop-away floors and higher platforms to jump to, but it’s mostly superficial window-dressing. It’s disappointing and same-y, and can make MultiVersus feel a little light when compared to other fighters on the market, but in the end it does kinda mean each fight comes down more to player skill than luck, and that’s not a bad thing. Still, there should be more levels available and, given all the IPs here, there’s plenty of iconic places to mine for ideas.
Players are definitely put to the test in MultiVersus, which can be deceptively difficult at times, but occasionally for the wrong reasons. When everything works as it should, MultiVersus can really be a genuine nail-biter as properly-matched teams can elicit some of the toughest fights imaginable. However, match-making is inconsistent and it’s not unusual to be paired against much stronger opponents. Hit-boxes are also finicky and overly sensitive on occasion, allowing for a few extra hits to land here that likely wouldn’t in another game. The lack of an official ranked mode (at this time, WB Games says it is coming) is also disappointing, especially for fans looking to flaunt their prowess.
Online play, thanks to reliable servers and very minimal lag issues, is fantastic with nary an issue to be had save for an extremely rare dropped game. Wait times were brief, and the overall MultiVersus experience moved with a snappy pace.
Skins, badges, currency and the like are available to earn as players level up, and extras can also be snatched up with the Battle Pass and through a premium currency called Gleamium. While it does appear like there’s plenty of content to unlock, and there kinda is, but when its broken down by character, the offerings are actually a little light with each fighter getting just a handful of extras to earn and employ (one to two skins each, etc.). Plus, there isn’t even a game store yet. There are also some goodies for purchase via character pages (such as a Batman: The Animated Series skin, an animated-themed Harley Quinn: Mad Love skin, and a Wonder Woman: Bloodlines skin, among others) but, as with most free-to-play games, the prices are a shade high.
Still, even though MultiVersus is just getting off the ground – and even though it is off to a solid start – it feels like the game should be a little more hefty. A slightly bigger roster, a couple more stages, a few more unlockables, and another mode, perhaps. More content is coming, yes, and the sooner it happens, the better a chance MultiVersus has to stick around for the long run. Plus, MultiVersus brilliantly employs a constant rotation of free characters which are swapped out every few weeks. It’s a slick idea to help players feel out some of the game’s different fighters to see what suits their abilities and to encourage more playing.
For what it offers, MultiVersus can be a thrilling brawler with the potential to be something truly great. The characters are great, the fighting fun and usually nail-biting, and there’s a pretty good amount of content, plus more than a few surprises for fans (Kevin Conroy voicing Batman, among other cool touches, are littered throughout the game). Still, it’s a game that definitely needs to bulk up a little, and ideally will. Content and variety does feel a little lacking, but it’s tolerable now thanks to the promise that more is coming. But for a game that’s technically still in beta, despite the launch of its first season, MultiVersus definitely packs a surprising wallop.
MultiVersus lays out a strong foundation for what could be a thrilling long-term game in its current form, but that’ll depend on Warner Bros. and its level of support. If the studio can roll out new worthwhile content on a consistent basis, in addition to frequent events and updates, and smooth out some of its rough edges, then MultiVersus could soon find itself the game to beat. It still needs a little fine-tuning, definitely, but MultiVersus has the potential to rule the fighting arena for some time to come! Recommended!
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