MultiVersus is a shameless mashup of Space Jam and Smash Bros. — and it works

Let’s get this out of the way: there’s little original about it MultiVersus, an upcoming free-to-play fighting game. It is, quite clearly, designed to be like: Super Smash. brothers., only featuring Warner Bros. characters instead of those from Nintendo and other classic video games. This means that instead of Super Mario getting beat up by Sephiroth, Shaggy and Wonder Woman team up to fight Arya Stark and Bugs Bunny in the Batcave. It’s weird and rude but also feels right at home in a world of FortniteSpace JamDoctor Strangeand Rescue Rangers† As shameless as it may be, after some time with the MultiVersusI’m starting to think it could be a big hit.

Functional is the core of MultiVersus is identical to smash† It is a 2D fighter where the aim is to knock your opponents off the level, which you do by dealing a lot of damage; the more your enemy is damaged, the farther he will fly. It is also a game about chaos. Things move so fast that you really have to pay attention to what’s going on, but there’s still a good amount of strategy beyond mashing the buttons. (Although I did win a few matches in the beginning by being a button purist.) I didn’t play enough to really dig into the nuances of the gameplay, but it felt like a surprisingly solid fighter with a good amount of variety to the attacks and characters.

MultiVersus mixes things up a bit by offering three main modes. You can fight one-on-one or in a classic four-player free-for-all, but the most interesting are arguably the team fights. Here, players compete as duos, aiming to get four knockouts to win. It is especially interesting because, among the standard tank and conditioner character classes, MultiVersus also has supporting characters who can help their teammates in battle. I’ve only played with strangers so far, so the matches didn’t have much coordination. But I’m really curious what happens when high-level players start working together. There is a lot of potential there.

MultiVersus

From what I’ve played MultiVersus has the core gameplay down, at least good enough for an amateur like me. But its real advantage comes from the fact that it is both multiplatform and free to play, making it much more accessible than smash, which was always limited to Nintendo hardware. This does not mean that MultiVersus is obviously the better game, but it does have the ability to hit a large audience, much in the same way that Fortnite was able to eventually downsize the battle royale games that preceded it.

This success will probably come down to things I couldn’t experience in the alpha. MultiVersus has a battle pass and an in-game store, but since I haven’t been able to spend any real money on the game yet, it’s unclear how generous it will be to unlock new content. likewise, MultiVersus will likely live and die during the character rollout. 15 characters were available in the alpha, which feels small when you’re used to the 80+ inch Smash Bros. Ultimate† The important thing is not only rolling out new fighters on a regular basis, but also making that rollout feel like an exciting event, and that’s something Smash Bros. mastermind Masahiro Sakurai has perfected it.

As we’ve seen in the past, originality rarely has anything to do with success. And MultiVersus has the potential to open up these types of fighting games to a whole new audience. It’s of course far too early to say whether that will actually happen, but the pieces are there – and the field is wide open given the uncertain future of smash† You’ll be able to see it for yourself soon enough. While MultiVersus Doesn’t have a final release date yet, an open beta will launch in July. The game is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

www.theverge.com

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