Preview MultiVersus: the ultimate challenger for Super Smash Bros. Last?
The Smash Bros series dominates head and shoulders a genre it introduced in 1999 before becoming its main representative. Competitors have succeeded over the years without ever being able to dethrone the Nintendo saga. In 2022, a new challenger comes up with main topics such as a Free to Play offer and Warner Bros licenses … DC, Looney Tunes, Game of Thrones, etc. Is MultiVersus able to overshadow Super Smash Bros.? Last? Answer in the arena.
Multiverse of the video game Le Warner
With the exception of NetherRealm studio productions (Mortal Kombat and Injustice), fighting games very rarely rely on their Story mode to stand out from the competition. In general, the studios prefer to focus on the game in what it has to offer more noble. Player First Games is of this caliber and has completely abandoned the narrative dimension. MultiVersus, as the name suggests, is a 100%, counter-centric multiplayer experience.
Here is some context for lovers of “lore”. For some mysterious reason, some characters from different Warner Bros. are teleported to confront each other, and that’s it. MultiVersus draws from the North American company’s catalog to compose a roster of colorful and eclectic fighters as possible. The cast is intergenerational, so to speak, and should speak to all players, even if those born in the 80s and 90s should feel privileged. The arenas follow this same logic and reflect the places of worship of the different licenses (the Batcave, the Haunted Scooby Manor, the TROPHY ROOM, the Lab, the House Tree, etc.).
A fighting game is also judged to be flush with its roster and on this point MultiVersus cannot yet compete with its model, even if its qualities should be recognized. The fighters announced, all different and coming from very varied universes, are currently 16 in number. The holy trinity Batman – Superman – Wonder Woman – and Harley Quinn from DC meet with Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry and Taz from Looney Tunes, as well as Arya Stark (Game of Thrones), Sammy and Vera (Scooby-Doo), Finn the Human and Jake the Dog (Adventure Time), Garnet and Steven (Steven Universe) and finally The Iron Giant. Player First Games even created an original character called Dog-Reindeer and promised new fighters.
Purists will be able to enjoy the official voices (in English only) of part of the cast. Actress Maisie Williams returns in MultiVersus as Arya Stark, as does Kevin Conroy, the actor who voiced the Gotham vigilante in 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series. It is also possible to change the appearance of the fighters through different variants to be unlocked. For example, the Dark Knight can wear samurai armor. The artists even manage to merge all these universes, however distant thematically and visually, thanks to an accurate “3D cartoon” artistic direction that does not distort in any way the pop culture icons present and even underlines their specificities.
A Super Smash Bros in style?
MultiVersus is heavily inspired by the Super Smash Bros .. saga and does not hide it in the slightest. Player First Games uses the mechanics of the genre, that of the Platform Fighter, claims them, but retains their essence. Several players compete in a closed 2D arena with the aim of expelling other fighters by inflicting damage on them. The higher the caliber, the easier it will be to eject. The cardinal principles therefore remain unchanged, even if Warner’s game tries to stand out from the competition thanks to its cooperative dimension.
MultiVersus mainly emphasizes cooperation. Different attacks and other character “moves” are thought to help the teammate or even combine. Sammy can heal. Wonder Woman and Chien-Renne can bring someone back to the ring. Batman can hide himself and others under a smokescreen. Etc. For the rest, the regulars will be on familiar ground in the face of nervous and somewhat chaotic confrontations, and above all fun from the first moments. Simple and special attacks, combos, dodges, jumps and falls … the very essence of the Platform Fighter is respected.
This desire to place teamwork at the center of the experience is reflected in the presence of modalities 2v2 et Coop against AI to which the traditional ones are added 1v1the Everyone for themselvesthe custom parts and finally and Labo, a training area to perfect your technique. All of this is obviously playable alone against artificial intelligences. MultiVersus therefore does not offer any single player modes apart from battles with bots. Another lack of size is worth noting, although it should be temporary. The Warner Bros. title is currently (during private alpha) devoid of local multiplayer modes. However, MultiVersus is cross play and cross save, understand here that your progress is carried over from one platform to another.
Player First Games also incorporates several RPG mechanics. Therefore, the more you play with a fighter, the more his Mastery level increases which unlocks passive skills to equip (or not). These “perks” confer different bonuses in the arena and should not be overlooked. A player with a high level of mastery of a character, the maximum is 15, therefore has a distinct advantage without exaggerating. This Light RPG dimension is found in the profile of players who earn in XP, and therefore in level … with the aim of obtaining various items often cosmetic and GOLD.
A free-to-play experience
MultiVersus is different from Super Smash Bros. Last especially by its budget model. Indeed, this new fighting game is Free to Play, which involves in-app purchases and a whole host of features, starting with in-game currency and a Battle Pass. The GOLD, obtained in the arena and carrying out daily missions, allows among other things to unlock new fighters as well as Resources and even XP upgrades, just to unlock levels of character mastery without a fight.
The Battle Pass, on the other hand, encourages players to complete a series of challenges called “seasonal levels” with the sole purpose of going through the multiple levels one by one, including 50. Each level is synonymous with rewards that vary depending on the type of Battle Pass you have … the free and the Premium. Obviously the second, necessarily for a fee, offers players much more interesting objects and above all new skins for the characters. This inexpensive model grants access to the largest number of MultiVersus, but could become restrictive over time, and thus discourage some fans of the genre.
MultiVersus might appeal to Platform Fighter fans without overshadowing the master of the genre it is heavily inspired by … Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The colorful multiverse of Warner Bros. as well as the fun of fighting are all arguments in favor of the title developed by Player First Games. However, the low character roster, the (temporary?) Absence of local multiplayer, and the Free to Play dimension could prove to be a deterrent to fighting game fans.