There are many challengers who challenged Super Smash Bros on his land without ever managing to dethrone him. MultiVersus arrives with its shimmering licenses stamped with Warner Bros. and its Free to Play model. Can this multiplayer fighting game outshine the master of the genre?
- Free to play
A scenario in a fighting game? The idea may seem absurd, even totally irrelevant, yet some studios have made it their specialty. NetherRealm with Mortal Kombat, Bandai Namco with Tekken or even Arc System Works with Guilty Gear have managed to build a scripted campaign worthy of interest and above all fun to explore. The Player Fist Games studios have taken a diametrically opposite direction. MultiVersus has no narrative mode, or even no single player mode … or almost. The presence of Looney Tunes, but also members of the Justice League, is never justified. What’s the point, you say? You would probably be right.
To put it simply, the lore of MultiVersus, if we can talk about lore, can be summed up in… the biggest stars in the Warner Bros. catalog. teleported in spite of themselves into closed arenas to sit on their faces in joy and good spirits. Intrigue lovers will find it “too” easy, that’s a fact, but this starting point goes to the essentials and does not interfere with any embellishment… which is not to displease us. Then the American publisher tries to seduce fans of Game of Thrones, but also of the Dark Knight, and could well achieve this by integrating more voices from the original actors. Maisie Williams reprises the role that made her famous … Arya Stark … by lending her voice. The same goes for Kevin Conroy. This dubbing actor known for his performance in the 1992 anime film Batman: The Animated Series becomes Gotham’s vigilante once again for this crossover Warner Bros.
Taking licenses as varied and disparate as Game of Thrones, DC Comics, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, or even Steven Universe and integrating them into a single game is never easy. Purely in terms of graphics, it can quickly become a real headache. It is enough to mention Jump Force, which had offered itself on the occasion of famous sagas such as Bleach, Dragon ball, One Piece, Naruto and My Hero Academia, and its semi-realistic images to revive some painful memories among fans of manga. . But in the case of Jump Force, said works were aesthetically close enough to find a compromise without having to reinvent everything.
MultiVersus has the luxury of redefining the character design of the entire cast – or nearly so – to achieve a visual unity that is as surprising as it is satisfying. The artistic direction “Cartoon 3D” envisioned by the artists of Player First Games highlights the different fighters, preserves their distinctiveness and skillfully emphasizes their differences. Thus, pop culture icons such as Batman, Bugs Bunny, Arya Stark and The Iron Giant can rub shoulders without clashing on screen. A great achievement on the part of the studios, which should be duly welcomed.
From a purely technical point of view, the title of Warner Bros. insures. Whether on PC, new consoles, but also old generations, MultiVersus runs smoothly and guarantees liquid at all times…which for a fighting game is a prerequisite to get the most out of the experience. Moreover, matchmaking works damn well, and quickly find players at your level. It takes no more than ten seconds on average to start a new game. The netcode is also robust and will hold up against the massive influx of players due to the opening of Beta.
A match game is judged when the gloves are on and in the arena, and therefore on its matches. MultiVersus takes the fundamental elements in place and refined by the Super Smash Bros. saga. It retains the Platform Fighter rules as well as the main game mechanics, but tries to stand out from the competition. Let’s go back a bit, especially for the uninitiated, to the principle of this subgenre of combat. Multiple players, here from 2 to 4, compete in closed 2D arenas and seek to push the others out by inflicting damage. The more damage accumulated, the easier the ejection.
MultiVersus shows up in the end more accessible than its famous model, and this from the first rounds, by reducing the range of available moves per Grade. Even better, the matches are immediately fun, nervous without sacrificing the technical dimension so dear to seasoned players, but stay a bit messy. The Player First Games title depends its collaborative dimension to create a name. Teamwork is at the heart of an experience designed to create synergies between the various fighters available. Between saving, reviving, and temporary boosts, each member of the squad has specific “moves” that are likely to help the partner.
MultiVersus also seeks to retain players with an “RPG” overlay. We are talking here about a progression system for the player as well as for each character. Fighting and completing different objectives earns you XP and levels up. Members of the list thus unlock cosmetic items as well as perks. These are passive bonuses that improve their attributes sometimes with the risk of imbalance in the collisions, although the game actually remains enjoyable. As for players, upgrading their profile results in monetary and cosmetic rewards. Patience, we will dissect the economic model in a few minutes.
How do you compete with a competitor who fields no less than 89 fighters? And yes, of course I mean Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Warner Bros. has many characters in stock, ranging from strong licenses, and could hold a candle to the master of the genre, provided you work hard. During this Open Beta phase, only 17 fighters make up the MultiVersus roster, but they have their own style and 100% unique attacks. We must also acknowledge the diversity of this cast, which should please young and old. The varied roster of fighters drawn from the Warner Bros. franchise. draws from multiple universes ranging from DC to Looney Tunes via Games of Thrones, Scooby-Doo, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, The Iron Giant and Space Jam.
Players can choose from Batman, Harley Quinn, Superman, Wonder Woman, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, Taz, Arya Stark, Sammy, Vera, Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, Garnet, Steven Universe, The Iron Giant, Lebron James and Chien-Renne. If you don’t know the last mentioned fighter, that’s normal. Chien-Renne is an original creation born from the imagination of the Player First Games studios. Certainly eclectic, the cast of MultiVersus is still too limited, and it is not the skins, as classy as they are, that change the situation. However, two new characters will enter the field in August. This is Rick and Morty from the series of the same name. Then Warner Bros. would still have fighters in reserve. The 30 “character tickets” included in the Premium Founder’s Pack, which allow you to unlock the roster, suggest that there will be some nice surprises in the coming months.
Between the Batcave, the haunted Mansion of Scooby-Doo, the TROPHY ROOM, the laboratory or even the House Tree… level arenas, nothing to complain about. The 7 offered during the Open Beta change the approach to combat a bit with their destructible elements and their level designs that differ according to the chosen environment. Finally, and we would have guessed, MultiVersus focuses on multiplayer and more specifically online multiplayer. Level game modes, the title is therefore in the classic, but effective with its 1v1, Free for all, 2v2 and Co-op vs AI, available online. The first 3 can also be played locally with friends on the same machine, just to compete in joy and good mood.
MultiVersus therefore abandons the solo dimension which basically boils down to multiple tutorials, the lab for training, and a “versus IA” option, just to enjoy the various multiplayer modes alone. The absence of a true single player mode is unfortunate and may upset some players, but it must be acknowledged that the heart of the title lies in its multiplayer. Warner Bros. team. has also thought of integrating two frequently requested online features viz Cross Play and Cross Save. MultiVersus allows save transfers and allows confrontations between players from the PC, PlayStation and Xbox ecosystems.
Free to play
The MultiVersus Free to Play approach has caused a lot of ink to flow and is the source of many questions, the most important of which is: Is MultiVersus Pay winning? The answer is in one word. NOTHING. Microtransactions are present in the game but are optional, except fighter planes which can be unlocked. The principle is simple. The more you play, the more you are rewarded. Players collect items and virtual currency to use mainly to get new characters. In short, you don’t need to put your hands in your pocket to enjoy Player First Games, provided you have time to spend in the arenas. Only rotating fighters from week to week could annoy players, especially if your favorite character is locked overnight.
The Battle Pass is the heart of MultiVersus’ business model. Players are invited to take on challenges, here called “Season Levels”, and to climb the 50 levels of the Battle Pass with rewards as the key. Of course, there are two Battle Passes, one free and one Premium. The paid version comes with its share of more interesting items and above all new skins for your favorite characters. These fighter variants do not affect gameplay in any way and are purely cosmetic. Players who cash out in one way or another make their lives a little easier, but have no advantage once they enter the match. MultiVersus is free to play, which should open the doors of Platform Fighter to as many people as possible hoping that fight enthusiasts will not be put off by the economic model.
MultiVersus hits hard and connects Hits Combos without succeeding in knocking out the competition. The title is solid on its support and fun from the first moments, but still lacks character in every sense of the word to win the championship belt.