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MultiVersus

MultiVersus

After a year's absence since the acclaimed beta was taken down, MultiVersus is now back again and we've checked out whether it now feels like a complete game...

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It may look like a shameless Super Smash Bros copycat, but MultiVersus is much more than that. Beyond the shared concept of mascot fighting and four-person brawls, there are quite different gameplay systems lurking beneath the surface, with MultiVersus more reminiscent of a traditional fighting game complete with less gimmicks and a focus on two-on-two team play.

MultiVersus

However, after an initially extremely popular beta last year, interest dropped quite drastically. This is not unusual, as games are always at their hottest when they are new and "everyone" is playing them, before many move on to new hunting grounds as more and more attractive alternatives are released. The big problem with the MultiVersus beta was how barren it was of content and things to unlock, beyond the basic ability to fight and a well made tutorial. Therefore, one of the big questions for the finished game has been how they would create more lasting value and make it meaningful to keep fighting.

So what do we get? Well, MultiVersus offers a whopping 27 selectable characters, with more to come of course. These are fighters from Warner's many universes, where we find Bugs Bunny, Batman, Tom & Jerry, Arya Stark and Shaggy Rogers, just like in the beta. It also includes the DLC fighters that were added so we can fight as Gizmo and Black Adam, among others, as well as some new ones such as Agent Smith, Jason Vorhees and The Joker. One noteworthy change is that the Support class has been removed and those who were previously just Support have now been added to the Mage class instead.

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MultiVersus

When you start the game, you get a short and mandatory walkthrough of the game system, but something I note is that Player First Games for some reason seems to have removed the fairly deep system that existed to train your character. It's thus harder to get help getting the most out of more complex fighters like Harley Quinn and the Iron Giant. A very surprising choice considering they had this system available in the beta. A reasonable guess is that it's linked to the fact that you can no longer train with fighters you don't own, which was a nifty way to learn how to fight other characters, and I think this is a bad decision. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there and you can no longer play co-op against computer-controlled opponents, for some incomprehensible reason.

Unfortunately, the bad doesn't stop there, because the game now feels both slower and clumsier than in the beta, and what's worse, it seems to have technical problems with both the graphics and the netcode. The game lags every now and then, which is completely unforgivable in a fighting game, and I have also had several disconnected matches - something I rarely experienced in the beta. Also, we now get less post-match information to see who dealt the most blows, and so on. To top it off, the prices of the microtransactions have been raised slightly to levels I think are borderline.

MultiVersus
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A disaster in the making? No, although MultiVersus as a beta actually worked better than the final game in many ways, fortunately improvements have been made as well. There are now a lot of different challenges and things to unlock, which makes it more fun to play on because it always feels like there's something new to get. As expected, there is a whole lot of grinding and different currencies to unlock things, but that is part of the free-to-play model and not unique for MultiVersus.

The game itself is still incredibly entertaining, and it never takes long to find fellow players when I play alone. I often find that it works well with certain fighters, and we continue to play together and in some cases even become friends (Xbox version). But it's best with people I know, and playing with my girlfriend or friends really takes it up a notch, and it opens up a lot more strategy.

MultiVersus

The game system has been modified a bit, mainly by making the game a bit slower than before. Many people have been very critical of this, but I personally think it's just a matter of getting used to it. The game gains a slightly different weight this way and feels a little less spatty and more controlled. For my own part, I've focused mainly on Superman, who I liked best in the beta, and I note that he delivers here too. Among the newcomers, The Joker feels extremely sharp, and I'm guessing - based on several gruesome online encounters - that there will be some nerfs for his part in a future update. Jason Voorhees, on the other hand, feels more difficult to play and perhaps rather a fighter who will improve somewhat, although it is difficult to say this early.

MultiVersus

Overall, I'm glad that MultiVersus is back again. It's a damn fun multiplayer game, though I feel Player First Games and Warner have made it strangely difficult for themselves. Removing things from the beta (which was criticized for having too little content) just feels odd and the fact that the netcode is no better than it is, is beyond comprehension. Unfortunately, this costs scores and a phenomenal game system can't prevent me from giving a slightly lower rating than I gave the beta.

07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
+
Clean game system, lots of varied characters, lots of things to unlock, plenty of varied challenges, great presentation
-
Substandard netcode, lacks a good tutorial, you are no longer allowed to try characters you do not own
overall score
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REVIEW. Written by Jonas Mäki

After a year's absence since the acclaimed beta was taken down, MultiVersus is now back again and we've checked out whether it now feels like a complete game...



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