Rumbleverse Review: Frustrating But Fun BR

Rumbleverse Review: Frustrating But Fun BR
The concept to put WWE-style wrestling in a battle royal format automatically sounded fun. And now that I’ve played it I can confirm that it works... most of the time. 

When I first started my review it was initially a lot more negative. The gameplay was just not clicking for me, and even when I was winning it didn't feel as engaging as it does for me now. While it eventually grew on me after spending more time with it, I was not feeling the game in the first few hours of play. This was mostly due to the 2-3 minute wait times to get into a match and the combat making me feel very frustrated.

However, there are a lot of things I grew to appreciate - like how the classic “storm” or “circle” that are typically in BRs could be used to the player's advantage.
The movement specifically is a pretty mixed bag for me. On one hand, I think taking long leaps across buildings, bouncing off of cars, and climbing up buildings like the Hulk is super cool and I found myself trying to get really creative with how I maneuvered around the map. And on the other hand, running in a straight line seems to be the hardest thing ever. When running, every time you put a foot down forward your direction changes, so when just moving around the map you might bump into walls or get stuck on terrain. Thankfully that has never affected my combat, but I would not be surprised if it lost someone a game or two.

During combat, attacks will leave you stuck in animations where you can’t move, making playing feel more annoying than satisfying. Not to mention that even after you get hit with a three-punch combo, you’re on the ground and can't get up for about a second. This can make certain scenarios tenser but I just found it frustrating most of the time. Luckily you can dodge, but I’ve had a couple of BS moments where someone still managed to grab me even though I dodged. But that was most likely due to lag/server issues.

In fact, I had a couple of server issues. As I mentioned before, the wait times felt really long - ranging from 1 to 3 minutes long. I got booted to the menu in the middle of a game once, and at one point some enemies started walking in a straight line. In my 5 hours of playing, these were the only major bugs I encountered and I assume that some patches will be applied soon. 

You also have a shield that looks similar to the shields in Smash Bros. except in this game it's also used to indicate how much stamina you have left. You can hold the shield up to block regular punches, but some attacks are unblockable. Holding your shield up also regenerates your stamina faster, so that's pretty helpful. Your stamina depletes pretty quickly, but that's where ‘cores’ come in.
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Instead of just having health and shield consumables, you have cores. Damage, stamina, and health, and each of those cores can be upgraded through protein powder that you find in crates. You’re going to want these. The game will be much harder if you don’t. If you and another enemy both hit each other at the same time and with the same attack, the player with the better damage stat will be able to hit you but you won’t deal any damage. I do wish there was some indication when a player is stronger than you. 

The core combat is where the game shines. You can rip out street signs from the concrete to use as weapons. Objects like mail boxes, carts, and chairs are all fair game in true WWE fashion. Abilities that you find in crates can be added to your arsenal and you can easily switch them out for higher tiers if you find them. Using these abilities ranges from ‘really fun’ to ‘kinda helpful.’ My personal favorite ability was to kick opponents into the air just to then jump up and kick them down diagonally. I’ve done this to players, sending them into the pavement from the top of a skyscraper.
Ive saved my biggest gripe for last, and ive had this gripe since I first saw the trailer.

The designs are really, really ugly, and it's obviously intentional (to some extent). I don’t know. This isn't a well-thought-out argument, and the ugliness isn't a deal breaker, but just some better character models would go a long way. Since this game’s UI practically copies Fortnite (which isn't a bad thing), seeing these weird-looking character designs just makes it look like a low-budget mobile game Fortnite knockoff. I can only hope that there will be more options for costumes and characters that look more visually appealing when the battle pass gets released. 

Again, these gripes barely impact the overall core gameplay experience and - at the end of the day - these things will get fixed quickly if more people start playing.

Gamelancer gives Rumbleverse a 6/10.

Rumbleverse is available on PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/X/S, and PC via the Epic Games store.
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