MultiVersus First Look: Better Than Smash Bros?

MultiVersus First Look: Better Than Smash Bros?
The open beta for MultiVersus is available today, and it’s a damn fine platform fighter with a damn weird roster of characters. Whether you’re a fan of Smash Bros., Game of Thrones, Batman Multi-V-ing Superman, or… Shaggy memes? you’re sure to find something in Warner Brothers’ pile of owned IPs to love. And for the tantalizing price of free*, why not give it a go?
*Free With a Catch
*Free With a Catch
Remember that asterisk next to the word free? Well, that’s a one-keystroke way of typing “technically.” When you first boot up the game and agree to some terms of service I didn’t read, you may be dismayed to find you only have four playable characters— Shaggy, Taz, Jake the Dog, and Harley Quinn. Play through the basic tutorials and you’ll unlock Wonder Woman. But worry not, for the rest of the cast can be unlocked using gold, which is earned for simply playing the game. You get a little gold at the end of every match, with bonuses based on your performance, and are awarded gold for completing daily objectives, and by other players in the form of post-match Toasts. You can get even more gold by partying up with another player, which provides a 30% bonus to gold and XP. 

Now, if you’re friendless, lazy, and filthy rich like me, you’ll probably just want to buy a founder’s pack. The basic pack costs $39.99 and comes with 15 instant character unlock tokens, an animated banner to show everyone you paid money for this game, and 300 gleamium, an element not found on the periodic table, but that is used to purchase characters, cosmetics, and the premium battle pass, which, conveniently, costs 300 gleamium. That’s right, it’s a free to play game in 2022, so we’ve got battle passes up in this bitch.
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Worth Its Weight In Gold
Worth Its Weight In Gold
Similar to other games with battle passes, there are free tier rewards, but all the good stuff is in the premium pass. Since cosmetics can only be obtained through the battle pass or purchased with gleamium, which costs real money, you’re probably going to want to pony up for the premium battle pass if you’ll be playing MultiVersus on the regular. 2,200 gleamium will run you $19.99, and that’ll cover seven battle passes, and more if gleamium is offered in any of those battle passes. So if you don’t mind unlocking all your characters the free* way, and want your Super Saiyan Shaggy on that 1960s smoking jacket drip, $20 should cover you. But if you don’t mind your Shaggy going dripless, well, then you can take the asterisk off that “free”, baby.

So alright, now that I’ve helped you decide how much of your hard earned cash to give to a multimedia mega corporation, what the heck is MultiVersus? At first glance, you might say it looks like an excuse for Warner Brothers to capitalize on all the random IP they own, and someone in a boardroom somewhere said the word microtransactions while holding up both hands with their finger and thumb in the shape of an L. But that would be doing the game a disservice. When you get past the bizarrely specific vin diagram of the character roster, the Fortnite-like presentation, and the freemium model, you’ll find a solid platform brawler that brings something fresh to the genre.
The Smash Bros. Killer?
The Smash Bros. Killer?
Unlike Smash Bros., which essentially has two modes: party game chaos or intense 1v1 competitive fighter, MultiVersus has a distinctly team-based focus, with characters falling into one of five class roles— Bruiser, Tank, Assassin, Mage, and Support. While every fighter can certainly hold their own, these specialized classes lend themselves primarily to 2v2 battles, where characters can synergize to create some truly impressive plays. Wade into the fray with a Tank like Superman or a Bruiser like Garnet while your partner buffs you with Reindog or Steven Universe’s Support abilities. Zip around the battlefield as Assassins Arya Stark or Harley Quinn backstabbing opponents as they attempt to avoid a screen full of cartoon chaos from a Mage like Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry. That’s right, Bugs Bunny is officially a Mage. I’m telling you, this game is bonkers, and I’m here for it. Wait, does Warner Bros. own the rights to Bonkers? Oh my god, Animaniacs! Freakazoid! What is this game going to look like in a year?
Weird But Very Good
Weird But Very Good
Luckily, we don’t have to wait that long to know it’s going to be absolute batshit insanity. Rick and Morty and Actual Human Being, Lebron James have already been announced as the next additions to the roster. While MultiVersus is rated T for Teen, it also features Arya Stark, a character from an extremely R-rated HBO series. So it almost goes without saying we’re going to get some Mortal Kombat characters at some point, right? MultiVersus is off to an impressive start, but if Warner Bros. makes it possible to punch Lebron James in the nuts as Johnny Cage, it could be the greatest platform fighter, nay, the greatest video game, ever created.

Gamelancer gives MultiVersus Open Beta 8/10. What character do you hope to see added to the game?

MultiVersus is in open beta now for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.
 
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