Anyone have MultiVersus on their radar? (Smash Bros.-style online brawler)

There have been a string of failed Smash Bros. clones over the years, and I don’t think I enjoyed any of them.

MultiVersus (launch trailer | subreddit) may be the first one that I think will go the distance. It’s owned by Warner Bros. and they’re going all-in not only on leveraging their properties but also on thoughtful game design and mechanics. It’s F2P and currently in an open beta.

The starting roster’s IP includes (among others) Adventure Time, the DCAU, and a bunch of classic WB cartoon characters. The next confirmed characters will be Rick and Morty, and speculation/leaks include a bunch of Cartoon Network characters like Johnny Bravo ( :grin: :grin: :grin:) and Samurai Jack. Almost all the characters are voiced by canonical actors, including the inimitable Kevin Conroy as Batman.

The game itself has a solid foundation, but what sets it apart from Smash Bros. is that it’s designed with 2v2 play in mind. There’s an interesting system of ‘perks’ that provide minor character buffs but have synergistic effects if your partner also picks them, and lots of characters have moves which buff or protect allies in ways that are completely missing in Smash Bros. I’ve been playing a good bit with a friend but online 1v1 matches have also grabbed me in a way that I’ve never really felt with any fighting game. It’s exactly the right combination of accessibility, depth, and wackiness for me.

From a technical standpoint, it’s doing two things very well. The first is that it has (optional) cross-platform play between PC, Xbox, and Playstation. The second is that, even in open beta, it appears to have very solid netcode. I’ve played it on my PS5 and PC (progression is also cross-platform, which is awesome) and have been very satisfied with stability and lag so far, even when playing across platforms.

The bad: it’s a free-to-play game with the expected monetization push, multiple currencies, battlepass, etc. Characters are locked behind a free rotation and have to be unlocked with in-game currency. After about five days of enthusiastic but not obsessive play I’ve earned enough around 6000 gold - enough to unlock 2-4 characters. It’s not an issue for me because a friend gifted me a ‘founders pack’ which includes 15 free character unlock tickets, and also because I tend to stick to just a few characters in games like these. If this game establishes a toehold in the competitive gaming community and gets active support for a number of years - and I think it might - the baseline founders pack is a remarkably good deal and should be strongly considered before they’re no longer available. I’ve only used a couple of my unlocks and am saving the rest for future character releases. Even without those, the unlock grind seems reasonable enough that only completionists will feel truly squeezed.

No referral codes or anything like that. Smash Bros. itself was the defining gaming experience for my social circle during the GameCube/Wii era and I’m super excited about quality innovation in the space.