HomeDigital TrendsMultiversus Review: A Super Smashing Brawler with Warner Bros. Acclaimed Characters

Multiversus Review: A Super Smashing Brawler with Warner Bros. Acclaimed Characters

Photo Credit: Multiversus Press Kit/Warner Bros Games

Super Smash Bros. is undoubtedly one of the most unique and beloved fighting game franchises out there and while many have tried to replicate its success and formula, their attempts often come off like cheap imitations. PlayStation tried their luck with PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale. Nickelodeon had Nickelodeon All Star Brawl. Even Cartoon Network had Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion. However, Warner Bros. and Player First Games have seemed to craft a noteworthy mascot fighter of their own with MultiVersus that shows a lot of promise.  

The game is a free-to-play platform fighter that lets players take control of a variety of Warner Bros. characters, from Game of Thrones Arya Stark to Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny, for an all-out brawl. Players can go 1v1 against other players from across the globe or team-up with friends and new allies in MultiVersus’ featured 2v2 mode. Players can even jump into a Free-For-All mode that lets them battle for victory in a four-player fight for supremacy. Recently, Player First also added an Arcade mode that lets players fight against the AI in difficulty-based ladder matches. 

When it comes to MultiVersus’ gameplay, it really isn’t too far off from Smash. Don’t get me wrong, MultiVersus doesn’t have the same technical polish or exact feel of Smash. Some of the hit boxes can feel a little off and sometimes the game can have a floaty feel. However, its Smash DNA is clear from the start making it instantly familiar. Those that have played Smash or pretty much any other platform fighter can easily pick up MultiVersus and likely get the hang of it quickly. While MultiVersus could easily be considered just a “Smash clone,” it does have unique aspects to it that make it stand apart. 

Photo Credit: Multiversus Press Kit/Warner Bros Games

MultiVersus’ perk system allows for some great customizability for players when choosing their fighters as well as creativity when teaming up. As players level up their favorite fighters, they can earn some perks for them that enhance some of their abilities. For instance, players can boost their defense to take less damage or increase the knock-back of their hits for a better chance of sending an opponent flying. With players also able to purchase the perks of other characters through in-game currency, there are plenty of ways to improve characters and customize their fighting style. Although the character roster is split into different classes, like Support and Tank, the perks allow for players to work within and outside of these roles. Players can use perks to enhance their abilities in these defined roles or make their characters kind of a blend of another role. 

MultiVersus’ 2v2 mode utilizes the perk system the best though with how players can mix and match perks with teammates. As players build up their perk selection, their teammates and them can swap perks further opening the potential for perk combinations. Plus, Player First rewards teams for using the same perks by upping the benefits for both players. This adds some good strategy potential for teams to play around with and create real winning combinations with their character team-ups. The five distinct character classes also help duos make a stronger team by finding combinations that work for them. MultiVersus definitely makes its 2v2 the premiere way to play and its versatile perk system is both incredibly easy to use and very beneficial for teams looking to create the ultimate pairing.  

The big talking point of MultiVersus though is undoubtedly how Warner Bros. and Player First took great care in building its roster and experience. A lot of problems seen in prior “Smash clones” were definitely a priority for Player First to acknowledge. Unlike how Nickelodeon All Star Brawl didn’t have voices for its characters at the start, MultiVersus pulls together a veteran voice cast that fans will be familiar with. With the game using the voices of John DiMaggio (Jake the Dog), Matthew Lillard (Shaggy), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), the late Kevin Conroy (Batman), and many others, they’ve brought together the right pieces to make these characters feel authentic. This great collection of voices comes together greatly when playing too as there are plenty of hilarious lines spouted both in the character selection screen and in the middle of battle. It’s even better how characters can have unique interactions in battle and it makes these characters colliding feel even more special. Honestly, it’s already wild to see this roster of characters come together in MultiVersus so having the right voices definitely improves fans’ experience with the game.

Harley Quinn, Batman, Arya Stark & Jake – Photo Credit: Multiversus Press Kit/Warner Bros Games

Seriously, who ever predicted that we would see a game where Batman would end up fighting against the likes of Finn (Adventure Time), Marvin the Martian (Looney Tunes), Shaggy (Scooby-Doo), Gizmo (Gremlins), and plenty of other characters outside the DC Universe. Warner Bros. really has a deeper roster of characters and franchises than most realize and they’ve done a nice job adding in new characters so far that emphasize that.

Plus, the way they’ve constructed each character’s move set adds to how they pay homage to the characters and their legacy. Shaggy going full on Super Saiyan is a delightful nod to the memes and Bugs’ arsenal of wacky ACME props is not only fitting for him being a Mage class, but also a great homage to his unpredictability. Other characters like Rick, Morty, Marvin the Martian, and Gizmo have direct references to their respective shows and movies that fans will totally gush over. 

Even better is that the nods to Warner Bros.’ franchise library leaks outside of MultiVersus’ roster. Through the game’s battle pass, players can earn some great cosmetics that let their fandom show. There’s some cool looking avatars and backgrounds, incredible VFX ring outs that make knocking out opponents even better, and some announcer voice changes that further flex the game’s stellar voice cast. There are also some fun costumes and taunts that players can earn that act as nostalgic and sometimes hilarious nods to the character’s respective show/movie. Also, a good amount of MultiVersus’ goodies can be earned outside of its micro-transactions, so it’s all earned at a decently steady pace. It’s pretty safe to say that as MultiVersus continues through its second season, Player First and Warner Bros. have done a great job. Yet, there’s still some improvements that could easily be made. 

Aside from some obvious fine-tuning and balancing that can be done to make fighting feel smoother, especially Finn’s ridiculously overpowered up-special, most of MultiVersus’ improvements are simply tied to the experience. So far, Player First has done a great job doling out a steady stream of new characters throughout its seasons but could go a little deeper into Warner Bros.’ roster. Personally, it’d be nice to see the likes of more cult favorite characters like Beetlejuice, Duck Dodger, the Eds (Ed, Edd, and Eddy), and maybe even Johnny Quest just to have surprises like what they did with Gizmo and Stripe. 

Superman, Steven Universe, Tom & Jerry and Shaggy – Photo Credit: Multiversus Press Kit/Warner Bros Games

While they’ve also done a nice job of adding in some great cosmetics and fun costumes for characters, it’s a little frustrating how they constantly lock some of the clearly better content behind the premium tier that must be paid for with micro-transaction currency. If some of that stuff could come into the free battle pass or there could be some way to earn the premium currency in-game, this issue could be solved and earning extras could feel a little fairer. There also needs to be more stages and items added because the current selection is way too thin and playing on the same stages gets old fast. Also, it’d be nice if Player First provided fans with a real roadmap of content since they often just add things randomly making it tough to figure out when they’re really adding new content. 

There’s no doubt that MultiVersus has some growing to do still, but Player First has shown some great prowess and care to make it an incredibly fun and surprisingly fluid fighting game. Warner Bros.’ strange but robust roster works incredibly well in creating a unique experience that’s elevated by strong fighting mechanics, great homages to fan-favorite franchises, and excellent potential that could easily be fulfilled in a short time. On the surface, MultiVersus might seem like nothing more than just a “Smash clone,” but there’s something special about it that gives it the potential to stand on its own as a great fighting game franchise. 

MultiVersus is available on all major gaming platforms.

Tom Moore
Tom Moorehttps://mooreviews.com/
Tom is always ready to see and review everything horrifying and hilarious that hits theaters, television, and video games...sometimes. You can check out his other reviews and articles on his blog, Mooreviews.

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