Multiverse Preview (for PC) | PCMag

If you subscribe to HBO Max, or just watched Space Jam: A New Legacy, you know the good folks at Warner Bros. (now Warner Bros. Discovery) have a large stable of intellectual properties. Multiversus takes these beloved characters from brands like DC Comics, The iron Throne, and Looney Toons – and throws them into a chaotic, free-to-play PC game. It’s a platform fighter (a subgenre that’s grown increasingly competitive over the years), but with enough familiar faces and finely-tuned online gameplay to leave a good first impression when it’s played. preview stage.


Everyone, everywhere, all at once

You don’t need to have a huge roster of existing characters to make a successful platformer – just watch Brawlhalla. Still, the crossovers certainly help build the hype. Fortunately, WB has a strong enough IP to rival Disney, Nickelodeon, and Nintendo, giving Multiversus an attractive initial roster.

DC Comics may already have its own dedicated fighting game with Injustice, but when you own half of all major superheroes, you can’t put them in your crossplay. Multiversus includes the classic trinity: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. You can also play as Harley Quinn for some clown wickedness without all the serious Joker baggage. Speaking of gritty, Arya Stark from The iron Throne makes an appearance, which hopefully opens the door for other mature HBO characters, such as Logan Roy and Tony Soprano(Opens in a new window). rick and morty background elements also suggest Adult Swim content is on the table.

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Multiversus also features a wide variety of cartoon fighters. Fighters include classic characters, such as Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry, as well as modern animated Cartoon Network stars, such as Finn and Jake from adventure time and Steven and Garnet of Steven Universe. There’s even an original character, the cuddly Reindog, who fits right in. Since fighting games love a good meme, Shaggy from scooby-doo is basically Ryu from Multiversus, a beginner-friendly martial artist with god-like power, because the internet said so.

The preview version only featured a handful of revolving stages, including the Batcave and a haunted Scooby-Doo house, so not all characters had their own home turf. However, each character has voice acting, often from iconic actors like Kevin Conroy and Matthew Lillard, which adds significantly to the value of the production. Compare that to the disappointingly quiet characters in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. The dialogue even changes to match the new costumes. Like modern Mortal Kombat games, Multiversus characters adjust their lines to directly call specific opponents, such as Velma calling Shaggy by his government name, “Norville”.


Shaggy multiverse

The best in the world

It seems like there’s a new platform fighting game every few months now, but right now the best way to describe these games is still “like Super Smash Bros.” Instead of reducing health bars, you deal damage to leave enemies vulnerable to big hits knocking them off the stage. These games focus more on high-flying mobility than executing complicated combos.

In some areas, Multiversus simplifies this formula even further. You have multiple jumps, normal attacks, special attacks, and defensive dodges. However, you can’t grab and throw opponents, and you don’t have to worry about unbalanced items. In-game MMO-style class definitions also tell you a character’s general playstyle. For example, Superman is a “tank” who can take a lot of damage, while Bugs Bunny is a “mage” who uses flashy and unexpected ranged moves to keep opponents guessing.

However, in other areas, Multiversus is fascinatingly complex. Characters have unique mechanics that take some practice to properly understand and perform. Finn earns money while fighting which he can use to buy buffs in the middle of a match. Like Phoenix Wright in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Velma Dinkley searches for clues and shouts big word balloons. And if Taz the Tasmanian Devil does enough “tasty” damage, the other player temporarily transforms into a roast chicken that can’t attack anymore.

Multiversus also innovates in its mechanical cooperative team. In a 2v2 game, many characters have movements that help their teammates, not only hurt the enemy. For example, you can jump to the scene to keep the edges aggressively, and clip Reindog can make you back off. Or use the Wonder Woman shield to protect you and your partner. This opens up all kinds of synergistic strategies that we have not really seen in this genre. Useful and practical tutorials explain when, where and how to use what tactics, such as loading a coded color motion to break the super armor.

My first impression is that Multiversus wants to be a more strategic platformer than on the ground, which is a noble goal; Strategy is an underrated aspect that makes fighting games so cool. However, to achieve this, it seems that the developers at Player First Games intentionally slowed down the pace of play. Of course, the characters move quickly and most attacks don’t have annoying lag. However, many special moves, from Batarangs to Rabbit Tunnels, use a cooldown system. Therefore, you need to watch a counter to see when you can use them again. I understand this prevents you from just spamming your best attacks, but with so much cooldown some matches felt sluggish, more akin to MOBAs than fighting games. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl may feel a lot rougher around the edges, but I prefer its faster pace.


Multiverse teamwork

Online and progress

Multiversus is a free game, like Brawlhalla, and it’s definitely structured as such. As you play, you complete missions that unlock new battle pass bonuses, such as profile icons or new visual effects when you knock someone out. You also level up individual characters to unlock perks to equip in matches, like a third jump or better defense. You can only equip a handful of perks, so at least it’s not a pay-to-win system. You can grind in-game currency to acquire additional characters, but there will also be in-game purchases.

If Multiversus has significant single-player content, it was not available in this preview. Instead, the game lives or dies through its online multiplayer action. Fortunately, cross-play and cross-progression should keep audiences from fracturing. The game also offers dedicated servers with restore netcode.

Multiversus has many game modes, including 1v1, 2v2, and Free for All, and it lets you go against bots, casual players, or ranked players. We couldn’t create custom matches or play in local matches in the preview build, but this feature should be live at launch. As for online battles, I struggled with them when playing over the Steam Deck’s Wi-Fi connection, and even got kicked out of bot matches. However, Multiversus’ performance was flawless on a wired connection. Keep in mind that the preview version was a test, so things should, hopefully, improve.


Multiversus Benefits

Can your PC run Multiversus?

Multiversus is on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, but surprisingly not on the Nintendo Switch. The game has a lovely stylized cartoon aesthetic, with sparkling animations and vibrant lighting, which successfully blends the disparate worlds. I especially like the illustrated menu items. That said, nothing here seems to push anything to the limit.

To run the game, you need a PC with at least an AMD FX-8350 or Intel Intel Core i5-2300 processor, an AMD Radeon HD 5850 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics processor and 4 GB of RAM. After changing some settings, I managed to get the game to work on my Steam Deck. I also played on my Xbox Series S. Like any competitive fighting game, Multiversus needs a locked frame rate to play. In this case, it was 60fps, and both devices met that standard.


Multiverse of Madness

If all you want to see is a powered-up Shaggy throwing a sandwich at Batman, then Multiversus is already a hit. The developers also have big esports ambitions, sponsoring a $100,000 tournament to coincide with EVO, so they’re confident the strategic team-based platforming battles will attract serious gamers. Yet we must wait and see if Multiversus lives as long as the beloved characters of his list. See for yourself when the open beta begins in July.

For more PC game reviews and previews, check out PCMag’s Steam Curator page(Opens in a new window). And for an in-depth discussion on video games, visit PCMag’s Pop-Off(Opens in a new window) Youtube channel.

Advantages

  • Entertaining mix of characters, with iconic comedians

  • Team creative tricks

  • Online cross-platform game

  • Art style and dynamic animations

  • Smart tutorials

See more

The essential

Multiversus brings together an eclectic mix of WB characters in a free platform fighting game and wacky.

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