With the final DLC all wrapped up for the Super Smash Bros. franchise, at least for the foreseeable future, the competition for mascot fighters has opened up for some unexpected franchises to take a shot at filling that space. There have always been Smash clones out there, but none with the same polish and roster of iconic characters as what Nintendo could deliver. The most recent attempt that had a lot of potential was the flawed, but fun, Nickelodeon: All-Star Brawl, which featured a roster of Nick’s most beloved characters duking it out. However, a new challenger has stepped in with an even more impressive, or maybe ridiculous, roster ready to rumble.
MultiVersus is Warner Bros.’ effort to draw from its huge catalog of characters, from comics to cartoons and movies, and create a platform fighter to go head to head with Smash. While the final product will have to speak for itself, based on what we’ve been shown so far, there’s a decent chance this fighter could, at the very least, be a fun alternative for anyone who has already sunk dozens of hours into Smash. If you want to know everything about this crossover fighting game, here’s all the data we could collect on the upcoming MultiVersus.
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There’s no specific release date set for MultiVersus just yet, only that it will be coming in 2022. However, we do know that an open beta will be held in July of 2022, hopefully signaling that the game will be ready not long after.
MultiVersus will be hitting most major platforms, current and last gen, when it launches, including PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, as well as PC. The only players left out, ironically enough, are Switch players.
The official cinematic trailer that introduced the world to MultiVersus is just as crazy as the concept demands it to be. We open on Batman in his Batcave before a “strange energy” teleports him onto a stage with a statue of Wonder Woman in the back. Shaggy, sandwich in hand, then appears behind him and jumps into his arms in fear. From there, Bugs Bunny warps in, followed by Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. The two pairs begin fighting, throwing Batarangs and pies, resulting in Shaggy bringing the meme to life and going Ultra Instinct.
As their fight escalates, we pan to another brawl in progress between Taz, Harley Quinn, Jake the Dog, and Garnet from Steven Universe. Tom and Jerry rush through as well, playing their usual cat and mouse game. All the combatants eventually collide in a massive dust cloud as none other than Superman descends from the sky. He’s joined by the Iron Giant of all characters and flies in to join the battle.
Now, the problem most Smash clones have always had is straying too far from the formula set by that game, as in PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale. With MultiVersus, though, developers appear to be trying to make the game as mechanically close to Smash as possible. You will attack your foes to increase the number below them, which will make subsequent hits send them farther and farther off the stage until they can’t make it back on or hit a barrier and are eliminated. The key difference, aside from the roster, is that the default mode will be a 2v2 brawl. This was a core focus from the start, and the entire game was apparently built with teamwork in mind.
Game director Tony Huynh stated, “MultiVersus emphasizes teamwork and social play with an ever-expanding diverse cast of characters that you know and love … Every character has unique moves that focus on team play whether that’s a smoke bomb or Batman to cover your team’s movement. Steven shielding his ally for extra defense. Saving someone with a lasso.” However, the game does support other modes, including 1v1 and four-player free-for-all matches.
A full move list isn’t released, but it looks like there will be basically everything you expect in a Smash clone, such as double jumps, different attack types, projectiles, shielding, dodging, and charging energy. Combat looks fast, if a little slippery, and each character will have their own strengths and moves to learn based on which of the five classes they fall into:
Along with just their classes, you can also customize your characters in tons of ways. Costumes are the obvious one, with a few shown being Black Lantern Superman and “Bruce Lee” Shaggy, but every character also has an in-depth perk system. There are perks for Offense, Defense, Utility, and Unique abilities. These can be swapped around to further tune your character how you like, but the unlock process, if any, for them hasn’t been shared as of yet.
The current roster stands at 16 characters revealed so far, with more to be revealed soon. The current lineup, along with their voice actor, is:
- Batman (DC) — voiced by Kevin Conroy
- Superman (DC) — voiced by George Newbern
- Wonder Woman (DC) — voiced by Abby Trott
- Harley Quinn (DC) — voiced by Tara Strong
- Shaggy (Scooby-Doo) — voiced by Matthew Lillard
- Bugs Bunny (Looney Tunes) — voiced by Eric Bauza
- Arya Stark (Game of Thrones) — voiced by Maisie Williams
- Jake the Dog (Adventure Time) — voiced by John DiMaggio
- Finn the Human (Adventure Time) — voiced by Jeremy Shada
- Steven Universe (Steven Universe) — voiced by Daniel DiVenere
- Garnet (Steven Universe) — voiced by Estelle
- Tom & Jerry — voiced by Eric Bauza
- Reindog (an extraordinary original creature)
- Velma (Scooby-Doo) — voiced by Kate Mucucci
- Tasmanian Devil, aka Taz (Looney Tunes) — voiced by Jim Cummings
- Iron Giant (The Iron Giant) — voiced by Jon Lipow
In terms of stages, we know we can battle in the Bat Cave, Jake and Finn’s Treefort, and Themyscira so far. Some stages will also have hazards and destructible elements to look out for.
Fighting game fans will also be happy to hear that MultiVersus will not suffer the same online troubles as Smash. Not only will the game have dedicated servers, but they’ll also feature the vastly superior rollback netcode as opposed to delay-based, which causes far more de-sync issues in fighting games. On top of that, matches will be easy to get thanks to it being a fully crossplay game, and it will also have cross-progression if you want to move between platforms.
During the alpha test, we were extremely pleased with just how well the game played when we got our hands on it. The most exciting aspects are the ways the game differs from its obvious inspirations, such as the previously mentioned classes and characters having moves that are designed specifically to be used to support teammates.
The developers obviously have a lot of love for the material as evidenced by the embrace of meme culture surrounding these characters, such as Ultra Instinct Shaggy and Arya Stark being able to steal faces.
Despite how much we’ve seen, and even played, of MultiVersus, this is the first official gameplay trailer for the game. In it, we see some of the crazy character combinations possible in this crossover fighter and hear some unique dialogue for each combination of ally and opponent.
While the trailer didn’t show off any new faces, it did state that the roster would be ever-expanding.
The bigger question here is how much content in MultiVersus isn’t multiplayer. We already stated that the game is designed for 2v2, but also allows 1v1 and four-player free for all, but no specific modes outside of the standard have been shown. We do know there will at least be ranked playlists for those looking to take the game more seriously, but for the moment, that’s all we know.
DLC, or at least microtransactions, are certainly in store for MultiVersus since it is a free-to-play game. We already know that the game will launch with two forms of currency: some type of gold and gems. The gold coins are earned in-game by playing, and we assume the gems are the paid-for, premium type of currency. That is just what we suspect, though, and no word has been given on what these currencies actually are, what they’re used for, or how to earn them.
Various skins, and full-on character variants, are very likely to be part of the monetization model. There are also unique ring-out animations and emotes that could likely be purchased as well as earned.
Again looking at the beta, so long as things don’t differ too much, battle pass progression felt fair enough. Of course, things like this can always change by, or even after, launch.
As for what would be coming in the future, that’s easy: more characters, stages, and costumes. There are a ton of WB characters yet to be represented here, and they’ve shown they’re not afraid to bring in characters from franchises that tonally clash. We’re ready for characters like Harry Potter and Frodo to hopefully join the roster in the future.
MultiVersus is free to play. There’s no need to pre-order, but we will still let you know when a release date is announced so you can be ready to download the game as soon as it’s fully available. If you want to start smashing in MultiVersus early, though, the open beta begins on July 26.
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