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Open Beta Preview: MultiVersus is insanely fun and addictive

The rise of platform fighters has been seismic in just the last year. Each new release vies to take the crown away from Super Smash Bros. – the reigning champion. We’ve seen PlayStation All-Stars try first. But in the previous year, we saw even the wildest ideas work. If Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl can work successfully, why not one focused on the vast assortment of Warner Bros. characters? Enter our newest competitor: MultiVersus!

MultiVersus is developed by Player First Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC. Unlike most platform fighters, the game is free-to-play and supports full cross-play and cross-progression across all platforms.

To kick off the beta, the initial roster packs 17 characters from a wide array of franchises, including DC, HBO, Cartoon Network, and even the NBA! There’s a lot to unpack, even if it’s just in beta mode! So let’s get to it. 

Let’s go over the basics of Multiversus

As mentioned above, Multiversus is a platform fighter. The objective is to use attacks to knock your opponent off the map. Hitting your opponent causes their percentage to go up. The higher the damage, the easier it is to strike the opponent off the map. Each fighter has a standard attack, a special attack, jumping, and dodging. All abilities can be used in multiple directions. And yes, air dodging is here.

There are four main modes to choose from in the beta:

  • Team-based 2 vs. 2 mode;
  • 1 vs. 1 matches;
  • 4-player free-for-all; and
  • Co-op vs. A.I. matches

Each game has players getting kills to acquire points to win. In the beginning, you can fight against CPU in bots mode or play the tutorials to learn the ropes. The normal mode sees players fight for fun in all the events online. Finally, ranked allows players to enter more competitive arenas to rise up the leaderboards. All pretty self-explanatory for fighting games!

MultiVersus screenshot

Is it closer to Super Smash Bros. or Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl?

Inevitably, newcomers will ask, “What other platform fighter is MultiVersus closest to in feel and play style? Or is it like Smash Bros?” My belief is that it has a bit of a floaty feel like Brawlhalla or Nickeloden All-Stars Brawl. Now, this isn’t a bad thing. I feel this gives the game its own identity to stand on its own feeling and mechanics. That’s a positive to help it stand out from the crowd!

What helps MultiVersus stand out to me the most is the perks system and player leveling. The more you use a character, the more they level up to unlock cosmetics and perks. The perks are broken into signature and regular. Signature is usually tied to a specific character move. For example, Wonder Woman’s whip adds a knock back with her signature equipped. The regular ones are buffs, like boosted offense and defense.

These add a significant amount of strategy to matches. It’s not just who can pile up damage faster anymore. It’s important to understand what perks your opponent has equipped and how you can counteract them. Experimenting with this becomes addicting in itself as you level up your main. I can’t wait to see how Player First Games develops this more as the game grows. 

Is the online in good shape?

In the short time I’ve had with the game’s online modes, I’ve had no issues with connection. And I’ve been playing on WiFi, not Ethernet! That speaks to how ready the developers were for the online play. Thankfully, MultiVersus has dedicated, server-based rollback netcode to support online gameplay.

Any fighting game fan knows online connection durability is critical to success. Thankfully, I’ve found no issues in the couple of hours I’ve spent online on PlayStation 5. The game supports full cross-play across systems, as well. So the online working like a charm is even more impressive!

MultiVersus characters

What WB characters are in MultiVersus?

MultiVersus has an exceptionally unique line-up that allows for some wild match-ups for fans! Here’s the full roster at the beta launch.

  • 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
  • Velma (Scooby-Doo) – voiced by Kate Micucci
  • Bugs Bunny (Looney Tunes) – voiced by Eric Bauza
  • Tasmanian Devil a.k.a. Taz (Looney Tunes) – voiced by Jim Cummings
  • 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 (Tom and Jerry) voiced by Eric Bauza
  • Iron Giant (The Iron Giant) voiced by Jonathan Lipow
  • LeBron James (Space Jam: A New Legacy) – voiced by John Eric Bentley
  • Reindog (an extraordinary original creature)

LeBron James is available as part of the open beta release and additional characters, including Rick and Morty, will join the roster during Season 1, which begins on Aug. 9, according to the game’s official website.

Player First Games has confirmed that more characters will come in a consistent frequency moving forward. So get those dream match-ups ready! Now, if you’re looking here for a tier list. I’m afraid I haven’t got that far. There’s a bit of a reason why.

MultiVersus characters battle against each other

Is MultiVersus’ free-to-play model worth it?

Ah yes. The word free. It’s always followed up with “what’s the catch?” Well, if you’ve played a free-to-play game like Fortnite or Fall Guys, you can guess what’s up. Characters and cosmetics are unlocked by gold achieved at the end of each match for doing definite criteria. Things like killing an opponent a specific way or not dying once in a single round. The gold eventually allows you to buy characters to unlock for your roster. 

That’s the long way to unlock everyone. If you have money to spare, there’s a shorter way. Buying “gleamium” in packs of $5 intervals will allow you to unlock the roster and many cosmetics quicker. Fortunately, the game does make it where you can get everything without using gleamium. It just will take a lot of matches. 

Now I should also mention the “Founders pack.” The pack is in three tiers $40, $60, and $100. The $40 package will give you enough items to unlock the whole roster, plus the first season battle pass. If you want to support the developers and unlock the roster, this founders pack is the way to go. Thankfully, there’s cross-progression across all systems by linking your console accounts to a Warner Brothers account (don’t worry, it’s easy). So you only have to buy this pack once!

MultiVersus battle screen

Final thoughts on MultiVersus

MultiVersus is in magnificent shape on beta launch. The game feels smooth, and the online works terrifically even over WiFi! The online is split up perfectly to let people learn and get comfortable while offering a designated area for the elite to duke out. Matchmaking in both areas feels fair and responsive as you level up learning the game.

I’m curious how the game will grow casually and competitively. It is set to make its debut at EVO this year. And I think the meta is already starting to form. With all this said, it’s clear Player First Games did their homework making this game accessible and a blast to play match after match. Speaking of which, I need to get back to leveling up Shaggy for his ultimate form. 

The open beta of MultiVersus is available now for PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. You can check out where to get your preferred system here. Stay tuned to Mega Visions for all future updates on the game and its official release. Are you thinking about jumping into the new brawler soon? Let us know in the comments below!

Alex Lehew

28-year-old gamer, writer, content creator, weeb, and Sega fan! I'm old enough to remember when you played Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on a CRT, or how weird Revelations: Persona is. Constantly begging Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3.
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