MultiVersus is So Close To Great


MultiVersus is So Close To Great

It seems like crossovers are everywhere. Since the massive success of titles like the movie Avengers Endgame and the hit video game, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, nearly every major company has attempted some sort of mashup of their greatest characters, trying to imitate the spark which made Marvel and Nintendo so successful. In the movie realm, Universal attempted their “Dark Universe,” which crossed over many of their famous horror franchises (this project was later shut down). Sony is continuing their “Sony Spiderman Universe” (SSU), which has been accompanied by real life disasters and controversies. In the realm of video games, Nickelodeon attempted their own platform fighter to mixed reviews, and Playstation attempted one to mostly negative reception. However, no company has been quite as pushy in showcasing their IPs as Warner Bros, with their list of crossovers including Space Jam a New Legacy, the “Conjuring Verse,” the “Monster Verse,” the DC Extended Universe, the Scoob connected universe, and the Animaniacs reboot (which frequently used Warner’s other characters in its episodes). None of these managed to capture the magic of their predecessors. 

MultiVersus, available on PC, XBox, and Playstation,  is Warner’s latest attempt to mash together their properties, this time in a “zany to the max” platform fighter where two to four players try to knock each other out to be the team standing. Uniquely, MultiVersus focuses on 2v2 combat instead of 1v1 or Free For All, as is common in other popular titles, adding teamwork and synergy as additional factors to matches. 

MultiVersus’s roster is what you would expect from a  Warner Bros crossover. Nearly all the characters in this game have already appeared in one of the crossovers movies. Even characters one wouldn’t expect in a family game, such as Game of Thrones Arya Stark, appear in previous crossovers. Warner Bros overplaying their hand when it comes to crossovers has left many of their roster choices feeling unremarkable. It would be much more exciting to see Batman meet Rick and Morty if those two franchises had not already crossed over in the most recent Space Jam

I also find the inclusion of an original character in the roster to be odd. In a game where many people’s favorite franchises are on full display, why would anyone decide to play a character created just for this game? Why put development time to that? Even in terms of gameplay, the original character seems out of place, since it does not have voice lines like the other characters. 

Nitpicks aside, the roster itself is impressive. Being able to see characters like Tom and Jerry beside Superman is an inherent fun quality. I just feel the roster is missing a spark of originality and surprise. However, where this game really shines is in its character movesets. Every single character has so much attention put into making them feel exactly how you would imagine if you just watched their movie or show (or basketball game). Arya Stark is an agile swordfighter which takes a lot of effort to master, Iron Giant is a massive tank whose primary purpose is to protect his teammate and not go on offense, and Superman can bombard his enemies with attacks from the sky. On top of faithfulness, all the character movesets feel like they cohesively blend together into a consistent playstyle, and they synergize well with other characters, helping the team aspect of the game. Plus, MultiVersus brought back most of the original voice actors to reprise their roles as these characters, with the only exceptions being understandable (Lebron James was never going to voice himself). All the voice lines are specific to whomever you are fighting, and who your teammate is. This helps enhance the crossover aspect of the game because you are not just watching your characters fight, you can see how they would interact. There is supposedly going to be a story mode added later too, so there will be more of that down the line. 

However, the actual methods of unlocking each character is an absolute pain. The game will randomly select four starting characters for you to be able to use, which will rotate around. To unlock a character permanently, you will need to pay 2000 gold. You earn gold from winning matches, but you earn a paltry amount. Unless you level up, I find you get anywhere from 10 to 20 pieces, meaning you will have to play an absurd amount of games to unlock the one that you want. Even if the combat is fun, grinding to unlock characters is not. 

The combat itself is mostly good. As mentioned prior, the voice acting, character movesets, and focus on teamwork is great. However, the game is often stiff to control. Attacks are able to be charged, which can increase their power. However, this results in the animations being made to be able to feel powerful no matter the length of charge, and this causes attacks to not have much flow to them. Since combo moves and strong moves are one in the same, it comes at the expense of the snappiness of the lighter attacks. However, the movesets themself as so interesting that I can look past this flaw.

Whether you are looking for a crossover of your favorite character or a new fighting game to try, MultiVersus has something to offer. While it has problems, being a free to play game, MultiVersus is a perfect game to experiment with. I just hope that being a live service game, some of these issues can be remedied in future updates.