MultiVersus is back with all new modes, and is incredibly moreish | Hands-on preview

by on May 23, 2024

When Multiversus released in open beta back in 2022, I immediately fell in love with its take on the Super Smash Bros style of fighting game. With all my favourite Nintendo characters replaced with well known Warner Brothers properties and a distinct focus on online play, I thought Multiversus was an incredibly cool game with limitless potential. After sticking around in open beta for almost a year, Multiversus disappeared last June, and fans have been unable to play the game now for close to twelve months. Now after a whole lot of waiting the full launch of Multiversus is just around the corner, and with all new PvE modes a lot has changed.

Just in case you missed out on Multiversus during its original run, the aim of the game is fairly straightforward. As one of a selection of very well known TV and movie characters you’ll be taking on other characters in a fight to the death in a variety of different modes. Instead of whittling down a health bar like you would in a traditional fighting game though, you win fights by launching opponents off the side of a stage. Anyone who has played a Super Smash Bros game will feel right at home here, and that’s as much the case now as it was in the open beta.


Since I originally played Multiversus a fair amount has changed, and much of that is down to the roster. New characters ranging from Marvin the Martian to Banana Guard have packed out the playable characters to even more impressive levels, and while checking out the new content I made sure to give each of them a whirl. The Joker instantly clicked with me due to all his gimmick based attacks, and felt almost like Bugs Bunny who was my original favourite back in the beta. The variety of ridiculous characters you can play as has always been one of the strengths of Multiversus, and that has only improved as the roster fills up.

The main difference between the open beta and full release versions of Multiversus though is the addition of a whole host of PvE content. Known as Rifts, these modes are the perfect place to hone your skills against bots, can be played with friends, and are also a hell of a lot of fun. With a variety of different fights and objectives waiting for you inside the Rifts, each of them is themed around some sort of crossover story. The one that stood out that I was able to play was about Velma and Batman competing to find out who was the greatest detective of all, and there’s so much potential for more of this sort of wackiness with all the properties Multiversus features.

Rifts are much more than a series of fights with bots, too, and include loads of different rulesets and minigames spread throughout them to shake things up. In one you might be fighting Looney Tunes dressed as The Joker is a chaotic battle to save the world, and one fight even featured infinite jumping for a distinctly more floaty experience. For a complete change of pace there was even a target shooting minigames and a stage where I needed to defend a crystal from drones while piloting a tank, and these stages didn’t even control like a normal Multiversus match. Shaking up the formula with more than just different opponents and stages make hanging out in rifts a hell of a lot of fun, and the experience and currency rewards you receive for completing these fights make them well worth it.


The optional objectives that you’re presented with in each encounter give you even more scope for monetary rewards, but they aren’t always easy to complete. Some are as simple as playing as a certain type of character (like a villain or someone from Adventure Time) but others task you with dealing a certain amount of damage or using a specific attack enough times and are a little trickier to pull off.

To make playing through rifts more manageable as the difficulty ramps up, you’ll unlock gems as you go that buff characters. You can equip three of these at once, and they grant you awesome abilities like the chance to deal critical damage on certain attacks or even dodge taking a hit entirely 10% of the time. If you level these up enough they’ll be powerful enough to use on all the unlockable higher difficulties, and honestly there’s a whole lot more depth to this less competitive mode than I was ever expecting.


Outside of rifts and characters the main change between the open beta and launch version of Multiversus is the sprinkle of polish that just makes the game pop. Things like the sensational intro video where all the characters confront each other in over the top and ridiculous ways, or the tutorial that features Shaggy pulled into the multiverse as a new recruit tasked with saving the world. The game already felt like a fully fleshed out fighting game, but now the overall package is so much more impressive.

I already loved Multiversus when I played it a couple of years ago, but the amount of new and exciting stuff coming when the game launches in full still managed to blow me away. Rifts add a whole new way to enjoy the game without having to play online against real people, and the new characters are a blast to play as. I’m not sure I’ll be able to put Multiversus down after covering it this time, and since you don’t need to pay anything to give it a go then it’s an incredibly easy recommendation if you’re looking for a fun new multiplayer game.

Multiversus is coming on May 28th to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.