Rumbleverse - Review

Rumbleverse - aew

Much of the joy from any good battle royale is derived from the feeling of making big plays, and man, if there's one thing that Rumble verse is good at, it's setting you up for opportunities for big plays. The latest from Iron Galaxy Studios, the developers of Dive Kick and seasons 2 and 3 of Killer Instinct.

Rumble Verse is a free to play melee driven Battle Royale with a very fortnighty but nonetheless charming cartoony art style infused with all the pomp and grandeur of professional wrestling. One moment you'll be Irish whipping an opponent into a wall for a brutal wall combo, the next you'll be choke slamming bodies off of skyscrapers and occasionally giant swinging them into the ocean, it's silly fun at its best, and while there are several painful moments in the form of Soul matchmaking, a variety of latency related bugs, and a shop that feels a bit undersocked and pricey compared to what competition offers, at least right out of the gate.

Rumbleverse - battle royale

Rumble Verse is nonetheless one of the most unique battle royales in recent memory and a breath of fresh air in a crowded genre. The basics of rebel verse will be familiar. 40 players drop into a humongous map, scrounge around to find loot, and then battle it out until there's only one person remaining, but Rumble Verse isn't content to copy and paste its gameplay, and so it tweaks just about every element of that well-established formula in interesting ways.

For one, there's no traditional gear or inventory; no guns, no armor, no grenades, and no hyper-specific attachments or augments to manage. Instead, you fight with your fists, feet, and whatever street signs you can rip from the ground. That said, there is still some loot; rather than searching out gear, you collect stat-enhancing protein powders that buff your health, stamina, or damage and also gather skill manuals that teach you a variety of special moves.

It makes early engagement so much more fun when you drop into a hot starting area. You don't have to just immediately run off and try to find the nearest weapon to defend yourself. It feels like a mini-victory on its own. The hand-to-hand combat moves are largely straight-up adapted from between the ropes of the WWE match.

Rumbleverse - beat em up

Your Misfits' chokes, Slams, and Super Kicks, just to name a few, but then there are a handful that draw inspiration from the world of article games. Foreign, etc. It certainly tracks. Rumble vs developers are partially responsible for one of the best fighting games of the last decade in Killer Instinct, because it's very easy to see the fighting game sensibilities at the heart of Rumble vs combat.

The fighting revolves largely around the same rock, paper, scissors system that most fighting games adhere to. Guarding beats strikes, grappling beats guarding, and strikes beat grapples. There is, of course, added nuance thanks to the addition of special attacks. weapon attacks, power attacks, and super moves.

By and large, the Rumble vs. Do you rush in and then roll to try and bait an attack just in case? Like any good fighting game. Rumble Verse always keeps my brain firing at full speed in every single encounter, and the feeling of outplaying your opponent by reading and appropriately responding to their actions is just the best.

Rumbleverse - epic games

Outside of the mental aspect of the combat, the actual mechanics are top-notch as well. You can spend stamina to dodge, cancel out of certain special move animations and pull off some super slick combos, or you can trick your opponent by canceling out of a move with high recovery to make them think that it's their turn to attack.

You can use the charge of taxes on your enemies long enough to whip them into a wall. You can use a faster super move activation to combo into your super move, and the list just goes on and on. I felt like every time I played I was learning some sort of new technique that I had never known before.

There's just an incredible amount of thought that's gone into every aspect of combat design, granted. Rumble Verse could do a better job of actually teaching this to us. The only tutorials are locked away in the playground mode, which is part training mode, part tutorial, and needs to be queued into like a regular match.

Rumbleverse - fighting

The info within it is great, but I can't help but wish it was offline and that the tutorials within it could also be found elsewhere. There's currently only one map, but it's appropriately enormous and has a great variety of places to do battle in, each favoring a particular type of fight. Fighting along the coast makes you especially wary of throws, as a single giant swing or Irish whip can send you flying off into an instant watery grave.

Fighting in the suburbs gives you opportunities to hide in bushes to either recover or wait for an ambush. And fighting in downtown Grapple City will make you always have an eye on the prize. Towards the Sky out of fear of explosive flying elbow drops Rumble has a couple of other twists on the typical Battle Royale formula tucked away in its tights for one incentive.

Rumbleverse - free-to-play

These perks may not seem like much early on, and truthfully. I didn't even notice them at all in my first couple of games, but they truly are difference-makers if you have the means and the knowledge to put them to use. One will restore your health if you stand still for a period of time. The other adds an explosive effect to your standard three-hit combo, making it capable of wall bouncing.

Another still adds a follow-up dive bomb attack to your dropkick, making it deal a bunch more damage. They strike a nice balance by being just powerful enough to give anyone using them an edge without feeling like those without them simply don't have a chance. The big difference is that the ring slowly closes at a timed interval, shrinking the available play.

Space doesn't actually deal any damage. Instead, in true pro wrestling fashion, staying outside the ring will initiate a countdown from 10, and if you're caught outside when the count reaches zero, you're disqualified. I love this change, especially once things get down to the final few players and the battlefield is so tiny that you can't help but run out of the ring from time to time.

Rumbleverse - impressions

It also creates some extremely tense moments where you just make it back in before the 10 count or try to stop someone else from making it back in before they get dequeued, unfortunately. While Rumble Verse impresses on a mechanical level, on a technical level it's been struggling in its first couple of days since its launch.

Apart from tedious queue times at startup, occasional server disconnections, and difficulties logging in, it also takes an extraordinarily long time to drop into a match, and more than a few of the matches I've played have been affected by latency to the point where it's just not fun to play. That said, there have already been steps made towards improvement as I continued playing over the launch weekend.

Rumbleverse Review by Mitchell Saltzman. Reviewed on PlayStation 5. Also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox, and PC.
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