The joy of a good battle royale comes from making big plays. Rumbleverse excels at setting up opportunities for big plays. Iron Galaxy Studios’ latest game, Rumbleverse, is a melee-driven battle royale that features a Fortnite‘y cartoony art style. It also includes Divekick, season 2 and 3, and KillerInstinct seasons 2 and 3. You’ll find yourself Irish-Whipping your opponent into a wall to create a brutal wall combo. The next thing you know, you’ll have them choking off skyscrapers and sometimes giant-swinging them into water. Rumbleverse is a lot of fun. While there are some painful moments, such as slow matchmaking and latency-related bugs and a shop that is a bit too expensive compared to the competition (at least out of the gate), Rumbleverse is still one of the most original battle royales and a refreshing take on a genre.
Rumbleverse’s basic structure is easy to remember: 40 players enter a huge map, then scrounge for loot and fight it out until only one remains. Rumbleverse doesn’t just copy and paste the gameplay. It also tweaks almost every aspect of this well-known formula in new and interesting ways.Rumbleverse – Suplexing & Slamming Our way to a win14.30Autoplay setting Rumbleverse – Suplexing & Slamming our Way to Win
One, there is no inventory or traditional gear – no guns, armor, grenades or hyper-specific attachments. You fight with your feet and fists. There’s still plenty of loot: instead of searching for gear, you can collect stat-increasing proteins that boost your stamina, health, and damage, as well as skill manuals that will teach you special moves. This is what I love most about Rumbleverse. It completely eliminates the feeling of helplessness that nearly every battle royale feels at the beginning of a match, when you are left without a weapon. Early engagements are much more enjoyable when you can drop in to a hot start area. You don’t have the obligation to run away and search for a weapon to defend yourself. The best part of my experience was dropping on the huge trophy statue and trying hard to knock everyone off the ground right at the beginning to claim the high-value loot. It’s a mini-victory all by itself.
There are no guns, armor, or grenades. “
Hand-to-hand combat moves can be adapted straight from the WWE match. These include the mist spits and chokeslams as well as superkicks. However, there are also a few that are inspired by video games. The Ninja Gaiden classic Izuna Drop, a WWF No Mercy-inspired low kick that can be used to reverse from the ground, and an aerial flipping move called the “Wreck’t Shot”, which you should learn if you haven’t already.
Ready to Rumble
It’s obvious that Rumbleverse is partly responsible for Killer Instinct’s outstanding fighting game. You can easily see the fighting-game sensibilities at Rumbleverse. Fighting is based on the same rock, paper and scissors system as most fighting games: Strikes beat guarding, grappling beats grappling, and strikes beat grapples. Although there is some nuance due to the additions of weapon attacks, special attacks, and power attacks, Rumbleverse’s combat system can be understood even at a glance.Rumbleverse’s combat system can be understood even at a glance “
There’s more to it than that. Mind games play in almost every interaction. Do you rush in with a risky kick and hope they do anything but block? Do you rush in to bait an attack or do you roll? Rumbleverse is like any other fighting game. My brain fires at maximum speed every encounter. The feeling of outplaying an opponent by responding appropriately to their actions and reading them is the best.
The actual combat mechanics are excellent, even if you don’t consider the mental aspect. You can spend stamina on special move animations to avoid cancelling them and create some amazing combos. Every time I played, I discovered a new technique. Every aspect of combat design is thought out to an amazing extent.Every aspect of combat design has been thought out to an amazing extent. “
Rumbleverse could have done a better job at actually teaching us this, but that’s just my opinion. Only the tutorials are available in the Playground mode. This is part training mode and part tutorial. It should be queued up like regular matches. It is packed with great information, but I wish it were offline so that you could find the tutorials elsewhere.Rumbleverse Launch Trailer18:00Autoplay setting: Rumbleverse Launch Trailer
Although there is only one map at the moment, it is huge and offers many places for fighting, each favoring a specific type of fight. You should be especially cautious when fighting along the coast, as one giant swing or Irish whip can send you to a watery grave. Fighting in suburban neighborhoods gives you the opportunity to hide in the bushes and either recover or lay in for ambush. And fighting in downtown Grapital City requires you to always keep an eye to the sky to avoid explosive flying elbow drops.
Rumbleverse offers a few other twists to the battle royale format that are hidden in its tights. It rewards everyone with random perks when they reach certain milestones in damage. This incentivizes them to play and puts themselves at risk. Although these perks might not seem very important at first, and I honestly didn’t notice them in my first two games, they are truly a difference maker if you have both the time and the knowledge. One of them will restore your health if your body is still for a while; another will give you an explosive effect that will make your three-hit combo wall-bouncing. Another will also add a dive-bomb attack on your dropkick to do more damage. They are just powerful enough to give anyone using them an edge without making it seem like they have no chance. They are also a random element that makes each round of Rumbleverse feel unique.Rumbleverse Launch Date Trailer0.35Autoplay Setting: On Rumbleverse Launch Date Trailer
The ring that slows closes in at set intervals doesn’t do any actual damage. In true pro wrestling fashion, if you are outside the ring, it will start a countdown starting at 10. If you are caught outside, you’ll be disqualified. This is a great change. It’s especially fun when it gets down to the last few players. This creates tension and you have to make it back in before the 10 counts or stop someone from making it back into the ring before they are DQ’d.You may also experience some very tense moments, where you want to make it back in time for the 10, count. “
Rumbleverse is a great mechanical platform, but it has been struggling to get up and running in the first few days of its launch. It takes a long time to log in to a match. There are also delays at the start, server disconnections and tedious queue times.Rumbleverse Reveal Trailer2:23Autoplay setting: OnRumbleverse Reveal Trailer
Despite this, I played over the launch weekend and noticed that there were already steps taken to improve. From being almost unplayable on Saturday following launch, the servers were largely functional the next day. Although the matchmaking and queue times are still much longer than I expected, it is a good sign for Rumbleverse’s health that the developers are making significant improvements.
Rumbleverse’s free-to-play policy is fairly standard. You can shop for clothes and emotes in the shop. Fans will send you customizable items if you earn fame points. My experience building my closet of tops and tights, masks and profile backgrounds was slow. You only get two to three items per level, with these items often being something small like a border or stat sticker to add on your profile. The shop seems a little sparse right now and the prices seem high for the quality you get. A simple emote, which just fires off some pyro, costs $10. My 10 dollars would be better spent on animations, music, or other flair. They have a lot to offer in terms of pro wrestling costumes and emotes. I hope that future updates will include more appealing products.
As of this writing, a battle pass and the start of season 1 on August 18 are available. We’ll hopefully get a better idea about what to expect from the first season of content updates when it arrives.
Rumbleverse’s unique wrestling-flavored gameplay could make it the next big thing in battle royale. If it can quickly resolve its technical problems (and there is progress on that front), Rumbleverse will be a huge success. It quickly turned into one of my favorite video games of 2022. I had so much fun slamming bodies, slappin’ chests and RKOing random dudes. It’s not just about spectacle. There are many deep and well-thought out combat mechanics that allow you to outplay your opponent and out-think them just like in a well-designed fighting game. It will hopefully make the shop more valuable and offer more unique items. However, if Rumbleverse is as good as it looks right out of the gate I cannot wait to see what it does over the next few decades.
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