Multiversus microtransactions put Diablo Immortal to shame

The MultiVersus beta opens to everyone on July 26 and already feels like one of the best fighting games on PC, but the reasonable market leaves more aggressive free-to-play games like Diablo Immortal in the shade. He whispers: maybe Multiversus microtransactions aren’t so bad?

Warner Bros kindly granted PCGamesN access to both the early Multiversus beta and the earlier alpha, so I’ve played the platform fighting game a lot and am impressed. It is undoubtedly the best game like Smash Bros for PC, and it also has a lot of cheats.

There are four main modes in Multiversus: 2v2, 1v1, four-player free-for-all teams, and a two-player team against AI bots. There are bot versions of all of these if you don’t want to take on human players, with different levels of difficulty.

You can check out our Multiversus Tier List for details on the current roster. Wonder Woman may only be a mid-tier character, but she’s my personal favorite, with fast, powerful moves and a handy team-focused shield ability. If you’ve played a Smash Bros-style game, the gameplay will be familiar to you: players have to deal a certain amount of damage to opponents before knocking them off the stage, but also with a number of adjustments.

I’m a huge fan of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros series and have never gotten along with any copycats, like Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Either they copy Smash too closely, they stray too far from it, or they just don’t feel right. Honestly, Multiversus is the first platformer that doesn’t have me running screaming back to my Switch. There are a few small differences – there are no items, and there is a dodge but no shield – but it feels and controls well, and that’s a very hard thing to perfect. Those differences simplify the game a bit, but they don’t nullify the strategy.

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What makes things even more impressive is that Multiversus is free to play. Now, thanks to the likes of Diablo Immortal and various mobile gatcha games, F2P games have a pretty bad rep, with most of the microtransactions and ads in players’ faces from the main menu onward, not to mention pay-to-win mechanics. loot boxes and lock cosmetics.

Multiversus, relieved to say, doesn’t do this. The main menu screen has a little scrolling banner for new content, but that’s about it. There’s a premium currency called Gleamium, but right now you have to do a lot of searching to pay with it – there’s not even a shop screen, though that will come later. Only certain skins, emotes, and fun animations can be purchased with Gleamium – all characters, perks, and stages can be unlocked for free, and skins and emotes are available for free or as part of the Battle Pass.

Even the battle pass is completely optional. You don’t need to buy anything to play and enjoy Multiversus, and I mean it. However, to play devil’s advocate, it’s not all good news: some of the paid items are priced too high. VFX callout animations for 1,200 Gleamium (about $12/£10) seems like a bit much, but $20/£16 for the legendary look from Batman: The Animated Series (above) is definitely too much. 800 Gleamium for the Wonder Woman Bloodlines skin in the picture above seemed more reasonable, which is why I actually bought it.

No doubt some tweaking is required and hopefully developer Player First Games is listening to pricing feedback before implementing the proper Multiversus market. However, I was very happy not to be assaulted with ads or aggressive microtransactions while playing, and that actually makes me more likely to spend money.

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Multiversus is just at the beginning of its journey at the moment, it’s not even officially available in open beta as I write this, but aside from the limited number of stages, it’s remarkably complete. The fighters are generally balanced (apart from Taz), the controls are perfect, and the gameplay feels perfect. And it’s free, of course. You will be able to join for yourself on July 26th and I look forward to playing it for a long time.

Now… don’t screw it up by sticking ads in there, okay?

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