When you hear the term platform fighter, one game probably comes to mind. Super Smash Bro’s has dominated the genre for years, with players from multiple generations falling in love with classic Nintendo characters brawling for supremacy.
At last, a competitive platform brawler has stepped up to the plate, with their eyes on a home run hit. Brawlhalla is a multiplayer platform fighter, coming from the team at Blue Mammoth Games, that pits legendary heroes against each other in intense combat. Brawlhalla has plenty of appeal for those who want a fresh perspective on the genre, and the future of competitive play is extremely viable.
The character line-up includes heroes of multiple variations, with over 30 different options for you to choose from. Slash your way to victory with the old Nordic legend, Bodvar, or a demon bride fighting her way through Valhalla. The Lore surrounding each hero is unique and detailed, which helps to give the game a story that it lacks at face value. Your heroes have two different set weapon classes, which range from swords, bows, guns and even rocket lancers Kim Jong-Un would be proud of. Stats vary from character to character, with each having base stats of strength, dexterity, defense, and speed. As you level up your hero over time, you will gain stances that can increase a specific stat, depending on how you would like to customize your play style.
This is where the game thrives and differs itself from other platform fighters you probably have seen or played. With a large character roster and multiple different ways to play each, it brings a competitive value to the genre, compared to that of Super Smash Bro’s.
Each match starts out with your heroes fighting with bare fists, until you can pick up one of your two weapon sets. Other weapons will spawn, such as bombs, land mines and a spiked ball that you could only expect from a game based on ancient Nordic legends. Heroes have a standardized moveset for your light attacks with each weapon type, meaning that if you have a spear, your light attacks will likely be similar or identical to another hero with the same weapon. However, heavy attacks for each hero are specifically distinct with charged attacks that can send your opponent flying. The combination of light and heavy attacks will result in electrifying combos that are sure to have someone on the receiving end prepared to throw a controller.
Controls are very basic, which allows for new players to the genre to get acclimated, but also sophisticated enough for experienced veterans to hone their skills and compete at the top level. Heroes can jump from wall to wall and dash to dodge opponent’s attacks, while triple jumps help to avoid the chaos of attacks coming from each angle. You will need to utilize each of these to be able to pull off some nasty combo’s and stay alive in Brawlhalla.
The maps in Brawlhalla come in multiple variations, testing players ability to utilize different skills to achieve success. Some maps even shift completely as you play, making it difficult to get into position for your finishing move. They come in standard sizes for four player battles, but increase in size as you add up to eight heroes in a match. As you increase the amount of players, it starts to feel extremely cramped and chaotic, which will make you lose track of your character through all of the madness.
Game modes in Brawlhalla come with options for new players to play casually, while having ranked mode for the more competitive types. New players looking for some fun can play in private or public matches with up to eight players. These matches can be set up with teams, or a free for all which can be extremely entertaining. Ranked Players can either play solo in 1v1 matches, or with a friend in 2v2 action. Ranked play runs on an ELO system, with divisions from bronze to diamond, as you would expect from your standardized ELO progression.
The UI for brawlhalla is where most of my concerns lie, as it is not very user friendly and can be difficult to navigate if you are not familiar with it. Most of the information is cramped and gets lost among everything else happening on screen. We expect Blue Mammoth to tackle this issue at a later date, but It is nothing that should deter you from experiencing the game.
Graphics in this game are perfect for what it is. The amount of detail that Blue Mammoth have put into the mechanics and skill required for players over shadows most of the other aspects of Brawlhalla. I would like to mention that if you are playing on the PC, you will not have the option to change your video settings, which can be problematic on a 4k monitor with it only running 30 FPS. Simple display scaling on steam can easily fix this issue. You will not run into any problems on the playstation, as it runs smooth graphically.
Brawlhalla excels in combat and variation of heroes to bring a new perspective to a genre that has been dominated by Nintendo characters for years. Controls are simple enough for beginners, but bring a fresh mix for veterans of the genre to dominate and compete. With an ample amount of heroes to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to differ your gameplay from opponents. Graphics and sound are nothing worth mentioning, as they are not the focal points of Brawlhalla. The UI is clunky and needs to be fixed to be more user friendly. Brawlhalla is a phenomenal platform fighter that will find its way to the most competitive players in the genre.
Brawlhalla is a phenomenal platform fighter that will find its way to the most competitive players in the genre.