Rumbleverse (for PC)

Rumbleverse (for PC)

In a multiplayer space saturated with battle royale games, a new title enters the ring and stuns the competition. Rumbleverse, developed by Iron Galaxy and published by Epic Games, is a free-to-play, melee-focused PC game that tests your fighting fundamentals against 39 other fighters. The cornerstones of the genre are still here, of course. You have a sprawling arena, a smaller and smaller ring that narrows the map as matches progress, and tiered loot to collect. However, Rumbleverse’s hand-to-hand combat and nuanced mechanics radically set it apart from its peers, making it simpler than other battle royale titles, but far more compelling. Rumbleverse has its share of flaws, most notably the odd hit detection which makes the combat sometimes inaccurate, but the game is tremendously fun.

A cinematic body slam in Rumbleverse

A new challenger approaches

Rumbleverse is an extremely cartoonish and, at times, downright silly game that catapults 40 players into a wrestling-crazed island city for punching mayhem. Of course, the visual style may not appeal to everyone; the strangely proportioned characters are a bit irritating to the eyes. However, once you are in the brawl, visual defects fall by the wayside as you plan your survival. In Rumbleverse, combat takes over everything and the game fights surprisingly well.

Battle Royale games generally differentiate themselves by introducing unique gimmicks into the proven formula. Fortnite has a construction to complete its filming, for example. Rumbleverse throws the guns out the window and instead offers you a melee-focused move set. You have to deal with rock-paper-scissors fighting before you can expect to win games. In turn, this creates a higher skill bar to clear than shooter-based battle royale titles, where quality loot can take you far.

How to play Rumbleverse

Rumbleverse forces players to resolve their differences through exaggerated wrestling-inspired fist fights. Regular attacks beat the grappling hooks. The guard beats regular attacks. Grappling hooks beat the guards. These are familiar systems that have been at the heart of fighting games since the very first titles in the genre. Also, during a round you can collect skill manuals that teach you special techniques. These are tiered moves, like loot in other battle royale games (higher level manuals deal more damage). They give you a noticeable advantage in battle, but not as much as the loot in traditional battle royale games. A purple level Izuna Drop, inspired by Ninja Gaiden, deals excellent damage, but it doesn’t mean much if your opponent knows how to counter or avoid it.

There is an excellent degree of verticality of the combat, which is unique for a melee-oriented action game. You can climb buildings and structures with ease, giving you a better vantage point to see the surrounding brawls. Throwing someone from a tall structure deals massive damage and increases depending on how much the victim falls. Likewise, you can throw some powerful elbows from high altitudes for even more damage.

There is more to the environment than just height, however. The city is full of trees, walls, cars, letterboxes and dangers to exploit in combat. For example, wrestlers are plastered on walls when slammed into them, leaving them briefly vulnerable to subsequent attacks. The vehicles act as stepping stones that help you jump to great heights, but can also be used to bounce back from backlash attacks when you’re on the defensive. This is not to mention the debris you can collect and throw at opponents. In Rumbleverse, you must always be aware of your surroundings, whether you are attacking or defending.

Rumbleverse has a cooperative mode, Duos, which allows you and a friend to fight 19 other teams. The game is essentially the same as in Solo mode, except that a partner can revive you when you are knocked out by an opponent.

Collect powerups in Rumbleverse

Rumbleverse upgrades and perks

You find powerups in chests and chests that improve your stamina, health and strength. Rumbleverse lets you max your wrestler with 10 buffs, so you have to choose which ones to pop during a match. Depending on the special attack manuals you find and the upgrades you work on during a match, you can build towards one type of character. You can go all-in on damage, transforming yourself into a glass cannon; opt for a stamina-focused build that allows you to attack without worrying about getting tired; increase your health to make you a tank; or just choose a balanced build that does a little bit of everything.

Many battle royale games feature similar power-up systems, but Rumbleverse optimizes the mechanics so that they add richness to the action, without being too complex. Naraka: Bladepoint has a rich roster of weapons and gems that enhance skills to find, but it also incorporates tedious menu navigation to swap things at your leisure. Rumbleverse is fast and simple, so there are no additional levels of menu management to analyze; either take power or not. The power ups are clearly indicated by the color and you can see the effect when you drain the performance enhancing drinks. Plus, the power gauge at the bottom right of the screen always keeps an eye on an easy-to-read tally of your collected powers.

You also gain random passive perks while fighting. These last for the entire game and you earn them by dealing damage or taking out enemies, which is reflected in a designated perk meter. When the gauge fills up, you are given a random advantage. These tweak some attacks to make them more powerful, such as increasing area damage from an elbow drop or reducing stamina while sprinting. There are 15 perks in total, but you can only accumulate 10 per game. The perk meter also increases the limit required to fill it every time you gain an advantage. As a result, it is highly unlikely that you will reach your maximum advantage before the end of a match. These elements balance the system of benefits.

Collecting blue stars or attacking opponents increases your super meter. Activate it when full and you’ll get a noticeable damage boost and passive health regeneration. You also gain access to an impressive spinning post driver, which deals massive potential KO damage. You can even increase the damage by dropping trampoline cars to gain extra height for an even more powerful and impressive finish. With so many options at your disposal, this deceptively simple game looks incredibly rich and nuanced. It has an addicting quality that keeps you coming back for another round.

That said, there can sometimes be some confusion with hit priority and recording, which makes the otherwise solid rock-paper-scissors fight inconsistent and irritating. The attacks are all labeled with clear designations (Power Priority or Special Priority, for example) which denotes which lands move if two players initiate an attack at the same time. Most of the time it works as expected. However, there are cases where, perhaps due to connection issues or latency, these operations don’t work exactly as you’d expect. Or, as another example, an opponent might grab you while you are running away. It may feel a bit like the backstabbing found in Dark Souls’ PvP mode. With a melee and happy grab game like Rumbleverse, this problem presents itself in many ways and situations. It’s an irritation, especially since the game relies so much on its action combat fundamentals. Since Rumbleverse is a relatively new game, we hope Iron Galaxy can iron out some of these kinks as the game gets older.

The Rumbleverse chest

Can your PC run Rumbleverse?

Rumbleverse offers a suite of graphics options, but it’s not a graphically intense game. To run the game at minimum settings, your PC must have an AMD FX-8350 or Intel Core i5-3470 CPU, AMD Radeon HD 7790 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card, 6GB RAM, 7GB storage storage and Windows 10 operating system. Recommended system specs require an AMD Ryzen 3 1300X or Intel Core i5-4570 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon HD 7870 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2 GPU. Our test PC, equipped with an AMD Ryzen processor 5 3600, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card and 16GB of RAM, ran Rumbleverse at 60 frames per second (at 1440p resolution).

On PC, Rumbleverse is an Epic Game Store exclusive, so it can’t be officially played on the Steam Deck. That said, you can install the Heroic Games Launcher on a Steam Deck to allow the system to run your Epic Games library. Rumbleverse offers both cross-play and cross-save features. This means you can play with anyone, regardless of the platform. Likewise, you can also play on your preferred system and transfer any progress you have made using a unified account.

Rumbleverse is free-to-play and monetizes its cosmetics, emotes, and experience earnings. As you play, you gain experience towards the free Battle Pass which offers some cosmetics and emotes. To get full access to all the cosmetics and bonuses available during the game season, you need to purchase the Battle Pass, which costs 1000 Brawlla Bills (the premium currency, which equates to approximately $ 9). You can also purchase specific cosmetics from the cashier shop, ranging from 250-1250 Brawlla Bills (around $ 2- $ 12). Brawlla Bills are sold in increments of $ 10, $ 20, $ 50, and $ 100, awarding 1100, 2500, 6500, and 14,000 Brawlla Bills respectively.

Goofy fun multiplayer

If you find that the heavy battle royale genre of shooter is starting to look a little stale, Rumbleverse may shake the formula just enough to bring you back to the fold. Bold hand-to-hand action, a rock-solid mechanical structure and easy-to-grasp systems set the game apart from its contemporaries. Sure, the graphics are flashy cartoonish, and the detection of weird hits can lead to real frustration in an otherwise mechanically sound game. However, Rumbleverse is free to play and the game offers surprisingly compelling multiplayer action.

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