In recent years, fighting games have seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to the success of titles like Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and Super Smash Bros.
Ultimate. One company that has been at the forefront of this resurgence is NetherRealm Studios, the developers behind the Mortal Kombat and Injustice series. With their next fighting game in development, there are some key lessons that NetherRealm could learn from the recently announced MultiVersus game.
MultiVersus is an upcoming 2D fighting game developed by Player First Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
The game features a roster of characters from various Warner Bros. franchises, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and more. What sets MultiVersus apart from other crossover fighting games is its focus on accessibility and fun.
First and foremost, MultiVersus has a simple control scheme that allows players of all skill levels to jump in and start fighting. Instead of complex input commands, the game uses a three-button system for basic attacks and a single button for special moves.
This streamlined approach makes it easy for new players to learn the game and for experienced players to focus on strategy and mind games.
NetherRealm’s previous games, Mortal Kombat and Injustice, have notoriously complex control schemes that require precise inputs and timing.
While this complexity is part of what makes those games so rewarding for competitive players, it can be intimidating for newcomers. By simplifying the controls, NetherRealm could attract a wider audience to their next game without sacrificing depth and complexity.
Another area where MultiVersus excels is in its presentation. The game has a colorful and vibrant art style that matches the lighthearted tone of its character roster.
The stages are filled with interactive elements and references to the various Warner Bros. franchises, making each fight feel like a unique experience. The game’s character animations are smooth and fluid, making it a joy to watch even for non-players.
By contrast, NetherRealm’s previous games have had a more realistic and gritty art style. While this has worked well for the Mortal Kombat and Injustice series, it can be off-putting to some players who are looking for a more lighthearted and fun experience.
Adopting a more colorful and stylized art style, NetherRealm could make their next game more appealing to a wider audience.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of MultiVersus is its approach to online play. The game features cross-play between all platforms, including PC, consoles, and mobile devices.
This means that players can easily find opponents regardless of what platform they are playing on. Additionally, the game features rollback netcode, which is a type of online networking that reduces lag and provides a smoother online experience.
Online play has been a major pain point for NetherRealm’s previous games. While they have offered cross-play and online matchmaking, the experience has often been marred by lag and other technical issues.
By adopting rollback netcode and focusing on providing a smoother online experience, NetherRealm could attract a larger and more dedicated player base to their next game.
Of course, there are also areas where NetherRealm’s previous games have excelled that MultiVersus could learn from.
The Mortal Kombat and Injustice series have both had deep and engaging story modes, with complex narratives that span multiple characters and timelines. MultiVersus, by comparison, has not yet revealed much about its story mode.
NetherRealm’s games have also had a strong focus on character customization, with players able to create and customize their own fighters with unique moves and abilities. While MultiVersus has not yet announced any customization options, it would be wise for NetherRealm to include this feature in their next game.
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