Rumbleverse is a no-gun battle royale and I don’t like it

A muscular man in a white shirt and blue hat falls towards the city park and streets.

Image: Epic Games / Iron Galaxy

Rumbleverse this is the last entry in what seems to be endless list of free battle royale games. However, this latest look at the aging format turned out to be more creative and interesting than I expected, since Rumbleverse eschews conventional submachine guns, shotguns, and grenades for wrestling grappling, melee combos, and high-altitude elbow strikes. The real secret here is that it’s actually a fighting game, which might explain why I really can’t play it. But as a testament to how much I enjoy myself, I want to get better.

Rumbleverse Coming to consoles and PC on August 11 after several rounds of beta testing. Although published Fortnite epic game developers Rumbleverse developed Iron Galaxya studio with a long and respected history of making really good fighting games like dive kick as well as killer instinct. And with that in mind, it makes perfect sense that in a cartoonish battle royale, Iron Galaxy opts for fists and kicks over sniper rifles and RPGs.

On paper, it all sounded a bit odd, like a weird experiment that might not work. But after the game Rumbleverse at times over the past few weeks since launch, I’ve really enjoyed the game, even if I still haven’t won a single match.

Epic / Iron Galaxy

The basic setup should be familiar to anyone who has played any other battle royale. A large number of players (40 in this case) end up on an island covered in buildings, tunnels, open areas, and loot. They then scavenge for supplies by fighting other players to survive and eventually be the last man standing.

Big difference in Rumbleverse is that you are not looking for weapons or armor or ammunition. Instead, you find new gear moves, as well as looking for melee objects like chairs and stat-boosting potions that let you deal more damage, take more damage, or run faster and longer.

When you finally bump into (or jump into) another player, the game’s combat shines, even if it has a longer learning curve than most shooters. AT Rumbleverse you can block, hit, hit, grab, counter, attack and dive. All of these moves have priority, and higher priority maneuvers defeat lower priority maneuvers. For example, if you grab someone and do a special punch and they slash your chest with a regular slap, they will win that fight. But if they try to block and you do that special grapple again, you will break their block and throw them into the air or into a wall.

You must master this unusual dance of punches, dodges and blocks in order to become better. Rumbleverse, and although I can win flights, I can’t stay alive long enough to win. (My best result in the match so far was second place, which was nice, but still not a win!)

A wrestler in a bright yellow vest drinks from a large white cup on the roof.

Screenshot: Epic Games / Iron Galaxy / Kotaku

Your instinct will be to immediately try to spam attacks or special offers, but don’t. The key is to treat the fights like the wrestling matches you see on TV. There will be pauses while both enemies reassess the situation and decide what to do next. At these moments, combat mechanics Rumbleverse shine and feel very good and really different from what you will find in Fortnite or PUBG.

Where Rumbleverse currently tripping over the bits surrounding the action. Falling on a match, grabbing a chair and throwing someone off the top of a skyscraper is cool. This part works great. But outside of matches, the menu is a bit confusing and annoying to use, and the challenge system feels awfully thin. compared with Fortnite. And while comparing a brand new game to one of the genre’s juggernauts seems unfair, it’s clear that Rumbleverse strongly inspired Fortnite in many ways. So hopefully as the game finds an audience and grows, its challenges and missions will also improve and give players more options during matches beyond the basic stuff like “climb a lot” or “heal a certain amount”.

Even though I’m kind of sick Rumbleverse and I find its challenge system a bit anemic at the moment, I’m still happy to download it again and play some more. There are so many good (and bad) battle royale shooters in 2022. But a really good, colorful and exciting wrestling-themed battle royale – with a solid variety of body shapes, no less – is a pleasure to have. I hope the game holds up and there will be more content, quests and challenges in future seasons to help make the game even more fun, even for crappy fighters like me.

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