The battle royale genre is positively flooded in 2022, with many games demanding attention. The nature of the game, whether as an adult or a child, is that you cannot usually choose one or two “ongoing games” that you will have time to devote to. These games tend to ask a lot of you – you have to work hard to maintain your levels and skills, playing every day if you want to keep up with the best. This is why launching a Battle Royale game is such a difficult prospect in the modern market. There is already then lots of games and not enough time to play them all. Rumbleverseat the time of writing, seems to be a victim of this – which is unfortunate, given how enjoyable it is.
Rumbleverse, launched in early August 2022, is a battle royale game inspired by the world of professional wrestling. It would be reasonable to describe it as Fortnite with a focus on melee – it closely resembles Epic Games’ worldwide success in gameplay and aesthetic.
At launch, there are three modes in Rumbleverse – Solo play, duos and playground. In each, you create your own superhero character and are launched from a cannon into a metropolitan biome.
A bit like in Fortnite, this biome exists in a slowly shrinking sphere. Every minute or so your world grows smaller, forcing you and 39 other competitors into closer and bigger battles. You can land anywhere on the map, and even find a hideout if you’re more strategic (read: loose) player, with the action starting the moment you land.
Contrary to Fortnitethere are no ranged abilities in Rumbleverse. If you want to knock out your opponents on the battlefield, you’ll have to get your hands on them dirty by jumping into the 1v1 action of punching, body slamming, kicking, chair slamming and trash can slamming.
You can start your adventures in Rumbleverse by jumping straight into the action – heading towards the nearest hero and giving them a big punch, or jumping off a building to hit them from a great height. You can also collect stars to unlock a powerful “Superstar Mode”. Or you can hunt down item crates in the game world, which can give you health or stamina bonuses that help you survive.
Four items can be stored at a time, and these will increase your chances of victory when other heroes discover your location and try to hit you before you can do a (frog) splash.
The battlefield of Rumbleverse is fairly equal, with no player given an unfair advantage for having better gear or playing longer. However, you can hone your skills over time and work on mastering the game’s simple yet hard-hitting combat – it’s all about punching, blocking, using super moves with good timing, and assessing the field of attack. battle to know when to run.
Attacks are hugely satisfying – and so clearly created with a love for pro wrestling. There are unique abilities in the game that many will recognise, and each successful super move will send you into a flashy, explosive special that really creates an impact and makes Rumbleverse’s bout stand out.
The best part is that more powerful abilities – which only appear infrequently and require you to find special magazines in the game world – can help you defeat enemies with just one well-placed slam. It takes patience, of course, and time to find the right items – but the results are truly delicious.
My favorite trick that I discovered while experimenting was to unleash a bodyslam on an opponent from the corner of a tall tower. If you can grab them properly, you can essentially bodyslam them hundreds of feet off the ground, causing irreparable damage and hitting you quickly.
Unfortunately, it also works the other way around – if you stumble in your rush to defeat other enemies, you can too get caught up in devastating attacks that sap your health before you can make a major statement. Low on stamina or dazed, you’re essentially at the mercy of other top players stringing together multiple attacks.
Plan your timing correctly and you box flee to fight another day – but if you don’t watch out hard for a quick exit, you can quickly find yourself blown to dust. And it’s there by Rumbleverse major issues come into play.
At the time of writing, finding a match in Rumbleverse can take you anywhere between 2 minutes and 5 minutes or more. It’s five whole minutes of staring and waiting at the title screen, with absolutely nothing to do. Solo Play and Duos currently wait an average of 2-3 minutes per turn, and Playground finished at 5 minutes before I gave up and returned to the main menu.
You can absolutely get crushed in Rumbleverse within seconds, which makes that wait all the more frustrating. At several points early on, I was spending more time on the matchmaking screen than I was actually surviving in the game.
This is not a problem created by developer Iron Galaxy – I suspect it’s more than Rumbleverse does not currently have a massive and active player base to jump into matches with. But for a game like this, the minutes of waiting are pretty catastrophic and will likely turn away new players, leading to even bigger issues for matchmaking servers.
This issue also impacts the game’s other modes, with Duos often having issues maintaining a full field of competitors. 50% of the time I played Duos I was matched with someone who lost patience and abandoned me – and instead of finding a new partner for my hero (in Duos, two people work together to survive and can revive), the game sent me to the battlefield only.
This meant I was a solo hero against multiple teammates and was a massive target. Many times this has happened, I ended up being completely crushed by two partner opponents taking turns flattening me to the pavement. With no partner heroes to defend or revive me, I was simply knocked out and sent to wait at the title screen.
Although Duos works great when you do getting a solid partner I was so often left without that I ended up spending most of my time with the game in Solo Play. This mode makes a lot more sense in terms of gameplay and also offers a more lively and less frustrating battle royale experience.
These are startup issues that will likely be resolved as Iron Galaxy continues to work on the game. With a battle pass on the way post-launch and a solid concept, Rumbleverse has the makings of something big. But conversely, there is so many standing its way – including an absolutely packed battle royale genre with so little headroom.
The game’s meaty, over-the-top melee combat is a real joy, as is its city of heroes-like an explorable world, but challenges including a limited player base are currently holding it back. It’s a chicken egg problem – you need solid gameplay to get new players, and new players to get solid gameplay – but it’s probably a problem Rumbleverse will have to deal with soon.
No amount of high-flying and body-slamming combat will make up for each game’s slow and frustrating waiting period. As you explore the city, fly high and hunt down your next opponent, Rumbleverse is an extremely stylish and impactful battle royale game that uses its theme and combat to great effect. This Fortnite-like certainly has potential – but it needs a better head start before it can be crowned champion.