Brawlhalla – Free fistings available on Steam and PS4

Brawlhalla is a fearsome platform fighter, similar to Super Smash Brothers. The major difference is each character’s ability to fight with two weapons, which overlap across multiple characters and their movesets all being similar. So, you don’t end up with those insane tier differences like in Smash, where nobody plays as Donkey Kong because he sucks.

The basic concept of Brawlhalla is… well, basic. Knock your opponent off the level and they will die. Usually, games consist of 3 lives per fighter and you spend your time beating up your opponent to weaken them so as to knock them back further and further, eventually blasting them far enough off screen that they die. Each character performs the same maneuvers while unarmed, but they all have three unique moves per weapon type they can use, as well as the standard array of attacks that are unique to each weapon type. (Each character uses two weapons, such as a long sword and blasters (I don’t know why they just don’t call them guns…), or a spear and hammer)

The style of combat in this game is extremely well balanced because although it seems that there are a huge cast of unique moves and crazy weapons, there are actually only 10 weapons and a few gadgets, with unique skins for each character that can use them. This isn’t a cop out or bad design, it actually allows very finely tuned mechanics and balancing by not forcing developers to spend thousands of hours fixing “that fucking OP hammer is bullshit.” complaints by the community. I suppose a little of that still goes on, but hey, overall, the game is well balanced and while there are some cheap and easy to pull off combos on new players, those guys get trashed by anybody with a lick of ability and a lot more game sense than I have. (I’m talkin’ bout you, Rocket Lancers!)

Graphics and Audio are pretty solid in this game, especially for the new characters being released. At the time of this writing, Sidra was recently released, and she has incredible animation. Every movement is crafted in beautiful detail and it’s easy to get distracted looking at the moves instead of focusing on the action. Overall, a very well done set of graphics. The audio isn’t anything to balk at, but, they are fairly uniform across characters. This is alright, the sound effects are great because they aren’t over the top or out of place, and I would say this game follows the basic tenets of good sound design overall.

The great thing that Super Smash Brothers did was create a bunch of levels that are themed on characters that already are their own intellectual property superstars. This game was built with a whole new cast, so there aren’t any Kirby’s Dream Land based levels or Captain Falcon racetracks or anything, but, each level is competent and not designed for entertaining tomfoolery, but actually for balance in a competitive scene.

The matchmaking is pretty decent, too. There weren’t too many opponents that just outright destroyed me, or that I outright obliterated, and I haven’t spent as much time as a few friends of mine, who are very interested in the game’s combat style. There ARE characters that are abused, or where they use a single attack over and over, but if you change up your style, they shouldn’t be a problem. There are similar issues across all games with a prevailing tactic, (4 Gate in SC2?) in which once you defeat their EZPZ system, their game plan just falls apart.

When writing this review, I got a key to unlock all of the characters, but, the weekly rotation of free to play characters is wide enough that you’ll likely find someone you enjoy playing. You can unlock the characters through currency won by completing missions and playing normally, or purchase them outright via Steam. With the daily challenges, the weekly challenge, and the regular match winnings, you can unlock 1 or 2 characters a day and it doesn’t feel like much of a grind. Honestly though, if you’re going to take the game seriously and play a bunch, you should probably just toss the devs a few bucks because they did put a lot of work into a game that is well balanced and is fun to play.

The game’s only real draw to pay real money to the developers is if you’re customizing your favourite characters, or if you want a quick way to unlock the whole cast of legends. This is a pretty good game, and definitely worth downloading to take a look at. Free to play usually means Pay to Win, but, in this case, it actually is a well thought out, well balanced, and fun to play fighter with a very low entry cost.

So, if you’re looking for a racing game, STAY THE FUCK AWAY. There aren’t enough cars, and the handling is a bit wonky. I will say that there’s plenty of uniqueness and the graphics are quite nice, but, the tracks do not have clear beginnings or ends. As an action/platformer though, this game kicks a lot of ass, and you should already be playing it.

Download this game on Steam

Are you a dirty console peasant?

Disclosure: We received a code to unlock all the characters.

Developed and Published by: Blue Mammoth Games

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