In the PAX South expo hall, I was drawn to the Brawlhalla kiosks by many yells of excitement and despair. I saw many players leaping all over their respective screens with some very colorful and cool looking characters obviously inspired by the many different heroic stereotypes of fictional lore. With the mech suit warrior, pirate, viking brawler. sorceress, and many others, all the characters will garner their own respective followings.
After watching the Smash Bros inspired gameplay for a few rounds, I decided to snatch up a controller and give it a go. Blue Mammoth Games has a solid video game on their hands for sure.
Brawlhalla is a 2D platform fighter with combat that closely resembles Smash Brothers not in the Playstation All-Stars sucky way, the actual this-is-pretty-fun way. Characters have their own strengths when it comes to attack, speed, and defense but match outcome weighs heavily on stage awareness and item pick ups.
I only played a couple matches but I saw quite a few things go down during the fast paced rounds. There were different types of swords, a drill type weapon, a pair of guns, and a few other throwable projectiles. The guns were the least impressive. actually having a even more limited range of attack than all of the blades. The attack speed was top notch, but the damage dealt didn’t seem worth it.
In addition, the maps are nice on the eyes but don’t really add a lot of variety to the combat just yet. Your jump abilities and recoveries reset when you slide down a wall so you won’t mistakenly eliminate yourself with misplaced jumps very often, but the platforms didn’t change things up much in the few matches I tried. With the free-2-play format, this can be easily remedied down the line.
There aren’t many things other than the art style that will make it stand out from platform brawlers, but that’s not a bad thing. There’s nothing glaringly bad about the game and, with some balancing done, it can maintain a following in today’s gaming community. I don’t doubt the devs will continue supporting and working on it heavily, so I’m looking forward to the final product.
Brawlhalla is looking to be a fun free-2-play distraction to snatch up on Steam. With more characters added over time and some balance touch ups on the items, it will be a strong entry that hopefully will get brought over to consoles in the future.