MultiVersus Is Back And It's A Big Mess

Image: WB Games / Kotaku
Image: WB Games / Kotaku

After an extended break, MultiVersus—WB Games’ free-to-play online platform fighter starring characters like Batman, Bugs Bunny, and Shaggy—is back. However, while fans were hoping the game’s return would be a triumphant one, the reality is that after its first day back a lot of players aren’t happy with the state of the game.

MultiVersus first launched in July 2022 and quickly became one of the most popular games on Steam. However, in the months that followed, players complained about a lack of updates and new characters. The game’s playerbase dwindled and in June 2023, after a warning from WB, MultiVersus was shut down with the promise that in early 2024, it would be back and better than ever. However, it hasn’t quite lived up to that since relaunching on May 28.

Poor performance and laggy combat

I hopped into MultiVersus last night, excited to check out the game’s new character, Friday the 13th killer Jason Voorhees. Playing on an Xbox Series X, I encountered frame dips and lag during the opening tutorial sequence featuring Shaggy and Batman. After that, I ran into lag while just using the game’s menus and had performance issues during AI fights. Online, I had two matches disconnect and had other matches slow down to a crawl due to a combination of lag and performance dips. It all felt bad!

Looking online, it seems I’m not alone. I’ve found countless clips from players complaining about poor performance on different platforms. Some characters, like Jake from Adventure Time, seem to cause more problems than others.

However, while performance isn’t great, it isn’t the only issue the recently returned MultiVersus has right now.

Negative changes on launch day

As previously reported, players are upset that characters are now locked in local play. During the game’s extended beta, the option to use any character in local play offered a fun way for folks to test out characters before buying them, and provided tournament organizers a way to let everyone have access to the full roster without having to fork over a ton of money. MultiVersus game director Tony Huynh suggested on Twitter that the team was looking into this specific issue, but it’s still unclear if characters will be unlocked in local play in the future.

This isn’t the only negative change made to the full game after its open beta. As documented on the MultiVersus subreddit, a lot has changed in the full release of the online fighter, and most of it sounds like a big step back.

For example, leaderboards at the end of matches have been removed, there is no longer an advanced tutorial mode, cheaper characters have had their in-game prices raised, battle pass XP can only be earned from challenges and not from playing matches, and you can’t remove the red/blue team color effects on characters seen in 2 v 2 matches. Players are also unhappy with how much slower and clunkier the game feels compared to the beta.

The overall vibes online after the game’s first full day back seem mostly negative, though a lot of fans are hopeful that the developers can fix some of these problems and make gameplay feel more like it did during the extended beta in 2022. Hopefully, WB won’t have to kill the game for another 10 months or so to fix this stuff.


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