Platform Fighter, or as some call it, 2D Brawler is a genre that hasn’t been explored despite its popularity over the years. What’s really surprisingly is despite the low barrier of entry to create any game for the PC Platform, there hasn’t been a solid game of this genre. Enter Blue Mammoth Games, the developers behind Brawlhalla that will get more than just a few gamers interested in what could be the first polished Platform Fighter for the PC with its free admission price.
Before we continue, let’s just get this out of the way: Brawlhalla is in a very early Beta state and thus numerous features are either incomplete or simply not working. To give a good example of this, Brawlhalla only has one multiplayer server right now located in the United States. However, if you are the type that enjoys local multiplayer, then you can dive into that right away.
Brawlhalla’s setting is very similar to the board game, Heroscape. As the name implies, it takes place in Valhalla where all the warriors from different times have gathered to pummel each other for superiority. Despite its early state, the game already has a wide variety of characters with such examples like Sci-Fi bounty hunters, Mayan warriors, dirty Pirates, and so forth. Each character’s design is heavily inspired by modern day Saturday Morning Cartoons, providing a welcoming atmosphere for both gamers young and old.
Just like its main inspiration, Smash Bros, Brawlhalla’s control scheme is the typical light and heavy attack affair with the type of attack determined by the direction you are holding. The objective still remains the same where you need to knock opponent’s out of the arena. Instead of a Shield, you are given an Air Dash to negate any attack heading your direction. Fortunately, the similarities end there and there is a surprisingly amount of smart design decisions under the hood of this seemingly casual game.
One of the major differences is how weapons play a major role. Each character has two weapons that they are able to pick up on the battlefield and they are fixed for that character. For example, Thatch uses Duel Pistols and a Sword while Orion has a Lance and Spear. Every weapon has their own sets of moves and because of this system, players need to understand the strengths of each weapon to be optimal. To add more sensibility to this system, weapons are universal throughout different characters, meaning that if you like playing with the Hammer and you pick another character that also uses the Hammer, their base moves are identical allowing you to become accustom to different characters quickly.
Besides the weapons, items also play a bigger part in the fight. While items were often looked down upon in Smash Bros, Brawlhalla’s item design to has less do with “becoming stronger” in the fight and leaning towards attacking your opponent through a different method. Right now there aren’t many items, but the basic concept of most items is they are throwable range weapons and some of the more potent items are explosives such as bombs and proximity mines.
With all this being said, Brawlhalla’s matches are a unique touch to the Platform Fighter genre. You’ll find yourself constantly throwing your items away to make use of another item because of a certain situation comes up. Besides items, mobility is also different from what you would typically expect. Everyone in this game can Wall Jump and there is no “ledge hanging” like in Smash Bros. Another interesting feature is you can also Wall Slide downwards which resets your mobility options, allowing more maneuvers during those crucial moments when you are just pixels away from death.
Without a doubt, Brawlhalla is bound to grab some attention from PC Gamers. Besides being part of a genre that is rarely touched upon, it will be the first on the PC Platform to perform with confidence. While the game is still in early closed Beta with numerous features missing, Brawlhalla’s foundations are very solid with an attractive art direction to go along with it. You can sign up for the closed beta right now at Brawlhalla.com