MultiVersus goes into open beta this week

Warner Bros. has submerged its head in the franchise-crossover trough and is almost ready to start guzzling, announcing that upcoming free-to-play platform fighter MultiVersus is going into open beta on July 26. The Smash-alike pits characters including Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, Steven Universe, the Iron Giant, Jake the Dog, and Finn the Human against each other in a fever of violent brand synergy.

Players who took part in the closed alpha will get early access to the beta from July 19. Anyone else who wants to join them will have to sign up at the MultiVersus website, then watch participating streamers on Twitch for a chance to win an entry key.

MultiVersus will have online modes including 1v1, team-based 2v2, and a 4-player free-for-all. Here's hoping it also has one of those Smash Bros. story modes with a batshit insane plot that tries to make sense of why Wonder Woman has to team up with Velma to fight Taz Devil. Expect seasonal updates, a battle pass, quests, and all the other banes of live service games to follow. 

More characters will be joining the roster as well. Given that Rick and Morty show up in the website's copyright text, their participation will probably be announced soon.

Our own Tyler Colp played MultiVersus recently, and was surprised by how much he enjoyed it. "MultiVersus hooked me much like Overwatch circa 2016 did as a game that appears to be a simple brawler but ends up feeling a lot more like Chess," he wrote, "and the multiversal roster is exceptionally creative. Tom and Jerry are a two-in-one duo like Smash's Ice Climbers. For a basic attack animation, Tom sends his fist flying toward Jerry. The mouse ducks and Tom's punch flies over his head and slams into his opponent. That Hanna Barbera attitude, which underlines the playfulness and mayhem in a bunch of cartoon characters beating the snot out of each other, is everywhere in MultiVersus."

A release date for the full version of MultiVersus has yet to be announced.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.