Brawlout: Hands-on

  • Format: PC (version played), Xbox One, PS4
  • Unleashed: Out now in PC Early Access, Q3 2017 on consoles
  • Publisher: Angry Mob Games
  • Developer: Angry Mob Games
  • Players: 1-8 (current build is 1-4)
  • Site: http://www.brawlout.com/
  • Game code provided by PR

So Brawlout is pretty darn good. It’s not Smash Bros for sure, but it’s got a lot of the same feel in the way that the characters move and fight. Much of which is due to the whole percentage damage system and the way you knock people around. I personally don’t think it steals enough from Smash, but it looks like they’re gearing up for the e-sports pro scene rather than the ‘everyone in the family can have fun’ side of things. I can respect that decision but I do wish it weren’t so.

So what does Early Access to Brawlout entail so far? Well you have quick, ranked, private, and local match variants for a start. Then you can also have a look at Brawl TV if’n you’re into watching other people play instead. This supports both replays and live watching, so your friends – if you have any – can watch your matches or you can swat up on your or other people’s games and learn all the cool tips and tricks.

What fills these modes, is a roster of six characters and five stages. Six unique characters, unlike say Ryu and Ken, all with their own very different movesets and weights etc. Most of the moves are quite short ranged, so the focus seems to be on keeping the combat close and removing the possibility of having too much long-ranged harassment. It works well keeping everything close, forcing you to trade blows so frequently the action never really has any lulls unless one (or more) players are either flying off-screen after being hit or are already dead.

Also, all the characters have a recovery move as their “up-special” attack. It’s got quite a generous range too on most characters, so getting knocked off of the main areas of the stage isn’t the end of the world, though you can still fairly easily get knocked off again. Tie all this in with the high level stuff from Smash-like wavedashing and you’ve got yourself that pro-scene e-sports level stuff that sees one player come back from the brink of defeat to stomp their opponents.

It’s a very nice looking game, it’s got a coherent design, and the characters are all very distinct and beautifully animated. There’s a huge amount of attention to detail here and there are even a few small things that are easy to miss in the middle of battle. Olaf the walrus has a penguin named Tyson that clings to his back; when he overcharges one of his moves Tyson waves a towel in his face to wake him up. Another particular animation is the turn King Apu makes when he’s dashing; he swings his whole body around using his arm as a pivot. I just really love the animation on that.

It’s a really good game. Not as good as Smash but that’s also due to the lean towards ‘proper’ e-sport. It’s definitely a fun option in lieu of a non-Nintendo Smash Bros; but its focus is on e-sports not the fun, anything-can-happen chaos of Smash. It’ll be interesting to see how the other modes come along as there’s going to be a Story mode too but, for now, you can still have fun with the multiplayer.

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Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I've done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

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