Before proceeding with this article, I want to make it clear that this game is still in Early Access, and as such is still incomplete.
Following the footsteps of Super Smash Bros., Brawlout, available on PC, Xbox One and PS4, is a platform fighting game developed by Angry Mob Games in which players will incarnate various colorful fighters. Players can compete against the AI, or against up to 3 other players using different combat styles as well as ranked mode or weekly tournaments.
A Growing Roster
When you start a battle, you choose your character from the six that are available. The characters you have are Olaf Tyson (a snow troll with a wild looking penguin on his back), Sephi’ra (a humanoid cat that might as well be Beerus’ younger sister), King Apu (a monkey with more than tricks up his sleeves), Chief Feathers (the obligatory bird, or rather humanoid falcon that rules the offstage), Paco (a Frog with 4 humanoid arms and obligatory suicide killer) and Volt (a humanoid wolf with a shamanic side and an electric personality). Each of these characters has its own attacks and special moves, as well as movement animations and movement methods for some. And that is not all. The devs intend to include at least 3 additional characters before the game officially launches.
An Intense Gameplay
When I first played Brawlout, I used my keyboard, and while I had no issue doing so, the experience was completely different and much more fun when I used my gamepad. This may have been because of my previous experience with console fighting games, but I would still suggest trying both to find the control method that works best for you.
So yes, for now players can pick between the 6 available character. While this may not seem like a lot compared to other games, they are all different enough to compensate (looking at you Smash and your god knows how many gunners and sword users). Moreover, if several players choose the same fighter, know that you have about 5 different colors available to personalize your character so that you can differentiate them.
The matches themselves are rather self explanatory. You can play against the AI, against friends on your couch, or online in the friendly, ranked or private lobby modes. Then its up to you to attack and predict your opponents, dodge their attacks and throw them offstage using all your available skills. As a match goes on, the rage bar of characters fill up. Once your rage bar is full, trigger it. For several seconds, you are going to deal more powerful blows to your enemies and have an easier time launching them.
If you have no friend to practice with, I would also suggest that you start with the AI to train a bit. You define your opponents as bots and voila. You even have the advantage of choosing the character they are going to play, which allows you to learn the fighting techniques of your opponents.
Finally, the developers have truly outdone themselves by including all the side features you would expect from a fighting game (leaderboards, character profiles/stats/scores, replays, tournaments) to support the community of players.
Brawlout is an excellent indie game that is leagues above its current competitors and will certainly appeal to all fans of the fighting games genre. The optimization is excellent (although the online connection could use some work), the graphics are fabulous and the possibilities offered are enormous. In short, I can say without a doubt that Brawlout is already a success, and with Angry Mob Games is planning to improve it before the official launch, it can only get better.