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Epic Games announce melee battle royale Rumbleverse

It looks very Fortnite-y

Announced at The Game Awards, Rumbleverse is an upcoming third-person last-man-standing brawler published by Epic Games and developed by Iron Galaxy Games (who've previously worked on the Killer Instinct series, as well as the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro PC ports). I attended a hands-off preview, and it sure does look like a cartoony battle royale. The most standout thing to me was that you could put an entire cooked chicken in your pocket, or throw it at someone, so that's something.

So, Rumbleverse is a free-to-play, 40-player battle to the death. There are no guns, it's pretty much all melee (though you can throw stuff at people, if you want), and you run around collecting items and power-ups that give you abilities.

Cover image for YouTube video

I've missed an incredibly important fact already, and that is that the game's setting (arena, map, whatever you wanna call it) is named Grapital City. I don't know if I hate that or not. Disappointingly, I didn't see any grappling hooks.

When you start a match, you're dropped into a little waiting area where you can beat other players up and test stuff out without actually losing anything. It's called the Battle Barge, because of course it is, and it eventually delivers you to the city (by cannon).

In the preview, something that stood out was that the areas you drop into on the map change each time. Grapital City is a pretty big map, but each match will choose a portion of it for you to play on, rather than set you free on the whole thing. It should stop players from getting too comfortable and dropping at the same spots all the time, which is something I feel other battle royales could play with more.

Once you're in a match, you can find magazines that you read to learn special moves. The dev I watched immediately used one of these to boot another dev off of a skyscraper, which never gets old. He was shut down shortly after by a player coming up behind him and launching a chicken at his head, however (the chicken is a healing item as well as a projectile, you see).

There's a lot of verticality, with players able to infinitely climb the sides of buildings, and use ground pound-style moves to take out enemies below. Ultimately, it looks pretty fun, kinda like a melee version of Fortnite. Though I have to say, I'm really not a fan of its art style - but hey, this is absolutely not a game aimed at me anyways.

Rumbleverse arrives on the Epic Games Store, as well as the PlayStations and Xboxes on February 8th, 2022. It'll support cross-platform play and progression too, so you can jump in with pals regardless of what they're playing on, and maintain progression across platforms.

We stayed up late to cover the PC gaming news at the marketing extravaganza: hit our The Game Awards tag for everything, or skip to Every trailer at The Game Awards 2021.

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Imogen Beckhelling avatar

Imogen Beckhelling

Former News Reporter

Imogen is a lore enthusiast and lover of all the fun shenanigans game communities get up to. She spends too much time playing Overwatch, and not enough time having interests that aren't to do with video games.